The Georgia Pine Project was the first set of components that I tested on the newly finished tooling for my Tulsa model. I used pine because it is plentiful and easy to work. It’s not as rare (or costly) as the exotics from Central and South America, or the African woods I normally use, which is good when you are experimenting! I was intrigued by the light weight and buttery color, and decided to pair it with a hard maple neck just like Leo’s prototypes. To my delight it yielded a wonderful tonal palette as well as a very lightweight instrument.
The Georgia Pine Tulsa #4 body was built as I developed tooling for my Tulsa model. It has a slightly different cutaway shape, and the pickup routs are a bit deeper than previous Pine Project guitars. It and and various test components languished on shelves in my shop while I set about filling orders for “standard” Tulsa guitars. Although it had served its purpose in the bigger picture, I always imagined I’d get around to completing an instrument from the parts. A nicely aged piece of birdseye maple hung on the neck rack for almost two years waiting for me to find the perfect time to utilize it in a build. When time allowed, I slowly moved the project along until #4 emerged as a finished instrument.
For a while #4 was used in the shop to evaluate components like pickups, potentiometers, and capacitors. Its chunky neck and resonant body became a favorite of visiting pro musicians, and spawned a number of custom orders. As such, it shows signs of being played—which only makes it cooler. By the time we’d reached 120 instruments, it was time for #4 to leave the nest. So, I signed the headstock with #4 and gave it a proper sequence serial number as well. Here it is, slightly worn in and ready to make great music at last. Thank you #4—we couldn’t have done it without you.
Tulsa Pine Nº 4 in its last configuration. Gotoh lightweight wraparound bridge with locking studs, inserted into 1018 steel anchors. The celluloid tortoise shell pick guard floats over the body letting light through—accenting the transparent nature of the material.
The ultra-thin hand applied nitrocellulose finish has a wonderful satin patina, and is worm to the touch that beg you to touch it. It has been lovingly played in our shop and on stage by many of my touring musician friends over time, and is thoroughly broken in like a vintage instrument.
Unlike the standard Tulsa model, Nº 4 is loaded with a pair of prototype Seymour Duncan pickups—hand wound in the custom shop. The bridge is based on the Seth Lover/Antiquity model, and the neck is a stout single coil version of the Double D pickup I developed with Seymour for the Talledega range of Hamer guitars.
A slightly sharper Florentine cutaway can be seen from this angle, as well as the nicely colored, straight grained Brazilian rosewood fingerboard. This material is getting almost impossible to acquire.
The nicely grained pine body is elegant in its simplicity. The nitrocellulose lacquer finish is thin and hand rubbed to it’s final sheen. The triangle shaped back plate was not retained on the final models that I build today, forever marking this instrument as a true prototype. Here you can also see the birdseye figuring in the neck.
Hand signed Nº4 and sequence serial #121. A test bed for the amazing Ratio tuners, this tulsa proved their worth. They are now part of our option program.
Tulsa Georgia Pine Nº4 Artist’s Proof
•Pine body multi-laminate
• Birdseye maple neck 2 pc. stressed system
• Low mass double adjustable truss rod
• Ultra-fat “baseball bat” D-shape carve
• Brazilian rosewood fingerboard
• 25.5″ compensated scale
• 22 Jescar medium-wide frets
• Aluminum Gotoh locking lightweight wrap bridge
• Tortoise shell pickguard
• Ratio tuners
• 1-5/8″ bone nut
• Nitrocellulose matte natural finish
• Pearl dot markers
• Switchcraft 3 way toggle
• Custom-wound Duncan Humbucker and Single coil pickups
• Gold lap steel knobs
• Bournes low-resistance pots
• Orange Drop tone cap/treble bleed circuit
• 7 lbs 4.5 oz
• Blonde G&G case