Woodpower bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by JIO, Dec 27, 2013.


  1. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    Here's a fun new build concept that will help launch the new year smiling. For those of you who grew up with a certain Walter Lance cartoon woodpecker, you are familiar with this iconic image. Story goes Walt (the other Walt) was in his cabin in the woods and a tap-tap-tapping was heard on his roof. Upon investigating he found it was a woodpecker and as he was a cartoonist, the rest was history. For those of you (not certain of the year that the cross-use of this image was 'incorporated') you will know this image if you were/are a hot-rod (car) aficionado. He initially went by the name "Woody" (as woodpeckers peck wood) and later by a name starting with "Mr". (because... he was pissed-off?) Anyway, he wasn't initially pissed-off, he was as you can see in this image - pretty glad to see ya!

    [​IMG]

    Well, we live in a pissed-off world right now, so it's no surprise that Woody turned agro somewhere along the line. This is where this build comes in. Now, I'm not planning on mass producing this bass, so cease and desist any "that image is copyrighted" rant.., please spare us all. It is a "tribute", a "homage" a silly cartoon bass that only cartoon characters would play in a cartoon band. (OK?)

    Frankly, I would not be at all surprised to discover this bass or guitar already exists. I've seen a number of image-centric guitars over time and upside-down Flying V's, so it entirely possible that "it's been done". An initial search found this example: kind of like a "Big Al" on steroids. (what is it with guitarists and multiple pick-ups?) Note lower horn sticker.

    [​IMG]

    So this is my design idea, a bit more.., direct -

    [​IMG]

    It's going to called the Woodpower bass, the badd Mr's pissed-off, it's (going to be) yellow & red w/black outlines... and that's all I know so far. (there, I said it and I'm glad!)
    Stay looney-tuned for further progress as 2014 evolves...
  2. barebones

    barebones Bare Bones Bass Builder Supporting Member

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    Erectile dysfunction gotcha down?...
  3. danharris

    danharris

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    British Columbia, Canada
    cool design. hot rodders will love it. that logo is Mr Horsepower from Clay Smith. He used to make performance cams and stuff for drag racing. at first i thought it was the Thrush exhaust logo.. another fast looking woodpecker, but no cigar.

    you gotta do some detail paint on the pup covers so his eyes show through, you know what i mean?
  4. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine

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    I feel like the happy Woody would be less painful to play (less potential to hit your hand against one of the points). I do like the design though. I'll be watching.
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  6. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    :confused: humm, no, well part of posting something is getting many opinions and viewpoints and I hadn't considered the whole "wood" thing. Inevitable but not intended. I guess any guitar or bass is a phallic symbol to somebody... :rolleyes:
  7. barebones

    barebones Bare Bones Bass Builder Supporting Member

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    Lol! No, don't get me wrong. I dig it. Just decided to get the inevitable out of the way.

    Your design is different and cool and pays tribute to one of my favorite cartoon characters. Keep rollin' with it, brother!
  8. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    Yah, it will definitely fit into a certain category, rock-a-billy, roadhouse rock, ?...

    Honda motorcycles used the pissed-off woodpecker for a while also. (no cigar I think) I've always felt sorry for (orig) Woody as he was sort of like Bugs Bunny and not outwardly agro or angry. Somewhat mischievous, but generally a sharp-witted fun character.

    For sure, I think soaps or HB'rs w/o poles would be best so they could be painted to blend into the scheme. The bridge could be an anodized black one and be painted as well.
  9. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm with you about a Woody who is happy compared to a pissed-off woodpecker smoking a cigar. I prefer the happy Woody but feel it would turn out too cute. Like a Mickey Mouse bass. :rollno: Functionally, the pissed-off woodpecker's cigar would work well to cradle on ones leg when seated and it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine tiny red LED's in the tip that ebb in and out when playing.

    I don't think the points will be a problem, unless one got very active while playing. (no Pete Townshend moves) The lower ones are below the playing space and the ones on the fretboard would be painted on.
  10. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    rock & roll! :bassist:
  11. mapleglo

    mapleglo Supporting Member

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    Definitely will be following this, very cool design!
  12. SaintMez

    SaintMez

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    Very cool idea! Sub'd for sure. How are you painting the image(by hand, airbrush...)?
  13. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    I've been thinking about this. I've decided to do the sides and back black, only painting the face in cartoon colours. It would be easy enough to cut the body form pretty straight-forward and finish it with bright opaque spray paint, hand painting the outlines and finishing w/gloss clear. It would look suitably "cartoon-ie". (cartoon-ish?)

    But there are options. I could do a Gildaxe finish on it, covering the 'face' with gold-leaf and spraying translucent red and yellow over so that it does the luminescent thing under stage lights. (it's where my finishes really 'shine'!) The opaque black outlines would tend to 'float' visually due to the depth the gilding will give the colours.

    The 3rd option is a sparkle/glitter spray-job. This would be the most show-biz of the 3 and I'm sort of leaning that direction conceptually. It also fits the custom-car show vibe. Throw in the LED's on the cigar-end and get the Ray-Bans out! :cool:

    So that's just the actual finishing. Another thought I had was detailing the outline parts including the eyes three-dimensionally. I could do a shallow route leaving all the black lines, eye and cigar a bit higher - with a slight ridge. This would help make the black more defined and add a bit of 3D surface interest to separate the 'pools' of bright colours.

    Next step is to determine what variety of bass this will be - 4 on the floor?, jive 5?, straight 6?, or possibly an 8 banger? I should call Tom & Ray (the tap-it brothers) for advice. :p
  14. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine

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    Oh, good call. Those were the ones I thought would be potentially painful (the bottom ones while moving your hand up the neck).
  15. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    :eek: ouch! ;)
  16. AThr33

    AThr33

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    Jio, What a great idea. If you needed to, you could route in the lower 'feathers' and have a solid slab which would prevent the poking issue as described by Lisa/LBridenstine. Ideas on Pups? A3
  17. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine

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    I misread it before and kind of was thinking that was what he meant except with painting them on instead of routing them, buttttt JIO have you thought about carving the details on the top, then painting it to make it 3D?
  18. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]

    After seeing this colour mock-up, maybe the neck overlapping feathers are not necessary. As the image shows, it conveys the gestalt and is functionally simple. (a cool body w/a standard bolt-on neck) I dig a standard 20 fret Fender P neck/headstock (4 on the floor) - something so classic Americana about that, like a Steve McQueen "Bullet" Mustang, or a Starsky and Hutch Ford. Muscle Car Baby! (sorry Lisa, my midwestern guy background is showing :rolleyes:)

    [​IMG]

    To answer your question - on the body (which is a head :eyebrow: - so confusing!) I am considering carved/routed details - the black lines specifically. So yes, a bit of 3D.

    And finally, not sure about pu's but am leaning toward a basic P in the sweet-spot. Seems copasetic.
  19. Marcury

    Marcury High and Low Supporting Member

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    Love It!!!
  20. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

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    more:

    maple neck P setup

    [​IMG]


    rosewood board P setup

    [​IMG]


    I like the P-pu setup compared to J's. Will be trying all black hardware next. Also will do some modifications on the feathers (will lengthen the top feather to the 12th fret and nix the pointy feather at the lower 15th fret) Once that's done I can do a scale template/drawing. These mock-ups are using the pissed-off woodpecker image as is, unmodified.

    [all photoshop work thanks to Andrew :bassist:]
  21. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    The point above the eyes seems like it would be a bit uncomfortable on your forearm. I love the concept though. I like the maple fretboard.

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