I want to cover a bass guitar with squirrel fur

Submitted by Skippii on 11/10/2002. ( )

I've never done any skinning or anything before--just a little hunting, but I'm primarily a bassist. I wanted to refinish one of my basses, but then the idea occured to me that squirrels are in season, and I could coat it with squirrel fur, and maybe a skunk stripe down the back. Would this be possible to do? Is it a good idea? Would I be able to dry the skins out and get them to stick to the wood without them going rotten? Is it hard to skin an squirrel/skunk? How many animals would I have to kill to cover it? How would I get the skins to look good next to each other, so that it is a one nice even coat, instead of a bunch of pelts together? Do I connect them first (Sew them or what?) or do I just glue them on close to each other?
I know that it's a lot of questions, and I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask, but I don't know where else to go, so any help would be appreciated.
Thanks, Skippii

Return to Beginners Category Menu

Well Skippi

This response submitted by Oddball on 11/10/2002. ( Hoggrower@ )

You never said if you were using it on a Fender, or Richenbacher-sp? As far as skinning is concerned, look in the ARCHIVE's. If you are truly up to this insane feat, you will probably have to shoot a little more than your limit. Tan all your hide's, then use a good epoxy to glue them on.As far as making it look good, well, the ball is in your court on that. If you have the tenacity to sew squirrel skin's, you go right ahead and do it! Oddball

It'll be a 1970's Peavey USA T-40

This response submitted by Skippii on 11/11/2002. ( )

...because that's the cheapest bass I have, and I don't want to risk messing up my other ones.
I read a bit of the archives, but I find them a little difficult to understand, because I really don't understand most of the words. I don't even know what tanning is, or dry preserve, or anything.
One of my friends just told me today that he didn't think it was much more complicated than ripping it off the animals, covering it in salt for a while, and glueing it on--but he admitted he didn't really know.
I have one big concern right now...If I play the bass on stage and sweat a lot, will the skin absorb all the sweat and start to smell bad? What do I do if that happens...Can I just spray Lysol on it and hope the smell goes away?
Also, when stitching together skins, do I sew them together with a little overlap, or just right next to each other? Will this look better than just glueing them on one at a time, or will my bass end up looking like Frankenstien?

OH Brother!

This response submitted by Ron on 11/11/2002. ( )

First off let me say that I am sorry they didn't legalize marijuana last week, but keep trying, anyway here it goes.
You are about to make a mess. Cease and desist now. If you stick salty squirrel skins on your guitar you will ruin it. You will need to use some kind of tanned hides for this, preferably something larger than squirrels. It would take to many squirrels and require to much sewing. Using something larger like a beaver would be much easier. Probably only take one large beaver to do it. You can buy allready tanned hides or if you like buy some fresh hides and try to tan them yourself. There are some good tanning kits available from some of the taxidermy suppliers that are easy to use and contain everything you will need. Try Van-Dykes.
Regardless of what you decide it will still be very wierd and as for the smell, all the bass players that I have known smelled anyway so I don't think that will be a problem. Good luck Ron


This response submitted by BobB on 11/11/2002. ( foxranch@hotmail.com )

Why mess with tanned hides at all?. Most craft or sewing centers will other fake fur. If you persist, use that.

About the smell, I'm sure it will absorb the sweat and soon smell like gym socks.

Why not refinish and have an airbrush artist do you a scene, or relaminate it with a pic of your mom, or girlfriend or an early picture of you performing?

Cool idea, but

This response submitted by Nancy M. on 11/11/2002. ( )

In all honesty, I think that covering the backside of the bass would be a waste of fur. Even if you got it attached perfectly, the friction and abrasion from being played would wear the hair off and leave bald or mangy-looking places.
Now on the front ... that would be less subject to wear and sweat immersion, and would be neat looking. You would not need as many skins because of all the various things that you would have to go around, like the neck, pickups, controls, etc. Depending on how you play, you might be able to remove the pick guard and upholster right over where it was.
The skins should be tanned. There is really no way around that. You can get kits to do it yurself, or you can buy already tanned skins of various types. Little skins like squirrels would be very hard to fit together without it showing. Look at a fur coat. Those stripes are where the edges of the pelts are sewed together. The tops and bottoms blend pretty well, because the hair is thicker there, but the side edges are another matter.
Anyway, I would suggest that you try glueing some small tanned hides in place with ordinary Elmer's glue and see what happens. If it doesn't work, you can clean it off of the bass with a damp cloth and not ruin the finish.

Maybe I'l start a little smaller?

This response submitted by Skippii on 11/11/2002. ( )

Maybe I'll just do the pickguard and the strap to start with.
I really wanted to do the back, just because of how cool the Skunk strip would look going down there, but I guess I'll start with this first.
I checked out the other threads in the Archives, and I'm gonna get the Rittel's EZ100 Tanning Kit from WASCO--it looks like the best for my needs.
I was going to refinish the bass anyway, before I came up with this idea, so I'm not that worried about ruining it, as if it doesn't work, I'll just strip it all off, sand down, and put an wood finish on like I was originally going to. The elmers glue idea sounds good, though...I will try that first.

I'm a regular poster on a Bass forum as well, and I ran the idea by my friends over there...most of them think I'm psycho (not just because of this idea) but they also told me to leave the heads on the squirrels, and have red LEDs put in the eyes. This sounds really weird, and I don't plan on doing it, but I might do on fur like that on the headstock...do Taxidermists ever put LEDs in the eyes, just for fun?


This response submitted by Ron on 11/11/2002. ( )


I did my bass like this...

This response submitted by Raven on 11/11/2002. ( )

One of my old bass' was coverred in fake fur... a gorgeous gray snakeskin BC Rich Warlock with gold hardware - mmm - miss that base. Anyway - I coverred it in fur for a while... what can I say - when I was young I liked ZZTop ;) All I did was basically make a slip cover like for a car seat with fake fur purchased at a fabric store. Some velcro tabs inside and poof! Pop it off whenever it gets funky (like if yer drunk drummer pees on it in the middle of a set so ya have to finish the gig with a peed on guitar - DAMN YOU COREY!) and throw it in the wash. Then if ya ever decide ya dont want it on anymore (like I did) just take off the velcro tabs and scrub mildly with some mineral spirits or 'goof off' to get residual glue off of your guitar. Easy as that! Oh btw - if yer drunk drummer DOES pee on it... follow my lead... hide poop in his kit =) One loaf in the bass drum; which will be found right away thus making him think he found the source of the smell... the OTHER under the snare between the skin and the springs! Took him 3 days to find that one ;) Then theres the problem of getting it all out from between all the coiled springs - MUAHAHAHA!Pee on my Warlock will ya? I dont think so! ;)

I bet

This response submitted by Ron on 11/11/2002. ( )

Chet Atkins, my hero, never peed on his guitar.

squirel skin

This response submitted by sam w on 11/12/2002. ( )

Hey dude . Did ya ever think of useing rattle snake skin? would be alot less time consumeing and would last much longer then squirel guaranteed. Just a q? and if your interested in maybe changeing your mind rattlesnake skins are pretty easy to come by especially on the net or any self bow building supply company. Peace


This response submitted by Skippii on 11/14/2002. ( )

Well, I went to pick up my car from the state inspection today so I could buy a gun, but it failed and needs $700 of work done, so I can't afford the gun now, so I can't shoot the squirrels. Darn it.

two thoughts...

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 11/15/2002. ( )

Number one, Im surprised Raven didnt offer to mold your bass, and two, Id cover your bass with scales, ala BASS(largemouth), and call it the bass BASS.

Return to Beginners Category Menu