The Barncat is a blend of Downing’s Barnstormer and Muleskinner models, and includes an optional Bigsby B5 vibrato.
This particular Barncat utilizes oak barn wood for the top, a
back fashioned from cucumber-tree wood, and has a maple
neck topped with a mesquite fretboard. A Rio Grande Blues-bar/Jazzbar pickup set, Hipshot Grip-Lock tuners, and a
Wilkinson roller bridge round out the appointments for this 25”
scale, 22-fret guitar.
THE BARNSTORMER SC
The Barnstormer SC is Downing’s main production guitar and
the series features bodies built from sections of 2x4 or 2x6
rafters, which can be hollowed out to reduce weight. The Seymour Duncan Jazz/JB-equipped model shown is fashioned
from popular rafters, but beech, oak, maple, tupelo, and elm
are also available as wood options. Original saw marks are left
showing, and lightly sanded to accentuate them. The necks
are either one-piece or laminated, and attached to the body
with a full-width mortise and tenon joint.
The Redbird started out as a red cedar Tele-style guitar, but
has been redesigned with a look similar to the Barnstormer
SC. The pictured guitar is a single-cutaway version with three
Kent Armstrong single-coils atop embossed-copper pickup
mounts, though the standard Redbird is loaded with a pair of
humbuckers. A primary feature of the Redbird series is the use
of Eastern red cedar—a light, soft wood containing plenty of
knots, sapwood streaks, dry rot, bark inclusions, and other
proudly displayed visual treasures. Downing donates 25 percent of the sale of any Redbird guitar to charitable causes.
THE ROAD DOG
Primarily using the shape of the Muleskinner series, the
Road Dog guitars are custom-order instruments with the
striking visual feature of a discarded, automobile license
plate for the pickguard. The shown “Bearcaster” is constructed of salvaged, yellow-pine beadboard, outfitted with
Allparts humbuckers, and features Daka-Ware knobs topped
with vintage bottle-caps, as well as a tailpiece constructed
from an iron strap-hinge. The 1945 Pennsylvania license
plate represents the year and state of the customer’s birth.