Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

342
Banjo Lovers Online


Want to hide these Google ads? Join the Players Union!
Jul 4, 2020 - 3:37:17 PM
5 posts since 6/19/2019

Hey folks,

I'm looking to build a small gourd banjo, and I think I'd like to use a bottle gourd instead of a canteen gourd. The banjo will be a trail companion for me and they look like they would be easier to fit on a pack and lighter. They also sound a bit brighter from what I can tell, and I love the looks.

Anyone know of good bottle gourd suppliers? Extra points if they grow them between planks for flatness, although I think I am unlikely to find anyone who sells those on their own. I've seen Welburn farms recommended on here, but they have a minimum order of $200 on custom orders and the medium-size gourd box comes with far more than I would need at $80.

Also, are there things I should be considering when building with a bottle gourd? Most of the guides out there are for canteen gourds. Obviously I'd have to install 2 heads, but is there anything else that makes things more difficult?

Jul 4, 2020 - 4:21:15 PM

1491 posts since 4/29/2013
Online Now

Check out Wuertz Gourd Farm: https://shop.wuertzfarm.com/Bottle-Gourds_c15.htm

You can order as many as you want for a flat shipping fee. These come uncleaned on the outside and can be cleaned with a scrubbing pad and water. 

Edited by - Noah Cline on 07/04/2020 16:22:10

Jul 7, 2020 - 10:16:24 PM

5 posts since 6/19/2019

Thanks Noah! I ended up going with Wuertz. 2 canteen gourds and 1 bottle - we'll see what speaks to me the most when they get here.

Any other advice for a first-time gourd banjo builder? Just yesterday before I saw this reply I was watching all your YouTube videos trying to figure out what sound I wanted to go for. You make some really beautiful pieces!

Jul 8, 2020 - 2:03:37 PM

1491 posts since 4/29/2013
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by StuRadley

Thanks Noah! I ended up going with Wuertz. 2 canteen gourds and 1 bottle - we'll see what speaks to me the most when they get here.

Any other advice for a first-time gourd banjo builder? Just yesterday before I saw this reply I was watching all your YouTube videos trying to figure out what sound I wanted to go for. You make some really beautiful pieces!


Thanks! 
 

For bottle gourds, I try to pick the flattest side (usually the side that laid on the ground while growing) as the back. They sometimes tend to have a slight bow because of that, so that allows for plenty of room in-between the head cutouts acting as a natural scoop after cutting and leveling the cutouts, which some like. Try to get both head cutouts level with each other. I've played around with putting a slight angle down angle on the upper head, but I think having them level is better maybe. For the heel, I tend to cut the heel square and with an angle (usually 2-3 degrees), and sand the end of the gourd down square. This usually makes for a simple heel fit, but you have to watch not to go too thin depending on the gourd's wall thickness. Other builders might do the cupped heel or a tapered heel with the dowel making up part of it, with the latter involving more fitting-work. 
 

For canteen gourds, I usually go with the cupped method for the heel fit, using a round drum sander chucked in the drill press to create the internal radius after cutting the initial vertical and horizontal radius on the bandsaw. I tend to do a lot of eyeballing lining everything up. The tapered heel/dowel method can be used for a canteen as well and is probably the easiest to do if the methods I've mentioned. Check out Jason Romero for or Jeff Menzies for some visuals of this method. 

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.1367188