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Sep 22, 2021 - 10:05:26 PM

AliB80

Australia

2 posts since 9/22/2021

Hello
I am building my first gourd banjo using a canteen gourd. Can I cut off either the top with the vine or the bottom?

The top with the vine has a nicer skin so I’d like to cut the vine off and then use this side as my banjo (in effect, cutting off the bottom).

What is your advice or experience?

Thank you all so much.

Sep 22, 2021 - 10:34:50 PM
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486 posts since 10/18/2020

Hi first of all welcome to the Hangout

i just completed my first build of a gourd banjo, i do not believe it makes a difference as to which end you use as your bottom or your top of the gourd, most i believe use which ever side is the flattest for the bottom of their gourd banjo in my case the bottom was the flattest so I cut the top part where the stem is attached the reason for this is the flattest part sits better against the body when playing making it easier to hold and play

One other thing I highly recommend is wear a mask when doing any cutting o the gourd and especially when cleaning out the insides of the gourd as the dust from them contains all kinds of molds that are not good for the lungs.

also once you cut which ever end off and clean out don't drop it at anytime as they do crak into pieces

good luck with your build

Edited by - Don Smith1959 on 09/22/2021 22:41:27

Sep 22, 2021 - 10:44:04 PM

486 posts since 10/18/2020

here is a couple of photos of mine that i just completed




Edited by - Don Smith1959 on 09/22/2021 22:46:32

Sep 22, 2021 - 10:49:13 PM

486 posts since 10/18/2020

one more photo


 

Sep 23, 2021 - 12:13:44 AM
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AliB80

Australia

2 posts since 9/22/2021

Don Smith1959 thank you for your warm welcome and reply! Appreciate your advice about safely sawing too, I’m a complete novice.

Your first attempt looks dang good.
Thank you.

Sep 23, 2021 - 1:01:47 AM

486 posts since 10/18/2020

AliB80 you are welcome and thank you for the compliment

we were all complete novices at one point or another, i am no expert by any means the build was fun but it took me a long time to complete mine because of the way I did things and I get in no hurry when doing builds just take your time and you should be fine, build it the way you want, and there is nothing wrong with thinking out of the box and there are no stupid questions as I was always taught the only stupid question is the one you do not ask, so do not be afraid to post up questions someone on BHO will always give you an answer and opinion.

one suggestion i do have, if you do not want to make your own tuning pegs purchase five violin tuning pegs I picked up five nice Rosewood violin tuning pegs on Ebay for like $5 US funds, it will save you some time and some money you will need to purchase a reamer if you elect to go the purchase route of the tuning pegs but you will not have to purchase the peg shaver if you elect to make the pegs yourself you will need both the peg shaver and the reamer.

Again have fun with your build

Sep 29, 2021 - 10:42:50 AM

87 posts since 2/7/2017

You still have to shave new violin pegs.

Gourds can be cut in any way that works! Old old time banzas are cut sideways with the neck going into the vine end. The tail end of the gourd becomes the tail end of the banjo, for sound spiritual reasons, I'm told.

Sep 29, 2021 - 2:55:22 PM

486 posts since 10/18/2020

quote:
Originally posted by OldTymeBanjo

You still have to shave new violin pegs.

Gourds can be cut in any way that works! Old old time banzas are cut sideways with the neck going into the vine end. The tail end of the gourd becomes the tail end of the banjo, for sound spiritual reasons, I'm told.


can you tell me what is the purpose of shaving new violin tuning pegs ????

I did not shave the ones I purchased even though I had a peg shaver

I just started with a hole in the peg head the size of the end of each violin peg that i purchased, and then i used my reamer in the peg head to get them to the correct size and taper, the way I did it they seem to be working great no slipping no hanging up nothing

if the holes are already in place then I could see having to shave maybe but in a new build I see no purpose in shaving if you drill a new hole and then ream to correct size

Edited by - Don Smith1959 on 09/29/2021 14:59:39

Sep 29, 2021 - 3:48:53 PM

87 posts since 2/7/2017

They're a bit big, and might not be cut with the perfect taper initially, since they are expected to be prepared before use, also too shiny. You can always make a new peg, but if the initial hole is too wide, it's hard to make it smaller. I think it's best to start with a smaller hole, meaning the peg should be shaved down. Over time, the hole can be reamed bigger to account for wear. Of course, if it works, that's fine, but this logic makes sense to me.

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