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 Post subject: Gourd didge craft 101
PostPosted: 18.06.2015, 05:58 
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Joined: 14.06.2015, 03:03
Posts: 6
Need all the help I can get with my first gourd didgeridoo. I would like to hear from the community about what makes a great sounding gourd didge. I'm particularly interested in connecting the pieces. I know of the telescoping technique and the sleve method are there any other methods. Which techniques are better than others? Also info on adheasives and epoxys are welcome. Thanks for any help.


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 Post subject: Re: Gourd didge craft 101
PostPosted: 20.06.2015, 12:55 
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Joined: 18.12.2014, 07:39
Posts: 9
Hi Didge Joe, I have made two Gourides so far. No doubt you have seen Paul Sedgwick's fantastic webpage at http://www.gourddidgeridoo.com/gourddidgeridoos.html I am no expert and I have not made one that I am 100% happy with, but practise does make better each time you make one. I think if I had enough gourds to choose from I could end up making an awesome one. Last time I went to the gourd craft place, I couldn't find enough snake gourds that I really liked the shape and size of. It depends on what they have in stock at the time unless you can grow your own.

Buy heaps of them. You need good choice in shapes and sizes - especially if you are very serious about an awesome didge that is shaped the best you can make.

I use a vice and hacksaw to cut them. Hold your breath and don't breathe anything in when cutting them, as you might breathe in some mould and get the gourd flu.

I arrange them on the ground from thinnest to thickest and try to imagine the shape I want to make, aiming for a taper. Once you have cut them open you can play with telescoping. Don't force them together as they will crack.

Gourds get quite wide quickly so its pretty hard to make a good taper with narrow gourds. I tried using the stems off some other gourds and telescoped x9 together, though I think I went too narrow and the drone seems to lack a bit of character with this one.

Glue them together with maxbond or liquid nails, or if you are impatient, then use 5 minute epoxy and let them set.

Sticky tape up the mouthpiece end tight and get your epoxy ready. I get a cheap tarp out. I use 600 ml of epoxy, pour down the bell end, while rotating. Once well coated down the narrow end slowly work the epoxy back to the bell end. You will be nursing the didge for about 1.5 hours. Find a comfy seat. Keep doing this till its set or you will end up with a flat river in your didge.

Once the epoxy is done on the inside you can play it the next day - thats the fun part.

You will then need a flat file to file down and feather the edges of the joins - this is so where you use plaster it will meet up with the join. Do this well and plastering will be easy.

Use some good strong spack filler plaster for the joins. You will have to go over them several times to build up the join and sand to make sure the joins are invisible. You can also use builders bog if you want really tough joins - although this is a pain to work with and I reckon plaster is pretty strong under an epoxy coat.

Get some white Milliput and make the mouthpiece, use a round file to adjust.

Get some good painters tape, undercoat your joins, and add your artwork. You can paint the mouthpiece. Alcohol inks look amazing on gourds. I used red on my last one. The gourd mottle texture shows through. It looks great after the epoxy is on.

Add epoxy to the outside - stand the didge up with a stick off the ground. Paint it on with a cheap brush. Use about 150 ml or so.

Your gourd is done.

Gourds are resonant, lightweight and are fun to play.

As for epoxy resin - I have used Aristocrat Liquid Glass - this is equal two parts epoxy resin - so its the easiest to measure - you just need equal amounts.


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 Post subject: Re: Gourd didge craft 101
PostPosted: 21.06.2015, 13:05 
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Joined: 14.06.2015, 03:03
Posts: 6
Thanks Conrad, that does shed a little more light on didge construction. I will aim for that taper from end to end. I have a long neck dipper that will make a great bell end but not much else to make a proper taper, will have to wait until my garden produces some gourds of various sizes. It's so hard to find the proper gourds on the internet.

I read a profile of Geoff Frost from the Didgeridoo Store, he says that he carefully sands his gourds to match and connects them with a tongue and groove manner. I sure would like to know how he does that unless it's a trade secret, which I can well understand.

Some of my plants are already producing flowers and they are barley 4 ft tall. The flowers are drying up, hope they produce more and pollinate as the plants grow larger.

Hope more members chime in.


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 Post subject: Re: Gourd didge craft 101
PostPosted: 22.06.2015, 11:44 
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Joined: 18.12.2014, 07:39
Posts: 9
Hi Joe,

Yes, the finer the join, the less you have to patch. His are pretty amazing and have very fine joins. I did one join on mine that matched up really well and it glued straight on with 5 min epoxy. If I had a band saw it would be a much easier process.

I am going to grow my own snake gourds next summer (winter here in oz). I had a flowering vine but someone turned off my sprinkler when I was on holidays.


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 Post subject: Re: Gourd didge craft 101
PostPosted: 22.06.2015, 22:25 
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Joined: 14.06.2015, 03:03
Posts: 6
Now I'm getting holes in my gourd plant leaves. Thinking maybe using Sevin Dust for insect control.


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