A dilemma that happens to all new gourd crafters and also some veteran gourd crafters is finding the right tools for the job. Let's face it. We can't just drive to our local tool center and walk to the gourd crafting aisle. That would be nice, but we may as well wake up from that dream.
Cleaning the gourds isn't a big problem - some water, a copper scrubber, dull knife, and a little muscle will do it. Then you can just paint it as is.
When you start cutting the gourd and cleaning the insides is where the problems set in. What works best you ask?
My first cutting tool was a hacksaw my husband got for me. It got the job done but was hard to use and would frequently get stuck in the gourd. Basically all you could do was cut the top off the gourd.
Next I used a round hacksaw blade. It didn't have a handle and it was a little hard on the hands. I could cut out shapes with this blade and that was one thing I liked about it. If you fixed it up with a handle to make it easier to use it would probably be a pretty nice little cutting tool.
But what if you wanted a bowl with a lid? You would need a very thin blade for that job. So I turned to the Exacto saw blade. It worked well but is a weak blade and I broke a few. It's also tiring on the hand and I wouldn't want to cut very many that way.
The fastest and easiest way to cut is with a mini jigsaw. I have the Microlux made by MicroMark. I just zip through my gourd projects with it. You are talking a lot more money to go this way and unless you are really cranking out gourd projects you may feel it's not worth the cost.
For scraping the interior of the gourd you can try a sharpened spoon, seashell or grapefruit knife. Some crafters make their own tools using an assortment of flat washers attached to dowel rods. These can be used in the long necks of dipper gourds. Sandpaper of different grit sizes is needed for smoothing the inside and rim of a bowl or getting rid of some of the rough spots on the shell. These are easy to find at your local tool center.
You can even find tools made by gourd crafters for sale on the internet. Just type in "gourd tools" in your favorite search engine.
Even if you have lots of tools on hand, there always seems to come a time when you have to go searching for something a little different.