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.
The tools I am referring to here would be what you need if you want to cut your gourd.
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 the blade is weak 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 though is with a mini jigsaw. I have the Microlux made by MicroMark. It is a lifesaver for me. 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.
There is also the Proxxon brand jigsaws that can be used for more heavy duty work like cutting through a really thick gourd.
You can use the gourd saw to easily cut out shapes, such as these butterflies, in your gourd. Also works great for cutting the top off for a bowl.
If you are going to do a large amount of cutting and don't want the dust to spread all over the workshop you may want to set up some kind of dust collection system. Here is a book I located on Amazon that guides you in setting up your own system. More books to see to get rid of dust at Amazon.
There are also dust collection systems at Amazon.com.
When cutting gourds you should use a respirator to protect your lungs from the gourd dust. Here is a small size with a great price that received some good reviews: