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Question for Janel or ?

jim moyer

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Janel, I am a full time knifemaker and new to this forum.


My question is how stable are gourds for use as knife handles. Will they take stains like the wood and also are there grains in them like wood.


I just took a real liking to the gnarly textures in your gourd sculptures and feel they would look great on a Damascus knife or a folder.


Also where can I find a good supplier if you feel this will work for my projects..


Best regards to you and yours,



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Gourds in my opinion are a rather fragile material. I am using boxwood, which is a very dense, hard, fine-grained and carvable wood, to carve the likeness of a gourd into it. I would doubt that a gourd shell would work for a knife handle, if it is needed to be durable.


You will likely have to carve the texture into suitable a piece or pieces of appropriately hard and sturdy wood for the knife handle.


Best of luck in your search. And, thanks for the "gnarly" compliment!



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My thoughts on the subject are as follows....

If you find a suitable shaped gourd that's works for you, then I would probably coat it with a couple of layers of epoxy, allowing each layer to dry before applying the next layer. Next I would probably get some epoxy putty from the auto parts store and pack the gourd with it. You can then drill out the hole for the tang and make your handle as if it was a piece of antler. You could poke out a starter hole before it sets up, but epoxy putty usually sets up real fast. It becomes hard as a rock. Good luck.

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