At long last, I finished it:
It has a very nice tone, as you can hear here.
I am surprised by how nice the calabash sounds and projects. It’s almost a bell-like, sparkling tone. I’m going to have do do some more experimentation.
The neck and top are made of mahogany. The tail piece and nut are made from a piece of driftwood I found which is very similar to rosewood, which it may in fact be:
Isn’t that pretty? The piece of wood underneath is what it looked like before I cut it. Bleached by sea and sun. I was going to take the piece of wood and throw it on the shore by a restaurant where I was working on the landscaping, but when I tried to hack a piece off with my machete I realized it was very, very hard – then I had to cut it open and investigate. I am glad I did!
Here is the nut and tailpiece:
And in this picture from before I finished, you can see the calabash gourd back:
I bought fret wire from StewMac and hand-sawed the slots by ear. It’s not perfect, but close. a miter box and a template would have helped a lot. I went with the dulcimer scale, which is “Do-Ray-Mi” instead of the full guitar scale, just for fun.
I think my next calabash project will be a violin.