Hosho Care and Repair

The Care part is pretty much common sense, a list of "don'ts"


and Do's

They may, however, break on their own accord.

Fixing them:

There you are, in the middle of your band's second set opener, just before the grand hosho solo. Suddenly, there is a quiet explosion of your beat hosho. Hota seeds are all over the floor (for anyone who doesn't know, hota seeds are nature's ball bearings), the rest of the band is falling rapidly into a rhythmic abyss and the dancers, thanks to the hota seeds under their feet, are just plain falling. Welcome to Hosho Repair 101. But first, grab your spare pair and finish the song (you did bring your spare pair didn't you)?

At your first opportunity collect the pieces of gourd and as many of the hota seeds as you can. If you need your gourd to finish the gig just get out the duck tape and quack it back together as best you can, (you did bring the duck tape didn't you)? Then, at home, pull off the tape (before it leaves all that sticky goo on your favorite gourd). Next, assess the situation, do you have all the pieces of the gourd? Is it one or two big pieces or did one of the dancers inadvertently convert the one big piece into 75 little ones? Either way you will need some thin consistency cyanoacrylate glue (with the appropriate accelerator) and a fiberglass repair kit (epoxy glue, and some weird white cloth). Try to reconstruct the gourd. Can you get the pieces to stay put by themselves? If so, good! Do so, then carefully run some of the thin cyano glue into the cracks and give it a shot of the accelerator. You could, at this point, call it good enough - but you'd be doing this again real soon. For a more permanent repair, or if the pieces won't fit, or are missing, it's time for the fiberglass. Essentially you will be mixing up equal parts of the two tubes of epoxy, soaking a piece of the white cloth in the resulting sticky goo, and laying that mess over the cracks, or, if you don't have all the pieces, over the open hole. This works - and boy is it ever ugly. If you feel comfortable working with the epoxy and fiberglass try this. Mix up the epoxy as usual, pull one thread out of the weave of the fiberglass cloth, soak it in the epoxy and lay it over the cracks in a loopy fashion ala Jackson Pollock. If that went well do another thread. As a preemptive measure I have covered both my gourds with a loose pattern of glass loops. I notice no difference in weight or sound.

Do you find that the hota seeds are sometimes stuck in the handles? You could wad up some tissue paper and jam it back in the handle with a coat hanger. Or, get a can of expanding foam sealant and squirt some of that back there. Be careful! there is a reason it's called "expanding" foam sealant, stop about half way from where you think you want the foam to stop. I use the minimal expanding type.

Cyanoacrylate, epoxy and the foam sealant are all best kept off of your skin; use a pair of surgical gloves.

Your comments are appreciated.

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Max Krimmel - 15 Sherwood Road - Nederland, CO 80466 - 303.258.7723