Modified Super Gourd Using Old Friend Dap

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
TerryW
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:02 pm
Location: Nashville, Arkansas

These pics show how to modify the PMCA Excluder polyethylene gourd or the PMCA SuperGourd, also polyethylene, and how to get a good "stick" for the Alex Plus Dap with silicone so that no other fastener method is needed for fastening my old 3" tunnels with crescent entrance into the polyethylene gourd, yeah, I am sort of a hung-up broken record, on my tunnels. This has an inner porch, yeah, I am still hung up on the inner porches as well. Martins fledging from an inner-porch equipped cavity should be able to immediately get back into the cavity fairly easily, since they were able to get out of it, and there should be but only a short period of puzzlement about entering my exterior porched SREh when it returns the next year.

This series of pics and the point of this post is to show that flame treating (showing torch I used) of the newly cut opening of the poly gourd so that the oily, slick surface of the polyethylene is removed so that the gourd surface will "take" the Dap that is used to fasten the tunnel into the gourd. You just "play" the flame on the surface near the cut for a short period of time, being careful not to set it on fire, probably 20 or 30 secs. You can tell if you did it long enough if the slick feel is gone (allow it to cool before checking). After it was assembled and the Dap had cured a couple of days, I tried to get it to come apart with reasonable force. Not saying you couldn't get it apart, but for the reasonable force I employed, it held.

The Dap is smoothable with a wetted finger and that is why I always want to use it in my mods. Of course the entrance assembly itself is all PVC, so I use PVC cement to put it together, and I finish it off with smoothed out Dap at each assembly point. I believe Troyer's stuff is polyethylene as well.

The 3" pvc pipe that the tunnel is made from is thin wall and is big enough to accept the width of a Conley entrance or the small excluder entrance as well. Not saying I did the Excluder 2, just saying it would fit.
Attachments
cut&prep'dSG.jpg
cut&prep'dSG.jpg (18.49 KiB) Viewed 950 times
TerryW
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:02 pm
Location: Nashville, Arkansas

Other Pic
Attachments
torch.jpg
torch.jpg (17.96 KiB) Viewed 949 times
TerryW
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:02 pm
Location: Nashville, Arkansas

Another Pic:
Attachments
smoothed.jpg
smoothed.jpg (17.41 KiB) Viewed 949 times
TerryW
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:02 pm
Location: Nashville, Arkansas

Final Pic: Don't know why they won't all go with first post.
Attachments
finishdSG.jpg
finishdSG.jpg (18.63 KiB) Viewed 949 times
Whippy
Posts: 528
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: 2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - ?

Pretty good stuff. I'm realizing these gourds can be quite versatile in their old age.

Also. I've tried a million times to get multiple photos into a post. I end up like you did replying to my own post to get more photos posted.

Coolwhips
TerryW
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:02 pm
Location: Nashville, Arkansas

PS: The grooving at the "cut" opening of the SuperGourd is made with a Dremel with a cutting wheel and the grooving is just as important as the flame treatment to increasing adherence of the Dap caulking material. I have done a bunch of these years ago with grooving alone, no heat treatment, and never had any problems that I knew about. I also believe it important to keep the cut hole size small so the tunnel is a bit hard to stick into he gourd; I don't like a real loose fit there. The flame treatment is actually a recommended step for joining polyethylene pieces together using epoxy. I could have used epoxy under the Dap as well, but I think there is value to being able to remove the tunnel at a later date if I want to do something else with the SuperGourd entrance.

The porches have traction as well and I used the Dremel cutting wheel to do that too. You can do it with a pocket or linoleum knife. A pocket knife makes my hand too "tarred".
Brad Biddle
Posts: 521
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Those look nice Terry. I've had better luck with LEXEL than DAP on plastic gourds but the DAP is certainly easier to work with and provides a much better appearance. I sure do like tunnels on gourds, and apparently Martins like them pretty well too. :grin:

When I posted the thread about the mouse damaged gourds, I kept having issues trying to post multiple photos in one post. I don't post them directly in the thread like you guys do because I don't want to have to go through the process of resizing the pictures, I use a photo hosting website and it still didn't want to take multiple photos. I thought there was an internet glitch while making the post, but it may be a common thing. I'd have to go back to that thread and look to see if I ever got more than one picture per post. I can't remember. I know I tried multiple times without success.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
TerryW
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:02 pm
Location: Nashville, Arkansas

Don't know how a martin could resist this gourd, but you know, Brad, neither I nor two or three of my neighbors have seen a martin yet. They are being reported north of here. Martin gods maybe gonna punish me for my abrupt withdrawal a few years ago. I used to think getting martins here was a cinch... :-(
Brad Biddle
Posts: 521
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Well, I don't believe in Martins gods, but you'll get them. There's only One that I believe in. Are you completely starting over? Seems I read you post something about either reducing your colony or quitting for a few years.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
TerryW
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:02 pm
Location: Nashville, Arkansas

Just a figure of speech or maybe I'm a bit superstitious, Brad.

No, It has to be 10 years since I stopped abruptly when wife became ill for lengthy period. Had about 150 cavities out and over 100 pair. Took them all down at the end of season and allowed John Barrow to dispose of them. A man from Louisiana, forgot his name, came and got all my stuff except a few of my my very favorite cavities that I hung in the ceiling of my shop until now. They doled them out to others, so I felt a little better about my halting operation of my site because I knew the cavities would be put to good use housing martins elsewhere. Put all my hardware out on my Treasure Island scrap pile. Funny how quickly it will all come down using a SawsAll.

This winter I reached out to my Treasure Island, built a couple of Abare racks and put them up. Put up my 3 pipe gourds, my 4 Naturelines with 90 degree entrances and purchased PMCA excluder gourds and Troyer horizontals, and here I sit helplessly waiting in this, another stretch of cold November rain....ugh, hate cold weather in Arkansas!
Brad Biddle
Posts: 521
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

I guess I missed all that, or just forgot it Terry. You obviously have a good site, because you hosted so many Martins for so many years. I'm not telling you anything that you don't already know, but it's very, very early. You've got loads of time to get some and I'd bet that you do. You're definitely using some of the best quality products on the market. I don't know how many gourds you put up with tunnels, but I learned early on from you and Thurman that they were Martin magnets and they surely are. That reminds me, I haven't talked to Thurman in many years, I need to reach out to him and see how he's doing.

It's not cold here, but it's supposed to be about 10 degrees colder tomorrow than it was today. Today is the nicest day we've had this year. There's lots of Martins moving in. I didn't get an evening count but I saw 9 on the racks in my backyard at lunch and only 5 came in to roost last night. I've got to be close to 50 or 60 down at the barn.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
TerryW
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:02 pm
Location: Nashville, Arkansas

Give Thurman my regards when you contact him, and let me know he's okay.
Rodger Drye
Posts: 671
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:07 am
Location: NC/Mt. Pleasant
Martin Colony History: Have been hosting and providing a sanactuary for Purple Martins for 30 years.

TerryW,

Your Super Gourd with tunnel looks pretty good.! I’m sure it will make a good home for any family of Martin’s.!

I’ve always used the White Lexel for any modifications etc. I find that it is easy to work with and very durable. When it dries it becomes hard enough to create a bond while leaving just a tad of flexibility.


I’m not sure I’m understanding what you are doing with the torch.? Are you heating around the Gourd entrance before you fasten the tunnel.?

Don’t forget to place some traction in the tunnel most likely with your Dremel. I have a few Gourd’s I modified with 3” and 4” pvc tunnels. I took my Dremel and cut traction treads all along the bottoms of the pvc. The Martin’s really like those Gourd’s as they are filled every year.

I’ve designed and made several home made Gourd’s out of 10” SDR pipe. I attached a 3” tunnel to them and provided a 4 1/2” clean out / inspection port. My Bird’s like these type homes as well.

How many years did you go with out any Martin’s.?
I wish I knew how to post photo’s. I have many that I would like to post. It may be because I’m using an I-Pad Air, don’t know...

Rodger
PMCA Member
Have been Hosting and Protecting Martin's for 30 years.
TerryW
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:02 pm
Location: Nashville, Arkansas

Hi Rodger,

Yes, I do scarify the tunnel surface as well. I also scarify the top surface of the tunnel so it can be a perching place for the martins.

The torch is used in the cut area of the gourd on the surface that the Dap will contact only, to burn off the "slick" feel of the surface, and I suppose to also change the physical characteristic of the polyethylene in that same area and make it more adhere-able using an epoxy. It is a preparation used for using epoxy that I reasoned might be helpful when using my Dap material. Did it really help, I don't know for absolute sure, but the joint I made seems to hold considerably better than without it. Probably would make your material adhere better too. It is difficult to attain a smooth finished looking surface with your material. Dap dresses out very nicely.

I think it was 2005 plus or minus a year when I quit; wow, didn't know it was THAT long ago! During the years prior, I was on the forum with several who are here now, and people who are not here such as Chuck Abare, Reb Black, Thurman Seber, Kent Justus, and numerous others. I think Thurman and I were the first to construct pipe gourds, and as someone pointed out to me recently certainly not the very first though. I did mine using 8" sewer and drain PVC, and they performed just as well as anything I put in the air.

I had a huge batch of stuff in the air back then, four racks, a T14, a Lone Star, one of the racks was a big, like 10 foot long by 4 foot wide, rectangular gourd rack made from corral panels that had two posts and 2 winch systems, ugly thing that I erected in my front yard, held, I don't know, maybe 50 gourds. Kent Justus named it, Acoma, Sky City, after the Indian settlement out in New Mexico that was on top a flat-top mountain. I had mostly plastic gourds and a few naturals and most had crescent entrances, a few had the wide bat-wing excluder entrances, both of which martins took a while to learn to enter. Against current thought at the time, I installed little traction porches on some of them, and didn't pay a lot of attention afterward, but, thanks to my wife, she did, and pointed out to me that martins were entering those porched gourds just fine. Reported it to the forum and waa laa first thing you know many, except the die hards, went to using them. I think my tunnels came along a little later, but that was an adapted idea from bluebirders?, I think, who had determined it helpful to make entrances for boxes safer with thicker or "longer" entrances. Not original with me, but I submit that I did build the first long entrance tunnel for martin cavities.

At Finger, MS, at the PMCA get together one year, I installed a crescent and a porch on John Barrow's boot, which I believe he gave to Dale Hrncerik, who raised I think raised a family of martins in it the following year. :lol:

My mod for Troyer's horizontal gourd caused them to look somewhat like they do now. I had bought a couple of his new Horizontals the year they came out, and I believe they had crescent entrances, no porches of course! Along came a martin that was determined to get in that sucker, I mean you would have thunk he was on speed or something. Well, he did learn to get in ONE time, but, surprise, he couldn't get out of that slick cavity, and I found him dead in there when I saw that he was no longer around. Did some mods on it, scarified the inside with my pocket knife so the martin had traction, and cut the entrance off, installed a bit of 3" tunnel with a porch, and both cavities raised families that year. Posted this on my website that I always maintained and on this forum for all (and Andrew) to see, and waa laa...still have my website in which I showed how I did all the things I did, but only I can see it.

So much of what the PMCA purports comes from site operators and people who unselfishly give to others. That's why when I see a patent number near the Excluder II entrance on their great plastic gourd, it sort of galls me. This entrance is a variation of the old original unpatented, I think unpatented, batwing excluder entrance. I surely would not have granted the PMCA a patent on it.
Last edited by TerryW on Sun Mar 15, 2020 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
deancamp
Posts: 406
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Good looking modification Terry!
TerryW
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:02 pm
Location: Nashville, Arkansas

Thanks, Dean, I modified my post just up from this a second ago. You or others might want to reread the first part of it. Just tried to make it a bit clearer about why I did the flame treatment.
TerryW
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:02 pm
Location: Nashville, Arkansas

Sigh...woke up to another cold November rain. Martins are so smart to be slow to come here to SW AR yet. Site operators I see around here don't know a meal worm from a spiny caterpillar, and they ain't about to try to feed their martins who are a-shakin right now if they are inside those typical slum ridden with starling and house sparrow, shabby, dirty, substandard housing complete with portions of previous years nests. Did I lay it on thick enough?

While I wait for martins, I'll flesh out my story above about Troyer Horizontals with my picture of my street rod THG from 2003, well the page from my old website says 2003, I believe it was actually later than 2003. Anyway, that gourd pictured there is shaking in the wind on my gourd rack as we speak. Would hate for folks to think I am just bag of wind...giggle...
Attachments
thg.jpg.jpg
thg.jpg.jpg (8.41 KiB) Viewed 816 times
Last edited by TerryW on Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
TerryW
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:02 pm
Location: Nashville, Arkansas

The thing you see underneath the neck of the gourd going down is just a prop I used to pose it for the picture I took, ignore it.
Lewis
Posts: 239
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 3:21 pm
Location: Georgia/Newnan

From one razorback to another, I enjoy reading your post and viewing your photos. Nashville,AR. home of the Bowie Knife. I started with this site in 09, but weren't you connected with " Entrances by Sandy" of NC.

Lewis
Spring Garden Keeper
C.C.Martins
Posts: 802
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA, made adjustments and next year was sucessful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged.
2018-18 pair. 85 fledged.
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020:?
Home colony: 17 natural gourds, one 6 compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony Oso bay preserve: 12 gourds: excluder, troyer horizontal, super gourds with tunnels. 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: ?
PMCA member

Wow Terry that was a thick (accurate!) Substandard martin house Description!
I have added porches with 3 inch pvc tunnels to a few supergourds as well but didnt roughen up the surface, think ill do some adjustments like yours looks solid! I roughen up the inside of the weps over the crescents, didnt think to do the same to the gourd...hmmmmm good project coming my way, thank you!
Tom

2016- two visitors
2017- 5 pair 15 Fledged
2018-18 pairs 85 Fledged
2019-17 pair 81 fledged
2020:

Satellite location: oso bay preserve 12 gourds, modified trio
2019: Visitors
2020: hopeful!!!
Post Reply