Re: How to customize your 1911 grips
I like the grips and the wood has a lot of personality. I can see some greenish vertical grain lines and bet it will polish like glass. I think it would be very good to work with using some form of inlay or carving, not that it needs it. I just like the vertical grain and think it would give a nice frame effect to an inlay.
I have heard of Lignum Vitae, saw it as I recall at the top of the jantz hardwood scale and is referred to as IronWood, yet we commonly think of Ironwood as being from Arizona, I think. Did some research and found this info:
One of the hardest and heaviest woods (three times as hard as oak), lignum vitae is most commonly used for mallet heads, bearings and rollers. Because of its durability and natural lubricants, it is the preferred wood for propeller bushings and other underwater applications. The lignum vitae tree generally grows to a diameter of about 12", although historically, trees in the 18" - 30" range have been known.
Lignum vitae is reddish brown when freshly cut, with pale yellow sapwood. As it oxidizes, the color turns to a deep green, often with black details. The grain is highly interlocked, making it difficult to work with edge tools, but it machines well and takes a high polish. It is a remarkably good wood for turning.
A similar species, known as "Maracaibo lignum vitae (Bulnesia arboria)," which grows in Venezuela and northern South America, is similar in properties and appearance and is sometimes substituted for genuine lignum vitae.