How to customize your 1911 grips

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by Woodnut, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    In this thread I will try to tell you how I do my work. I will be the teacher so to speak. I am sure there are a lot of you out there that know more than I do, but I will share my ways, as well as ask questions on your ways. I can always learn, you never stop learning. I have been customizing for many years and now am ready to give some of my tips to others. Below is a picture of a set of Cherrywood that is just plain beautiful. I stippled a design on them and finished with Tru-Oil. I will post new pictures for your enjoyment in the future. ENJOY THE BEAUTY.
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  2. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    This is a set of straight line stabilized Spalted Maple with Ebony dot inlays. This wood was a little on the plain side, so I decided to dress it up a bit. I think the dots do a lot for them. Just enough to make them look good but not too flashy. Give me your thoughts. This pair has no finish on them, they are just sanded with 600 grit and polished on a buffing wheel, which makes a real nice natural finish. Enjoy the pictures.
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  3. anfoman76

    anfoman76 New Member

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    Very nice Woody :) I like to customize my wood as well but they are usually stocks not grips :)
  4. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    anfoman76, Thanks for the post and keep checking for new pictures. You should try a set of grips sometime it is very satisfying. I used to build custom rifle stocks years ago and did real well with them. Weatherby even offered me a job but I would have had to move to CA, and that was not going to happen LOL. I have a few pictures of some custom stocks I did if you are interested I will post a few of them.
    Thanks again and ENJOY!
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
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  5. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    Todays picture for you to look at is a skull logo for a Navy Seal, don't ask me what it represents, because I am not sure. I do know that the lettering underneath is his unit number. The carving is on a beautifully figured piece of Mesquite Burl. I will show the grips at a later date. I will show you a before and after shot. That way you can see how much it dressed up the grips. ENJOY THE PICS
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  6. Mosin_Nagant_Fan

    Mosin_Nagant_Fan Active Member

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    The head looks like Spawn (comic book character).

    The closest thing I could find is "Mortui non Mordant" which is Latin for "Dead Men Don't Bite", or to that effect.
  7. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the information on the skull, I'm pretty sure you have the correct meaning. If I ever talk to the man again, I will ask him. I wish I had ask him at the time he wanted the grips.
    Again thanks for the post, if I can ever be of assistance to you, please don't hesitate to contact me. I am always willing to share information.
    Carl
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  8. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    Here is a set of Stabilized Amboyna Burl that I have just finished. They have the most beautiful grain patterns. The grain runs deep and the picture as usual does not do them justice.
    Has anyone got any ideas on a design for these grips or should I leave them plain? Mayby some medallions, but what kind? Give me some ideas. Enjoy the scenery. Look deep into the wood.


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  9. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    This is the set of grips with the skull carved on them. On the other one the Trident pin is inlaid flush with the wood. The wood is a beautiful piece of Mesquite Burl. Getting harder and harder to find. When I see this wood I always buy whatever I can afford. It is a nice wood to work with and has such depth. I always bookmatcch my blanks. It makes for a much nicer pair of grips. Notice the holes at the bottom of the grips for the MSP, personally I like this better than the slot. I build a lot of my grips with a recess in the back, therefor no slots or holes, it fits right over the MSP.
    ENJOY!

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  10. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    This is another set of Slimcarry grips. They are just over 1/8 of an inch. New screws and bushings have to be used in order for them to fit the gun. The wood here is Ambrosia Maple, it is a rare wood and very hard for me to find. This is the only piece I have found. If any of you know where I could pick up some more, please let me know. I like to work with it. It is a nice wood and has lots of contrast that looks great on a blued or black frame. Shucks, it even looks good on stainless. This set has an oil finish.
    ENJOY!

    [​IMG]
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  11. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    This is one of my favorite woods to work with, it is hard and durable and is always a surprise when a piece is bookmached. You just never know whats inside until the split. The wood is AZ Desert Ironwood Burl. Notice the square bottom, these were made for a Mag-well and indented on the back for the MSP. They have a smooth natural polish finish. The wood is so hard it takes a natural polish that is a mirror finish. I have defused the lighting to keep down the reflections.
    To me this is one of my many favorite sets. I always get confused when someone ask me which I like best, because all woods are beautiful to me.
    ENJOY!

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  12. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    Below is a picture of Massacra Ebony with the initials W. I. inlaid with silver metallic. The picture does not do them justice as usual. I had originally made these grips for one of my stainless 1911's and a friend of mine saw them and had to have them, then he wanted his initials on them. Turned out pretty cool.
    ENJOY!

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  13. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    This is a set of AZ Desert Ironwood with the initials J.D. inlaid in them. I warned the gentleman that the black would not show up as much as I would like. He stood his ground and insisted on black. They look a lot better than the photograph, but still not enough contrast to suite me. They have several coats of Tru-Oil on them, which I told him they did not need, again he insisted so here they are. After all that being said, they did turn out to look OK. Hope you enjoy the pictures. Lots more to come.

    [​IMG]
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  14. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    Last post for the day. This is a piece of scrap walnut that I had in the shop. I cut the rose from white tail antler, it is one piece, inlaid it flush with the wood then scrimshawed the 3-D look. This was just a practice piece that I did a long time ago. I still think it looks cool. I will be doing a set of grips next month with a Maltese cross inlaid out of antler. Should look great. As soon as I finish, I will post it.

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  15. Xaiver56

    Xaiver56 New Member

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    Woodnut, I have to say you have displayed some beautiful work, please keep the pictures coming.
  16. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    X, Thanks for the kind words, they are always welcome. Grip making has been a passion of mine for a long time, each piece to me is a piece of art. I throughly enjoy building them and the more difficult the more I enjoy it.
    I will post more pictures today sometime.
    Again thanks for the comment, makes me feel like it is worth it if someone else enjoys looking at them.
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  17. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    Todays post is a set of imitation Ivory that a gentleman wanted his initials inked on one side. He just wanted plain lettering, so plain lettering is what he got. He loved them. I will do more inking in the future, as I do I will post.
    ENJOY!

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  18. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    This beautiful set of grips are made of Massacra Ebony with the silver Colt medallions. They really turned out nice, again I defussed the lighting to keep the glare off of the picture. They look better in hand. Guess I need to learn a little more about photography, so I can get the natural beauty out of what you are looking at.
    If you enjoy looking at the pictures or have questions, please contact me or do a post. Thanks.

    [​IMG]
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  19. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Woodnut, you truly are professional grade, i may be in the market in the near future for some of your fine artwork. i'll be in touch. JLA
  20. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    JLA, Thanks for the words of encouragement, I always like to hear kind words. Keep in touch and keep coming back, I will post more pictures tomorrow. I am currently working on a new design on a set of plain old forgotten American Black Walnut that I think I am going to be real proud of.
    Thanks again and if I can ever help you don't hesitate to contact me either in a post or PM. Email will be OK too.
    Carl
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