How to customize your 1911 grips

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

  1. sweetokole

    sweetokole New Member

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    Hotsights... No that's not my company... this holster is something that I came up with after purchasing and using Thunderware/Smartcarry/Lightningware type holsters... I was hooked on the style of carry, but I really thought that a more comfortable one could be had so I proceeded to research some materials that I thought would be better especially when the weather got warmer. It took quite a while but I finally located some special nylon webbing with a special bonded nylon foam on one side which created the air flow I wanted especially in "deep" concealment. At first glance, one would think that the mesh would be a snag point and rightly so if it were not for the fine woven nylon foam liner on the inside. On the side that goes against you body, I have lined that with an addition moisture barrier to help with corrosion from perspiration. I think guns should be wiped daily especially in hot humid conditions anyway.... but it doesn't happen. I told a few of my friends about it and they wanted one... so that's how it started.. they thought I should try and market it.. wife named it the Phantom. If anyone you know likes that style of carry... let them know about mine.

    A friend of mine is going to send me some Koa wood from Hawaii... any chance you might want to try some for a set of grips when and if I get some?

    Steve
  2. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    Just finished reading the replies and want to thank each of you for the kind words. Also I would like to say how much I enjoyed working with the Olive Wood, it has fantastic color and depth. Thanks also go out to Steve for the really good pictures of the grips on the gun. That holster is awesome, I know they will really sell. I will start on the KOA grips for you sometime this week, and will post them after you see them in hand. I will be in touch.

    Here I will show a picture of some English Walnut that were finished a few days ago and I just hadn't gotten around to posting them yet. The picture is a little blurry, but that's my photography. I will try and do better next time. At least you can see the beauty of the grain and color in this piece of wood.
    As usual, all comments are welcome.
    Thanks for looking and I hope you Enjoy!

    Attached Files:

  3. TheGunClinger

    TheGunClinger Active Member Supporting Member

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    Thats a sweet holster. All the grips on this thread are just awesome! Do you sell those holsters?
  4. hotsights

    hotsights New Member

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    Steve,

    I understand and thanks for squaring me away on that point, its easy to get confused by the "Phantom," name. Still, from what you have just added in terms of description and use of materials, what you have created makes sense. Yes, I agree that we all should respect all our firearms and keep them clean, since I handle mine almost daily and being a former Marine and police officer, all my firearms get the respect they deserve, I may need them one day for self defense or to protect my loved ones. A human hand can be layered with natural acid and salt, that will eat the finish of the piece and then rust has a place to form. My pet peeve is that when someone sees a firearms/weapon, (they are weapons, not just guns of course) they want to pick it up and slide the receive back!

    As for the Koa, let me think, Hmmmm, Oh Well you betcha! I’ll be happy to pay a fair price including shipping if you get some and let me know if you do so I can be sure the measurements of the Koa will work for me. Thanks for the consideration, I appreciate it very much.
  5. hotsights

    hotsights New Member

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    When Paul Bunyun would walk through a forest the trees would run and hide. When they see Carl/Woodnut heading their way they all stand tall and proud and lower their limbs and plead…, Please Carl do me, No, Do Me, No over here, do me.

    What you do for wood is what a fine manicurist does for beautiful hands. As I say, you can take a tooth pick and make it look more beautiful than the Eiffel Tower . Did I mention the grips are beautiful, I get carried away at times, probably should be taken away.

    I was reviewing some of your past post/images, from what I saw, I realize I have learned a lot from you Carl.

    I just finished halving a block of Bloodwood by hand with a hack-saw blade, no frame, just the blade and my index finger looks like the rear site on my Colt, but it was worth it. Inside I found the Bloodwood to have the dark pinkish color with vertical grain lines and splashes of radiant gold, wood is so cool.

    Thanks
  6. sweetokole

    sweetokole New Member

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    Hi Clinger... thanks for asking about the holster... yes I make these. I got my CCW permit 8 months ago and since then I've been looking for a holster that met my requirements, and the closest things were the Thunderware/Smartcarry/Lightningwear products out there. They fit exactly where I wanted to carry and provided the total concealment and fast access that I wanted. They also allowed a dress code I chose rather than be governed by my carry style. The major improvement I thought could be accomplished was comfort & that was when I began my search for the ultimate material to make a deep concealment holster out of. That gave birth to the Phantom... now you see him... now you don't. Due to the special nylon mesh fabric that I use, the holster allows for a lot of air circulation at its location... however there is a moisture barrier liner on the side closest your body that help prevent gun corrosion. I think this design should be good for both genders, however a little more challenging for women because of the style of pants most women want to wear. I have an order for a lady in the works so we will see how that works out. This carry position is not for everyone... someone told me "you've got to have the ba**s, or in some cases the lack thereof."

    As you can see, things are in the infant stage of marketing... I will probably be offering introductory pricing just to get some out there and hopefully some positive testimonials.

    Thanks again for asking... and let me know if I can be of service... and if you know anyone interested... send them over.
    My email is:
    phantomdraw@gmail.com
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
  7. TheGunClinger

    TheGunClinger Active Member Supporting Member

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    Cool beans. Let me know when you are up and running and have prices. Hope you can do left handed ones. I have a few friends who also might be interested.
  8. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    I worked with some KOA wood today. Not yours Steve.
    This wood is awesome. When finished the grain changes colors when turned at an angle. The light grain turns dark and turn it back and see the change. I have never seen wood with this much depth. It is such a rich color. I haven't had time to take pictures yet. I will experiment with the camera tomorrow and try and show the difference in the appearance when turned at different angles. I don't know the terminology for it but it is like the key chains I have seen in the past where the picture changes at different angles.

    Steve, I should start your other grips later this week or first of next, I know now that they will be beautiful. Thanks for getting me interested in the KOA.
    You cannot tell it is like that until you finish the wood, and when you do, boy what a WOW factor.
  9. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    It's very hard for me to capture the change in the grip color but here is my try.
    Notice the horizontal stripes at the top in the 2 angles of the photo's. These stripes change from dark to light when turned at different angles. Guys this is some of the most different wood that I have ever worked with. It is absolutely beautiful. I hope you can tell from the pictures. Remember I am not a photographer. Look close and compare the stripes. The picture on the bottom is slightly tilted and is shot from the same distance and lighting.

    Enjoy!

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  10. sweetokole

    sweetokole New Member

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    Carl... I think the term you are looking for is "holographic effect"... yes Koa is like that if you find the right pieces... what is also amazing is the color... and it is not apparent when you are finished working on it... keep handling the grips and let it sit... it will take on a rich shade of red as time goes one. The olive wood does that too... although not as dramatic as koa... but my grips are getting more beautiful each day.

    Bet most out there think I'm nuts.

    Your koa wood grips look great Carl... can't wait to see mine.
  11. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    Building and customizing your 1911 grips

    The reason for this new thread is that my other thread (How to customize your 1911 grips) was getting so long that a lot of people don't want to read over 190 posts. This way maybe some others will join in and follow for a while.

    Some of the pictures will be a repeat of the ones already posted in the other thread.

    Again the purpose of this thread is to offer my help to anyone that is interested in building there own 1911 grips, or to customize the ones that you already have. I am willing to help you anyway I can. I will walk you through all the steps, tell you what tools to use and tutor you in any way I can. All you have to do is call or email me and the work shall begin.

    Below are some of the latest grips that have come off of my bench. All my work is hand done and no automated equipment is used. Each pair I make is signed and dated on the inside of the grip panel.

    I sincerely hope that I can help you with this project. I don't keep secrets, I will tell you the exact way I make my grips.

    Description of grips below. Top is Lace wood, next KOA, next English Walnut, and the next is Olive Wood. All very beautiful woods.

    Attached Files:

  12. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    Re: Building and customizing your 1911 grips

    A few more of my grips and custom inlay work.

    Top picture is Muddy Water Micarta, next is Desert Ironwood Burl with Star Medallion, Next, Pre Ban African Elephant Ivory, and the last is Desert Ironwood Burl with Saints inlay, the Saints Logo are Ear Rings, cut into the wood so they are smooth with the surface.

    Just let me know if you want more examples and I will post some more pictures.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 4, 2010
  13. dons2346

    dons2346 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Re: Building and customizing your 1911 grips

    That Desert Ironwood is really, really pretty.
  14. hotsights

    hotsights New Member

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    Sweetokole,

    You’re mentally sound and most of us understand what you are speaking of. I’ve found that the wood I cut is of course, one color on the outside, but when you open it up, bingo, a whole new palette of color hues is found. After exposure to surround air, the colors react and for awhile, from one day to the next, what was there yesterday has been replaced with something new. Wood never dies, now who is nuts?
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  15. hotsights

    hotsights New Member

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    Carl,

    You’re better than you think with a camera, the images are very telling yet, I know the beauty is much more dramatic when you can hold the wood/grips in your hands. It doesn’t take much of an angle change to see the wood’s color reaction and I’m sure if you just moved a light around the wood you could get the same holographic effect, beautiful, even the hex screws standout. That wood reminds me of tiger skin.

    I’m working a pair of Bloodwood grips and they have a little magic of their own, lots of reflective gold coloring. Wood is such a beautiful mystery and worthy of anyone’s time to investigate it, much treasure is locked inside. Wood is the modern day version of the old Cracker Jax box, remember that? Always had a surprise, surprise, surprise inside.
  16. hotsights

    hotsights New Member

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    I have added a text file for you to view. The images show the really cool process for drilling perfect grip counter holes as taught to me by WoodNut AKA Carl Wallace.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  17. hotsights

    hotsights New Member

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    Re: Building and customizing your 1911 grips

    Carl,

    There would be great difficulty in selecting a favorite set of from this collection so, I won't try. I do like those lacewood grips, they have a strong Tribal look about them. As for you offering yor helo to anyone interested, I for one can prove its worth the effot to learn form your years of experience. I worked with you to the point that expenditure of funds was a practical move and I did that. I'm moving right along in a positive direction.

    I posted some pics showing how you taught me to drill perfect counter holes using your modified step drill bit, should have posted it here, may later. I haven't started the inlay yet. Seems I get a pair done, then don't want to cut on them anymore, ha, ha. I'll get over that. Next project will be the Canary Wood. I had to return the Colt I was using for fitting, but will have another one soon.

    Your the best thing that cold happen to someone who wants to learn how to make natural wood grips. I'm happy to say, in some circles I'm proving it, thatnks to you.
  18. jestor

    jestor New Member

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    Re: Building and customizing your 1911 grips

    I 've helped build guitars out of lacewood before , the dust off it was extremely irritating to the skin to some of us but it made some real nice looking guitars.
  19. FTK87

    FTK87 New Member

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    Re: Building and customizing your 1911 grips

    Woodnut,

    I have never tried to make somthing so small and detailed as the stocks for a pistol before, but have had some woodshop expirence. So to someone who would like to make thier own custom grips, what is a short rundown of the equipment needed, materials, and labor for a set of grips?

    Could someone like myself make a set with minimal expirence and without breaking the bank?

    Thanks,
    Kyle
  20. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    Re: Building and customizing your 1911 grips

    Hi Kyle, Thanks for the interest. Yes you can make your grips. It's all about the patience and want to. As far as tools. Here is a list of the things that come to mind. Email me if you want to go further, or call me either one.

    Some kind of a drill press. Not a must but very nice to have.
    2 drill bits
    wood of choice
    way to saw the wood
    lots of sand paper, a belt sander would be nice.
    If you don't have a belt sander then a wood rasp would be the next best thing.
    Files

    These are a few of the fundamentals. We can discuss in detail after you tell me what you have in the way of tools. If you have had wood experience, then you probably have most everything you need to get started.
    Some time at your connivance, why don't you call me so we can chat, I will be glad to share knowledge with you and help in any way I can.
    Thanks for the interest.
    Carl
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