How to customize your 1911 grips

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

  1. OcelotZ3

    OcelotZ3 Former Guest

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    Did I miss the thread where the modification to the step drill bit was detailed? I searched for a description of the modification but didn't find it...

    Thanks,
    Scott
  2. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    Thanks for asking Scott.
    I don't think I ever gave a detailed description of how I altered the bit. I will try to place a PDF file in the Sticky at the top of the page (Step by Step Instructions) with pictures and instructions. If this does not work send me an email and I will send it directly to you. cwgrips@gmail.com

    Hope this helps.
  3. hotsights

    hotsights New Member

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    The lettering/Inlay is beautiful, so crisp yet, graceful. I've had some inlay problems from the cutting side and its all because I try to go too fast, this is slow art, you can't rush it unless the fire place is short of wood. Carl, I have about 20 little plastic bags of wood-dust from all the woods I've sanded. What I often find is that when the dust is mixed with epoxy, the wood-dust mix becomes much darker than I had expected, To lighten it up as a re-do, I use white maple to get the tone to match the grip.

    Guess without mistakes, there is no way to really, learn something on your own, I think I'm aproaching the Wizard level, ha, ha. I'm doing a pair of grips from Bubinga and inlaying a RazorBack Hog in them, have one done, still short a hog to get the other done. As you said Carl, slow & clean cuts are a major key to clean inlay. Your lessons keep coming back to me as I learn more and try more.

    Thanks
  4. Xaiver56

    Xaiver56 New Member

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    Woodnut your work is always amazing.
  5. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    As usual, I make grips and deliver and do not make pictures. This set is unique in a different way than usual. I would like to post a quote here that the customer conveyed to me, then I will continue.
    I am an infantry sniper in the army, a S with an arrow through it is the symbol for the primary position of a sniper, but when our section was formed and we tried to find a design to post on our office surprisingly we couldn't find anything we tried the Google image thing, looked up tattoos etc. and we couldn't find anything. (Snipers through out history have been the most hated and feared combatant on the battlefield, so traditionally snipers don't display the fact that they are snipers. If tabs are made like that of a ranger tab they are concealed on the uniform. Friendly forces back in the day hated snipers almost as much as the enemy.) So was our trouble in finding a design but we have a guy whose fairly artistic who drew us up something and thats where the snake in the design of an S and a arrow came from. Feel free to use it as you like, I appreciate your work.
    -mike


    This customer sent me a drawing of this design, I then re-drew it on the computer in order to have a clear line drawing of what was expected of me for the inlay work. I then sent it back to him and he approved it. The customer furnished the grips which are made of black polymer, I really did not want to work in the polymer but as a favor to him I chose to do it. They actually turned out rather nice.
    Since he gave permission to use the design again, I may change the drawing of the head and use it for other things.
    As usual all comments are welcome. Let me know what you think of the white on black thing. The second picture is not very good. He sent it to me after he mounted the grips on his gun. He is going to send me some better pictures and I will post them later.
    Thanks for looking.
    Carl

    Attached Files:

  6. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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  7. Goneracin

    Goneracin New Member

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    damn woodnut, some of those USMC grips look amazing. is it possible to buy some from you? I would love to have a pair.
  8. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    Absolutely.
    Just email me at cwgrips@gmail.com and tell me what you are interested in and we can go from there.
    Thanks for looking.
    Carl
  9. hotsights

    hotsights New Member

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    Jeee Pers, what beautiful artistry. No doubt that Sniper group is very proud of their design and the manner in which you gave it the power of life. That looks almost a fine as some of the laser work you have shown/shared with us. Is wood Ebony?

    BTW: Is the design inlay done with some of that White Holly?
  10. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

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    Those are totally amazing!
    VERY nice, and love the white on black!
  11. hotsights

    hotsights New Member

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    Carl,

    I've been experimenting again. The focus is inlaying Dymondwood into Dymondwood with a few other additions. Its been a lesson for me to try and incorporate techniques you have taught me and bringing them together with different materials at the same time. Of course, I'm not good at it, but I'm getting better. If, you don't have fun then its more work than the result will be worth. I'm having some fun. Thanks Carl, I keep learning your lessons over and over.

    Attached Files:

  12. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    Well Hotsights, you don't need me any more, those are beautiful. I love the idea you came up with for the target. I would like to ask how you cut the circle out of the clam shell. The inlay work is magnificent. You have come a long way my friend.

    I am going to show these Ivory grips for the Colt Jr. that I finished about a month ago and just have not posted them yet. This is the set for the young lady that will get the gun in 18 years, she was just born this past summer, the art work is scrimshaw, not inlay, and I was honored with building these grips for her when she grows up. Hope you like them. As you can tell the customer is from Texas.

    Enjoy!

    Attached Files:

  13. hotsights

    hotsights New Member

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    Very beautiful and just what a young girl would love to have, delicate grace on a firearm with a sting. When she turns 18, she may wear those grips/Colt to her prom!

    Thanks for the welcome comments regarding my new grips, coming from you they have real meaning. Each time I complete something, I realize how fortunate I am to know some like you who is willing to share technique as well as methodologies with a newby.

    I've included an image of the hole cutters used to cut the shell. Expensive, but having cut shell with hacksaws, files and so forth, this is the way to be productive. They work just as well on Abalone and so forth. I'm lucky to have my own supply of whole shells. I think mussel would be nice to work with.

    Attached Files:

  14. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the info on the circle cutters. I have something very similar, just had not thought to take the center pilot out. Again, Very Nice Work.

    Here is a recent set of grips that I made out of LIGNUM-VITAE. This is some wood that a customer had left over out of a Banjo neck that he had someone make for him. He sent me enough of it to make him a set of grips and a set for myself. It is a lot harder than expected and has a really high gloss when polished. I subduded the shine in this photo so you could see the grain of the wood. He said he tuned the Banjo and left it in the corner for over a week and it was still in tune, so I know from that it will not wrap or twist in any way.
    Give me some thoughts on this type wood. It is very new to me.

    Attached Files:

  15. hotsights

    hotsights New Member

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    Hi Carl,

    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.
  16. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I like it. it looks like a laminate and since a week in the corner with 6 strings pulled tight against it didnt warp it its tough enough for a 'user' 1911. Im rough on grips. most of my pistols, less the rubber stocked ones, have dents and dings all in the grips from hard use, even my 70 dollar set of scrimshawed ivory polymers:eek:
  17. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    Here are a couple of sets that I just finished. Thought I had better post them before I ship, or I will forget to post them.

    BTW, Sam, if you are reading this, I will ship your grips tomorrow, 11/23/10, sorry it took so long. I will let you post the pictures, when you get them.

    The Buckeye Burl is as near mirror image as you will ever see. They are really book matched and a beautiful set of grips.

    The next set is Cocobolo. They came out of my inventory. Had a customer that wanted a Navy Medallion with his last name hand carved underneath it.
    As usual, comments are welcome.

    Enjoy!

    Attached Files:

  18. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member

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    Carl, I'm waiting for delivery and should have the grips in a couple of days. I'll put them on a pistol and take a few pictures to post on the forum. Everyone is going to want a set of these. :p:D
  19. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

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    I like them both Carl, but I think the Buckeye Burl is my favorite of the two. I love that grain in the Burl, just looks like it's as hard as rock?
  20. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    the hand carved name wouldnt suit me. the burl i like though
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