How to customize your 1911 grips

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

  1. 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:

  2. 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:

  3. 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.

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  4. 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.

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  5. 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.
  6. 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:
  7. 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!

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  8. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member Supporting 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
  9. 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?
  10. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the feed back, I offered to take the grips to a friend of mine and have the name done with laser, but he did not want that. He said that he wanted the hand done look, witch is always a little more crude than I like because of the size. I can do a lot better with larger images. But as usual I do what the customer wants. I agree with you on the Buckeye, to me they are some very nice grips.
    Thanks for looking.
  12. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    when i get another 1911 i'll probably have you make me a set of grips. i dont recall if i ever asked you. do you make grips to fit other guns? such as smith and wesson j frames?
  13. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    John I do build other grips but usually have to have the original grip for a pattern. Also it depends on how complex the work is on the inside of the grip.
    I would be glad to answer some of your questions in an email. cwgrips@gmail.com
  14. hotsights

    hotsights New Member

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    Your usual work of artful creations are shared with us again. Actually, both grips have a distinct beauty and I be hard pressed to choose if I had to. I'll say that for me, the most natural look is my favorite because it is solely the gift of the wood and the touch of the artist that I see.

    My amazement at the "matched set" of Burl is a treasure onto itself, if I didn't know better, I'd say to get a match like that, you're either blessed or they were fabricated and of course, they are the real thing.

    Carl and to all, I wish you a very, Happy Thanksgiving and we all have much to appricate and we all appreciate those over seas who see to it that we keep it and share with the world.
  15. Woodnut

    Woodnut Forum Sponsor Supporting Member

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    AMEN! Martin
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