black walnut saa grips
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    black walnut saa grips

    I salvaged a handrail and balusters from a church that was built in the 1860's. the black walnut is in exceptional condition and I was wondering if a set of grips could be made from the bottom of one of the balusters. The width is 2 5/16 by 6'' long. I will try to insert a picture. Any and all grip makers comments would be appreciated. thanks randyPhoto on 1-20-20 at 12.45 PM.jpg
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    You might talk to Bill Fuchs -- AKA as LeverActionBill on this forum. He makes stocks for SAAs and could probably advice as to feasibility. Bill did a set of one-piece Birdseye Maple stocks for me and they are gorgeous./
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    My gut reaction is there is not enough "meat" there for a pair of grips for a Single Action. I think you would need something over 3".

    For whatever its worth to you, I've made some grips for a Single Action, and this is pretty much what I started with:








    The gun was a Hy Hunter Single Action.


    My guessing only.

    Bob Wright
    Last edited by BobWright; 01-20-2020 at 07:12 PM.

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    I like them when the grain runs from the top front corner toward the bottom, like the original Cavalry wood was cut. That would be the determining factor for me with your baluster. I don't believe your wood is large enough to achieve that grain pattern. Sand the finish off of the sides so you can view the grain and then lay your template on it and see if you can get that grain pattern. Much like this.....
    walnut_grip.jpg
    Last edited by hwjhfs; 01-20-2020 at 09:08 PM.
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    I traced one of my spare 3rd gen grip panels on paper as a template and did some measureing. If you angle the template on the wood, i think you can get by so long as you can get two rectangular pieces that are at minimum 2" x 4". And no thinner than 6/16" each.... Can you get two panels that size out of that hunk of wood you have? No idea...
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    You have to cut the leg straight down the center. Make it as flat and even as a cut you can.
    The inside pieces will be the the back of the grips.
    Then cut those slabs 9/16” thick. 15/32-1/2”thickness is ideal for the very bottom of the grips.
    Layout your traced grip on the inside. I use a clear piece of plastic from a blister pack from something I bought. That way you can see through to the grain.
    Remember the grips contour in at the frame so you should be ok. Maybe.

    Thank you Colt75 for the mention!
    All SAA work. Check out my webpage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeverActionBill View Post
    You have to cut the leg straight down the center. Make it as flat and even as a cut you can.
    The inside pieces will be the the back of the grips.
    Then cut those slabs 9/16” thick. 15/32-1/2”thickness is ideal for the very bottom of the grips.
    Layout your traced grip on the inside. I use a clear piece of plastic from a blister pack from something I bought. That way you can see through to the grain.
    Remember the grips contour in at the frame so you should be ok. Maybe.

    Thank you Colt75 for the mention!
    Thanks Bill, I have another alternative, The handrail is very large, I will post a couple of pictures. The widest part is 4 1/2" and the thickest part is 2 1/2". As a side note, does the wood coming from that era is it even important? Can a person tell the difference from today's walnut and that used back in the 1860's?Photo on 1-21-20 at 8.24 AM #2.jpgPhoto on 1-21-20 at 8.30 AM.jpg
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    Yes.

    Old walnut has a much more developed grain than modern - more 'figure'.
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    You can get highly figured walnut today too. It's just in the old days they used the good stuff for everything. Today, they would use regular stuff for hand rails. I got this piece of new scrap a couple years ago at a woodworkers supply store to mount my clock.

    Last edited by azshot; 01-21-2020 at 10:08 AM.

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    I'm not sure if I can relay this over the phone so to speak. If you cut the bottom part off and have only 6 inch , running that through a table saw , being so short you run the risk of a side kick into the blade and could get interesting. I, and only me mind you, would screw a flat piece about 12 to 16 inch long with the screws only in about 1/2 inch into the round . Not from top but all from the side on a bench to keep things square and straight . I would have a long enough piece to feel safe with a blade up so high or have the opportunity to make half through cut and flip for the other half . If you already do wood work , my apologies . A slower saw (maybe safer ) would be a band saw , more squirrely ,then sand flat . After the first cut down the center you'll have that flat to start the slabs you need , be it 5/8th or what ever you want as a thickness . Remember , the profile on the grips taper in so the measurement of width you gave is tight but sound do able .Beside , looks like you have a lot of material in the back ground to play with . Good luck , oh ya , I've only cut my fingers twice , second time I needed help putting it back together. --- add on , when cut , orientate the grain like mentioned above for the old time look and to make the backstrap have a good flat bering . Grain holds up better that way too .
    Last edited by Some guy; 01-21-2020 at 08:28 PM.
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