Making my first grips: Process pics
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  1. #1
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    Making my first grips: Process pics

    I have a first gen that needed some grips. Unfortunately someone had bent the triggerguard a little at some point in the past and it changed the angle of the TG to the frame. As a result, regular grips wouldn't fit. At all. The only solution was to make my own. Fortunately I had some HUGE three piece wood grips that were just right for this. The problem was that I've never fit grips before. Did I mention that they were huge? Below you find some pics of my work as it is in progress. I stopped taking pics partway through so it isn't nearly as thorough as it should be. There are lots of mistakes but it is okay for my first attempt.

    You can see how poorly normal grips fit.






    I didn't take any before pics but this is how they look after lots of fitting. I used blackening to inlet them. Blackening works but it gets everywhere. See that overhang? There is that much overhang all around the frame. Lots and lots of extra wood.



    Here it is getting clamped up with accraglass to the spacer. I didn't take pics of the process of making the spacer. It took me 4 times to get a spacer to fit the way I wanted. I only glued one grip at a time.






    Clamping up both sides. That roughness is me taking a heavy rasp to the inside of them to see how it worked out. It didn't work. I got some chip out on the bottom by the frame. You can see a bit of the overhang in this pic. Probably 3/16-1/4 inch all around.






    The process pics stop at this point. I thought I took more pics of the wrapping and sanding but I guess I didn't. What you would see is me taping up everything with blue painters tape. Two or three layers thick. I then hand sanded everything with 60 grit until I started to touch the outer layer of tape. At that point I couldn't keep going with them on the gun. That means the endless process of sanding them down a little, putting them back on (with screws and everything), taking them off, sanding, putting them back on. Over and over again. It probably took 50-100 times doing that, moving up in grit and trying to shape them the best I could. The grips are oversize everywhere. That means that not only did I need to fit the overhang but I also had to take a similar amount of wood off of the whole grip to get them to be nice and thin like a first gen should be.



    Here are some of the finished product












    These grips are far from perfect but for my first attempt I am happy with them and I learned a lot in the process. They might get refinished at some point but I will hold off for a while.

    If you are making your own grips I would suggest:

    Patience. These probably took me...30 hours? It doesn't take much to lose focus and all of a sudden you will have sanded your pretty gun. I only did that to a replacement hammer screw but it would've pissed me off it happened to the actual gun.

    Patience. It would be very easy take off too much and all of a sudden your perfect grips that you have spent so long on are short of the metal. Go slow. Then go slower.

    Patience: Walk away frequently. It keeps you focused. If you just work away for hours it is pretty easy to get locked in on something to the detriment of something else. When you walk away you can come back to it with fresh eyes and you can see problems before they get out of hand.



    I learned a lot of things doing this and my next set will be better. If I do a next set. I have no idea how some of you guys make money making grips.
    Last edited by chawk; 04-11-2019 at 03:21 PM.

  2. #2
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    I like them. I think they look great. I'm impressed. What difference from the huge wood blocks to the nice looking grips.

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    chawk, Nice work!! Thanks for posting and inspiring others to attempt this.
    lounick likes this.

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    It always surprises me how different things can look in pictures. What look like small miscues in person get magnified in pics.

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    Really nice work! They fit well and look good on the gun.
    lounick likes this.
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    Good stuff Chawk! Particularly great job on the overall profile, taper and bottom edge bevel. My preferred finish on gun grips and knife handles is Watco Danish oil. Several coats, properly buffed, yields a realy attractive and durable satin, oil-rubbed finish.
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    Red River and lounick like this.

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    Thankfully I have some original one piece grips that I could use as a model.
    lounick likes this.

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    Good job. I am still working on mine for my 2nd gen

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    Thanks for posting. you did some nice work and your comments about learning from the experience are inspuration to others to try their hand and making grips.
    lounick likes this.
    ....what ? me failed English !!! That's unpossible.

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    Nice work, Chawk. Thanks for the work in progress pics. I am a novice grip maker, but I learned early on, it is never too late to screw up a nice set of grips.
    lounick likes this.


 
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