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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
These next two are not true one piece grips. They are made with a spacer...usually but not always wood.





These are true one pice grips. Left and right panel gut from one pice of wood wit the space between still intact except for the groove milled in the block of wood for the trigger guard and back strap channels.
















Hard to imagine a more durable SAA grip than true one piece, walnut. Always wondered in the early days if ivory was ever cut as a true one piece grip? I've seen some pretty early ivory here on the forum and few, if any a true once piece set. Anyone care to share pictures and dates of what they have on early once piece ivory or any exotic or checkered wood once piece?

Now every Italian clone shows up with true one piece walnut grips. There was a day when I couldn't wait to take them off and add something "more" durable and pretty. Like the antiquated SAA that we all admire, I have just started to understand the genius in true one piece grips.

Who (besides Uberti and Pietta) in the world today offers to fit true one piece grips besides Dave Lanara and Colt?

Are they true once piece or built by adding a spacer?

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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To be honest, the only original one piece SAA Colt grips I've ever seen were on US stamped Colt SAA or arsenal mis matched rebuilt SAA. Course you must take into consideration my getting advanced age and I haven't been chasing SAA Colts down for 25 or so years.
 

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I've got a set of Ivories with an ivory spacer. They're for a Navy/SAA but have shrunk enough that they don't fit properly. I don't think many true 1 pc Ivories were made. I've got 2 same shippment SAA's made in '76 w/factory ivory and they've got the wood spacer. All the early wood grips I've got are 1 pc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Chaffee said:
......I don't think many true 1 pc Ivories were made. I've got 2 same shippment SAA's made in '76 w/factory ivory and they've got the wood spacer.....
Chaffee those early ivories you showed some time back were grips that got me thinking of this thread.

Wonder how they attached the wood spacer to the early ivory slabs? Obviously they were durable enough to last well over 100 years.
 

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Actually, I think the checkered pair I showed are true 1pc ivory. I thought I'd taken both apart but guess just the one.
 

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One piece grips usually mean one solid grip, whether they are cut without a spacer or glued with a spacer, differentiating from 2 piece that have the screw holding the 2 separate pieces on the grip frame. These are Rosewood, but have the spacer. Each have their own unique look, but I have always thought that Ivory is best as one piece...


DSCN2090.JPG DSCN2089.JPG
 

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At an antique gun show I attended last weekend, an exhibitor had a set of very early SAA ivories for sale that had the wooden spacer. He swore those were the original grips that came off an SAA in the 2x,xxx range. I think most Colt factory ivory grips on these older SAA's used spacer of wood or ivory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have one pair of ivory with an ivory spacer. All the rest have some type of wood or synthetic material uses as a spacer. The solid ivory spacer has two dowel pieces running through the spacer and into both grip panels, but they are modern grips. I still wonder how something similar was done on ivory and pearl pre 1880. Those old grips sure seem durable enough.

Triumph said:
One piece grips usually mean one solid grip, whether they are cut without a spacer or glued with a spacer
Common terminology for sure. To be more precise though a true one piece grip is made from a single piece of the same material. The material for a once piece grp is inletted for the back strap. A pair of grips that uses a spacer to avoid the grip screw and frame locating pin get called "one piece" but they really aren't.
 

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Yahoody, That is a fine compliment from Dave (jplower)!
I like your wood grip work and really like the final product which is not overwhelmed by excess glossy finish. I always put finish on the wood in order to fill the grain, but I remove all the surface finish and finally use just a coating of wax.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Dave's being kind tell the truth. But I do appreciate the comments guys. I've only done 3 pair. With Dave' blanks it is easy to do a couple pair in your spare time while not having pressure from a customer waiting. Being able to cut into the back strap and trigger guard metal to get them right then re-blue really makes a difference on how well they get fit. And how quickly they can be done. I've fit many pairs of ivory and some pearl by taping the frame off...and it is a time intensive, delicate PIA. Always liked getting ivory perfect...never really liked working in wood. But have to say walnut (Dave's blanks in particular) is fun to play with and really fast and easy by comparison to work with.

I did the 4" gun's in 2hrs late the other night. May be another hour sorting out the final profile and wood to metal fit the next day. But under 3 hrs total for sure. Gets easier and quicker every time. I used Tung oil on these but have also use boiled linseed oil. Tung oil I just wipe on and let dry 30 min to an hr and wipe of the excess. Multiple coats when I think about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
jplower said:
It's interesting to note that the original wooden spacers on ivory grips used no glue, just fasteners.
thanks Dave. I have wondered how they did that. Do you happen to have a picture of some originals while they are apart?

I envision something like this but with a single piece of wood as the spacer? I'll post a photo of my grips with a ivory spacer that used two dowels.

 

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I had an engraved 1851 Navy with true 1 piece checkered ivories that had shrunk to the point that they cracked down the middle and were pretty warped. I had a 1st year US Cavalry "New York buy back" nickel finish with wood spacer ivory panels. and I have the one displayed below from #3858. 1874 production but I never tried to letter it as I only have the grip frame and the true 1 piece stocks.

IMG_1723.JPG IMG_1724.JPG IMG_1725.JPG IMG_1726.JPG
 

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