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Old April 9, 2014, 12:15 PM   #1
bushmaster65
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making wooden grips

anybody out there have any info on how to go about making wooden grips for the BP pistols? I'm an amateur woodworker but have not strayed to far from my power tools into the hand tool side yet. So are there any jigs or special instructional info out there?

Bushmaster
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Old April 9, 2014, 07:16 PM   #2
PetahW
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.

It depends upon the BP pistol.

Some designs (Colts, for one) use a one-piece grip inletted for the gripframe/backstrap & mainspring; others use two-piece grips connected via a screw through the middle of the gripframe.

The outside shape depends entirely upon the desires of the maker, or the gun owner ordering the grip(s).

Except for ensuring the inside surfaces of two-piece grips are flat, so they lie flat on the sides of the gripframe, it's mostly handwork, with an eye toward the correct proportions/shape(s).

IOW - no "easy" button.


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Old April 9, 2014, 07:26 PM   #3
ammo.crafter
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Try Browning Hi Power forum and also the woodworker's wed site.

For exotic wood try purchasing knife blanks on Ebay.
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Old April 10, 2014, 08:59 AM   #4
bedbugbilly
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To begin with, use your frame for a pattern. On the Remington that has "slab grips" - this is pretty easy to do - just remove the grip screws and remove grips - if the existing grips fit well (profile wise) - use them for the pattern to draw around. Cut outside the line to allow for final fitting to the frame. On frames that have slab grips and have a "locating pin" - the pin can usually be tapped out. After you fit the grip to the frame - clamp in place and "blind drill" the hole for the locating pin using the pin hole in the frame. Don't go too deep or you'll go through your new grip!

Colt once pice can be cut out using the same techniques. However, the grip frame must be removed to remove the existing grip. Once you remove the grip, put the frame back on and tighten in place - this will give you the exact profile to make your pattern from. The spacer between the two grip panels needs to be as thick as the width of the back strap. Look at the old grip and you'll et an idea of what it needs to be shaped like. This spacer is basically glued to each grip panel and that's what holds the grip in the frame.

If you were going to make a large quantity of grips - you could make up a jig I would image that would hole the grip panel for rounding the appropriate edges with a router bit. However, you'll see that there is still a whole different profile to the grip than just a rounded router edge.

As far as materials - figure out how thick the grip panel needs to be and surface the wood you are going to use to cut out the grips panels to just over that thickness. Depending on your desires - it might be 1/2", 9/16", 5/8", etc.

If you are fitting the grip to the frame and doing the final profile - put tape (duct tape, painter's tape, etc.) on your grip frame and trim to the width of it with a razor knife. This will protect the frame from any sanding damage. Sand and when you get to the taped frame, take off and do your final sanding so you don't sand through the tape.

For a source of wood - check out cabinet shops, etc. as they normally have "cuttings". You will probably find cherry, oak, ash, walnut, etc. Or, there is a lot of material in an old kitchen/bath door panel (raised panel) if it is the species you are looking for. When I had my cabinet/millwork shop, I had a lot of cuttings, old doors from kitchen/bath remodels, etc. that would have made excellent grip making material. Don't overlook salvaged material either - I once had a pile of black walnut "roof boards" - all 1" thick X 18" wide that a guy gave me from a house built in the 1830s. Back then, it was native timber and utilized for whatever it was needed for. It had lots of nail holes but still worked fine for clocks, small cabinet work pieces, etc. Old furniture can also be salvaged if it is "solid" and not "veneered". Old headboards, bed side rails, etc.

Any way you figure it, there will be "hand work" involved. You might use a carving chisel or a rasp for rough contours - depends on what you are comfortable with. The important thing is to get a good fit to the frame - then go from there.

Good luck - as I used to tell my students when I taught shop - "if you're making a pistol grip . . . just cut away everything that isn't going to be part of the grip". Let us know how it goes and post some pictures . . . we all love pictures!
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Old April 11, 2014, 08:51 AM   #5
bushmaster65
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thanks for the replies gents.
It never occurred to me that the grips on the old colts were actually three pieces. knowing that, takes quite a bit of the worry out of getting it right. Just the same, think I'll make the first one out of some scrap pine just to get the feel for how to do this. thanks again for the info.

Bush
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