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Old July 26, 2012, 07:35 PM   #1
insomni
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Stippling

Anyone had any experience with using a soldering iron to texturize a polymer frame or grip?

I've seen some pics, and want to do it on my pistol, and am wondering if anyone has any tips on technique, etc
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Old July 26, 2012, 09:00 PM   #2
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1. Use an old scrap grip panel (preferably) made of the same plastic to practice on... don't use too much heat, develop a time/pressure repetition.
2. Play with different tip shapes and angles of placement, until you find something you like.
3. Did I mention, don't use too much heat?
4. Lay out a basic pattern before you start.
5. Take your time.
6. Post photos of your work and a description of how you did it.

Cheers,
C
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Old July 27, 2012, 10:17 PM   #3
insomni
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thanks for the heat tip. Not TOO worried about my AR handguards or mags since they can easily be replaced, but I had horrible visions flashing through my head of getting things just right on a piece of junk plastic, and then turning my project into a $500 mistake on an actual pistol!

I'll be sure to post pics!

I'm thinking since my AR has MOE handguards, maybe trying something like a diagonal industrial stripe pattern.... we'll see where this whole project takes me.

is there any heat range you'd recommend?
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Old July 27, 2012, 10:20 PM   #4
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The heat thing is that you want to soften and shape the plastic, not melt it to the point of it sticking to the soldering iron.
You might want to consider going to a hobby shop and buying a wood burning iron... lower temps to start with and many alternate tips to play with.

$500 plastic grips?!? Where you buyin' your grips man? I know what you mean... just yankin' yer' chain.

Have fun experimenting,
C
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Old September 21, 2012, 04:56 PM   #5
insomni
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Creeper, thanks alot! I ended up using a $15 Weller standard duty soldering iron with various tips from Lowe's.

I burned through an M16 pistol grip, now have striped M4 handguards, and destroyed I don't know how many Blackhawk! plastic tabs in the process, but it turned out really well!

pics are here
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...97#post5228397
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Old September 21, 2012, 05:34 PM   #6
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Took a look... you did fantastic! Now it's time to start playing with unique shapes, sizes and patterns.

I wish I had a photo of the "Iron Cross" stippling a friend of mine did. He ground and filed a square iron tip to an iron cross shape and impressed that shape in deeply, in a kind of sunburst pattern from the center of the grip out.

Here's a few I found on line that are interesting.






Cheers,
C
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Old September 21, 2012, 08:09 PM   #7
insomni
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I really like this pattern. I think on my next run I'm gonna go with something like this or the "woodgrain" Glock above it
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Old September 21, 2012, 09:53 PM   #8
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They're both pretty cool. You could take the "wood grain" to the extreme and put knots and swirls in it... or a larger design using the 1911 pattern as the main element.
Anyway... have fun with it!

Cheers,
C
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