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Old August 28, 2012, 08:43 AM   #1
twobit
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Location: Coyote Creak, SW Texas
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Making wooden revolver grip?

I have a Cimarron SAA which has a one piece wood grip. I want to make a one piece mesquite grip for it. I have lots of dried mesquite wood available and the proper tools. I have some experience in making a few knife handles. I know the grain in wood pistol grips runs from bottom to top and usually is angled slightly forward at the top. I have a question as to what part of the limb to cut the blank from.
QUESTION:
Do I include the very center growth rings of the limb in the center of the blank or do I move off to the side of the center rings and not include the center ring in the blank? I have logs available of various sizes. Some are big enough to exclude the center rings from the cut blank.

Thanks for any help. I just want to start with a properly chosen blank so to avoid cracking or weakness in the finished product.
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Old August 28, 2012, 11:17 AM   #2
PetahW
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I would think it depend upon each particular log, and your druthers, regarding how the finish grip will look.

If the grip blank is taken fron one side of a log, I would think it would be unlikely to get matching grain on both sides of the finished grip.

But

If a center cut, a particular log's core may/may not be suitable for grips, in either color, grain, or density.

I would cut out a few, using both methods, and choose - using the rest for practice (fitting/inletting & outer shaping) before doing the final/finish grip (It's not as easy as it looks).



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Old August 28, 2012, 02:15 PM   #3
CowTowner
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And boy is that mesquite tough to work with. I've seen chainsaw bars and chains rendered useless cutting that stuff.
You have my best wishes for success.
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Old August 28, 2012, 07:20 PM   #4
twobit
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Yup we whittle small mesquite limbs into nails so we can have something to drive through the oak boards
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Old August 28, 2012, 07:40 PM   #5
Dfariswheel
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An easier method of making one-piece grips is that used by the makers of one-piece ivory grips.
They do this to save ivory, but it works just as well on wood.

Make the grips in two pieces as though you were going to mount them with a standard grip screw.

After the two sides are fitted, make a spacer that is exactly the same width of the back strap and epoxy it to the two grip halves.

To do this, make a long spacer that fits against the bottom and back side of the back strap.
It needs to allow clearance for the mainspring and hammer.
Drill shallow holes in the spacer and the grips to give the epoxy "locks" to bond to and greatly increase strength.

Use Johnson's Paste Wax to liberally coat the back strap and trigger guard, and the frame. This will prevent excess epoxy from sticking to the metal and allow easy disassembly.

Put the spacer into the assembled frame, trigger guard, and back strap and make up a wedge to fit into the trigger guard and back strap that force the spacer into the back of the back strap and hold it there.

Mix up some one hour epoxy and coat the spacer and the areas of the grips where it will be bonded. Make sure to get the epoxy into all the shallow holes.

Assemble the two grip halves to the frame and clamp tightly in place.

Allow the epoxy to harden up to a hard rubber-like state, then disassemble the back strap and slide the bonded grip off.

Clean everything up and cut off any excess epoxy. Reassemble and allow the epoxy to fully harden.
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