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Old December 10, 2008, 02:34 PM   #1
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any one making their own grips?

if so are you using old grips for patterns or getting paper templates?
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Old December 11, 2008, 04:36 AM   #2
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b00mer: You can make grips either way. I'm sure someone, somewhere sells templets for grips but I've never seen them. You can make a paper tracing of your frame to rough out the grips.
If your talking about the checkering, I think Dembart sells a templet to mark the angle for the master lines.
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Old December 11, 2008, 07:55 AM   #3
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I have made several sets of 1911 grips. Revolver grips are much more difficult. One thing that anyone who attempts this NEEDS to be aware of is that many of the exotic woods used for this can be very toxic. When sawing or sanding you must use a good respirator and eye protection. Pau Ferro (ironwood) will really mess you up if it gets in your lungs. Don't ask me how I know. It will also take the edge off of a metal cutting bandsaw blade in minutes. While there is a great amount of satisfaction in fabricating your own grips with the hazards and expense involved I am quite happy to pay someone else to deal with it. Be careful.
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Old December 11, 2008, 09:22 AM   #4
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Cocobolo is another toxic wood. I bought a fire starter enclosed in cocobolo that hangs around your neck. I wore it about four days and developed a rash on my chest. At first I though I had gotten into poison ivy, but finally figured out it was the wood. It itched like crazy and took over a month to heal up.
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Old December 11, 2008, 10:10 AM   #5
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I have some big pieces of holly and I want to use some of it to make grips for my BHP, which currently has the wraparound rubbery plastic grips with one screw on each side. (so making a pattern is gonna be fun.) The wood is from a huge much-loved holly tree that was in my parents' yard until it blew down in Hurricane Ike.

Do BHP grips usually have 2 screws from one side to the other (like a 1911) or do they just have to one screw on each side that goes into the frame?

I'll probably make a practice set out of cedar first; I have some cedar scraps that are already about the right thickness.
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Old December 11, 2008, 10:33 AM   #6
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I'm working on some for a PA-63 since I'm left handed and don't like the right handed thumbshelf that comes with the standard plastic grips.

Using coracao de negro.

So far I've only got the grips rough-outlined on the scroll saw. I need a router table to cut the backside inlays next and don't have one in the garage yet. Scanning craigslist every now and then for a good deal on a used one.

I may do some 1911 ones or CZ-75 ones next, but I need all the tools to finish one complete set first. I figure after the router table I'll need a spindle sander and possibly a belt sander if my little palm sander isn't up to the task.

I've used the old grips as templates so far. traced their outline right onto the target material. I'll use them to set my router's depth and cut path, too, for the backside inlays.
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Old December 11, 2008, 12:33 PM   #7
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Toxic Woods

Hopefully, this isn't too far out of scope, but is there a list of these toxic woods and the proper precautions for working them published someplace?
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Old December 11, 2008, 03:02 PM   #8
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This may be a good start.
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Old December 11, 2008, 05:13 PM   #9
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The problem with any master list of "toxic woods" is that not everyone reacts to them. I have found NO allergies on my part in years of working with literally 100's of rare and exotic woods, at times being totally covered with and breathing in their dust. In contrast, my father-in-law cannot walk into my shop any time soon after I have worked with Zebrawood - his whole body turns red and swells up with even minor exposure to residue. It's very freaky. Turns out Zebrawood is the only one we've found that he's allergic too. My wife is allergic to Cocobolo and Fishtail Oak, but nothing else. Different people react very differently to the same stimuli.
Exotic wood addict and grip maker
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Old December 16, 2008, 08:15 PM   #10
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If you guys are serious, I may be able to help you out. I have some take off grips from my Kimbers, full sized and compact and possibly a Browning HiPower. I could trace them and fax them to you. If I scan them and try emailing them, they may come out missized. Let me know if you still need them.
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Old December 20, 2008, 03:30 PM   #11
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I've made several sets, need to do another for one of my HP's and for a CZ-75. I usually use the old grips and the metal frame for layout. Hardest part for me is getting the screw/post holes just right. Are paper templates actually available? I wouldn't have thought they'd be accurate enough.
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Old December 21, 2008, 03:56 PM   #12
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Making templates is relatively easy if "you" have a scrollsaw. "If" the grips on the gun are a good fit, I simply trace them out on a small square piece of 3/16" plywood and cut out the plywood trace on the scrollsaw and label appropriately. If you don't have the grips to trace or they are not a "good" fit, then simply trace the gripframe on the piece of plywood and cut out. You'll always have the "template" even if you sell off the gun or grips to have a "reference" to later. I too have worked with many different kinds of wood over the past 45 years and fortunately, have never had any reactions to any wood. As a retired Air Force medic, among other hats I have worn, I have attended to many, many accident victims of Power Saw misshaps! Know "your" limitations when you use power equipment period!..................Dick
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Old February 5, 2009, 08:21 AM   #13
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PA-63 Grips finished?

Originally Posted by azredhawk44
I'm working on some for a PA-63 since I'm left handed and don't like the right handed thumbshelf that comes with the standard plastic grips...Using coracao de negro.
Saw you posted this back in Dec... wonder if you have finished those grips?

Have any pictures? Either during your progress, or when finished?
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Old February 6, 2009, 12:39 AM   #14
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Rosewood makes real nice grips for guns or knives, after sanding you can buff it on a buffing wheel to look like glass. I'd be happy to send you some black walnut or purple heart for the price of shipping. Let me know.
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