Grip making is something that anyone can do at home with a few basic tools. Here I will show you how to make some very nice smooth wood grips for your blaster. In (Fig-1) you can see a pic. of the tools I start with. First thing I do is get a old grip panel, I ensure that it has the correct hole spacing and is the correct dimensions. I then use the grip panel to trace a outline on my wood (Fig-2). Next with a bow or band saw, cut the outline of your potential new grips and stay just on the outside of your black marker line. My wood now looks like (Fig-3), and I am ready to start to rough out the outlines with my sanding machine. I am using a Sears 2 x 48 belt sander when making my grips. Once I have gotten fairly close to the black lines, my wood now looks like (Fig-5). Next decide which sides will be the bottom and which side will be the front (show side), mark the inside of both grips with either a RH or LH, right hand or left hand. Next clamp the old grip to the roughed out panel, ensure the frame side of wood is facing down and center punch it with a transfer punch (Fig-6). A transfer punch is nothing more than a rod made of steel with one end pointed. Ensure your transfer punch is the exact same size as the opening in the hole of your old grip, if not the dimple created by your punch will not be centered. Once you have punched both grip panels, with a black marker darken the center of your dimple, it will help to line up your bit when drilling. Next I throw in the Blindhogg #1 two stage drill bit in my drill press, then drill through the wood grip with the show side up (Fig-7). I do not go in deep enough yet to recess grip for grip screw, just punch through wood using the first stage of the bit. Do this to both dimples then flip over grips and recess back sides for grip screw bushings. I always drill through the show side first as the bit makes a very clean cut upon entering wood but depending on the wood may not be as clean exiting the wood. Do not worry about getting off center when recessing the back because the bit will automatically center the wood before it starts to cut the shelf, just take alittle at a time untill you have gone deep enough for bushing shelf to sit flush with grips, refer to (Fig-8). Once both grips are drilled and relieved, take them to your belt sander and start to profile them. This is just a sand and see operation, I use a 120 grit belt for my machine in this stage. You might have noticed that I am using a special fixture designed by me to hold my grips while I sand them (Fig-9). It works really well, I burned my fingers too many times or had my sanding machine eat my grips before I thought of this jig. The jig has a long screw down the center that expands and captures the grips by the grip screw holes, it can accomodate both the full size and officer size grips. When profiling grip I like to hold my jig sideways, I just move grip right to left while rolling jig in my hands to get the radius I desire. Ensure once you start removing wood, you check your thickness often, do not let your grips get thinner than about .250 thick as that is the stock thickness (Fig-10). Once grip is radiused to your liking hit it with a piece of sandpaper in a shoe shine method as in (Fig-11). Once both grips are radiused and sanded I attempt to place them on the pistol, I am checking to see where they are still oversized or if either side is slightly hanging over frame, if so trim with sanding machine. Next I will file in the plunger tube slot, first just remove wood at a 45 degree angle with a file then with a chainsaw file start making the groove, I use the old grip as a guide for the angle and depth. Next with a file or dremel create the slot on the right grip panel for the mag release to pass through. I also with my sanding machine make a second bevel at the bottom of the grips, if pin cutouts are desired that can also be done with a dremel or a file also. One of the last things to do once the profiling of the grips is complete, is to drill the recess for the grip screws on the front of the grips (Fig-13). If using the two stage drill bit this step is a breeze, just drill until the depth is just deep enough for grip screw to sit flush with wood. Once all filing, fitting and drilling is complete, re-sand until baby smooth and then place tung oil on grips. In (Fig-14) you can see one of my grips has been sanded and tung-oiled and the other one has not, it makes a big difference. In (Fig-15,16) you can see the finished product along with some of my tools.
The two stepped drill bit is part #BH1 and is available from me at the for sale section of this website. The jig to hold the grips might be made available at a later date if there is enough interest generated. The tung oil I acquired locally from Home Depot, a quart of the stuff is very reasonable. A transfer punch set is available from Travers tool at WWW.travers.com
A hearty thanks to Angry T for taking the pics in this section.
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Copyright© 2000 by Chris Williams