Thanks everyone, the compliments are much appreciated.
I had been putting off trying my hand at make grips for quite sometime as I was a bit intimidated by it... after this, I don't know why I was.
A while back, I found a supplier of Claro Walnut lumber "cutoffs" from a cabinet maker and bought a batch. Would you believe that the cabinet shop deliberately cut those fancy figured areas off the boards because they only wanted "nice" straight grain, and sold the cutoffs as scrap... unreal, their loss and my gain.
Would you share your walnut source?
Sure... no secret. In Arizona there is place called Woodworkers Source that sells on the Internet: www.woodworkerssource.com
Go into the "Closeouts & Overstock" section and scroll down to the Figured Walnut 15 pcs Pack... $49.00 shipped, they basically will fill a Large size prepaid Priority Mail box with goodies.
I build out damascus knife blanks into finished knives and that is how I found them, they sell wood collectors sample pieces cut 1/2" thick, 6" long and 3" wide... perfect size for knife handles.