Ill fitting grips.

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Joined
Dec 8, 2005
Messages
4,480
Location
Lemont, PA, USA 16851
I also have wood for making grips (walnut is most prevalent but have some nice hickory, oak and maple) that has been drying for a minimum of 2 years now and I've cut some to size recently to get started. I have had numerous conversations with Cary and he gladly gave me all kind of hints, tips and advice on how to get started. In my case, I'm going to start with grips for the low back Six series DA's as they seem (to me) to probably be the easiest to start with (design and shaping wise). I'm slowly getting out of the gun business (but I'll probably keep renewing my FFL for the next 10 years or so for my own use) so I can have some "me" time to do my life long hobby of working with wood.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2022
Messages
850
Location
Oregon
I was at the local Ace Hardware and they have a section of hardwoods. They sell by the lineal foot and are very reasonable, $6 and under. Measuring 3/4" thick and 6" wide. They had zebra wood, lace wood, purpleheart, tiger wood, and I think bubinga. The zebra wood was really beautiful- I may buy a foot of it to play with.

I'd never seen hardwoods at Ace before- this was a larger more rural store. I went there to get some pressure treated lumber- 2x8x16. Home Depot was $45 and their wood was crap- this Ace had great, straight pieces for $22 each. Was worth the 15 minute extra drive.
 

Star43

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 7, 2023
Messages
861
Location
California
Wow, Your Ace Store sounds like it came out if the Little House on the Prairie TV show....I have never seen hardwoods like you mention at any in my 5 County area between Stockton to Fresno. I like hardware stores to just walk in and to look around. I bought another Buck 112 (my favorite knife) at one last month....but never any woods like you mentioned. And the prices sound great. That Zebra wood or the Tiger wood sound very interesting. Never even heard of a couple others you mentioned. That was quite a display !! 👍
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2022
Messages
850
Location
Oregon
The business name is "Fields Home Center" but it is an Ace franchise or however that works. Here's a pic of what the complex encompasses-
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And a link to their website just in case you're curious. They evidently offer live edge slabs and have a sawmill to cut your lumber for you-
 

Star43

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 7, 2023
Messages
861
Location
California
I looked at the website and some of what they offer. This is really a one stop type of shop. It looks great and if you are only 15:minutes away, you are a lucky guy......Thanks for sharing ! 👍
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2022
Messages
850
Location
Oregon
Just think if they sold Rugers too !!! It would be an absolute paradise !!! 🙂🙂👍
No problem! It's about 30 minutes from my house, and about 15 from Home Depot. But it's well worth the drive in my opinion.

Ya know, I didn't ask if they sold ammo…no guns though. Although when the cashier asked why I only wanted 1' of the hardwood, I replied "for making handgun grips". Sh said if I could do that I'd be a popular guy with their employees…
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
3,236
Location
Alabama, in the bend of the Tennessee River
4 components of great grips in my mind:
1) good material that is appealing to the owner
2) excellent fit-to-frame
3) excellent fit to the shooter's hand
4) attractive, durable finish

For custom work we have a number of great craftsmen, somewhat dependent on the material you want or the type of handgun. Some specialize in certain areas, such as Keith Brown or John and Jennifer Culina for S&W double-action revolver grips; some in certain materials like stag or elk antler.
Zane Thompson of Lone Star Custom Grips is superb and works with a variety of materials and guns. Here's a couple of examples of his work (some of you have seen these already). Zane's fit-to-frame is outstanding, along with every other aspect of his work.

English walnut on a custom 3-screw flattop .44:
20231205_210814.jpg

From the same English walnut blank on a S&W model 24-3 .44 Special:
20230918_190816.jpg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 20, 2022
Messages
850
Location
Oregon
I am a fan of Chig's grips. He has great frame to panel fit and his wood choices are beautiful. Plus- great prices and fast turn around time. These are all desert ironwood. He makes them a bit thicker at the top and a bit thinner at the bottom per my request. All 3 frames are Super Blackhawk Hunter.

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