Making 1911 grips


June 26, 2008, 03:06 PM
I have cut out a pair of full size 1911 grips out of Oak. I'm not sure if I'm explaining this correctly but here it goes:

What shaping method would be best to get the rounded radius going front to back of the grip?

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June 26, 2008, 03:17 PM
A disk sander in a hand drill will work if you don't have a belt sander.

I do all my shaping with a Foredom grinder with disk and drum sanding attachments.

Rounding 1911 grips can be done quite nicely on a 4" x 36" belt sander, but I have also done some nice ones with just a disk sander attachment & a drill.


June 26, 2008, 03:23 PM
I have a 3" hand belt sander that I have made a fixture to hold it upside down.

I was planning on using a double sided tape to attached it to a paint stick so I dont have to get my fingers near the belt while its running. This would also allow me to work the wood better, I would think.

I would just like to see it as I'm

I think I may try the sanding disc.

June 26, 2008, 04:31 PM
How about a piece of aluminum or steel 1"x 1/8"x long-enough-to-hold-on-to-each-end". Get it at Lowes, etc. Drill and tap for a couple grip screw bushings and screw the grip to it with some Allen head screws. I suggest Allen head just in in case you sand into the screw a bit. Might be more socket left to get it out.

June 26, 2008, 04:37 PM
Ah heck!
If you still have all your fingerprints left when you get through making a set of grips on a belt sander, you ain't going about it right! :neener:


Jim K
June 26, 2008, 05:07 PM
Quick tip. Start with a piece of wood about 6-8" long, do the grip on one end, making the top (curved) part, drilling the holes and checkering, using the extended part to hold the work. Then saw off the excess at the right angle.


June 26, 2008, 06:15 PM

Snow Dog
June 27, 2008, 02:40 PM
Here's another site that describes the process. I used the instructions there to make a set of maple burl grips for my Norinco.

June 28, 2008, 12:45 AM
What kind of oak? Aside from being heavy, red or white oak(I can never remember which one) splits as it dries.

June 30, 2008, 08:35 AM
I'm pretty sure it's white. A friend bought it at Lowes in the finish wood area.

He thought it had a good grain pattern that would look good on my project gun (I made a set for a Taurus 92 out if Afican Bavinca that look real good, that's were he got the idea from).

June 30, 2008, 12:20 PM
Snow Dog, those grips look great!

What Dremel bit would any of you recommend for cutting the notch for an ambidextrous safety?

June 30, 2008, 12:29 PM
I used a Roto Zip with an 1/8th" all-purpose grinding type tip kinda like an end mill.

I fixed the grip between two pieces scrap wood the same height so the base of the tool would not go deeper than needed,

June 30, 2008, 01:24 PM
Hey Guys I was reading your post and decided to share this with you. Hope it helps. Heres an idea that I use. I cut a piece of 3/4 X 1-1/2 about 3 inches long, matter of fact I cut 2 of them. Then I use those double side sticky tabs that you buy at wal-mart to hang pictures and so forth on a sheetrock wall. I put 2 of them on each block and stick the fitted grip on the block. That way I can hold the block and the fingers never get near the belt. I can see every move with ease. The tabs are easy to remove, but one use is all they can be used.

Here is a picture of the latest grips. These grips are made of AZ Desert Ironwood, I have checkered the grips in the 1/2 pattern. No I do not have an electric checkering tool, nor a CNC machine. All my work is done the old fashion way, by hand.

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