Just spent $3 for a piece of walnut to make some grips for the Tokarev. You can't see it, but I formed a little JB weld on the bottom of backstrap that straightens the grip more 1911-ish. The ergonomics is soooo much better now than the lump of plastic that came from the factory. I just love this little gun. Safe queen to shooter for $3.
I almost didn't checker the grips, because they felt so comfortable smooth, however, I did add some 22 LPI for decoration. Unfortunately, I have about a chord of wood to go before I get any good at hand checkering. I have found it's better to try to hide your mistakes than try to fix them. Oh well, I have some ideas how to improve on my next project.
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May 26, 2011, 08:17 PM
That looks pretty nice to me.
May 26, 2011, 08:47 PM
May 26, 2011, 09:19 PM
Making simple flat "panel style" grips is a bunch of fun! I love olivewood on my 1911's and have made a few sets for family and friends! What kind of tools have you been using for the checkering?
May 26, 2011, 09:46 PM
Very nice work. You could have fooled me with the checkering. Looks great from where I'm sitting.
May 26, 2011, 09:52 PM
Checkering is tough for me. I never got the hang of it.
Good job on the grips. I am glad you gave checkering a shot. It makes the grips look great.
May 26, 2011, 10:40 PM
Wow, that looks nice. My M57 has always been a shooter, but now you've got me thinking about dressing her up!
May 26, 2011, 11:14 PM
I picked up a Dem-Bart set for $25 from a fellow in Portland about 6 months back. It came with 18 LPI cutters, which I used to checker the grips on a Superblackhawk. Since then I have added 20 and 22 LPI heads. 18 LPI is fairly coarse, 20 LPI kind of middle of the line, and 22 LPI is more decorative than functional on a soft wood like walnut.
I wish I had the 20 LPI cutters for the Superblackhawk, it would have been a bit "prettier", and a little less raspy on the hand with full house loads. I guess I can always make another set of grips for her.
If you are a DIY'er, give checkering a try, I really enjoy it, even though I am just learning. Actually, the Tokarev grips were the first grips I have made myself.
I do recommend the Dem-Bart tools, and the support is great, I called Walt about how to order on his web page, and he spent the next hour talking to me about how to checker.
The cutters are really fairly inexpensive. Plan on spending about $40 for a starter kit, then that much again maybe a couple of times as you get addicted. I use primarily the #3 tool to set the lines. This tool has one smooth tooth, and one cutting tooth, it sets the lines per inch. The other tool head is the single cutter.