Anyone here ever make bone grips?


August 25, 2011, 07:18 AM
I've made many grip sets for my ROA's from walnut, spalted bradford pear, rosewood (that was a bad experience since I found out the hard way I was allergic to rosewood...) and purpleheart. I've pondered on trying beef bone for one of my ROA's but don't know about how to prepare the material. I know knifemakers use it often. Anyone know of a link that could help me? I hope it's OK to post this here, but feel free of course to move it. Thank you, Don.

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August 25, 2011, 12:40 PM
I have thought about the same thing. In fact I am to pick up "T-Bone" and "Rib Eye" from the butcher shop tomorrow. (they were Angus steers) I understand that the bone can't be cooked or frozen. That after cleaning it off, should be left to dry completely before working.

I have an old Moose antler, I have been thinking about making grips from as well.

August 25, 2011, 01:12 PM
20 years ago I was lucky enough to find the skeleton of a Steller Sea Cow on Attu Island. You'll probably have to look up that animal to see what a rare find that is. Most of it was decayed and crushed, but I was lucky enough to get a nice solid piece of rib bone, as hard and dense as ivory. They've been extinct for 200 years, so the bone was yellowed and aged throughout.

These are the grips I made from it.

Since then, I've sometimes seen giraffe leg bones imported for knife handles. Those bones have the same density as these below, and would look the same with a bit of yellow pigment rubbed in.

August 25, 2011, 03:02 PM
There was a gun show in Fl. years ago that had a revolver with grips made of mamoth ivory, the owner had lived in Alaska and found a chunk in a glasier. He had a certificate from fish and game to verify it was mamoth, so he could sell it.

August 25, 2011, 03:34 PM
I've made colt SAA grips out of moose antler. Looks like ivory. Have used (cow) bone on knife handles. I'd just buy some of that giraffe leg bone from a knife supply company. You'll know it's dry & ready to use.

Rail Driver
August 25, 2011, 04:07 PM
Once I get my Colt reblued I plan on getting a nice set of bone grips. I like the "ivory" look.

August 27, 2011, 08:09 AM
I've used Elk antler, Buffalo horn and Giraffe bone. Eye protection and a breathing mask is highly recommended, it is stinky, P U! That's with a power sander, hand sanding is not bad.



August 27, 2011, 08:56 AM

Ok I will bite. How does one shape and polish what is basically stone to make such lovely grips?

There is a lot of fossilized Manatee in FLorida. Folks find it constantly. My favorite chunk I found was fairly new but I did not get to keep it. I was diving for the State (UF IFAS Center For Natural Resources) in Hommasassa Springs years ago while the park was owned by the County and recovered a bit of shoulder blade with tool marks on it from butchering. I also found a stone knife blade that "fit" the cut marks. The county displayed the finds, but the State took over the Springs and seems to have lost the things in the stacks a'la Indiana Jones warehouse scene. Diving a Florida Spring that had not been dived in over 20 years at the time was GREAT. Last folks in before my team was Cousteau and Company in the mid 1960's. Not a bit of graffitti carved in the lime stone and almost no garbage.....but from pre columbian Amer-inds. A bit un nerving though to be watched photographing and mapping through the observation tank windows by the touriesta though.


August 27, 2011, 10:31 AM
How does one shape and polish what is basically stone to make such lovely grips?

I used a small Delta belt sander, but one could hand file it to shape.

August 27, 2011, 10:40 AM

Wow that was a fast reply, thanks. I have been out back cleaning the pool and just stepped back in for some A/C and there you are.

Well I guess I will just have to try hacking and slashing at fossil bone myself. Look if you don't have anyone to leave that 1911 in your will , keep me in mind. Seriously nice looking gun & grips I forgot to comment on before.

Looking at Mad Crate Builders little Colt .25 I wonder if grips for something like that of Fossil shark tooth might be intersting just for gigles. The stuff is nearly black and I have not tried polishing or cutting any but the idea of a little hide out with grips of giant prehistoric sharks teeth just makes me giggle.


August 27, 2011, 08:43 PM
Oh, it isn't fossilized, just very dense bone that resembles ivory. Giraffe bone has a similar density, and you can get slabs of mastodon ivory (also not fossilized) for cheaper than you'd think.

I suspect fossil would crack upon shooting since it's mineral. I suppose that's why you don't see grips made of semi precious stone like jade, turquoise, etc.

August 27, 2011, 11:19 PM
Well, the first thing that pops into my mind would get me another infraction here.

So, all I can say is that I like those bone inserts for the Super Redhawk. I need some of those for my GP100. Either that or some of that nice orange giraffe bone. Or mahogany.

So, who sells aftermarket grip inserts for the GP100.

August 27, 2011, 11:55 PM


3. About madcratebuilder's giraffe grips:

Previous owner bought the Giraffe blanks and sent them to this gentleman.

August 28, 2011, 08:38 AM

Durn ! All my excitement for nuthin. Still nice looking 1911. Had to trim a bt of hoof yesterday on the wife's mare. That polished up rather nicely and got me to wondering if hoof could be heated and shaped like horn. Not planning on putting down a horse anytime soon but just got me thinking. It is possible I do entirely to much thinking about many bad ideas

I seem to recall having actually seen Jade grips BTW. I am now curious to see if a little jewelers saw will cut fossil. Perhaps I could get a local stone monument cutting place to do some cutting especially to give me a flat back.

Anyone ever done ivory inserts using old piano key scales?


August 28, 2011, 09:58 AM
Ok I will bite. How does one shape and polish what is basically stone to make such lovely grips?

Non fossilized bone works pretty easy, a lot like wood. The fossilized bone I have is not suitable for grips, to hard and brittle.

September 1, 2011, 02:04 PM

September 3, 2011, 11:35 PM
Did you try Sarge?fine", he even has "real ivory"and animal skin these will flip your eyelids, I justpicked up a set of the fullsize, they are larger than a standard grip, cover the bottom screw gives not only a great look but a grip like you never felt before, they don't move

September 4, 2011, 01:52 AM
I made some grip of a Single Action 45 for myself from moose antler, kinda look like MADCRATEBUILDERS, except I used the base of the antler and have brown grooves at the butt. Took a nickle and made a star and inletted it in the right hand grip, really looks sharp. Use caution when working with ivory it's danderous to breath the dust, didn't find that out until I had done two, they were concetive serial #'s one was 1 of 50 and the other was 1 of 1 the owner sat and watched me do both. Had me put my initals and date inside grips. He had the gold colt medalions and inletted them also. He got the grips and medallions from Colt custom shop. I also have a Walrus tusk ( 31 1/4" ) that has a walking Brown Bear and Walrus scrimshawed on it. An Alaskan guide friend made it for me. It has the Alaskan Game ans Fish Seal wire inside the base. :neener:Wish I new how to post pictures of them.:neener:

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