I am looking for information on how you carve G10 or Micarta. I am not looking to make a knife handle rather grips for a gun. since it seems most custom manufactures only support the 1911.
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September 14, 2011, 09:02 AM
i believe its not different than working with any other material....
just cut to shape with a band saw......use a set of files/ sand paper/ dremel to get the contour you want.....and your done
September 14, 2011, 10:00 AM
Micarta cuts like wood while G-10 cuts like fiberglass.
If using power tools, it is highly recommended to use respiratory protection and it is advisable to use nitrile exam gloves unless you have a real dust extraction system.
September 14, 2011, 02:04 PM
Thank you. I am going to attempt it... Its cheap enough I can mess a few up without being overly penalized..ha
September 14, 2011, 02:12 PM
What hso said is what I've found to be true.
Micarta gums up sanding belts and drums a bit more and is a bit slower to cut, but it produces more interesting look and seems tougher, IMHO.
G10 cuts and sands incredibly easily without burning. It will dull a saw's teeth in seconds, though!
September 14, 2011, 02:28 PM
I've been using a half face respirator with safety goggles for metal work. Would you guys recommend springing for a full face respirator when working with G10/Micarta/CF or would that be overkill?
September 14, 2011, 02:47 PM
You're better off removing the dust than wearing PPE. Remember that stuff is better gotten out of the air before you have to wear a respirator.
A half face particulate air purifying respirator that is properly fit for your face will provide a protection factor of 10 for whatever the cartridge is for. IOW, your exposure with the respirator is 1/10th your exposure without. A full face has a protection factor of 100, IOW, 1/100th of your exposure without.
Any PPE brings with it issues of comfort and additional hazards. Full face respirators limit your field of view so if anything is happening outside the "stovepipe" of the facepiece field of view you won't see it as readily. All respirators add to the cardiovascular strain and make heat stress worse.
So, if you can rig a vac extraction system that ducts into a filter and then out of the shop you're better off than wearing a respirator.
September 14, 2011, 02:56 PM
Do you just use a polishing pad or do you also use a compound to bring out the shine?
September 14, 2011, 03:45 PM
hso, is right on the money. and man, does it ever get hot wearing a respirator in the south. good Lord, i have to do it in short intervals so i don't get silly from the heat. a full face respirator is my next big purchase. they are costly, but worth every penny. do not take chances with your eyes, fingers, or lungs.
September 14, 2011, 04:09 PM
A PAPR (powered air purifying respirator) is a lot easier to wear than a negative pressure APR.
Wood workers and body shops have been using "clean air machines" for years. They don't meet the same standards as a PAPR, but they have a blower and move air from a clean space through a hose to the facepiece being worn in the dirty space. They're not cheap, but because they're not portable they're cheaper than a PAPR system. OTOH, I did find a website selling an inexpensive hobbyist's powered half face for a knifemaker with "lung truble" and his comment back to me was, "WOW! That's the first time in 20 years I haven't had to put up with the stench of grinding micarta!".
I don't endorse any of these, but make up your own mind about whether/when/where/how you might use one of these.
Micarta is best shaped with a disk or belt Sander for flats, and small drum sanders for finger grooves, etc.
I use a Foredom flex-shaft grinder for most shaping.
Then hand sand to get all scratches out.
Then buff & polish with progressively finer buffing wheels & compound.
I avoid G10, and Fiberglas based Micarta like the plague.
Like others have said, it dulls cutting tools faster then anything I know of.
I also agree that it is much better to get rid of the dust before you need a respirator.
I use a large shop-vac with a sheet-rock filter bag with the hose mounted right next to where I am shaping, and suck it up as it comes off the sander.
Don't overlook Dymondwood either. It is basically wood based Micarta, and has very striking grain patterns.