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Homemade '58 Rem grips

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Moptop, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Moptop

    Moptop Well-Known Member

    I resently came across a post where someone used polymer based oven-cured craft clay to make a set of grips for a revolver. I had been wanting a set of ivory-white or pearl-white for my '58 Rem but put it on the back burner when I started pricing them. So when I saw this post the brain wheels started turning and thought I'd give it a try. This is how I went about it.

    Now in reading this post the first thing that jumped out at me was the "large amount of sanding" that was involved in the process. This person made his by making a cardboard template of the grip frame and then forming them by hand which was the reason for all the hand sanding to shape. I thought that there had to be an easier way to form the grip to get it closer to the finished shape.

    Here's what I did......I got some plaster of paris and made a mould of the orginal grip panels. I sprayed the panels with WD40 to keep the plaster from sticking when it came time to remove them. It worked great but you have to let the plaster dry totally before pulling the panels out. Make sure you push the panels into the plaster deep enough to get a nice clean outside edge. It only takes 10 to 15 minutes for the plaster to harden so you have to work fast from the time you add the water to the time you pour it into whatever container your using to make your mould and get your panels inserted. Learned this on the first try.

    Next...I used bath powder as a parting agent, lightly dusting the inside of the mould before putting in the clay. When pushing the clay into the mould, you have to kinda roll it in, starting from one side to the other as to keep it from trapping air in between the clay and the mould.

    Once I had the clay in the mould I used a metal straight edge to cut the excess clay off and level out the back of the grip. I carefully removed the clay from the mould and ended up with a perfect copy of my original. The neat part about doing it this way is once you have the mould made, you can make as many sets as wish in different colors and patterns. Once cured as per the clays instructions, you can sand (not much really) and drill as needed for final shaping and hardware instalation. I also made a set in a translucent pearl for my Single Six. They turned out nice as well.

    Just thought I'd share this little project's info. Maybe this will help someone in making their own personal designs.

    Attached Files:

  2. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Well-Known Member

    Thoose look awesome great job
  3. raa-7

    raa-7 Well-Known Member

    They came out good.I as well priced those grips for my Rem NA and saw some pricey grips.I like your idea and I'll definately keep this in mind to make a set or two for a couple of revolvers.Thanks for sharing this. -ron-
  4. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Well-Known Member

    nice way to afford multiple matching grips if you have quite a few revolvers...
  5. swathdiver

    swathdiver Well-Known Member

    I'm still filing and sanding a pair of elk antlers into grips for my NMA. Those look nice though.
  6. D Rat

    D Rat Active Member

    Homemade Grips

    Looks like a interesting project.
    What kind of clay do you use,and wear do you get it?
    D Rat
  7. 1096369fred

    1096369fred New Member

  8. ackattack

    ackattack Member

    Anyone know of a site to get replacement grips for a Pietta 58 Target. Just need them unfinished, want to do them in black. Taylors is alittle pricey in my book. My old ones are chipped or I would sand them down. Thanks All!
  9. Jaymo

    Jaymo Well-Known Member

    You could fill in the chips with epoxy putty, and use black spray paint or bedliner.
    I may use this method to make grips for several different models. Maybe even some black polyurethane rubber.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  10. scrat

    scrat Well-Known Member

    That is soo cool on the to do list. need to save this thread
  11. Moptop

    Moptop Well-Known Member

    Thanks everyone.

    The clay that I used for the grips in the pictures was Craft Smart that I got at Michael's. I used Sculpey III on a set of Pearl like grips I made for my Ruger Single Six. the Sculpey didn't cure as hard as the Craft Smart but that may be because it was the Pearly stuff. I'm going to spray the "58 NMA grips with a gloss laquer after I get the hardware installed. They're pretty hard as it is though. I don't think durability is going to be a problem. It's easy to correct any mistakes like holes drilled in the wrong spots or uneven edges. Just fill in the boo boo with more clay and rebake. the new bonds to the old flaulessly.

    I searched different sites and found some pictures of replicated animal bone, antler, and ivory made with this stuff. They looked pretty nice.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  12. Patocazador

    Patocazador Well-Known Member


    You can get a very good result if you can find some white dental acrylic. It's expensive for the really hard stuff but you can get a big tub of "Tray plastic" by Coe for about $25-35. It comes with a separate can of liquid monomer that you mix with the powder and then just pour into your plaster molds. Or you can use a "sprinkle" technique where you sprinkle a thin layer of powder and wet it with the monomer. Just keep building it up until it fills the mold. All you have to do is remove the flash and polish with a Dremel and rag wheel with polishing compound.
  13. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    Something to try on a scrap of the clay would be to flood the clay with the super thin water like CA glue. If it soaks in fully and THEN cures hard you could easily end up with your clay grips being as hard or harder than ivory. And when that hard they will take on any sort of sheen level you want right up to something similar to finely polished ivory.

    With a scrap of the clay try dripping on a couple of drops of water. If the clay makeup is pourous enough that the water instantly wicks down into the clay leaving at most a dampish looking spot then you can bet that the thin CA glue will soak in and become part of the clay matrix.

    If you get good soakage with the thin CA glue then it'll also toughen the grips up so that they are literally as strong as a fairly high impact plastic.

    The thin watery formula can be found at most hobby shops and likely Micheals has it as well. It'll come in a small dropper bottle and when examined will literally seem like it's water. You'd likely need most of a 1/4 oz bottle to do the grips.

    To encourage any puddles to spread use a finger. But do wrap it in wax paper or plastic food wrap first. Or even wear something like nitrile gloves.
  14. swathdiver

    swathdiver Well-Known Member

    Dixie Gun Works
  15. Jaymo

    Jaymo Well-Known Member

    I have seen, somewhere, a video of a plastic repair that utilized powdered resin and liquid monomer. The powder was put in place and then wetted with the monomer, just like the dental acrylic.
    It may have been Plasti Fix, at the Urethane Supply website. Not sure. It's been a while since I did any plastic welding/repair, so it's been a while since I visited their website.
    Yep, Plasti Fix, at dubba dubba dubba dot urethanesupply dot kom.
    Not a video. It's an illustrated how-to that shows different ways to use it.

    Told ya it's been a while (few years).
  16. Hagen442

    Hagen442 Well-Known Member

    HomeMAde Grips

    Excellent Work Sir

  17. Bluehawk

    Bluehawk Well-Known Member

    Sculpey is a very interesting product. It's even been used in the fireworks trade as a fuel/colorizer for orange stars. The white colored Sculpey mixed with the proper oxidizer burns extremely hot and fast with a nice orange flame!
    I don't think it's a real clay based product though and might not absorb CA glues. It has a very hard time on it's own absorbing a water/alcohol wetting solution. (I'm referring to the Sculpey from some years back...this Sculpey III may be a whole new product.) It certainly won't hurt to try it though! :)
    I think the grips you made look great...love the dark swirl pattern!!!!!!
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  18. Moptop

    Moptop Well-Known Member

    Thanks again folks for the cudo's.

    I thought real hard about buying one of those "make a mould" kits to use with plastic resin but I decided against it since they are kinda expensive and not sure if my experiment would work. I like the idea of inbedding coins or medalions in the grip. I worked with that stuff way, way back in 7th grade shop class. It was easy to do but we used premade hard plastic moulds for our projects.

    I'm guessing CA glue is CyanoAcrylate...eerrr or something like that. Super Glue...yeah that's it, super glue. Right?
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  19. Jaymo

    Jaymo Well-Known Member

    Absofrigginlutely. :)
    CA is cyanoacrylate resin, AKA, Superglue.
    It's not just for suturing lacerations, anymore.
  20. scrat

    scrat Well-Known Member

    Ok i dont know shieeet on this so. Here you go.

    How did you make the colors the swirl in the new grips

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