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J frame grips, refinishing

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by BulletshooterNJ, Oct 6, 2011.

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  1. BulletshooterNJ

    BulletshooterNJ Member

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    Okay here's the deal, I have a SW 649 that Ive jazzed up a bit with a red ramp sight and a high viz rear site. I have a few different grips for it - the stock grips (Uncle Mike's?) that a filed down to a two-finger, "442 Airweight" type grip, a Pachmayr Gripper target full grip, and a vintage small type wood grip I got off ebay for a 7 dollars minus a screw.

    The wood grips slip on just fine, but they arent in great condish. They arent cracking or fading, but they arent smooth either. Is there a method to refinish these? I know theyre nothing fancy like some of the exotic ones on the wood grip aftermarket but I want to restore them just for the practice. Any ideas?
     

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  2. motorcycle-charlie

    motorcycle-charlie Member

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    looks like PRM and rcmodel have some great advice below. good luck.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  3. PRM

    PRM Member

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    I would suggest .000 steel wool instead of sand paper. You can take too much wood off with little effort if your not careful. Small dents in the wood can be pulled out a lot of times using steam. Once the finish is removed, set a small pot of water on the stove and get it boiling. Hold the grips a few seconds in the steam and it will raise the wood back. Let it dry good and smooth it down with the steel wool.

    I have refinished several sets. I generally use just linseed oil or tru-oil on the natural wood.

    The upside is you can usually pick up a set of "like new" J Frame factory grips off of ebay for around $25.00.
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    +1

    Do Not sand them.

    Rub lightly with 0000 Super Fine steel wool to remove any flaking factory finish.

    Then very carefull hand rub a thin coat of Birchwood-Casey Tru-Oil on them.
    Do Not try to fill the grain, as it wasn't filled when they were new.

    Dab some in the checkering, then clean all you can get back out with an old toothbrush before it cures.

    When you get done, they will look so factory Mr. Smith or Mr. Wesson hisself couldn't tell you refinished them.

    rc
     
  5. motorcycle-charlie

    motorcycle-charlie Member

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    make sure to post some before/after pics when you are done. i have to say, i am learning quite alot here on THR from some of these guys like rcmodel and PRM. these folks have years of priceless information i am eager to absorb.
     
  6. BulletshooterNJ

    BulletshooterNJ Member

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    J frame wood grip rescue

    I'll try these methods and will let youse kn0w. So, um, where do i get this 000 wool stuff?
     
  7. PRM

    PRM Member

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    Walmart

    Lowes

    Home Depot
     
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  9. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I use liquid stripper to take off the old finish. It will take the finish off in about 5 minutes. I also use steam to take out dents. I use a wet washcoth and hot iron. I'd skip any sanding or even steel wooling unless I needed to smooth up a spot. If I want color, I just wipe stain on with a cotton cloth. For protection, I use Tru Oil.
     

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