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Thread: New Shoes for the Baby!

  1. #1

    Default New Shoes for the Baby!

    I just finished making these new grips for my Colt Huntsman. I had it engraved in 1986, and the factory grips just didn't match up to Joseph's beautiful work--so I used a piece of walnut that my Mom had saved for many years, and humbled myself with my clumsy skills at woodworking. They did turn out pretty nice, but I think I have 35 or 40 hours in them. They are retained on the handle by four neodymium magnets that I inlayed into the inside surfaces of the grips. I am pretty happy with the way they finally turned out.

    Best Regards,
    Jim

  2. #2
    Member bigswede358's Avatar
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    Default Nice job!

    That looks very nice, you did an excellent job. Those grips niely accent the engraveing for sure.
    LIVE TO HUNT....HUNT TO LIVE!!!!

  3. #3
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    Default Oh my

    That is a pretty gun. Very nice wood, and it sure looks like you did a great job.
    Craftsmanship like this amazes me. thanks for sharing.

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    I'M IMPRESSED!!! Beautiful and very nicely done. Congratulations. J.

  5. #5
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    That’s some nice figured walnut, which way is the growth ring running? You are too modest about your woodworking skills from the looks of that furniture. Great work and I love the magnet attachment, you have set the bar quite high!

    Andy

  6. #6

    Default Thanks, guys. I appreciate the feedback. It shoots, too!

    Thanks for the compliments. I guess I was sort of fishing for them by posting the pics, although it wasn't my intention. If you saw pics of the inner sides of the grips, you would see plenty of evidence of my amateur status! The inside surfaces have raised and grooved surfaces that fit precisely into the pistol handle. I had to glass bed my sorry attempt at reproducing them to get a good fit. No problems with function, but not pretty like the outside.

    I took it out and fired it after the engraving work was completed, just to be certain that all the springs and pieces were functioning correctly. It shoots accurately and smoothly, like all the Woodsman/Huntsman series .22's I ever fired. From what I have heard, they were kind of like pre-64 Winchesters in that they were hand fitted during manufacture, and therefore labor intensive.

    I can tell you that the main grain of the wood runs parallel to the length of the grips. I think this piece must have been cut near the root of the tree. My Mom never could throw anything beautiful away. There are two more pieces of wood from her cache, but not as heavily ornate as this piece was. If I get up the ambition and the nerve, I may even make another set. I have an identical Huntsman that I shoot quite a bit, and I would like to try making a set that has a thumb rest and finger grooves to fit my hand--partly because I like the way that looks, and partly because I also like the way they feel when shooting.

    WalMart in Eagle River had those neodymium magnets for about $4 per pack of 4, which did the trick for this set. They are 1/2" diameter, and .100" thick, and they are pretty darn powerful. I found them far cheaper on eBay, but I didn't want to wait, and I didn't need 20 of them.

    Anyway, thanks again, guys--I'm glad you like it.

    Best Regards,
    Jim

  7. #7
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Interesting idea to use magnets…. It makes for a very clean looking grip installation and I don’t know how strong the magnets are, but your post makes them sound like some kind of super duper rare earth kind of thing, so they are probably more than strong enough. Especially for a piece like that, that will probably get proudly displayed far more than fired. Very nice indeed!

    Years ago I made a set for my birds head grip vaquero, because at the time, the only “factory” grips were the plastic ones than came with the grip frame. So I know EXACTLY what you are talking about regarding man hours!

    Just the other day I was looking at my Ruger MKII Target with disgust and pondering how to rid this otherwise fine looking pistol of its hideous and distasteful Plastic grips. So there I am with a Midway USA catalog in one hand, and a chunk of nicely figured paduk in the other…… hmmmmm, $65 for pre-made grips that will fit perfect the first time and look great, or really cool paduk grips that will take me a weeks worth of messing around to get it to fit right and look good….. if I am lucky…. Jury is still out on that one!
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  8. #8

    Default Now all I need is a nice presentation box for the little Colt

    I am having a hard time facing up to the next project item--I would like to make a presentation box for the Colt that has a look and quality level to at least complement Joseph's beautiful engraving work. I'm not sure that isn't a bigger job than making the grips was.

    Those neodymium magnets are so strong that it is actually kind of difficult to get the grips off. The inside surfaces of the grips are a close fit into the the frame, so all the magnets need to do is keep the grips held close inward--the grips are prevented from any movement except outward by the glass bedded inner surfaces. The grips would stay put even if the gun had heavy recoil. This approach wouldn't work with grips that had flat inner surfaces.

    I'll take a couple of pictures of the embarassing inner surfaces, and the handle of the gun and post them so you can see what I mean. That should save me from approx. 2,000 words trying to describe them.

    I did bed in a locating pin for the left side grip that fits in to the hole through the handle where the original grip screw went. That prevents the grip from sliding downward, since the slot in the handle is milled all the way through the bottom on that side.

    I definitely can't recommend making your own grips from an economic point of view, unless $4 per hour is o.k. with you. Since I am a low-rent unemployed bum, I had some time to work with, and very little money. I thought about finding someone to checker the grips, but it would take $$, and it would have to be someone darn good before I would risk the grips to their hands, so it would probably be quite a bit of money. I don't know anyone like that up here in Alaska, so I guess the grips can just stay like they are.

    Later,

    Jim

  9. #9

    Default Here are the dirty little secrets on the inside

    Here are a couple of pictures of the inside surfaces, showing how the grips fit into the frame, etc.

    Best Regards,
    Jim

  10. #10
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Default

    Don't look bad at all on the inside to me. I would never checker over that great looking burrled wood, it would detract from it.

    Andy

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