Wood to use for pistol grip

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Old 11-03-09, 08:36 PM
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Wood to use for pistol grip

A friend brought by a J. C. Higgins model 85 pistol for me to see if I can make a new grip for it. The old one is broken and melted (plastic). It is a one piece grip that wraps around the back and both sides. It is 1 1/4 thick grip with a notch about 5/8 cut in the middle for the magazine to fit through. A 3 sided type thing. Anyways what wood would be best to use to fashion a new grip? Something hard as it needs to take the heat but not so hard I cannot put checkering and maybe a custom engraving into it. The thumb slot is not important to him so I can either leave it off or include it. So that would take some off the thickness if I leave it off. He really doesn't plan to shoot it much but I still want it to hold up if he does decide to shoot it. It appears from my web searching that the melting and breaking of the grip is a common problem.
All the gun dealers say they cannot get new grips for it as it was made around 1943.
Sorry so long winded. What wood do I need to use and sealer?
 
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Old 11-04-09, 05:57 AM
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JC Higgins Model 85 22LR Pistol Grip

See if you can use this..........................
 
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Old 11-04-09, 08:27 AM
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Well, walnut and birch have been used for years. Need to make sure its the right species... Janka hardness

Not sure how birch checkers either. Cocobolo/rosewood is nice also..but you'd probably have to order from a specialty store. Unfortunately what makes a good carving wood usually makes a lousy wearing wood.
 
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Old 11-04-09, 06:23 PM
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Thanks j HOWARD I had already found that and will pass it on to my friend.
Gunguy: thanks to you also. I have no problem carving any woods so far. Some just take longer than others. And sharper tools! I was just thinking of a relief carving on the grips instead of the plain jane checkering it has now.
The gun was given to him by his father a while back and it is more a show piece and memory item than anything else. So I doubt it will have to stand up to much wear.
I will look around at the furniture makers here and see if they have a piece I could use. I only need a 5 inch long 2x4 size piece and the prices I saw on line were pretty high.
Thanks again
 
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Old 11-05-09, 03:26 PM
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Installing some weird flooring in the past I have run across wood that would make great handles, but a bear to carve. Ironwood comes to mind. Man that is some bad stuff! If you could find a piece of mahogany from a furniture maker, that would be pretty.
 
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Old 11-05-09, 08:42 PM
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For something unique: Zebrawood

For carvability?: Basswood......often a woodcarver's choice.
 
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Old 11-06-09, 08:13 PM
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Thanks Chandler I will look up the furniture maker in town here and see what he has to offer.
ecman, I do not think basswood would hold up to much handling and the heat of the gun firing. Basswood is the beginner's wood in carving. I like to think I am past that stage.
The next thing that troubles me is what to relief carve into the grips for this type gun. It's not the type you would put a deer on as it is only a 22 LR. Plinking comes to mind but would you want tin cans in the grip? Maybe rabbit? I am gonna have to think this over real good..
 
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Old 11-06-09, 08:29 PM
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Rabbit smoking a pipe on one side & a panther on the other.

Old Cree indian: smoking a pipe b/cause he knows he is smarter than the panther
 
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Old 11-08-09, 11:45 AM
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How about a meth head zombie? lol

Actually it doesn't have to be hunting or gun related..does he have any other hobbies?

I've seen some guys out here with golf clubs and Harley emblems on grips.

And whats it going to be used for the most?
 
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Old 11-11-09, 03:18 PM
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It will mostly sit on a shelf until they decide to show it to someone. I thought about making a sort of crest with his initials in it...which happen to be the same as his dad's.
Another thing I am finding is the thickness of the wood needed 1 1/2 x 4 are really expensive. I was thinking I may have to do a split grip to keep the cost down. I have been jobless and no unemployment checks for almost a year now. Not much room for any expensive woods here. $25 maybe if I talk very sweetly to my wife.
 
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Old 11-13-09, 08:19 AM
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You could laminate thinner, less expensive pieces together to get the thickness you need. You could use the laminations as part of the design using different species of wood.
 
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