Making grips?

RickN

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Have any of you ever made or tried to make a set of pistol grips from deer antler? How about elk? Could sheds be used for this?

I really like stag horn grips, have since I first got to handle a Colt SAA with stag grips as a kid. A retired Texas Ranger let me fire his SAA and 1917, both wearing stag, or horn as he called it. I loved the look and texture. Plus I always looked up to that man. Kind of hero worship I guess. I loved watching him shoot and even ride a horse. Reins in his left hand, right resting on his leg close to wear he would wear his pistol. Always so "in command" was the feeling he gave off.

Anyway, just curious if anyone here had done it and if so, how hard was it? I think the hard part might be finding one wide enough.
 

TwoForFlinching

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It's not hard, I've done two sets for a friend. Cuts easy enough, just stinks like you wouldn't believe. You're right on track though, finding antlers that fit the curves is the hard part. Once you get through the outer hard layer, the pores open up. Seen a few filled with black epoxy, looked pretty interesting.
 

RickN

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It's not hard, I've done two sets for a friend. Cuts easy enough, just stinks like you wouldn't believe. You're right on track though, finding antlers that fit the curves is the hard part. Once you get through the outer hard layer, the pores open up. Seen a few filled with black epoxy, looked pretty interesting.


I would like to make a set for my 1911. Pretty straight so it would just be finding an antler that was wide enough.
 

TwoForFlinching

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Hoddy is right on there. Plus, most of them elk antlers have a flat wide side that would make it easy as pie. Saw off more than you need, put some sandpaper on a flat surface and shape it through the grips. Do it outside though. That antler dust smells like a mix of dentist drilling and cut cottonwood trees. It's pretty nasty.
 

dennishoddy

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Hoddy is right on there. Plus, most of them elk antlers have a flat wide side that would make it easy as pie. Saw off more than you need, put some sandpaper on a flat surface and shape it through the grips. Do it outside though. That antler dust smells like a mix of dentist drilling and cut cottonwood trees. It's pretty nasty.
Yep doesn't smell good, but it's not objectional for me anyway.
 

undeg01

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I’ve been thinking of doing this myself. I’ve got everything I need from making knives, so I can’t imagine it would be a far cry different to make grips.

I have also been picking up old figurines carved out of ironwood from thrift shops and yard sales. I can buy them cheaper because their carved elephant may have a broken tusk or something, so people discard it. I have a whale that already has the general shape of my Ruger Vaquero grips, so that will likely be the first set I make.
 

Cowbaby

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I made a belt buckle once out of that lumpy ring of the base of an elk antler sawed crosscut once. I had a jeweler put a couple of natural gold nuggets and a filigreed elk epoxied in it with a green background. Guy offered me about double what it cost and I sold it to him.

I will tell you this. DO NOT put any power belt sander on it like I did trying to level out a crooked cut without a gas mask as it will gag you.

I have about 5 blocks of Osage orange I want to try to make some 1911 grips one day and learn try to learn how to checker.

That's IF I ever get a breath from bills and can afford to buy a nice one and that won't be any time soon until I pay of some of this debt down.
 
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