Ruger Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When doing a google search, I came across threads here in this forum on micarta grips. Some home made, some not.

I recently rebusted my "repaired" grips on my SBH, and have been looking for suitable replacements. I found some, for cheaper than the cost of materials to do this, but I got to thinking... considering some of the projects I get into, this would be a good thing to learn to do.

uploadfromtaptalk1445860303838.jpg uploadfromtaptalk1445860317564.jpg

The way I accomplished this was thus...
I got white card stock, bondo fiberglass resin, gloves, and non stick reynolds wrap aluminum foil.

I first sized the paper into sheets needed to get two grip panels out of, which is approximately half a sheet of the card stock (which is standard letter size I believe).

After mixing the resin+hardener as per the instructions, I coated each sheet liberally and stacked it on the wrap.

Then I wrapped it up completely and pressed it between two boards with wood clamps, waiting the two hours for it to cure (as per the instructions).

I think it turned out well, but not as well as it could. I did learn a few things along the way.

First off, I'll never attempt this again with such a large piece. If this turns out to be a fail, and I won't know until I start shaping, then the next time I do it will be only large enough for one grip panel at a time. These sheets are too large to quickly and effectively spread the resin over.

Speaking of quickly spreading the resin, screw that. I'll mix up enough resin to dump my materials in and work them around, then wipe off the excess as I stack them. May possibly need two containers. Something that it wouldn't stick to would be ideal, that way I can let the leftover set up and simply peel it out. At least, hopefully it'll be simple.

Further, screw card stock. I chose card stock because some people have had great results with it. I don't feel I'm one of them. Any time in the future, I'll be using something more absorbent, such as multimedia sketching paper or fabrics such as linen.

Also, the clamps. It would pay off to go ahead and use c-clamps instead of hand squeezed wood clamps. More pressure the better.

Here is my starting pics and results. I thoroughly expected some of the edge and corners to separate slightly, so I made sure my block was large enough to get both panels from as close to the center as possible, with a wide margin around them.

I'll post more pics later as the work progresses, but I really expect to have to make another attempt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No prob. Today/this evening, I intend to try again using C-clamps and either canvas or linen, and I'm thinking I may roll fabric instead of cutting to size and stacking, I imagine it'll be quicker and easier.

Also, I've decided to simply line a pot with the Reynold's non stick aluminum foil. That's what it's made for, lining cookware for easy cleanup.

Wish I could do more pics, but I need both hands for the project and both for my camera, so that don't work out too well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
388 Posts
I don't know if we can promote other forums so I will say to just look at some of the knife making forums. I have see several people make their own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't know if we can promote other forums so I will say to just look at some of the knife making forums. I have see several people make their own.
I've looked. Unfortunately, there is a learning curve that most people don't cover. So, that's where I got the basics from, but there's still some trial and error involved.

Update: I tried again with canvas. Worked decent. I spilled a large puddle of resin on my nice wood dining room table. Luckily, I had just cleaned it with some off brand Armorall, and it didn't stick at all.

I'm going to tentatively call this second round a fail, but I'm going to continue working on this panel and see how it turns out. Need more hardener and need to make a better clamping system, and that'll have to wait until payday this Friday. So I've got time to jack around with this panel and see how it looks.

Will post pics in the AM.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow. Sudden idea. If this ****'s so sturdy and damn near indestructible it seems, and bonds so well...
I'm gonna make a small patch to repair my left grip panel again. Duh.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So I tried repairing the grip using a small patch of this stuff. It didn't work. Combination of things...

By checking the serial number, it seems my gun was made in 1980. That's just a bit older than me. Judging from it's wear and tear, it seems heavily used but well maintained. I suspect the oils over the years have just soaked into the grips so well that it makes it hard for this stuff to stick.

Second, as I think was part of the problem with my first batch, I believe I pressed it too tight and squeezed too much resin out.

Here are some pics.

Here I "dressed the wound" a bit. I took a dremel and just cleaned the edges of the hole.
uploadfromtaptalk1446643849659.jpg

Don't know if you can tell it here, but then I took an engraving tip and gave the inside surface a bit of "stippling". Thought maybe this would help the resin adhere.
uploadfromtaptalk1446643924366.jpg

I coated the end of the screw and the inside of the collet with oil. You'll see why.
uploadfromtaptalk1446644021439.jpg

Gathered my materials.
uploadfromtaptalk1446645778378.jpg

I didn't take pics of the actual coating of the canvas and putting it into place, because I simply don't have enough hands.

I placed the grip paned on the edge of my work table and clamped it down, with the canvas resin patch wedged into the hole. I used bits of foam pipe insulation to pad the clamps to prevent damage to the wood. I clamped it tight enough that some of the resin came up into the collet hole, then tapped in the collet and screw with the rubber mallet. I had the screw in the collet to keep the inside from getting resin in it, and coated the screw tip with oil for easy removal. It worked great, except the patch didn't stick.

uploadfromtaptalk1446645947957.jpg

I didn't take pics of the failed result.

What I did do, was instead of simply giving up, I repeated the process except without the canvas. I just poured straight resin in the hole and laid the grip panel flat side up, leveled with those same bits of foam insulation. I let it cure for about six hours (directions on can say 2), then I drilled out the resin SLOWLY for the screw.

I'm calling it "repaired for now". I didn't take pics of that, sorry. May go to the range today to shoot and see how it holds up, and I'll take pics when I break it down again to clean it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Also, the pic of the grip blank I promised. This is still an option. I've had trouble finding the time to even towel off after a shower, much less work on this project right now. uploadfromtaptalk1446646509475.jpg uploadfromtaptalk1446646534329.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,268 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It does say plastic, you think it'd work on wood?
Either way, I've lost the chunk that came out.

I believe that if I'm able to make the micarta grips to my satisfaction, they'd be awesome. For one thing, I think they'd offer superior gripping texture, AND I'd be able to make them slightly thicker and more rounded. The stock ones seem a bit flat to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,048 Posts
Pretty cool. Many years ago a friend of mine used denim from a pair of old jeans instead of paper to make micarta grips..after grinding, etc they looked great.

He also had problems getting it right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The tutorials don't cover stuff such as, "if you press it too tight, you'll squeeze the resin out and it won't work."
I always see, "press it nice and tight..." Or something similar.

It wasn't until AFTER I learned by trial and error, that I found one that said anything about that.

So the biggest problem I'm having, is clamping it too tight, or not tight enough. Having a better method simply for the clamping part would make a world of difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,048 Posts
He had similar problems. He also had a problem getting the pressure evenly across the surface,,he eventually worked it out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Haven't made it to the range. I did do some more shaping on the grip panel I made, just to kind of rough it out and see the quality.

Quality I'm happy with. But I made the butt end too thin. Gonna try again tomorrow. I also have some plate steel I'm going to make a better clamping system out of .

Still having trouble posting pics, sorry. And it's time to pick up the mini me from school.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top