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Lathe Turned 1911 Grips

2986 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  d2thomas
I just remembered that (way back when) I said that I would post pictures of my jigs that I used for lathe turning perfect 1911 grips.
It's VERY possible to duplicate the Colt factory grips EXACTLY by turning them. Minus the checkering of course.

By The Way....I always do everything I say I'm going to do....eventually. :tongue: One "thing" always gets pushed in front of another (with me) & it takes me a while to do what I intend to do. are the photos. My Digital Camera is ready to the pics slightly suck.

If you are really into lathe working you should be able to just look at my photos & take it all from there.
Shown mounted on the jig is the first set of MAPLE TEST GRIPS that I made. I turned a few sets of Elephant Ivory grips & a few in Snakewood & Ebony & then never made any more grips.
I get bored with "stuff" in a hurry. :tongue:

I made the grip jig about a decade ago out of Hard Rock Maple. (a bowling alley floor that was being ripped up) :biggrin:
You (obviously) need to profile the grips out first. They were bandsawn out close to the line & I used a small drum sander (in my drill press) to get the final profiles perfect.

Hole sizes and hole spacing are critical.
Below those Maple jig photos are pics of the adjustable brass jig that I made to get the hole spacing perfect by using a factory grip as a master. It's NOT PRETTY but, it works.

The extra hole is for the COLT medallion location.
The brass drill guides make drilling the bushing holes easy & you'll also need to turn exactly fitting holdins pins to keep everything Kosher & perfectly lined up.

The screw hole recesses for the little grip screw bushing flange & the Grip Screw recess countersinks are done using another really simple set~up that is hiding SOMEWHERE in my basement.

BTW ~ I don't have any formal training in machine work or lathe work (other than High School Machine Shop) if I can do it then you sure can also.

Oh...& milling the rear notch for the plunger tube was done while the material was still in flat slab form & I just marked that off & did that by eye using a carbide cutter also on the drill press.

ENJOY! Maybe this will be a good winter project for some forum member. :confused:

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Looks like you put a lot of ork into it QK im deff nto a wood worker so i wont be making any grips anytime soon neat pics though
Excellent QK - thx for all the pics - which are actually just fine.

As an engineer and machinist I can say that you have things well covered here - pretty much what I reckon I'd do to achieve those results. Once the radius of the grip panels is established then the jig design sorta speaks for itself - tho that said, making the jig is quite a chunk of work too.

Many years back I think I derived as much pleasure as anything from making jigs, fixtures, special tools etc - as actual work on the lathe. This was metal of course but, my wood lathe has seen some occasional use too as a hobby.

Nice work Sir :smile:
Hey I say you can only learn one way - by doing.

It looks like you got a great start, I like what I see!
Maybe we can have you make some custom "Combat Carry Member" 1911 grips? They'd be all the rage! :biggrin:
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