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How-To Instructions

At-Home Grip Stipple (Wood Grips)

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At-Home Grip Stipple (Wood Grips)

Postby jackoctober » Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:59 am

Over the weekend I happened upon my old wooden grips I had intended to fix and work on, so I ended up fixing them and working on them. A corner was broken, so I sanded down the interior with very rough sandpaper and filled it with JB weld and then filed it back down with a dremel. Anyway, after that I decided I needed a fancier custom look to them so I did a little stippling on the backs of the grips.

If you have wood grips and you want to stipple them the procedure is fairly simple, but requires a steady hand (you can see in the pics mine aren't too steady) and a lot of patience.


What you will need:
-A hammer, preferably a small one
-C-clamps/vice grips/spring clamps
-A rounded off nail, awl, rounded tip punches, or a stippling tool from a kit (Brownells may still sell those)
-Masking tape
-Wood stain
-Stir stick (I use skewers cause we always have those for some reason) and/or small brush
-Razor blade/utility knife

Step one
Look online. Search for patterns you like, and decide what you want. This is a very important step. Look at your grips and see where any weak points may be, avoid tapping at those as it may crack your grips (and piss you off). I applied stippling to the backstrap area of my grips, this is extra hard because if you miss and hit it hard enough, it could easily chip huge chunks of wood out of your grips. Beware of this because you'll have to repair it later.

Step two
Trace the area you want to stipple with a pencil. Just lightly go over it a few times and attempt to replicate it on both grips identically (unless you don't want them identical for whatever reason). I had straight lines in mine, so this is where the tape can come in handy to mask straight edges.

Step three
Apply masking tape to wherever you don't want the grips scratched, like the edges and bottom side, and if you want to, mask off the whole face of each grip to avoid accidental tapping or cutting with a knife.

Step four
Get your utility knife and VERY carefully and slowly go over your pencil outlines about two to three times to get a nice defined groove, it doesn't have to be deep, it just has to be there. This will help you stay in the lines when you get close to the edges.

Step five
Clamp the grips to a table, use tape or foam or a cloth under the grip and over any metal parts that may damage them, don't tighten them so tight you leave dents or cracks either.

Step six
Take your stippling tool (I used an old awl I had rounded off with sandpaper) and very gently start tapping in your dots in your area. It's a good idea to try and do them as random as possible, varying in depth and location. I went over mine lightly once, then I put about 50% more dots down with harder swings to make it more random.

Step seven
If you're grips are already taped off, good, if not, you may want to tape them off. Take your wood stain and use either a cloth, small brush, or anything like a stir stick, and apply a liberal amount of the stuff to the area you stippled. Let it sit for a few minutes until it gets tacky, then wipe off. Repeat the step as necessary. You can also go over your area with paint if you so choose, either way will look good.

Step eight
Allow stain to dry as per direction on your container. After it is over you may want to seal the area, but many stains don't need to be sealed. Attach the grips back to your gun, make sure the fitment is still right, and enjoy.

Here are a few more pics of mine. I'm also going to put medallions in them, so I'm not finished with them. I also have to repair some chips I made on it and some scratches from slipping with the razor blade, but all in time. Thanks for reading!


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Re: At-Home Grip Stipple (Wood Grips)

Postby mattyj513 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:25 pm

Very nice Jack. You do good work. Can this be done the same way (- the stain) on plastic grips? I've been considering attempting to mold some customs for my 45 with medallions as well, and this would be a nice touch if I ever get around to it.
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Re: At-Home Grip Stipple (Wood Grips)

Postby jackoctober » Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:13 pm

Thanks a lot

This is usually the route people go with polymer guns...


Heat stippling may be the way to go, but the grip thickness may be an issue and could cause them to warp or you could punch holes in them. If you just want grit but dont care too much for looks I have a grip tape How-To guide on here too using outdoor grit tape for steps from home depot. There's also kits for epoxy grit stuff I've seen people use but I never really found any good links for that, you may have more luck if you search for it.
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