wooden grip repair?

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wooden grip repair?

Post by Aprilian on 12/21/2017, 7:42 am

The screw holes on my favorite grips have slowly opened up (the old wood became softer) and there is no longer wood between the screw head and the the top of the bushing.

I want to save these grips and have two ideas.
1) enlarge hole slightly, tap in and glue a dowel section, redrill the steps for bushing and screw head
2) find an escutcheon to tap into the hole   (the ones I have from brownell's are too small)

The grips aren't made any more.   What suggestions do you have for repairing them?
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Re: wooden grip repair?

Post by Chris Miceli on 12/21/2017, 7:46 am

i use JB weld qwik wood for adding material on my wood grips. Could probably do some quick sculpting and repair it.
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Re: wooden grip repair?

Post by willnewton on 12/21/2017, 8:45 am

Use an end mill slightly larger than the old hole to create a new shoulder centered on the old hole.  Then use a washer the size of that hole under the grip screw.

You could use a Forstner bit or maybe a brad point bit (if it is flat) or maybe even a router bit, but you definitely need a drill press or mill or some type clamping/centering jig to keep things centered since you will be drilling into a preexisting hole without a centerpoint to guide you.  

The dowel and JB weld solutions may work for a while, but the best repair will not create a new joint to fail or introduce a dissimilar material.  I may not be a master level BE shooter, but I am definitely a master level woodworker and then some.   All repairs that are additive are doomed to fail, but a slightly subtractive repair will last longest.

Also wood tends to harden over time, not soften, unless exposed to moisture, leading to decay.  So, as you install and remove the grips you are actually crushing the wood over the years, a likely cause of the “soft wood” unless it was made from a low density wood to start.


Last edited by willnewton on 12/21/2017, 9:08 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : to be more informative)
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Re: wooden grip repair?

Post by JIMPGOV on 12/21/2017, 8:57 am

HOW ABOUT THIS EASY , FAST, EFFECTIVE, CHEAP FIX.
I USE SMALL RUBBER O-RINGS. I'VE USED THEM FOR YEARS. I LOVE THE OLD SILE THUMBREST GRIPS. NO LONGER MADE. WOOD WAS SOFT, SO I STARTED TO USE THIS METHOD. OVER 20 YEARS USING THIS METHOD, WHAT SIZE? I DON'T KNOW. TAKE A GRIP SCREW TO THE HARDWARE STORE AND WHAT EVER ONE BARELY FITS OVER THE THREADED PART OF THE SCREW. IT WILL WORK. HARBOR FREIGHT SELLS A O RING KIT FOR A FEW BUCKS. THERE ARE 2 SIZES IN THERE THAT WORK. JP

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Re: wooden grip repair?

Post by LenV on 12/21/2017, 9:10 am

JIMPGOV wrote:HOW ABOUT THIS EASY , FAST, EFFECTIVE, CHEAP FIX.
I USE SMALL RUBBER O-RINGS. I'VE USED THEM FOR YEARS. I LOVE THE OLD SILE THUMBREST GRIPS. NO LONGER MADE. WOOD WAS SOFT, SO I STARTED TO USE THIS METHOD. OVER 20 YEARS USING THIS METHOD, WHAT SIZE? I DON'T KNOW. TAKE A GRIP SCREW TO THE HARDWARE STORE AND WHAT EVER ONE BARELY FITS OVER THE THREADED PART OF THE SCREW. IT WILL WORK. HARBOR FREIGHT SELLS A O RING KIT FOR A FEW BUCKS. THERE ARE 2 SIZES IN THERE THAT WORK. JP
+1 I get my O rings on e-bay. They make a lot of them for 1911's.
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Re: wooden grip repair?

Post by Aprilian on 12/21/2017, 9:35 am

Great info!  

On the o-ring fix, are you using the o-ring as a mechanical gap-filler between the screw head and top of the grip bushing?  Does the o-ring then expand out to create a mechanical wedge-fit to the grip's wood?  How long does that stay tight?

I like the elegance of creating a new shoulder and using a washer.  I agree with the trouble in centering comment, but perhaps that is where I could tap in a dowel, drill the shoulder and then tap back out the remaining dowel?

I'm glad I asked before I started.
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Re: wooden grip repair?

Post by JIMPGOV on 12/21/2017, 10:50 am

WHEN YOU TIGHTEN THE GRIP SCREW IT EXPANDS OUT AND HOLDS THE GRIP PANEL. ON REALLY BAD GRIPS I HAVE USED 2 O-RINGS. SIMPLE IS BETTER. JP

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Re: wooden grip repair?

Post by LenV on 12/21/2017, 11:03 am

They do last forever (or until you lose them) I have them on most of my grips. You don't have to torque anything down to keep your grips from moving around.  

I have bought a lot from here. NFI
https://www.ebay.com/itm/MIL-SPEC-12-Grip-Screws-O-rings-1911-Colt-Sig-Remington-Ruger-Kimber-Smith-CZ-FN/222366324736?hash=item33c610d800:g:33QAAOSwhOBXUFOr
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Re: wooden grip repair?

Post by Chris Miceli on 12/21/2017, 11:03 am

LenV wrote:They do last forever (or until you lose them) I have them on most of my grips. You don't have to torque anything down to keep your grips from moving around.  

I have bought a lot from here. NFI
https://www.ebay.com/itm/MIL-SPEC-12-Grip-Screws-O-rings-1911-Colt-Sig-Remington-Ruger-Kimber-Smith-CZ-FN/222366324736?hash=item33c610d800:g:33QAAOSwhOBXUFOr
MIL SPEC!!
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Re: wooden grip repair?

Post by Wobbley on 12/21/2017, 11:12 am

Actually Aerospace Standard now. The Military has gotten out of the spec creating business for items that have significant commercial use and can be controlled by another entity adequately.
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Re: wooden grip repair?

Post by Jack H on 12/21/2017, 1:10 pm

LenV wrote:
+1 I get my O rings on e-bay. They make a lot of them for 1911's.

Len, next time in Duckburg, check Christopher Seals. 
O-ring store on steroids
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Re: wooden grip repair?

Post by Jack H on 12/21/2017, 1:13 pm

Long ago I started using #6 split lock washers under High Standard grips that needed them.  With pliers you flatten the split.  There are washers made for under socket caps that may work too.
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Re: wooden grip repair?

Post by Aprilian on 12/21/2017, 1:57 pm

Jack,  does that prevent the grip hole opening up?  I'm not sure I can envision what problem the split ring prevented.
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Re: wooden grip repair?

Post by Jack H on 12/21/2017, 2:10 pm

Aprilian wrote:Jack,  does that prevent the grip hole opening up?  I'm not sure I can envision what problem the split ring prevented.

The washer serves as a wear ring.  HS put thin flat washers in their wood grips from way back in time.
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Re: wooden grip repair?

Post by DHMG1 on 12/21/2017, 3:40 pm

Send me your grips along with funds to return ship and I will repair it for you at no charge. It's about a 30 minute fix. Done it on occasion to correct a screw-up when building a new set. Shouldn't be noticeable.

Merry Christmas,

Dick Horton
905 Apricot Ave.
Mt. Vernon, IL 62864
(618)-244-3389

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Re: wooden grip repair?

Post by Aprilian on 12/21/2017, 4:55 pm

DHMG1 wrote:Send me your grips along with funds to return ship and I will repair it for you at no charge. It's about a 30 minute fix. Done it on occasion to correct a screw-up when building a new set. Shouldn't be noticeable.

Merry Christmas,

Dick Horton
905 Apricot Ave.
Mt. Vernon, IL 62864
(618)-244-3389
Wow, Dick what a generous offer!

I have seen pictures of your amazing grips and know you could be doing that instead, thanks!!!!   

I'll post them to you tomorrow.   Merry Christmas to you too and thank you (in advance) for the best Hanukkah gift I have received in many, many years.  I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

Ian
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Re: wooden grip repair?

Post by xmastershooter on 12/22/2017, 12:36 am

[url=https://servimg.com/view/18484053/19]

[/url]I've used these temple tighteners on all my grips for 15 years.  No wear on the wood and always a secured tightened screw.  The o-ring measures 7mm (9/32") O.D.

The supplied nuts with the Herrett grips are notorious in chewing up the wood panel slot by the palm rest.  Dump the eight sided nuts and buy square nuts which tightened without scraping the slot sides.  Install steel plates which will hold the nut very tightly without damage to the wood.  Shown here are plates which lay over the damaged wood and the palm rest does not shift at all.

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Re: wooden grip repair?

Post by Aprilian on 12/22/2017, 6:08 am

Great visuals, thanks.   Yes my soft ones are Herrett's, but not the nationals (with the movable palm shelf). They are the the ones in my avatar with the integral palm shelf.

Hopefully this thread will also be useful to others who face the same issue.
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Re: wooden grip repair?

Post by mikemyers on 12/22/2017, 11:04 am

willnewton wrote:.....I may not be a master level BE shooter, but I am definitely a master level woodworker and then some. .....
Maybe you're the best person to ask - what do you recommend for keeping grips at their best, so years down the road they are still as nice as when you got them?

O-ring idea sounds great - will need to remember that.
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Re: wooden grip repair?

Post by willnewton on 12/22/2017, 3:34 pm

I think the o-ring idea is good one too.  Wood moves and this solution will accomodate that!

  The problem comes when you attach a piece of wood to something that does not move or moves at a different rate, such as JB Weld or another piece of dissimilar wood.  That type of join has a lower lifespan and will eventually fail, but it may certainly get the job done in the meantime.

@mikemyers- The answer is to making wood grips last is simplicity itself. Remove them from the gun and put them in a box.  Put them back on the gun when you sell it.  Sounds funny, but it’s the truth!.

Your palm is perfectly capable of wearing away the finish, the wood checkering, and body of the grip.  You are asking how to keep a grip that you essentially rub with sandpaper for hours while handling them during a match or range “at their best” for years on end.  That is not possible.  No one likes to think of a grip as a consumable item, but it is, even though it can last a long time when taken care of.

Ok, OK, I know that is not what you meant, but I had to get you thinking about grips that way first.  Now I can tell you that you should probably do almost nothing at all to your target grips, except shoot them and then leave them on the gun and hit them with an oily rag when you wipe it down after shooting, but don’t let gunk accumulate.  If it gets hit with gun oil spray while you have are cleaning the pistol, no problem, just wipe it in or off the grips.

What is most likely to shorten grip life is persistent moisture and wild temperature and humidity swings.  Avoid harsh solvents etc. Also don’t crush them with the screws as it damages the wood.  Just snug is fine.

For a large Euro/ergo grip that has an oiled finish, it may not hurt to wipe it down with a slightly dampened oil rag, let it sit a few minutes and wipe it off.  You could do that when the finish looks a bit dry.  It is going to get plenty of oil and grease from handling and gun cleaning in the meantime.

I would not recommend a finish that builds up, such as lacquer, polyurethane, or shellac on a target pistol. Unsealed wood absorbs the moisture from your hands making for a good grip.  If your grip does have a heavy finish, then lightly sand it off the high spots and watch your “slip” change to “grip”.

Where are my slab style wood grips? In the box.  I shoot with ABS Sharkskins or G-10.
Where are my wood ergogrips? In a closed case or bag, and in a somewhat conditioned area where temp and humidity transitions are slowed and controlled if possible.

As in pistol shooting advice from the masters, there are no super secrets here, just practical info.  If anyone has any secrets I’m all ears.  If you have a special set of grips, then the best advice is to ask the maker what they recommend.  A factory slab grip off any old .45 and a custom Horton grip should probably be treated a bit differently and Mr. H. would be the one to ask about it.

Mike, on the lighter side, your question brings to mind similar questions of many customers that came into my wife’s jewelry store.  They wondered how their treasured items could possibly show wear or break since they were “kept safe” by being worn all day, every day for years on end.   I would then politely ask if they applied that same logic to their underwear.  Very Happy
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Re: wooden grip repair?

Post by Aprilian on 12/30/2017, 9:50 pm

Thanks Dick!  absolutely a gorgeous repair!
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