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Tools Make the Difference

March 11th, 2012 Posted in Pass the ammo, Pistol Grips, pretty pictures

Good tools that is.

I was over at Home Depot (damn them for being along my walk to work) and while I was roaming the aisles with some rags-in-a-box, a couple of C-clamps and some sand paper I came across a set of DeWalt drill bits and decided to pick them up since I was short a 1/16th bit since it had decided to break on me a week or two ago.  The other deciding factor was that these bits were titanium pilot point bits and the Craftsman bits I  had been using were standard steel bits.

Fast forward to Saturday.  I’m working on a set of grips that I am making out of Bubinga.  This is a very hard wood that has a great dark red/brown color with hints of black.  I decide to pull out my new bits and give them a whirl since I figure titanium bits will have an easier go of it than my cheapo steel bits and boy howdy was I right.

When making grips, I don’t start with a left and right side blank, I start with one slab of wood that eventually I will resaw down the middle and split into my two blanks.  Generally my grips start off (for a 1911) as a 2x5x1″ thick blank that I first drill the mount holes and then cut to shape before re-sawing and then shaping the faces.

My new drill bits not only went through like a hot knife, but I also learned something.  My old bits I would have to go back and slightly enlarge the hole so that the would fit on the pistol.  They were always just a touch too small.  My new bits make the mount hole the perfect size, no reworking required.  So, all I can think is that my old bits are actually not the right size and are a hair too small.

As far as the grips I was working on, here is how they look so far – one coat of tung oil.  I have four more coats to go and then I’ll varnish them.

This set I am keeping for myself to put on a certain Kimber I am considering throwing cash at. I think these grips will look pretty sweet on that matte black finish.

**UPDATE**

Yes, I still need to do the required cutouts for the mag release and safety. I always do a coat of oil before finishing it all up because it allows me to see all the details.

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