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Discussion Starter #1
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I have this great looking set of cocobolo grips that is nice to look at but not the best as far as texture/gripping goes. They are smooth and I need to add some texture to them. I have contacted two grip makers and (I thought) the quotes I received were bit on a ridiculous side. One quote was as much as these grips can be purchased for and the second one was actually higher. On other 1911 forum there was a member that was able to do this for some forum members, but I had no luck getting in touch with him.

Can any of you please post here or PM a suggestion on someone that can add this sunburst texture at a reasonable cost? Thank you very much in advance.
 

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What shok said. Michael Gailey at SGM is really reasonable but I'm not sure he will work on grips that are already cut. He does good work, I have a set of super thin Starburst cocobolo from him. Nice stuff.
 

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"Barbie? :happy:, :smug:, o_O"
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Who is the manufacturer of the grips?
Grips came stock with my Fusion Firearms 45acp shown above in my OP ( factory image of my actual gun) ....... I would like to keep these stock grips on the pistol. They look beautiful to me...... but as of right now there's not enough texture for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
TSchraederNo35-2b.jpg



01_cocoboloGripsFusion.JPG


The grips just arrived from Michael and are beautiful. The work he did is absolutely phenomenal. (Thank you guys for pointing me his direction....what a great guy that truly takes pride in his work. He actually had to make a new 3D mold to do this cut because my grips were of the slim type. VERY impressive high quality work!)

I have a little dilemma here. Yes, I fully admit that I am being a bit picky here, but I guess that is why we are willing to spend this kind of money on our custom 1911s to get them done 'just-the-exact-picky way-we-like-them' ;-)

While the sunburst texture was applied, the upper layer that was dyed with red color was apparently taken off and the grips are now showing the natural brown/orange-ish cocobolo color. I know that many purists would suggest to keep it as is (nothing wrong with that and they are beautiful), but I want to have the cake and eat it too, lol !

In my mind - I was envisioning my original colored black/red grips with added sunburst pattern, but did not know that I was going to lose the original color. Do any of you have experience with dying of wooden grips? I do not want to chance anything and I do not want to potentially destroy these gorgeous grips, but if possible - I would love to make them red/black again or send them off to someone that does that type of work.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated?

Edit:
- I talked just to Bob Serva, the owner of Fusion Firearms and he told me
that their grips are hand selected and made by a company in Costa Rica.
He is going to try to find out as far as what is the dying agent. My only hope is
that I will be able to source it here in the States.
 

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You can use RIT dye from a fabric store. You would have to sand the grips down to remove whatever finish is on them currently and reapply a new finish. If you are not comfortable with having to sand your grips down then I would leave them alone.

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Thank you, Alaska Guy. I should not need to sand them. According to Michael they to do not have any top layer finish or lacquer on them. If I understood him correctly they are now "Highly polished and tung oil finished".
I was checking out RIT dyes and its possible that the Scarlet, Cherry Red or Flame could do the trick ;--)
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
You can use RIT dye from a fabric store.

Looks like this is going to be a great advice. Went to the store and compared the 3 reds they had. I purchased the Cherry as it appeared to be the closest match. Cleaned the grips gently with cotton pads and alcohol to remove the oil. Pads turned yellow from the oil and the grips became dull, indicating the the oil was getting removed.
Then, with another cotton pad I started to apply the red dye. My grips started instantly turn red/black. As the dye was soaking-in and drying out, the red color was not as rich as it was at the beginning and some shades of natural cocobolo brown were still poking through. When the gentle dabbing applications were drying out - I was repeating them, which resulted in a nice dark cherry tone. I am going to let the grips dry overnight and then I will apply one more coat in the morning...
Everything should be dried by tomorrow evening (or the following morning at the latest) at which time I will apply some type of oil to add protection a subtle shine like it was before.

I don't feel like buying a can of tung oil to treat one set of grips. Any idea as to what would be a good alternative? Don't laugh, but a fellow shooter suggested a few drops of virgin olive oil over a cotton pad
;-).....I also heard some guys getting a few drops of Remoil on a cotton pad or soft fabric and rub it gently in.

This is a perfect timing because my gun will be just returning from my refinisher hopefully by Friday. Of course, I will post images once the new grips are installed and everything is done.
 

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Cocobolo is inherently an oily wood and dense. Any oil will work or wax... I would imagine virgin olive oil would make those grips really slippery.

Tru oil or tung oil can be had for about $5 at a home improvement store.

Glad it worked out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
01_cocoboloGripsFusion2c.JPG


Thank you again alaska_guy. Using of the RIT dye was a great tip ! I am pretty happy with the result. I will get some wax or oil to get them a hair darker and will buff them out for a nice natural looking semi-gloss look. I prefer that much better over grips that are clear-coated and too shiny.
 

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Agreed, looks better. If you wanted them darker you could have mixed some black dye in with the red... You could test on the back of the grips to see if that helps.

For the type of look your going for either use tru-oil or Boiled Linseed Oil. They will look great and natural without looking fake. I hand rub the oil into the wood using my hands/fingers to create friction and then wipe the excess off. Let it set minimum a day before applying another coat. After 5 coats it will look amazing.
 

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Here is a quick example of boiled linseed oil finish. I just had some scrap bocate wood that I was gonna make some bobtail grips from but decided not to. sorry about the crappy pics. I was at my desk and not really setup for pics. But hopefully you get the idea. The knife handle is Zebra Wood.

No Finish

One coat of BLO

5 Coats of BLO on the knife handle, no buffing...
 
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Discussion Starter #20
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The top 2 images are not the best because they're still showing the grips before they were waxed & polished (3rd image).
Overall I'm very pleased with the final outcome.
 

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