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Old March 11, 2019, 19:13   #1
yellowhand
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Fixing cracked duckbill pistol grips

These duck bill FN type grips all seem to crack in about same place, fixing them, seems to be one of the things I do, a lot, so,,,,,,,,,,here ya go, on how to fix them yourself, if so inclined.

So, heres the crack, left side, normal spot, before being cleaned out with an exact to blade.

Old cracks like this, gunk and crap gets trapped down in the crack over time and glue won't hold, so clean the crack out with a sharp blade, down to solid wood.

These cracks also do not lend themselves to standard gluing up, as in, clean out, fill with glue and then clamp down tight. Put a lot of pressure on the thin "duck bill" you break the thing off.




So, what to do?

I clean out the crack down to nice clean solid wood.

Then, take a piece of Walnut, and make a "wedge" the length of the crack.

I try and make the new wood thin enough to completely fill the crack.

Use CA thick glue, fill up the open crack and insert the pre-fitted wedge down deep into the crack.

The thick CA glue I use, has a 30 second work time.

This fills the crack, once dry, just sand down smooth to proper contour.



This will NOT keep the crack from further opening up, so, the fun stuff now begins.

Once you get the crack filled up, and also, use your CA to seal the crack on the inside, then its time to begin making sure the crack never opens up again.

This grip was cracked on left side only, cracks on both sides, you do the following on both sides.

You will need some 1/8 inch hardwood dowel, 1/8 inch drill bit, some 3/32 brass rod, threaded, and a 3/32 inch bit.

You are going to drill an 1/8th inch hole, from back of grip toward the center section, just beside where the attachment hole is for the grip, its real tight, so line up carefully.

Angle your drill bit, to hit the crack, at the bottom of the crack, and at an up angle.

You want it to pop out in the back of the slot for fitting the grip to the lower, just off to one side.

I use glue formulated to attach wood to metal, has a foaming action, that expands and fills any voids in the original crack. Reason you filled the crack with CA glue, to force this glue to only have one escape route, being the hole ends you just drilled.

Use your blade and make slight cut marks on the dowel, load it up with glue, load the hole up with glue, and then tap it into place so that it protrudes out both ends of the drilled hole.





While this is setting up, drill your hole for the threaded rod.

This hole goes above the wood dowel now in place.

You want to hit/drill through the wood dowel toward the end of it, up front in the slot for attaching the grip to the lower.



When you drill through the wooden dowel rod, this acts to "lock" the crack down tight, from two angles, top and bottom of the crack.

Glue up your rod, glue up the hole, and I just chuck the threaded rod into a drill, and slowly "thread it into place.

Be careful, to just have the threaded rod pop out into the top slot, any excess will need to be ground down and its a tight fit, so just enough coming thru, but no extra.

You end up with a mess like this below.



Let all dry over night.

I use a small diameter grinding stone and my dremel, and carefully remove the glue, dowel rod and brass rod sticking out into the mounting slot. When done, it should look like this below.





I use a black sharpee pen, to just dye the wood in the slot, does well for this.

This below shows the location of the wood dowel lower dark spot, I hit it with dark dye, and the end of the brass rod.



This shows the end of the brass rod, I use the black sharpee, it sticks to metal, to darker it.



Trial fitting to a lower, checking for fit and appearance.











The owner of this wanted this whole set a darker brown with reddish tones.

Complete with matching dye and 1st coat of oil.

In hand, really hard to locate crack or repair work, which is what is desired.




Can these be fixed, yes, anything wood can be repaired, mostly.

It takes me about an hour to fix these cracks.

Enjoy................
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Old March 11, 2019, 19:27   #2
hkshooter
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Nice tutorial, Paul.
I do something similar but with different materials to repair these. Have done and sold a few with zero complaints.
Saving this old wood is a valuable skill and art, thank you for offering your services here keeping this history alive.
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Old March 11, 2019, 19:41   #3
yellowhand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkshooter View Post
Nice tutorial, Paul.
I do something similar but with different materials to repair these. Have done and sold a few with zero complaints.
Saving this old wood is a valuable skill and art, thank you for offering your services here keeping this history alive.
Thank you.

I enjoy fixing this old wood, now hiding the repairs can become real a pain in the ass though.

Make it solid, make it to last, and then hide all of your work.
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Old March 12, 2019, 10:15   #4
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Great write up,thanks!
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Old March 12, 2019, 14:40   #5
yellowhand
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Originally Posted by 1911Ron View Post
Great write up,thanks!
Thank you.

Folks can do for themselves, just need a little knowledge and be willing to try.
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