Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Match Grips for a Crosman 22XX Part 2

Onward, upward so they say. With the inletting done, it's time to start the shaping. Shaping, I've learned, apparently involves making lots and lots of fine dust while grinding away everything that doesn't fit the hand. Various sizes of sanding drums held in the drill press come in handy for this.

Grinding a long groove for my thumb. This is the left side grip panel.

Working down the backstrap. The sanding pics are gonna get tedious, so I'll kind of jump ahead a bit...

I traced around my fingers and turned those into shallow grooves.

Then gradually deepened the grooves and relieved the area for my palm.

Still deeper finger grooves...

The left grip again. The thumb rest is much more pronounced.

The bulge fits into the hollow of the palm on the right side grip.

The excess wood on the bottom will be for attaching a (still non-existent) palm shelf.

Deepening the groove for my trigger finger.

Test fit on the grip frame.

Having a spare grip frame complete with a functional trigger is a tremendous help.

Sand and grip. Repeat...

There's a practical anatomy lesson of sorts involved in making a grip like this. I keep thinking I should make a cast of my hand for future reference.

Still more to come....

Monday, August 3, 2009

Match Grips for a Crosman 22XX Part 1

Back to the Crosman 1750 from about a week ago. I've been meaning to make a set (or two) of wood grips for the small pile of Crosman 22xx guns I've acquired. This project started with the good intention of making a straightforward set of replacement grips. Then it took a horrible turn, and I figured, if I'm going to do this, I might as well bite the bullet and get what I really want. And you know by now that means cool match grips!

Off topic: It's simply reality that a blog post can compress days of work into what appears to be but a few mere minutes of time. I looked back as I was loading the pictures for this post and found I'd cut the rough blanks three weeks ago--before the Crosman 147 BP was even finished and it seems like I've been working on them every other day since. That's not a complaint at all, just a sort of explanation why there's not a post every day or two.

Traced the stock grips onto a piece of 1/2" thick walnut board. Left extra at the bottom to add a palm shelf. Yeah, I'm thinking ahead for a change...

Started cutting on the dotted line.

I'm right-handed, so the left grip gets extra material in the heel.

Sanding drums make great shaping tools in the drill press.

I've got some pretty small drums to get inside tight curves. Leaving the grip on the drill press table assures a perpendicular edge. A dremel won't give that kind of control.

After getting the left grip sanded close to the scribed outline, I sanded the top edge flat on a granite surface plate.

I was lazy, but I should've used a router for the minor inletting that the 22XX grips require to fit the grip frame. The drill press just doesn't get the router bit up to enough speed to get razor clean cuts. The important stuff: Get the depth correct to match the grip frame and get the notch in the right location in the tight curve (the backstrap) for the web of the hand.

I used a caliper to set the depth of the inletting, and I just eyeballed the notch location. Making light cuts and test fitting the grip to the frame got it right.

Not pretty, but it's all hidden. Most of this is strictly for clearance and another 1/8" either way doesn't matter.

Two anti-rotation pins stick out of the grip frame on each side near the top. The pins allow Crosman to use a single #6-32 bolt on each grip and get a no wobble, no rotation fit. By sanding the top edge flat, (shown a few steps above) I had a reference to align with the top edge of the grip frame. Align and press. The pins on the frame will dimple the wood slightly--showing you where to drill mating holes. If I'd screwed this up, a quick setting 2-part epoxy and some sawdust would fill the holes and I'd try again in an hour. You can probably figure out why I know that.

Inletting done, pin holes drilled. A transfer punch though the mounting hole marks the inside of the grip for the bolt hole.

Through drilled...

And a forstner bit gives a flat bottomed hole on the outside.

Left grip can now be bolted on. Some pencil lead marks where the fit can be tightened up with more sanding on the frontstrap.

And here on the backstrap. Note: All the while, the same procedure happens on the right grip, too.

The edges are fit first before I move to actual grip shaping.

Still working the backstrap. The tight curve is a pain.

Both grips 95% fitted and bolted to the grip frame.

Click the last few pictures to enlarge and you'll see the rough pencil sketch on the walnut showing what needs removed to fit my hand.

More to come.