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Author Topic: Stop your pistols splitting.  (Read 855 times)
Rory B Esq BSc
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« on: July 30, 2014, 07:24:17 am »

As I'm sure several of you have learnt, wood tends to split along the grain which can be a problem when making pistols as there is a natural weakness there the part that goes in your hand meets the rest of it. OK this isn't as critical with a non-functional item as it doesn't have to deal with recoil forces etc but dropping it onto a hard surface while oiling the wood to bring up the grain and make it look good can still result in disaster.

The way to avoid this (short of cutting and seasoning the wood yourself from where a branch starts to get grain that follows the angle you want) is to drill a hole vertically through the mart you hold and insert something to hold it together. On a working pistol this takes the form of a long bolt from the tang at the end of the barrel to a metal plate at the bottom of the grip / stock / butt (select the word used in your country).

For the non-firing ones we are more likely to make a dowel will suffice. Drill a hole the same diameter as the dowel through it, smear some glue onto the dowel and tap it home (10 mm or so dowel is enough) and now it is reinforced with a piece of wood running through it who's grain is at right angles so won't break into two pieces if it's dropped.  If the butt is angled at say 45 degrees then drill the hole at that angle. You can now shape it as you want without any risk of it breaking.

I hope you find this tip useful.
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Keith_Beef
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2014, 09:23:27 am »

As I'm sure several of you have learnt, wood tends to split along the grain which can be a problem when making pistols as there is a natural weakness there the part that goes in your hand meets the rest of it. OK this isn't as critical with a non-functional item as it doesn't have to deal with recoil forces etc but dropping it onto a hard surface while oiling the wood to bring up the grain and make it look good can still result in disaster.

The way to avoid this (short of cutting and seasoning the wood yourself from where a branch starts to get grain that follows the angle you want) is to drill a hole vertically through the mart you hold and insert something to hold it together. On a working pistol this takes the form of a long bolt from the tang at the end of the barrel to a metal plate at the bottom of the grip / stock / butt (select the word used in your country).

For the non-firing ones we are more likely to make a dowel will suffice. Drill a hole the same diameter as the dowel through it, smear some glue onto the dowel and tap it home (10 mm or so dowel is enough) and now it is reinforced with a piece of wood running through it who's grain is at right angles so won't break into two pieces if it's dropped.  If the butt is angled at say 45 degrees then drill the hole at that angle. You can now shape it as you want without any risk of it breaking.

I hope you find this tip useful.


A good tip, thanks.

Another way of strengthening this part of a curved piece is to cut out a slot using a saw and to glue a fillet of another wood into the slot. This can also be used as a decorative effect, by using a wood of a contrasting colour. This technique, as well as strengthening with a dowel, is described around page 51 of  the Stickmaking Handbook.

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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2014, 05:47:07 pm »

As I'm sure several of you have learnt, wood tends to split along the grain which can be a problem when making pistols as there is a natural weakness there the part that goes in your hand meets the rest of it. OK this isn't as critical with a non-functional item as it doesn't have to deal with recoil forces etc but dropping it onto a hard surface while oiling the wood to bring up the grain and make it look good can still result in disaster.

The way to avoid this (short of cutting and seasoning the wood yourself from where a branch starts to get grain that follows the angle you want) is to drill a hole vertically through the mart you hold and insert something to hold it together. On a working pistol this takes the form of a long bolt from the tang at the end of the barrel to a metal plate at the bottom of the grip / stock / butt (select the word used in your country).

For the non-firing ones we are more likely to make a dowel will suffice. Drill a hole the same diameter as the dowel through it, smear some glue onto the dowel and tap it home (10 mm or so dowel is enough) and now it is reinforced with a piece of wood running through it who's grain is at right angles so won't break into two pieces if it's dropped.  If the butt is angled at say 45 degrees then drill the hole at that angle. You can now shape it as you want without any risk of it breaking.

I hope you find this tip useful.

Ah the joys of green wood or non seasoned wood.
thanks for the tip.
I have 3 pieces of cherry wood in my shed seasoning, currently the 3/4 months old and from a cherry blossom the fell down
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Otto Von Pifka
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2014, 01:25:25 am »

I thought it said "spitting".

only thing spitting is me when I go "PEW, PEW, PEW!!!"  Cheesy

when I want a lanyard or pommel on a grip, I epoxy in a very long threaded rod or screw, to make it all good, doesn't even have to fit well as long as you get enough glue in to fill the gap around it.
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Rory B Esq BSc
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2014, 01:36:34 pm »

Sorry about all the 'typo's', I was being attacked by a mad moggy who wanted attention and fuss.
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MWBailey
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2014, 03:12:28 am »

Gotta watch out fer them moggies! (What's a moggie? Pardon my ignorance)
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MarcusJuliusCroft
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2014, 03:14:54 am »

Gotta watch out fer them moggies! (What's a moggie? Pardon my ignorance)

Cat?  I am pretty sure that's the terminology
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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2014, 08:25:08 pm »

Sorry about all the 'typo's', I was being attacked by a mad moggy who wanted attention and fuss.
Get a dog, the medium to biguns don't try climbing up onto the keyboard
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von Corax
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« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2014, 03:59:09 am »

Sorry about all the 'typo's', I was being attacked by a mad moggy who wanted attention and fuss.
Get a dog, the medium to biguns don't try climbing up onto the keyboard

You're obviously unfamiliar with dogs. Tongue
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2014, 02:03:20 pm »

Sorry about all the 'typo's', I was being attacked by a mad moggy who wanted attention and fuss.
Get a dog, the medium to biguns don't try climbing up onto the keyboard

You're obviously unfamiliar with dogs. Tongue

TSK, someone needs a vista from cesar (or what ever the dog whisperer's name is).
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