Now that the handle has a comfortable and smooth shape, get prepared to drill a screw hole in the bottom. This part requires the most accuracy because a slight change in angle or location of the screw hole will scrap the whole project. Clamp the pistol tightly to the workbench and create a guide with the appropriate angle for the screw. Use a ruler to ensure the correct location is marked on the handle then guide the power drill into place. Once the screw is in place the handle should fit snuggly and pistol with new handle should feel like one solid object. For added security, use a small metal washer at the screw hole opening to keep the force from cracking the wood.
Finish the handle by sanding to 600 grit then oiling 5-6 times. Use a strong oil, such as Tung Oil, for lasting protection.
When this project originally took place I learned the following lessons.
- Rather than splitting the handle down the middle I could have split it along the edge of the metal tang. That would have resulted in less routing. (think of a box with lid, rather than two identical halves)
- Rather than using the Tung oil I used a wax to sand smooth and then woodturner’s finish. This makes the piece look great but over time it will be harder to maintain and any bit of water will make the handle feel slick.