|Project by larryw||posted 08-03-2014 07:14 PM||2415 views||12 times favorited||26 comments|
About three years ago, my Dad asked me to make him some custom grips for his S&W .38 special revolver.Being a Texan , and a Texas history buff, he wanted a Texas flag, or something along those lines inlayed into the grips. I thought this was a great idea , but decided to do more than just make new grips for the gun.,I thought that it also needed a nice place to be kept and displayed. To that end I decided to build a theme around the gun, more specifically a period of about ten years in Texas history when Texas was a republic (1836-1846).The decision also included using only Texas grown hardwoods. Many of the well known species of hardwoods used in woodworking, and usually attributed to the north or north eastern U.S. also grow here in East Texas, being on the far western edge of the great eastern forrest of the U.S. The grips are made from figured eastern black walnut, the Texas flag inlays are walnut , holly , and cherry. The star in the flag is mother-of-pearl. The circle and star on the grips is sterling silver. The cradle that the gun rests in is lined with doeskin leather, and has a figured cherry veneer laminated to Baltic birch ply surrounding it, with a hard maple star displaying the 6 rounds of ammo. The inlay medallion on the inside of the lid is walnut, red oak, and hard maple. The S&W logo in the center of the star is made from holly and walnut. The inlayed medallion on top of the lid is made from red oak, walnut, and sweetgum root burl.The stringing around the lid perimeter is spalted hackberry (end-grain). The bottom panel is eastern red cedar laminated to Baltic birch ply, with my leaf logo branded into a piece of walnut, surrounded by a ring of quartersawn cherry. The box feet are spent .38 shell casings. The box/case also features a tiny “hidden” drawer that holds the key for the lock. The star key/lock escutcheon on the front of the box is made from brass., hand cut , like the rest of the inlays using a jeweler’s saw., Oh and that brings up another point., all the surface decoration is actually “inlayed” into solid wood. Technically no true marquetry methods were used, although I love true marquetry and respect those who do it ( fellow LJ’er Paul aka shipwright for one), each piece is cut one at a time and a cavity routed to accept the piece which is glued in place. After starting the project, it was shelved for awhile so that I could build my new work shop, hence the reason it took so long to complete. Every time I complete a project, I stand back and look at it and start critiquing everything, wishing that I would have done this or that different or a little better, but I guess the only person I needed to worry about pleasing here was my Dad, and he is quite happy with the end result. Thanks for looking. Oh one more thing, the side rail hinges used here are very high quality, purchased from friend and fellow LJ’er Ian Hawthorne.
-- "everything is beautiful, but not everyone sees it" ~confucius-551-449 b.c.~