Thursday, January 23, 2014

I had an Idea, turns out it was a good one.

Got the Good Squaw™ a Stainless 1911 for Christmas and I wanted to do something to make it hers and one of a kind.

Since she is very proud of her Irish heritage and has traced it back to the McCloud clan, I was thinking that woodburning some Celtic knotwork into the grips would be groovy.

 After doing some investigating into it I soon realized that I was going to have to buy equipment, extra grips and there was a very high probability that I was going to screw it up more than once. Plus woodburning is a surface only thing adding purtiness but not improving traction on the grips.

Hrrmmmm,, I wonders,,,,,,,, what would happen if'n I put a sandblaster into the mix? What could possibly go wrong..........

Placed a phone call to the Evil Step Dad who works at a sign shop to see if he could cut me a mask and on a trip down to have me fix a Humpty Dumpty I showed him what I wanted, gave him some rough dimensions and a pattern.

Couple days later I received a printed draft to check sizing etc. After one small adjustment he sent me 2 sets of blasting masks of perfect size and shape.

So here's the run down on the process,,,

I mounted the grips into a scrap chunk of wood, masked off only so the grips would show better in the pics. Wipe them down with brake cleaner, it removes any oils and such without raising the grain.

Center and place the masks on the grips, use 2 layers of duct tape to mask of everything outside the masks. Take picture, chase off the feline,,,,,,,,,

Take another picture, then run over to the blasting cabinet and have at it.

 I borrowed the neighbors cabinet which had glass beads in it, seems to work just fine. When blasting make sure you keep a the distance from the tip to the grip about the same, keep the blaster perpendicular to the grip and don't try to blast a hole thru it. I ended up making several passes and checking in between to see how it was cutting.

The depth of the grooves ended up not being even but I can live with it.

On the other side part of the mask came off right after I started but I caught it before it cut to deep. I switched to the other grip and finished it then sanded the booboo out and applied the backup mask and finished it. No picture, you cant see any flaws anyway.
After cleaning off the dust I dipped the grips in Mahogany Red stain and wiped off the excess, let dry and hit em again.

Very happy with the results, The knots are deep and sharp enough to improve traction and they looks great. Groovy in 2 ways.

Having the ESD™ make the masks made me look like I'm a lot smarter than really am and turned the project mostly idiot proof! Best of all even with the one problem it took about 15 minutes start to finish.


  1. use some plastic of some sort to make a negative mold and melt some silver to fill them in?

  2. Nah really happy with them the way they are, may do another set down the road to see if I can improve on them.