I'm a pretty practical guy. I'm also a bit sentimental when it comes to some things. This is a good example of that.
Before my parents moved from the house that I grew up in (6 months through 18 yo), they had to remove a couple walnut trees. Our local Sheriff (possibly retired by this time) had a sawmill and cut up most of it for 1/2 the wood. Well, I ended up with some of it. I've thought for years it would be neat to do something gun related with it as my dad, brother, and myself have always been gun folks. Well, it sat for years and the procrastinator in me always thought it would be a good idea but never did anything about it.
Well, this past spring we all were blindsided by my brothers cancer. So, I decided not to wait any longer. I contacted Craig Spegel with an idea to make some grips out of some of this wood. He seemed to be pretty cool with the idea. For all I know, this is common for gripmakers to do. Either way, I sent him two pieces of wood and a list of what I wanted. I needed some HP grips and everything I've read says that he's the man when it comes to HP grips. So, I ordered a set of 1911 grips for my dad, brother, and myself along with the HP grips.
To say I'm pleased would be an understatement. The wood isn't wild at all, but the fit and the checkering are absolutely perfect. Not too sharp that it cuts you and not so smooth that they don't grip. He did end up with one set (I had him configure that set for my dad's grip specifications for bevel/ambi) that had some very nice grain. He advised we didn't checker these as it would take away from the beauty. I think he was right.
Anyways, I'm rambling and just wanted to share. Let me know what you think.
Thanks for the compliments. To answer a few questions.
I sent him two pieces of wood. One was a pretty boring piece of straight grain as a backup if he didn't get all the sets cut out of the other piece. The other piece was similar to the one you see the guns sitting on in the pictures. That's where that beautiful smooth set came from. That cut of wood (from what I am understanding-correct me if I'm wrong) is pretty prone to small cracks and he had a hard time getting more grips out of it that would hold together. He also roughed out two more sets of 1911 grips and sent them back to me whenever I needed more done. Mr. Spegel was very cool to deal with.
Edit: The more I look at those smooth ones, the more beautiful and interesting they really are. They have almost an iridescent (sp?) look to them with seemingly unrealistic depth. Wow.
About my brother, he's doing pretty well. It's stage 4, but he's responding VERY well to chemo. They also had their first baby boy about a month ago so he's pretty thankful for that. However, his hope isn't in Dr's or medicine, but in his relationship with Christ. He wants to point others to Christ whatever the outcome of this valley experience. They did a little article about him here if anyone wanted to read. At the bottom of the article is a link to a blog his wife set up for their experience.