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Gatekeeper 06-22-2011 12:06 AM

Plastic Stippling--I may have gone crazy!
Back in the fall, I bought one of those electric wood-burning tools at Sears with the interchangeable tips, and followed some of the many tutorials I found on the net to try my hand at grip stippling
Just pick out a tip and let the tool heat up. Try out different tips on some scrap plastic(I used the feedlip covers that come on P-mags) to see what each shape tip does. Press the hot tip briefly into the plastic, you should see the plastic melt and "roll" up the wood-burning tip. Vary the length and depth of the holes to find the amount of texture you like. I found I liked the texture a rounded tip about 1/8" across left. If you want it a little more aggressive you can lift the tip out of the depression at a slight angle dragging the edge of the crater.
Once I was kinda getting a feel for what I wanted, I started stippling the panels of p-mags themselves. it's really hard to screw up, but if you do you can re-stipple the same area again and fix it. If you really screw up and burn through the mag, well then you're only out about $12 or so.
I stippled a border around the finger groves, then proceeded to fill in the area by placing adjacent craters until the area was filled.
I like the feel of it so much I stippled all my P-mags :p
The P-mags are great practice, because they are the same type of plastic as the rest of the magpul furniture.


Gatekeeper 06-22-2011 12:08 AM

Once you get a good feel for what texture you like working on the p-mags, just use the same technique on the furniture you want to stipple.
Pick out what you want textured, and what you don't-- like where your finger/thumb moves to work the safety, or where the sensitive web of your hand rides up on the grip, etc.
Draw out a border with a black sharpie if you like then stipple the border the same way as you did the panels on the p-mags. Then fill in the bordered area. If its not agressive enough just drag the edge of the crater or go a little deeper. If its too aggressive, you can knock the edges down a little with some sandpaper....or grow some callouses


Gatekeeper 06-22-2011 12:12 AM

Did my AFG the same way as the p-mags/grip
You will probably notice where the molded grooves are in the AFG you need to hold the iron a little longer to displace the right amount of material. And go a little light where the center seam is so not to "weld" the two halves of the AFG together
Well that's about the best I can do. I'm obviously no writer and if I could ever stop buying components or guns maybe i could buy a decent camera. :p Sorry for the bad pics
The grip surface is now super aggressive, and gives a rock solid grip with even the wettest or muddiest hands. I've been running it like this since sometime last fall and couldn't be happier!
Anyway, I hope this helped.

AusLach 06-22-2011 12:18 AM

That's super cool Gate.

I used to use one of those to finish off some of my leatherwork. Burning a thin line into a leather belt about 1/16" from the edge creates a really attractive finish, especially on brown belts. Could be used to border stitching etc on a holster too :cool:

soldierman79 06-22-2011 12:48 AM

Very nice! I'm gonna have to try this now. :cool:

Davo45 06-22-2011 02:42 AM

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I used a wood burner with several different tips to stipple both of my Gen 3 Glock grips. I had originally stippled only the center of the grips, but then decided to stipple them from the rear serrations to the front serrations as well as the bottom of the trigger guard. I also used my Dremel tool to remove some material from behind the trigger guard and from the upper rear end of the grip creating a higher grip on the pistols.

dnthmn2004 06-22-2011 02:50 AM

Very cool Gate. Well done tutorial!

Boyerracing343 06-22-2011 04:14 AM

Great work. Looks good.

Olympus 06-23-2011 02:02 PM

Looks great. Have you ever tried it on wood or does it just work for polymers?

Gatekeeper 06-23-2011 03:42 PM

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Originally Posted by Olympus (Post 528067)
Looks great. Have you ever tried it on wood or does it just work for polymers?

Stippling has been done on wood instead of checkering for hundreds of years.
I read an article a while back they do wooden stocks by tapping a sharpened nail, or pointed chisel into the wood in a random fashion. That displaces and lifts the wood grain giving the texture, similar to how the burner lifts and displaces the plastic on the grips.

I don't know how the wood burner would work for wood stippling, never tried it. It would be removing material instead of displacing it so i doubt it's effectiveness... but that's what checkering does so it may work.:confused:

Not my work or photo, but an example of wood-stippling with a nail

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