I asked Carl of Privates Custom Grips to build me a set of custom grips from a piece of Lacewood that used to be on my beloved old 31 Bertram, and they of course came out a lot better than the ones I tried to make myself! Wish I had enough of this wood to make grips for all my single action revolvers! Meanwhile, these will grace my .45 Colt Blackhawk!
Lacewood has iridescent “flakes” in its structure that give contrasting brightness and views from different angles and in differing light for a very beautiful effect. Doing a little research, I found that “Lacewood” could actually be one of several woods, such as the Australian Silky Oak, or even American Sycamore. No matter which wood is used to begin, it is quarter-sawn to create the crystalline effect that gives the wood it’s unique appearance, known variously as rays, scales, or flecking. Some Lacewood sold commercially comes from Europe, but most used in the US now comes from a wood grown in Brazil. Carl could not have gotten a better “fit” for my Blackhawk if I had done the right thing and sent him the grip frame to work with! Many custom grip-makers will not use a wood furnished by a customer, as it often is not as suitable as the owner thinks it might be. I had salvaged this piece from scraps left off a restoration project on a 72 foot custom sport-fishing yacht many years ago, and used about an 8″ circle of it as a base for the big Marine compass in my boat, to set it off from the teak of the instrument panel. For some reason that I can’t recall, I was able to save this piece of wood after the boat was destroyed by Hurricane Ike – so it has a “legend” to go with it’s attractive appearance.
These grips will be “in the family” for many years to come, and maybe now and again I’ll look at them and remember my beloved Bertram!