Jan C. Still Lugerforums banner
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· Super Moderator
3,202 Posts
Hi James, and welcome to the forum.

I'll be happy to include an article within the FAQ on grip maintenance and finishing. As John says, there are many different opinions on this. There are also at least two types of wood and the family of bakelite grips to consider.

We have members here that offer a service to clean and restore grips including sharpening the checkering and repairing the chip that often occurs near the safety lever on the left grip. I don't know that they will be interested in disclosing their specific techniques, but I'd welcome the information.

A technique I've used in the past is to strip the grips of finish and dirt using liquid finish remover and a nylon toothbrush. This is quite harsh and must be done in open air so that you can avoid inhaling the stuff. Once stripped dry, the color will bleach and shift and may need to be stained to restore the correct appearance.

I finish grip wood with boiled linseed oil that has been diluted in mineral spirits. The key is to hand apply it without damaging brittle grips, and hand rub (basically melt) the BLO into the wood. Once rubbed in properly and dried multiple coats are applied in the same process. I doubt that this was how originals were finished because it's labor intensive. Obviously you have to be careful because it's easy to break brittle wood grips.

As mentioned below, doing nothing to them may be the best choice. Conservation of these historic artifacts is different than preparing them for use.
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