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Old 12-20-2009, 11:09 PM #1
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DIY customized grips for under $10.

Let me start by saying I am not the first person to do this, nor am probably the first person on PBN, but I'm board so I decided to tell you what I did today, and how you can do it to make your own customized grips all for around $10-$15 for enough to make several pairs of grips.

So the main idea is to take a photo, or printout and turn it into grips for your marker. here's a stripped down list of things you'll need:
- printed photograph, one for each side. You can use either one you printed out at home, or better yet, a picture developed on photo paper. You can use cloth, carbon fiber (that's what I'm using), or pretty much anything that's somewhat flat. Something to keep in mind though is that this method will amplify any image underneath, so get your photo or printout with the highest resolution you can get.
- epoxy resin. this is the most expensive part to the whole set-up. I'm using a 2 part epoxy made by MAX CLR, and can be had on ebay for around $10 shipped. this is enough to do several pairs of grips.
- acetone and a spray bottle
- oring pick/ small screw drive/ or anything with a fine edge

So that's about all you need. So lets get going.

I started with some carbon sheeting that I bought as scrap off of ebay. It's already impregnated and cured with resin, so it's pretty easy to work with. If your starting with a photo or printout, you'll have one extra step.
1) If your using something flexible you'll need to apply backing so that it is not flexible anymore. Keep in mind that your backing is likely to become part of the grips, so I wouldn't use anything too thick. An alternative approach would be to apply glue to the backside of the material and allowing it to cure. Just make sure the part stays flat, this is VERY important. Here's the carbon I started with:


2) cut your part to the desired shape. You can use your existing grips as a pattern or design your own. I'm doing some custom designed grips for a shocker CCM frame. You can make the holes for the grip screws now or later. I personally did them at this point as i used the screws to hold the part while I was cutting the carbon to the shape I wanted. Here's mine cut to shape with the screw holes drilled:


3) Clean off your part with some of the acetone. make sure there is no dirt, grease, or anything on the surface otherwise it will show up in the final product.

4) set your material on a prop that fits under your grips. You don't want your prop going past the edge otherwise you risk having the resin go over the edge. and making a flaw in your grip. Also make sure they are level!!! I'm using a machinist level, but any level will work fine. so here's mine propped up on glue sticks. hey they worked. Ignore the decal in the center of the grips. it's a picture printed on tissue paper that I though would turn out better. I'll talk about it later...Also, make sure you set this up in a place that is relatively dust free.


5) mix up your resin per the manufacture's instructions. once mixed completely let it sit for a few minutes to let some of the air bubbles rise to the top and escape.

6) Pour the resin slowly over the top of your material. Pour it into the center of the grip and let it naturally flow outward toward the edges. If the resin stops flowing you can use your oring pick to spread it to the edges, but try to do this as little as possible. at this point your likely to have lots of little air bubbles in your resin. like the picture shown below:

All the little "sparkles" in the one on the left are little air bubbles.

7) at this point you'll want to take your acetone and put a little in a spray bottle. MIST the surface of the resin. This will help thin the resin and allows the air bubbles to escape more easily. DO NOT use too much, as it will break the surface tension at the edges and allow the resin to spill over. So here's mine after ONE misting on the surface, yours may need a few, but this technique will get a majority of the bubbles out:

You'll notice that a good majority of the air bubbles are gone. However you may get some stubborn air bubbles like this one (it's a big picture so click to enlarge):


8) use your pick to push the air bubble to the side and out of the resin. Keep an eye on the resin for dirt that may settle on the top. Use the pick to get them off the surface. Once the resin has gotten very tacky, do NOT spray anymore acetone on the surface. I learned this one the hard way. I had a tiny air bubble on the surface, and tried the acetone after the surface was very tacky. It was tacky to the point where the resin kept the wavy surface from the acetone misting. If I had not done this the grip would be glass smooth, like they are in step 7.

you can see here the surface is wavy. this won't happen if you don't spray it late in the curing process. I'm going to try and sand it out. hopefully it will work well. BUT if this does happen to you, you can sand the surface down flat and apply more resin in the same manner as listed above. You can also do this if you find that you have dirt particles on the resin once it is cured.

So that's about it. once cured you can add the mounting hole if need be or just install them. Just remember that the epoxy will likely take 24-48 hours to fully cure at room temperature.
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:10 PM #2
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so as promised i'll talk about the decals on the grip now. So my idea was to put a secondary photo on top of the carbon, but I wanted it to be semi-transparent so you could see the carbon underneath. So as most people know when tissue paper gets wet it becomes transparent. So my though was that if I printed a picture on the tissue paper, that the ink would show up and the paper wouldn't. It kind of worked, but not as good as I would have liked. Basically, as you can see in the one giant picture, there are tons of tiny little air bubbles that are trapped in the paper itself, and kind of ruins the effect. One might get better result using rice paper, or some other material. Oh well...live and learn.

So that's that the little decal is all about.
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:14 PM #3
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Those look nice, well done.
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:17 PM #4
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if you go to your local hardware store ask for scraps of plezi glass, which also works quite well..i did this about 3 years ago. Good Job
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:18 PM #5
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yes they do, but I love the depth perception you get with resin potting.
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:55 AM #6
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i have like 2 and half gallons of resson and like 10 yards of fiberglass cloth i wonder how many pairs of grips i could make lol

i could be like girls with shoes but with grips
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Old 12-21-2009, 09:35 AM #7
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nice job, did you go and buy them from SPD? lol
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:23 PM #8
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ha. i'm farily sure these are better quality than SPD grips. At very least I don't have to worry about them cracking!
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:45 PM #9
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Can't you use heat to get the bubbles out? Like a small butane lighter. How thick was the material?
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:54 PM #10
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yeah, you might be able to, but acetone is easy to get. You might actualy burn the resin as well using a tourch. Try it, and let us know how it turns out for you, lol.

you want the thickness of the carbon before or the overall thickness after?
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:22 PM #11
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What did you use to cut the pattern?
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:24 PM #12
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I did cheat a little...I used my CNC mill.
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:27 PM #13
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must be nice...
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:15 PM #14
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I must try this. At one time I had fake $100 bills behind some clear grips and it was fun letting people think they where real, I may have to do it again.
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:42 PM #15
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Great Job This can really help lots of people put some money in there pocket and as well as same people some money too. once again great job you should make differents kind of grips as will as carbon
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:47 PM #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nymisfit View Post
Great Job This can really help lots of people put some money in there pocket and as well as same people some money too. once again great job you should make differents kind of grips as will as carbon
yeah, I'll be making a few pair, I just need to find a design I really like.
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:58 PM #17
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Pm me ounce you do ill take some off ur hands
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:11 PM #18
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Quote:
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Pm me ounce you do ill take some off ur hands
these are easy enough to make, you could probably do it yourself
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Old 12-22-2009, 12:14 AM #19
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i like
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:21 PM #20
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more grips....

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Old 12-28-2009, 12:04 AM #21
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might need to get you to make some of those for me
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