Wood AR-15 Trigger Guard: Day Four
The grip panels were now ready for final sanding and sealing, so it was time to turn our attention to the wood finger piece and trigger guard.
We made the finger piece in much the same manner as the grip panels: starting by cutting and sanding the frame-fitting shape and then drilling the screw holes and countersinks. The finger piece was much more difficult to drill however, because the room for error was so small. The whole project has been a battle of shaping wood to machined metal-like tolerances, but this was particularly true for the finger piece because it has less than a quarter inch of wood between the countersink holes and the side.
With a little luck and much patience we were able to precisely drill the holes and countersinks without fouling the edges of the piece. It was then back to the bench vice and Dremel to shape the finger piece to provide a comfortable and stable grip.
The finger piece, mid shaping.
Once the finger piece was complete we starting shaping the wood trigger guard. We haven't seen anyone else make a wood trigger guard and thought it would look really great. We weren't sure however, if our Rosewood would be strong enough to hold its shape in such a small and relatively unsupported piece but we were once again very impressed with the strength of this wood.
As with the other pieces of wood furniture, we selected the piece of wood we wanted to use for the trigger guard (we actually did this twice because we didn't like the color on the first piece we selected), cut a rough shape and began sanding. It was important to select a piece that had the grain going along the trigger guard for extra strength and we really liked the white streak in the second piece we cut.
Once it was roughly shaped, we drilled the rear hole all the way through. We are going to be using screws, rather than roll pins, to attach the trigger guard. This will reduce the stress on the wood and allow for easier removal/installation down the road. With the rear hole drilled, the trigger guard just needs the forward half-hole drilled, some sanding and a few layers of sealant.
Below are two pictures of where the project currently stands.
Grip panels and trigger guard set in place without finger board or seal.
Wood trigger guard set in place, grip fully installed with oil to draw out the color.