I'm an amateur woodworker. A few years ago, after finishing a furniture project I'd been working on for a year, I decided to improve my skills in making repeatable small parts with a router. Looking around for suitable project, I somehow settled on a model of a Walther PPK. Maybe it was the upcoming 50th anniversary of James Bond, or just some passing fancy, but after settling on a project, I started doing the research. The Internet yielded a lot of pictures, dimensions of the gun from the spec sheets, and a lot of help and encouragement from the Walther forums subscribers. Armed with all this data, I was able to make a decent version in walnut, with some maple accents and some with cherry grips.
Since the goal of the project was to make repeatable parts I ended up with about a dozen guns, and of course my wife was not too keen on having them displayed, so I decided to offer them for sale on the Internet. The Walther forum people snapped them up, and I was encouraged to go further. I came up with the next version, which included a lot of movable parts – the slide, the trigger, the magazine – and built three prototypes in poplar. After getting feedback from people and searching my mind, I decided to change my direction slightly, and produce a "folk art" version of the PPK in Walnut, taking a lesson from my photography teacher. He said, when you see a picture that you want to take, stop and decide what it is that draws you to that particular image, and try to capture that. Applying that lesson, I decided walnut and PPK were the key points; the others (movable parts, other wood accents, etc.) detracted from the focus and diluted the experience.
Model 2 was more dimensionally correct, and had no moving parts. It was completely made of walnut, except for the barrel (visible in the ejector port) and the muzzle, and they're maple. When I got done with the three that I made, I found that they felt so good and looked so nice, and even smelled good, (in a woodworking sense) that they couldn't stand by themselves. They needed to have their own cases. That turned out to be a handcrafted maple and cherry box, with an interior that would properly display the Walnut PPK. So I built two little wooden boxes, with flocked interiors into which a Walnut PPK and its spare magazine (loaded) nestle.
The Model 3, begun over a year ago (2015) will feature even more detail and accuracy, modeled after thr InterArms PPK. It too will be all walnut, sourced from a friend's walnut tree. The project has added a few more tools to the shop (I've always wanted a lathe) and keeping with the accuracy and repeatability themes, I built a pantograph, a milling machine, and dozens of jigs and fixtures. The slide alone takes over a dozen operations to complete. With luck, thry'll be available in less than another year.
STUFF IN THE FOOTER