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 Post subject: Checkering question
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 10:33 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:40 pm
Posts: 94
Location: Sheridan, Il
So I’ve got an old SxS I want to refinish and clean up the checkering. I’ve read up on how it’s done and most references I’ve found say to use a single line cutter. Seemed simple enough so I started looking for one and have discovered there are many different types, styles, shapes and degree of cut etc. so I’m at a loss as to what I should get. To further complicate things, those that sell them (Brownells, Midway, ebay) usually have them listed by manufacture’s part numbers which mean nothing to me so I need help.
If someone could guide me along, I would appreciate it. Also if anyone happens to have what I need (and are done using for their project) I’d be happy to talk to you about it.

Thanks in advance.
John




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 Post subject: Re: Checkering question
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 10:11 am 
Limited Edition
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Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 5:24 pm
Posts: 475
Location: NC
Easy peasy, determine how many lines to the inch is first and then determine if you want to cut a single line or multiple lines per pass. Either way you will need a single line cutter for the edges. If you buy Brownell's top quality the first time you'll have them forever..... Go slow to minimize mistakes....


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 Post subject: Re: Checkering question
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 10:33 am 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 6544
Location: Neosho, MO
Also get an Optivisor to magnify your work and find a place with good light so you can really see what you're doing. A checkering cradle is nice to have, as it allows the stock to be turned to the most advantageous position for the panel you are working on while providing a stable work piece.

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An elderly gentleman, his faithful dogs, and a 16 ga SXS. All is right with the world.


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 Post subject: Re: Checkering question
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:43 pm 
Presentation Grade
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Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:12 pm
Posts: 632
Location: Oregon
John,

First you need to determine how many lines per inch your gun has. You need a thread gauge to determine that.
If your gun is European then the line spacing may be metric and you cannot buy metric spacers in this country and would only be able to use a single line cutter.
Best bet for a single cutter would be a 45 degree - fine.

CT


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 Post subject: Re: Checkering question
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 7:39 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:21 pm
Posts: 129
If you are re-cutting existing checkering, DO NOT use a multi-line cutter! A 20 line per inch cutter from one manufacturer is not likely to perfectly match a 20 lpi cutter from another. Also, if it is an older gun, it could very well have been checkered using a cutter that was hand made by the person doing the checkering. Use a 90 degree single line cutter on any handle that you feel comfortable using. Go slow and shallow until you get the checkering pointed back up. Remember that you can always go back over a line if it's not deep enough, but you can't put wood back in if you go too deep!

Also, older side by sides were often done with flat top checkering. This requires a different cutter that you'll most likely have to make yourself if you choose to keep it flat rather than point it up with a 90 degree cutter.

Cutters do not last forever. Those that do a lot of checkering will dull a steel tool after only one or two gunstocks. Carbide tools will last much longer. I have some carbide tools that my father used before i inherited them.


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 Post subject: Re: Checkering question
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:17 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:51 am
Posts: 275
Location: central Missouri
are you recutting checkering that's already there... if so a single line cutter is what to use. the file type cutters will clog a lot.. try the Gunline single line cutter. if it dulls from the grime in the grooves it is easily resharpened. also if it clogs a tooth brush will clean it easily.. No multiline cutter will work to recut...

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 Post subject: Re: Checkering question
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2021 3:09 pm 
Field Grade
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Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 9:02 pm
Posts: 91
Location: SWVa
Get a single line cutter..... they have 1/2" or less length or the actual cutting edge. Best to get a checkering RIFFER or needle file which has 1" to 2" length of cutting edge.


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 Post subject: Re: Checkering question
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2021 6:19 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:27 am
Posts: 3125
Location: North Central West Virginia
Send it to Doug Carpenter and let a professional do it.


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 Post subject: Re: Checkering question
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2021 7:17 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:16 pm
Posts: 3673
Location: New England
.

In addition to the above, I would advise you of two things:

You will need a LOT of patience, and go slow.

A better job will result if the stock is secured from moving around while checkering.

While a checkering cradle can be easily built (google), with a little creativity, one of these cleaning cradles can be used

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Checkering question
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 11:44 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5647
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
Me too, checkering is one of a zillion things I have on the back burner. Professionals are great but as a close friend once said, "My name is Simpson, not Samson". I can't afford to hire somebody to do everything. If I don't do a lot of things myself, I will be forced to do without. I try to keep it simple & basic. My checkering, if & when it happens, will be recutting old checkering & basic utilitarian stuff. One book you might find helpful is the "NRA Gunsmithing Guide-Updated". It has info on checkering and how to make checkering cutters. I don't know if it is still in print but I believe it is still on Amazone.


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 Post subject: Re: Checkering question
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 9:05 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:48 pm
Posts: 599
I had been thinking about trying my hand at re-cutting on an older SxS as well. I also have a pattern stock built by one of the stock makers that was not checkered and was thinking of trying my hand at it there as well.

Reading, looking for tools, watching videos, etc....

I ended up sending the pattern stock to a gentleman in Montana that I found online and it cost me $100 including the return shipping. I overnighted it on Monday, and had it back on the gun the following Saturday. It was perfect.

While I am sure I could do it, it was not going to be done as nicely, and not as quickly as the $100 cost me. I still may want to do this at some point, as I think it will be a great skill to learn and would have some pride of saying I did it myself, I just couldn’t see the economy of it after pricing some tools vs. just having it done.


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 Post subject: Re: Checkering question
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2021 1:09 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:04 am
Posts: 45
If you just want it done, as MTR indicated, $100 is a great value.

If you want to learn, as I am attempting to, you can get this: Brownell's Checkering Restoration Kit. This includes a single line cutter for going over existing checkering.

As others have mentioned, an Optivisor (I think I have the DA-3 model), some sort of checkering cradle, good lighting, and some naptha or similar solvent are also required. The cradle may not seem necessary, but it is. You need to orient the work so that you can push the cutter straight forward and back in a repeatable way. If you twist the cutter side to side, the diamonds will be irregular. The naptha is to clean gunk from the existing checkering. The kit above includes a brush.

And you need patience! I have been practicing on beat up old stocks from EBay.




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