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  #46  
Old 01-15-2015, 03:01 PM
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[QUOTE=ek-marlin-424;5255564]Forum member FrankW posted some really good stuff in my first checkering thread and I'll copy them into here. He's the kind of helpful and generous person that makes this such a good place and deserves a LOT of credit in helping me when I was getting started. Dennis here falls under that category as well.

Side note... The book Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks by Monty Kennedy is a very good one and worth being in your library: http://www.amazon.com/Checkering-Car.../dp/0811706303


Holy Crap! I didn't realize "Wonder Woman" did checkering. From what I could make out with the language and stock being used in that video, it appears that it may have been taken in the Beretta factory? I'd sure like to have seen a close up of her line spacing. Now, I'm not here to judge anybodies performance who can't provide a response, but I'd sure like to have seen how she handled those lines when she got close to the borders. That's why some videos can be more harmful than good. I don't recommend her method at all.

The cradle and checkering set-up, in the picture Evan posted, as used by Mr. Frank W, is amazing and I'll bet it will be the only thing still standing after the end of times arrives. If that Frank W, is the Frank Wells I'm thinking it is, his contributions here are most welcome.
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  #47  
Old 01-15-2015, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by SGW Gunsmith View Post
Holy Crap! I didn't realize "Wonder Woman" did checkering. From what I could make out with the language and stock being used in that video, it appears that it may have been taken in the Beretta factory? I'd sure like to have seen a close up of her line spacing. Now, I'm not here to judge anybodies performance who can't provide a response, but I'd sure like to have seen how she handled those lines when she got close to the borders. That's why some videos can be more harmful than good. I don't recommend her method at all.

The cradle and checkering set-up, in the picture Evan posted, as used by Mr. Frank W, is amazing and I'll bet it will be the only thing still standing after the end of times arrives. If that Frank W, is the Frank Wells I'm thinking it is, his contributions here are most welcome.
It isn't Spanish or Portuguese (I think) and is a semi-auto stock too so I'm guessing Italy. Either way, I edited my original post there a bit. I really posted it for the sake of entertainment, just to show some WOW fast checkering on a real purdy stock.
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  #48  
Old 01-15-2015, 04:52 PM
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I'll have my wife listen when she gets home. She's Sicilian. Now I've never checkered but can someone actually checker that fast without jumping lines and overrunning? It looked like the tool was cutting multiple lines also. I'd like to have seen the final out come.
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  #49  
Old 01-15-2015, 05:02 PM
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Hi Everyone,

ek-marlin-424 referred me to this thread. I might be able to add some insight that will be helpful for a beginner. I still have some of my tools around and parts to my cradle.

I just wanted to get a post in here so I can follow the thread.

Frank
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  #50  
Old 01-15-2015, 05:10 PM
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Good Thinking Evan

Evan and I have been communicating a bit through PM's. He just asked an excellent question about why some of the foreign gunmakers don't really put much emphasis on how well their checkering is done on even some pricey stocks. I thought that was a very darn good question and got me to thinking a bit about that. Many of you folks following here may have some shotguns or rifles that already have cut checkering done to them from the factory. Quite a few of the gunmakers, like Ruger and Beretta checker in house and some, like Ruger, use electric checkering tools. Below is a few pictures of the checkering that comes out of the Beretta manufacturing facility. So, while the gunmakers do realize that checkering adds cosmetically to a firearm, it doesn't do much good if that checkering is not also function, and it should serve a useful purpose.







While this checkering may look good to many folks, you only need to pick this shotgun up, feel, and shoulder it. The checkering is filled with stock finish, almost to the point where the checkering doesn't do anything to help control the shotgun when using it, because it's hard to even feel that checkering is even there. This would be a good stock and forearm to use your "single line", 90-degree cutter on. You would get the chance to improve the checkering pattern so that it's much more functional and get a really good feel for how that cutter works for you. I would still recommend that, that be done with the forearm and stock set in a sturdy cradle though.

Here again, if any of you have older shotguns or rifles where the "cut checkering", as done by the factory, has gotten worn down from all those hours tramping through the woods, your 90-degree single line cutter can be used to get those diamond points back up to where they're functional once more. Once the pointing up of the crests on the diamonds has been done, here's how I seal those fresh diamonds with finish. As mentioned previously, I use Permalyn Stock finish and sealer. I'll use an acid brush to cover all that fresh wood, from checkering, and then let it sit for an hour or so. I want to make absolutely sure that some of that finish seeps into those freshly cut diamonds. After the allotted time, I'll take a toothbrush and brush out any finish that didn't soak into the wood, and also pat the checkering with a section from a roll of Bounty towels. Why Bounty? Cause it's absorbent, of course. Then the next day, I'll do the same thing with the finish, toothbrush and paper towel. Keep this in mind, when we cut the diamonds, we are actually exposing the end grain of the wood, all around each diamond, and opening grain in that wood, so we need to get that finish into the wood to harden the checkering up as best we can.
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  #51  
Old 01-15-2015, 05:49 PM
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These pics are from a CZ 452 stock I re-cut the checkering on. It was first done by machine, which has the advantage of laying down lines that are DEADNUTS straight and true but the disadvantage of creating diamonds that are dull and rough. Plus the borders were shallow and didn't follow the diamond pattern.

Either way, after re-cutting each line with a single line cutter and and short V-cutter there was a noticeable improvement both aesthetically and functionally with really sharp diamonds and not just the illusion.

Before:


Not the best pic, but you can see the diamonds in the pattern look perfectly aligned but not well defined. Also you can't really see any of the wood grain through the checkering- something I've learned is the sign of good clean sharp cut checkering.

During:


After:




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  #52  
Old 01-15-2015, 05:55 PM
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To show the importance of lighting, here's two pics with a stock in my checkering cradle at my former workbench. I'm taking the photo from the same angle, with the stock in the same position in the cradle- so the only difference between the pics is the lighting (well, aside from the stocks).





The first photo has all the lights in the shop on so the stock is flooded with light from all angles. The second has all the lights turned off, except for that one lamp (shown in a previous post) sitting a couple feet to the left of the stock and level with it to cast light over the lines- highlighting them and showing exactly where you've cut. Otherwise it can be surprisingly difficult to tell what is what, especially when the cutter has started to go astray.
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  #53  
Old 01-15-2015, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by FrankW View Post
Hi Everyone,

ek-marlin-424 referred me to this thread. I might be able to add some insight that will be helpful for a beginner. I still have some of my tools around and parts to my cradle.

I just wanted to get a post in here so I can follow the thread.

Frank
Are you actually the Frank W that I'm thinking you are? If so, I admire your work sir and have probably "borrowed" a technique or two that I've seen over the years. Welcome aboard, and I look forward to reading any contributions you have to offer.
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  #54  
Old 01-15-2015, 07:15 PM
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Ok so I've been down in the man cave for a few hours today, am lucky enough that I have several old rifle stocks laying around that were given to my son to learn refinish skills on.

First I tried a simple diamond pattern on the bottom of the fore end, it ended badly!

Then I laid out a simple point pattern on the side of the fore arm that pretty much matches the old Pre 64 70's pattern. Didn't do too bad on that one really, did learn that I'm no longer going to cut the border around the panel and then start checkering up to the border! Think I'll just cut to the line or close to it, then when all the cutting is finished and all looks good, I can cut the border

Still REALLY need to do something about a cradle, get boat-loads more practice and keep following this thread! But it was nice to actually start scratchin' lines with tools I've had for a couple years!


Last edited by jfraz3; 01-15-2015 at 08:06 PM. Reason: figured out photobucket
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  #55  
Old 01-15-2015, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by FrankW View Post
Hi Everyone,

ek-marlin-424 referred me to this thread. I might be able to add some insight that will be helpful for a beginner. I still have some of my tools around and parts to my cradle.

I just wanted to get a post in here so I can follow the thread.

Frank
Happy to see you here Frank. I enjoyed your posts and expertise back in Evans thread and was truly hoping you would join this exceptional thread.

Just icing on the cake so to speak.
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  #56  
Old 01-15-2015, 10:08 PM
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Vise? Do you mean to hold the cradle. The vise I currently use is a heavy sucker and mounted as firmly as I can get it. If I could have found a 2,000 pound blacksmiths anvil to mount my vise to, I would have had the wife carry it into my shop. [/QUOTE]

I don't want to meet your wife in a dark alley do I?

No, I mislabeled your cradle as a vise.
Back in the day I only had a vise to work with and that didn't work out very well.
I'll have to come up with something similar to your cradle that I can build on the cheap from materials at hand. My mind is already churning with options!
G-B
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  #57  
Old 01-15-2015, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jfraz3 View Post
Ok so I've been down in the man cave for a few hours today, am lucky enough that I have several old rifle stocks laying around that were given to my son to learn refinish skills on.

First I tried a simple diamond pattern on the bottom of the fore end, it ended badly!

Then I laid out a simple point pattern on the side of the fore arm that pretty much matches the old Pre 64 70's pattern. Didn't do too bad on that one really, did learn that I'm no longer going to cut the border around the panel and then start checkering up to the border! Think I'll just cut to the line or close to it, then when all the cutting is finished and all looks good, I can cut the border

Still REALLY need to do something about a cradle, get boat-loads more practice and keep following this thread! But it was nice to actually start scratchin' lines with tools I've had for a couple years!

Don't get discouraged, nobody does perfectly when the tools cut their first lines. With checkering, most often the lesson comes AFTER the test. Many of my first attempts were dismal failures, just keep at it and keep at it.
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  #58  
Old 01-15-2015, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Gabby-Bill View Post
Vise? Do you mean to hold the cradle. The vise I currently use is a heavy sucker and mounted as firmly as I can get it. If I could have found a 2,000 pound blacksmiths anvil to mount my vise to, I would have had the wife carry it into my shop.
I don't want to meet your wife in a dark alley do I?

No, I mislabeled your cradle as a vise.
Back in the day I only had a vise to work with and that didn't work out very well.
I'll have to come up with something similar to your cradle that I can build on the cheap from materials at hand. My mind is already churning with options!
G-B[/QUOTE]

GREAT! As time allows, I'll go over what I've found to be useful if a holding cradle that will allow your work to rotate. For right now, think STURDY and make your set up a solid one. Actually, my wife is a very demure German girl, but she's a very good pistol shooter.
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  #59  
Old 01-16-2015, 12:06 AM
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I'll have my wife listen when she gets home. She's Sicilian. Now I've never checkered but can someone actually checker that fast without jumping lines and overrunning? It looked like the tool was cutting multiple lines also. I'd like to have seen the final out come.
Well "scooter" I, for one, sure can't checker that fast, and I think you're very close in your assertion about border over rides. I always preach, that a mistake is only a mistake, until you fix it. And then, my five foot two, Irish granny used to say, "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?" She may have had to reach a bit high on my 6' 2" frame, but when she got ahold of an ear, I sure did pay attention.
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  #60  
Old 01-16-2015, 12:15 AM
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With my eyes going bad, I'll probably never try checkering but I thoroughly enjoy this thread. Have often wondered about going over some stamped checkering to put some nice edges on it. Is that viable or not? I won't be doing it but that question has been in my mind for years. GREAT THREAD AND HELP
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