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Checkering Tool Recommendations

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by jbisinger, Nov 18, 2011.

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  1. jbisinger

    jbisinger Member

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    First I don't post at all-then 2 in one day! Anyway.... do any of you who really know how to checker have any recommendations for the exact(specific # or type,ie veiner, push or pull cut,3 row cutter,etc.) type of cutters req'd. to do a thorough,start-to-finish, new checkering job? After some practice, I'll probably try 22 lpi. Just "browsing" and answers such as "stuff" are appreciated but do not answer the question. Thanks for any responses.

    Jack
     
  2. Gary Waalkes

    Gary Waalkes Well-Known Member

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    "exact" is an impossible standard to meet and you need multiple tools to checker - not just cutters. LPI selection is about wood, grain, and function. If the gun is for show, more LPI is desired. But if for "go" less is better.

    Gunline and DemBart make checkering tools. Go to brownells and take a look. also just browse the keywords for checkering tools and patterns. You will need layout stuff. If you can find an old wooden baseball bat, makes good practice material. Go to gun shows and pick thru old .22s and shotguns for more material.

    If you are going to make a high dollar stock your first project, remember that material that is filed off won't go back on.
     
  3. Claymuncher

    Claymuncher Member

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    I got into it years back for the hell of it. And you need time and patience in triple. But it is gratifieing when you get done. Best thing to do is buy and book or DVD from Brownells. Check your library first, if it is a large enough one they are free. CM
     
  4. JerryP

    JerryP Active Member

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    Unless you plan to do a lot of checkering it's not worth the trouble. It is not easy and requires extensive practice.
     
  5. Jim R

    Jim R Ljutic Nut TS Supporters

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    Call Walt at DemBart. Great guy and he will talk you through the process of how to get started and what you need. He does not try to sell you things that you don't need.

    Walt 360-568-7356
     
  6. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    Buy a checkering kit (Dembart or Gunline), fine curved files, Exacto knife set, a Tormac (sp?) sharping system and Checkering cradle (Brownell's). Oh, and a vice to hold the cradle. Start with flat diamonds on scrap, Go to cheap baseball bats, then junk stocks. After about a year you'll be ready for a quality gun stock. Or just pay to get it done.
     
  7. ou.3200

    ou.3200 Well-Known Member

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    I prefer the Gunline tools. Either a Gunline "Leader" or "Camp Perry" set would be a good place to start. As you gain experience you will want some Dembart cutters also. To make life easier buy a PL60 cutter and handle in addition to the set. The PL60 is a 60 degree single line cutter rather than the 90 degree single cutters furnished with the sets. It is much easier to keep a 60 degree cutter in the "groove." Cut to depth with the 60 degree and finish with the 90 degree. Brownell's have both Gunline and Dembart tools.
     
  8. nutty1

    nutty1 TS Member

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    go to tandy leather and buy a wallet kit to take care of your tinkering fix, then send the gun to devault lol
     
  9. gun fitter

    gun fitter TS Member

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    First before ever trying to use a veiner use an exacto knife with a new blade then follow with the veiner. I like gunline for most cutters the dembart straight line cutter is good as well.

    Get the forarm edge tool it will save a few headaches.

    Brownells is a good source.

    Try to take one of the NRA courses or atleast read Monty Kennedy's book on checkering.

    Good luck PM me if you need anything.
    Joe goldberg
    gunfitter_2008_0303_1145.jpg
     
  10. mike campbell

    mike campbell Active Member

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    Here's an intro for beginners I put together.
     
  11. Steve Fischer

    Steve Fischer Member

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    The art of checkering is just that, an art, and is not something one just buys tools and jumps in and either re-cuts existing checkering, or starts on a stock to actually do a checkering pattern.

    Having built stocks and checkered them for over 30 years, I can tell you without any doubt that you will make a mess out of the process the first time! If you want to learn how, it takes quite a bit of practice and is not learned over a long weekend. Grain structure and the hardness of the wood greatly affects the cutting and track of the tool. A small slip and you have cut over or cut off a diamond, and fixing the error is a job unto itself.

    I have checkered or chased out existing checkering on literally hundreds of stocks. I use an electric checkering tool with a carbide blade to cut new checkering and use several different Dembart tools for the finish cuts.

    My best advise is to leave it to a professional who can do the job right. Crooked lines, uneven spacing, and damaged diamonds stand out as glaring errors when done, and will definitely de-value a gun if done poorly.

    Steve
     
  12. Auctioneer

    Auctioneer Well-Known Member

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    I will agree with Brownell. You can also talk with the Tec people there and ask them what is best and what is not for you. One main thing PRACTICE PRACTICE AND MORE PROCTICE. Doing checkering is an art form. Some can do it and some can't. I have never tired so I don't know if I can not or not. Practice on a blank piece of wood before going after your stock.
     
  13. gun fitter

    gun fitter TS Member

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    Steve I started by doing exactly what you advise against. Jack even says that after practicing for a while he is going to try to checker a stock. I applaud his effort with out any new blood checkering will be truly a dying art.

    Again taking a class and reading books help but unless you try you won't know if you can do it.

    I don't tell my shooting students to give up they will never be a Kay. I encourage participation in all forms of the shooting sports and industry.
    gunfitter_2008_0303_1155.jpg
    My very first checkering when i was 15 or 16.
    Joe
     
  14. mike campbell

    mike campbell Active Member

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    Ice skating is a motor skill. Unless you're physically handicapped, most anyone can learn to ice skate. Some talented people, such as figure skaters, elevate that motor skill to the level of art.

    Checkering is a motor skill. Most anyone ...with the DESIRE ...can learn to do a decent job of simple checkering. For checkering to be art, it helps to be "artistic".

    The learning curve is steep and can be costly. In the overall scheme of things, the cost of checkering by a pro is money well spent. If you have a big desire to learn how, go for it. But checkering is not something you should undertake if your goal is to save money.

    I'm just a hobbyist. Nothing too artsy, but I think well executed...


    KM10-1.jpg



    DSC_0018-1.jpg



    DSC_0030.jpg
     
  15. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Very nice looking checkering Mr.Cambell. I also love the SxS.
     
  16. gun fitter

    gun fitter TS Member

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    Mike if you want a part time job I'll send you some work i don't have time for.

    Your work looks great!
     
  17. Stl Flyn

    Stl Flyn Well-Known Member

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    I like the checkered "Cheeks" on the double. I think that really adds to a nice piece of wood with fine line checkering. The even depth is perfect. Very nice job. Jon
     
  18. mike campbell

    mike campbell Active Member

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    Thanks for the nice comments guys. Thanks for the offer, too, Joe. I'll keep it in mind but I have more than enough right now. I never learned to power checker and I've had to slow down because of the carpal tunnel/tendonitis type pain it brings on these days. In a way, it's a good thing because now I focus more on enjoying the process rather than finishing the job.
     
  19. Jerry944t

    Jerry944t Well-Known Member

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    Checkering can be artistic, fun and very rewarding. Mostly it's a sure fire way to carpal tunnel syndrome which is NOT fun or rewarding.

    I've been doing it off and on since my college days and recently had surgery in both my hands. Are they related? I don't know but I do know it sure flared up after my last checkering session.
     
  20. wm rike

    wm rike Member

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    I started out with Gunline and they've treated me well. Haven't used Dembart, so I can't say. Checkering is just theraputic for me and it's nice to look back on a job nicely done.

    Gotta' admit, checkering practice pieces is boring. You might give some thought to cleaning out the checkering on your friends' old beat up field guns to get a feel for the tools.

    If you're starting on new wood, 16-18 lpi is good for field guns. Twenty lpi can be used for just about anything, really. When starting out, remember that good execution trumps extra lpi every time.

    Most beginers fail to realize you need pull tools to work in and out of corners. Plan on this and buy some extra handles and little short cutters that can be installed backwards.

    Veiners mean you're doing curves tighter than what the normal cutters can handle and you really shouldn't be doing this at the outset. That's Chapter 7 stuff.

    I usually junk steel cutters after one job. Carbide tools are an investment, but sweet.
     
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