Checkering tools

johnnyk

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Dec 24, 2001
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Potters Hill, NC
Can anyone advise me on the minimum tool(s) needed to touch-up and sharpen factory cut (not pressed) checkering? I have a stock that I want to refinish and get some dings out of and pretty sure I'll have to hit the checkering (actually "want to"). I say "minimum" because these tools seem to be rather pricey for what looks like maybe a one time project. All my other stocks are laminates or synthetic.
All suggestions welcomed.
 

shortgrass

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Mar 31, 2010
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Western Oklahoma
First off, you need to determine if the existing checker was cut with a 60* or 90* tool. A lot of cut checkering that was hand cut on 'factory' rifles was cut by students, and under the pressure of time. True re-cutting can be problematic, as you may find some lines that are not true or run together. I have also encountered "old" stocks with cut checkering that have seen way too much petroleum oil, which has 'softened' the wood, not allowing for clean cuts, even with fine toothed carbide cutters. Maybe a checkering riffler would serve your purpose better, and a 'pointing' tool , too. Still have to know 60* or 90* . I have and prefer the "see thru" handles.
 

johnnyk

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Potters Hill, NC
I think you may be correct sir. The checkering riffler looks like just the ticket. They sure are proud of those tools. No wonder gunsmith charge so much, right? Thank you.
 

shortgrass

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Gunsmithing tools, like any other tools cost. Low cost tools that don't preform are not worth having and can only make the task more difficult. I've managed to break cheap end wrenches, twist the tips on cheaply made screwdrivers, bent the shafts on cheap punches. Cheaply made tools usually don't cost much, except for your time and frustration! Brownells isn't the only place to find gunsmith tools. Look around, you may find a comparable tool at a more competitive price. After you get into actually 'cleaning up' that checkering, you may discover that its not so much the cost of the tools, but the skill the person using the tool has developed that commands the $$$$. Traditionally, many of the tools a gunsmith uses he made himself, according to his needs at the time. Now days, most tools are bought. Count that off to our tax policies. Buy a tool and deduct the cost, make a tool and deduct only the cost of the materials and any tooling you had to buy to make it. 'Experience' is either gained or lost in that example. On some experiences the 'gain' can be priceless! and then applied to many, many other tasks.
 

jrock

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Mar 12, 2014
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Idaho
A single line cutter with the right pitch should serve you well. Be careful deeping the cuts. Too deep and they look too resessed and loose gripping surface. Midway has some diy vids on youtue. If you were cutting new lines, I'd recommend getting a two line cutter as well.
 

shortgrass

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Mar 31, 2010
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3,130
Location
Western Oklahoma
A single line cutter with the right pitch should serve you well. Be careful deeping the cuts. Too deep and they look too resessed and loose gripping surface. Midway has some diy vids on youtue. If you were cutting new lines, I'd recommend getting a two line cutter as well.
That how I'd go about it, with single line cutters. A longer one, and a short 'pointer'. Each case is unique. The "best way" is the way that works easiest while getting the desired result.
 

foul bore

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Feb 1, 2016
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253
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texas
I got some checkering tools over 40 years ago. I have done several stocks. very time consuming but rewarding. DEM-BART is what I got, reasonable. for some you need to know number of lines per inch. you can get away with 2 tools to refurbish the original work. good luck and have fun. Jim
 
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