Does anyone in Alaska do cut checkering?
I have an older drilling that has needed some TLC, and now, while it's mechanically sound (if by no means pristine) the stock checkering is worn nearly flat. I also have some handmade handgun stocks that I'd like checkered, so I need somebody that can cut from scratch.
I've been asking around and so far came up dry, to find anyone in the State that can renew/recut some checkering. I've considered picking up the files from Brownells' myself, but at the moment I'm hesitant to dive right in on some difficult-to-replace furniture.
Any help you can toss my way would be appreciated.
I don't know of anyone who does, but I'm sure they're out there. Might try looking for someone who does hobby wood carving or similar artistic talents. As for cutting it yourself, it is a surprisingly easy task. Especially just touching up old checkering. Very simple with the right set of tools, a light touch, patience, and plenty of time on your hands.
I might add that lighting is critical for those of us with older eyes. It is easy to do, recut old checkering. Use a single cutter and follow the old lines. Good luck. J.
Brownells sells a checkering restoration kit for $50 or so. I bought one and re-did a pre-64. Turn out nice for a first project, though Im no beisen or linden.
WARNING!!! Checkering IS ADDICTING!!!
I found that after I got into it, I was checkering everything in sight! Cheap .22 single shots that had no business with the stuff on them became targets. I even heard of one fella who got bored and checkered the arm of his rocking chair!!!
Surprisingly easy, but if I may offer a few tips that I've learned over the years.....
GOOD LIGHT! Especially a good gooseneck lamp that you can move around.
A STEADY REST! If you must, buy one of the stock holders that Midway and Brownell's sell, but if y ou take a look at them, you can plagiarize the design in about 20 minutes with a single 2x4 and three 3/8" bolts and nuts with washers.
GOOD CUTTERS and HOLDERS! Actually, any of the commercially offered ones are more than adequate. I still use the Dem Bart's because I got a number of them in the kit, and they'll use any of the commercially available cutters.
You NEED a good line straightener! Several of the outfits sell them, but my own favorite is a curved riffler, that lets me work into inside curves more easily than the straight types.
PATIENCE!!! Learn to follow the contours of the stock you're working on so that the diamonds will point out the same. The whole trick to getting a good looking job is to stay consistent, follow the contours, keep your lines straight, and work the diamonds to the same depth. If you're pushing on the tool hard enough that your fingernails turn white, you're pushing too hard. Don't be too hard on yourself if you screw something up!!!!! Don't quit if you DO screw something up. Remember perfect PRACTICE makes perfect!!! Practice don't mean you get it right the first or second time.
If you can get your hands on Monte Kennedy's book, by all means read it. I don't personally care for some of his designs, but his techniques are flawless!!!
Oh, by the way, once word gets round, work will come to you. I HAVE to say no, because I don't want to turn an enjoyable hobby into work, so I do it as gifts for friends and family, and more than anything else, because I'm too darned cheap to pay someone else to do it!!!
Those look great Darreld, I can see why people want you to do that for them.