Checkered or Checkering.
Nearly all wood stocked firearms in our line feature some type of checkering or wood "carving" embellishments. Even composite stocks are often finished with patterns resembling checkering. There are several types of checkering performed on our fireams. There are also some that are never used.
Most classic checkering is performed on walnut stocks. Some checkering is placed on stocks made of other hardwoods and even laminated wood. There are many different pattens that can be put on the wood.
There are many Websites where checkering is shown and detailed carefully. This review is only to provide an overview to help you understand the different types of checkering used over the past 50 years or so.
Classic pointed top checkering -- Grooves are cut at a 60 to 90 degree angle , creating points at the intersection of the horizontal and vertical lines. These points appear as a diamond shape. The pointed diamonds can provide an excellent grip. Widely cut checkering is less prone to accumulating dirt and debris so they naturally stay clean. that give a good grip and the grooves are self cleaning due to their open angle of 90 degrees.
Flatop or "English flattop" checkering -- Older English guns often have this type of checkering. It is simply a pattern of "sqaured" grooves in the wood cut in a 90 degree slot the surface of the wood. You end up with a groove and flat surface look, followed by another groove and so on. This is not used by us and is not popular today. If you get debris or dirt in this kind of checkering it is very hard to get it out. Plus, it really doesn't give a great grip. Semi-flattop checking is similar but the cuts are slightly "V" shaped.
French Checkering -- This type of checkering is very much like pointed top or "diamond" checkering except lines of often skipped and areas are left uncheckered within the pattern.
Some of our finest firearms are still checkered by hand by extremely talented craftsmen and women. This will be indicated with the details about the gun here on our Website. Most feature a precision cut checkering using the most advanced CNC type cutters. Often CNC type checkering is "chased" by hand to clean up any rough areas and to enhance the overall look to the level you expect.
The checkering itself is generally accomplished by one of the following methods:
Hand cut checkering -- This checkering method is the traditional way of cutting lines and geometric shapes into the wood. The artist transfers the pattern (at the very least, the outer shape) to the stock and then using hand cutting tools cuts the lines by manually moving the tool up and down on the lines of the pattern. Cuts are marked first with light pressure then additional pressure cuts the groove. Usually the groove is cut in a "V" shape in rows. When the cross cut checking is cut into the wood diamond shapes are formed. In general hand checkering is cost prohibitive except for those seeking a custom gun.
Machine Cut Checkering (CNC style) -- A CNC type machine uses a spinning cutter to trace the pattern on the wood. The cutters duplicate the effects of hand checkering for approximately the same look. Precision can be very high with sharp edges and sharp points on the diamonds. Plus borders can be completed with high accuracy with very little overshooting of the tool. This type of checkering can produce patterns that wrap around curved surfaces for a look and feel that most resembles traditional hand checkering but at a price that the average gun buyer can afford.
Machine Cut Checkering (old style) -- Older machines used a pattern which mechanically duplicated the cuts on the wood. Results with these "pre-computer" machines were not as precise as the newer CNC type machines, but were often very good.
Laser Checkering -- This process uses the "burning' affect of a laser which has been mounted in a device like a CNC machine or like a large printer. The pattern of the checkering in loaded into a computer and programmed to make the desired pattern on the wood.
Pressed or "impressed" Checkering -- Generally this is not very "impressive." Pressed checkering uses a process where a metalilc surface textured with the reverse image of the checkering pattern is pressed into the wood under significant pressure. The pattern produced can duplicate many different shapes and looks, but the results are often soft with no sharpness or effective gripping surface.
The Tech-Term "Checkered" is referred to in the following products: