September 30. 2006
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Checkering Gunstocks

About 8 years ago I decided to try my hand at making a new butt stock for my Remington Sportsman 12 shotgun. The original stock had been broken then fixed. It was unsightly to say the least. I recieved a nice stick of black walnut from a friend and started plaining and carving a new butt stock. After final fitting and finishing I decided that I would try checkering. So off to see my dad I went and borrowed his checkering tools. I learned lots while doing this first project and continued my education in the fine art of checkering by reading "Checkering and Carving Gunstocks" by Monty Kennedy and by viewing first hand fine custom guns from a variety of 'smiths. I also visited Al and Roger Biesen in their shop in Spokane WA.

After checkering a few stocks, each one better than the last, an un-named customer approached me about checkering his stock; I did so for an undisclosed amount of money. He has since received great remarks from everyone who has seen the rifle. The checkering job was a two panel point pattern. Grip panel was over the top meeting along the bottom. The fore-end panel had over 25 points in it.

Forend

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Grip

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After doing this job I decided that I really would like checkering on my Winchester Mod. 67-22.

grip picture

Four other views.

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Click here for a full view

Click here for a full view

Click here for a full view


This checkering job on my Winchester 67-22 is of my own design. I firmly believe that "two panel" jobs done well are at the very top of the list. The best custom guns have two panel checkering, although some might have more panels depending on the customer's preferences. Two-panel jobs are about as hard as it gets when it comes to layout. The stock also has to be very uniform side to side for the checkering to look good. On a scale of 1 to 10 I'd rate the above job at about a 9 as far as difficulty. I belive that I have over 60 hours time into this job, making the checkering worth way more than the rifle it's on. If you have a stock which you desire checkered and are willing to pay good money for; contact me. My prices are reasonable considering the amount of work involved. Expect to pay $300 and up depending on how complicated a pattern desired and who you have do the job. If you have excellent dexterity and patience get some tools and try checkering for yourself. Get a copy of the above book if you are considering this. If I have inspired you send me an e-mail with what ever question you might have as to what my opinions are concerning tools, etc.


I have made a tutorial for those that may wish to try checkering.