In 2009 S.L. Mays published his book teaching checkering for the first time. The book did well and had a good following from the gunsmithing schools and supply houses around the country. Fast forward to 2019, it went out of print. I needed the books for the face to face checkering classes I was teaching at the local college. So I called Sherman, what a nice gentleman.
We talked for quite a while, he told me he had no desire to reprint the book, so I asked if he would consider selling the copyright. To my delight he agreed and we have completed that transaction.
Instead of doing a second edition of the book, we decided to simply do a second printing. A few minor errors were fixed, and new more complete Table of Contents was inserted in place of the old one. Finally, we put a description of the book on the back cover to make it a little easier to sell when found on a shelf in some store or at the gun show.
Mays wrote this handbook with the idea of helping anybody go from never having checkered to intermediate level in very short order. Most stock makers will tell you that it only takes a few minutes to learn to checker. What they sometimes forget to say is that the practice required to become skilled at checkering takes just a little longer. Mays text makes you comfortable, its as if Sherman is standing in the shop giving you pointers as you work.
There are 298 photos in this book, so there is no shortage of information being shared. The pictures truly enhance the writing so that it’s much easier to understand the intent. Most of the books on this subject either treat it as a sidebar, or show some nice old patterns from the 1950’s. This text takes care to teach the process. If you want to learn this skill, Mays will have you cutting checkering not long after you pick up the book.
It should go without saying, I am very proud to help preserve this information for the next generation of gun makers. Buy the Book on Amazon.
A few Sample pages below.