Tag Archives: Rifle stock

Checkering, a book of checkering for the beginner

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.  In 2019 it went out of print.  I need 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.

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Filed under Books, Stocks, tools

New from 4D Reamer Rentals, SHOT Show 2014

Grip Cap Inserts

Left to Right, Antique Ivory, Ivory and Black Linen

4D seems to always be looking for new products to serve the gunsmith.  They are known for renting tools to the trade, but did you know they offer many products for sale too?

For some time they have been offering Dakota grip caps and bolt handles to their customers.

Their newest introduction are inserts for Dakota skeleton grip caps.  At present they are only available for the radiused version of grip cap.  The first run is made up of several types or Mycarta.  The idea is to offer a product that saves the gunsmith valuable time and still offers a quality and value added service for the client.  Mycarta is a fully resinated material that is water proof, it is often used on custom knives for handles because of it’s durability.

grip cap inserts

Easy way to provide a classy look.

These inserts cut the time required for inletting one of these skelotonized caps to a stock.  Many clients like the idea of adding a different touch that make the rifle unique to them.  The two lighter colors show here mimic ivory without extreme expense.  Layers of paper in the mycarta give the effect of the grain you normally see in ivory.  Mycarta can be skrimshawed to further customize the cap.  Easy way to provide a classy look.

4D plans to offer other materials depending upon customer requests.  Walnut is an obvious choice.  Often these inserts are checkered and these material lend themselves well to checkering.

finished insert

Below is a finished black linen mycarta insert, just to show what the finished product can look like.  There really is no limit to what can be done with these inserts.  Cool custom touches really make a rifle special, and this is definitely a custom touch.

4D is debuting these inserts just in time for SHOT Show, but we get to tell you about it here first.

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Filed under Firearms, Gunsmithing, How To, Rifles, Stocks