Checkering is a particular and oldstyle art of functional decorating of gunstock and different types of handles. In most common way Checkering are group of rows of paralle and cross grooves at a given angle to form little diamond shapes. In some English literature, checkering is often spelled as 'chequering'.

The particular function of checkering is to give the shooter more grip on the stock especially in bad weather when stock is wet, greasy or when the palms are too sweaty during a shooting. Second and may be most important aspect of checkering is decoration rifle or any othe object. Checkering very effectively emphasizes the shape and grace of the handles lines. And to be clear, checkers are not really necessary on most gunstocks.

In current form checkering occurred about 150 years ago. It's not mean that there is no checkering before that days, but patterns and ways of application were usually different from now days.

Gunstock checkers can be made in several ways with different patterns. Most known techniques are pointed (like diamonds), flattop and semi flattop checkering. Another variety is French checkering, also known as skip line or even a Scottish checkering . In this technique lines are just skipped at some regular interval creating a square pattern similar to tartan ornament.

Pointed checkering

This is the most common type of checkering. In this type of checkering grooves are cut under a 90 degree angle (sometimes 60 degree).
Those checkers are sharp and highly pointed like a diamonds. That give handles a good grip and make grooves are self cleaning due to the open angle.
This type of checkering can be a bit to sharp for long shooting sessions or for heavy recoiling guns.
In area with checker pattern the wood texture may be not so visible depending upon the coarseness and quality of the checkering job and of course the type of wood itself.

You can find tools for cutting pointed checkering in our catalog. Watch for angles mark.

90 degrees checkering tool point top checkering 90 degree checkering bit

Flat-top checkering ( English type)

The grooves are just not have points on top, so it are flat. This is deep grooves with parallel walls cut in the wood. You can seen this type of checkering on older English guns. Disadvantage of this pattern is that the grooves easily fill up with debris making it useless. Also it not sharp so it does not offer good grip.

Other side is checkers of this type not obstruct the nature beaty of wood. It is more comfortable for heavy recoiling guns and for continuous shooting sessions.

Flat-top checkering can be easily converted into pointed checkering by recutting the grooves with an angled cutter. But they are loose it Englishness and it may ruine beaty of wood texture.

Now day, toolworks Petrgrad does not produce gouges for flat-top checkering.

flat top checkering

Semi flat-top checkering

Cutting grooves with 60 degree gouges you will have ornament somewhere in between of pointed and flat one. This type grooves are shallow so that there are no pointed tops. Semi flat-top checkers is often imitate English flat-top checkering. The grooves are trying to eliminate disadvantage of flat-top checkers by making it less prone to clogging.

The pattern is of the fill in type as can be seen by the border line that does not run parallel with the checkering.

checkering tool 60 degrees semi flat checkering checkering tool bit 60 degrees

Checkering patterns

All checkered lines together form a pattern. There are several different patterns are possible. Usually the edges of the checkering are defined by borders of ornament or object itself . Sometimes no borders are present. The borders are formed by the lines of stops of checkering or a very thin cutted line. This technique is called borderless checkering.

Fill in pattern

First off the outline border is cut into the wood. The space within is filled up with checkering pattern. This patterns may look a lot like angular patterns, but the difference easily can be seen, the outline border (frame) does not run parallel with the checkering lines.

Here is an example of a fill in semi flat-top pattern on left picture. On a right picture is a layout tool for marking grooves paralell to the shape of handle or gunstock.

semi flat checkering checkering layout tool

Fancy checkering

Some americans are absolute masters when it comes to checkering some of the intriguing and most difficult patterns. Occasionally, fancy checkering is seen on expensive European guns.

On the picture of a exceptionally beautiful Parker shotgun you can see some kind of wavy patern. Made in the days when labour was relatively cheap and people still had the patience to spend countless hours on the perfect execution of very complex checkering patterns.

European way to approach checkering was a lot more practical. Simple and angular patterns being the norm on even the most expensive guns. Under influence of American examples, Europeans have started to put more emphasis on the design and execution of the checkering panels.

fancy checkering

Angular pattern

This is one of a challenging way of checkering cause the border lines are formed by the checkering itself. Most challenging is that checkering lines are should run perfectly parallel to the border grooves. A lot of care must be taken to be sure that the angles are respected. If the angles are cut right, regular diamonds are formed with their tips nicely aligned, defining the outline of the pattern.

This type of checkering is usually seen on the better grade of gun stocks. Usually all best stocks have angular pattern checkering.

The example on the right shows a point type checkering and you can see the borders run exactly parallel with the lines of the checkering making it an angular pattern.

angular checkering patern checkering gauge angular checkering patern

Wrap around pattern

These patterns can either be of the fill in or angular type. Wrap around simply means that the checkering extends from one side of the stock to the other.

The photo on the right shows a wrap around, angular pattern. The checkering is pointed checkering at 20 lines to the inch.

checkering wrap around the gunstock Checkering tools set

Checkering in progress

На фото слева можно увидеть, как чекеринг наносится на деревянную поверхность. Сначала наносится базовая линия, а затем нарезаются параллельные ей насечки.После нанесения линий, они будут углублены отдельным резцом. Более подробно можно посмотреть в видео ниже. В материале используются современные резцы для чекеринга от фабрики Петроградъ.

On the picture you can see process of checkering applied to a wooden panel. First off the master lines are cut and then it duplicated with parallel lines. After that grooves will be deepened with a cutter. More detailed you can watch this process in video. In this materials was used checkering tools by Petrograd toolworks.


 checkering making in progress

Fish scale checkering

Anoher fancy type of checkering is fish scale checkering. It is a completely different technique. Actually, it is more of a carving technique since special gauges are used.
This type of checkering quite popular in German speaking countries, but you unlikely have seen this technique being used in Britain or America.
This checkering technique is very time consuming and during cutting one most be very concentrated to prevent the scales from breaking out.
Fish scales checkers provide very good grip to the shooters hand and can be used to emphasize the beauty of the stock. However, it takes some getting used to at first.

fish checkering on gunstock fish checkering on gunstock

That's all on that. Thanks for your attention. You can find checkering tools for cutting pointed checkering in our catalog.

Carving knife PETROGRAD, Bogorodsky type, 190mm/60mm

Carving knives for general use, as well as for large material removal. Blade length 40mm or 60mm, rounded butt. A comfortable oval redwood handle is saturated with oil and covered with shellac. The length of the handle - 115mm. Excellent knife for both beginners and professionals. The 2.5 mm thick blade is made of high carbon steel hardened to 59-61 HRc. All the knives are sharpened and ready to go. Totally hand made at PETROGRAD factory of joinery and carpentry tools. Made in Russia.
Отзывов: 1

Spoon knife, PETROGRAD, type 1, D 27mm, left-handed

Spoon knife  (or shallow hook knife) is used to made wooden spoon, as well as for other similar work. Spoon knife blade is cutting out a hollow in a wooden spoon or scoop. Spoon knife N1 has a ring profile of blade. That's making it perfectly choose for cut wooden spoons bowl. The left version of knife is designed to work with the left hand towards yourself or right hand to outside.

  • Knife blade width - 8 mm.
  • The inner radius of the blade - 15mm.
  • Spoon cutter length - 45 mm
  • Handle length - 130 mm
  • Total length of the spoon knife - 175 mm
  • Spoon knife blade made from tool steel (9ХС; 150Cr14, 90CrSi, 90CrSi5) and hardened up to 58-60HRC.
  • All hook cutters are sharpened and ready to go.
  • The outerside of the ring has a convex lens-like shape and perfectly polished. Thats allow you to cut wood cleanly and smoothly without scoring.
  • The handle of the hook knife is made of maple and coated with oil.

The right version of hook knife is designed to work with the right hand towards yourself, the left version - with the left hand towards yourself.
Made by Petrograd toolworks in Saint-Petersburg Russia.

Отзывов: 1

Sharpening set PETROGRAD N4, for knives, 6 stones

Water stones. Grain size: 150, 360, 500, 1000, 1500 and 2000. Size 15х15х120mm. Abrasive grain - silicon carbide. Bundle - ceramics. Hardness I ensures minimal wear of the stone during operation. When sharpening does not overheat the steel. Does not require the use of oil. Soak in water for 2-10 minutes before use. Designed for sharpening steels and hard alloys. Production - made in Russia.

To select and order an abrasive stone of desired grain size, click on the name of the product.

Отзывов: 1

Carving axe PETROGRAD, model Zvenigorod IX

Axe for artistic woodworking and sculpture making. This model was created according to the matrices of the Sweden axe GRANSFORS BRUKS SCULPTOR, building on the models of traditional craft axes. The relatively long, rounded blade with a wide and straight chamfer provides support for wood carving. The cutout on the axe allows you to keep it closer to head for more accurate work. The cutting edge length is 120 mm, the length of the axe is 360 mm. Weight 950 g. The axe is made of excellent steel 65G. The axe undergoes high-quality hardening and forging to a hardness of 58-60 HRc. Forging manually allows you to significantly increase strength. The handle is made of solid maple wood and impregnated with tung oil to prevent rotting. The axe is mounted on the handle with the help of two wooden wedges. Includes a genuine leather case for protecting blade. Totally hand made at PETROGRAD factory of joinery and carpentry tools.

Made in Russia

Отзывов: 1

Carving axe PETROGRAD, model Zvenigorod VII

Wood carving axe Zvenigorod VII . This axe is made for artistic processing of wood, such as carving sculptures, bowl carving, dish carving and other stuff.

  • Blade width 125 mm
  • Head height 145 mm
  • Sharpening angle - 30 degrees
  • Hardness - 55-58HRc
  • Handle lenght - 350 mm
  • Full weight - 0,6 kg

Cutting edge is razor sharp and ready to work out of the box. Sharpening angle - 30 degrees.

Wood carving axe Zvenigorod VII was produced by Petrograd toolworks and supplied in a leather case for protection of the cutting edge and easy storage. Made in Saint-Petersburg Russia.

Отзывов: 1

Chisel set PETROGRAD N13

Chisel set PETROGRAD N13:

Firmer gouge PETROGRAD 10mm
Bench chisel PETROGRAD 10mm
Bench chisel PETROGRAD 20mm
Skew chisel PETROGRAD, right-sided, 12mm
Skew chisel PETROGRAD, left-sided, 12mm
Corner chisel PETROGRAD 
Textile 16 pocket Tool Roll, PETROGRAD, 370*330mm, for chisels

Отзывов: 1

The book `Practical course of woodworking art` + Atlas of drawings, M. Netyksa

The fundamental book on the treatment of wood for professionals and amateurs, which was the basic textbook on woodworking, the entire first half of the twentieth century. Moscow 1901 / Reprint edition of St. Petersburg 2016. Format 145x215 mm, hard fabric binding, 680 pages, 755 illustrations. Also available is a set of drawings attached to the 1901 edition. The author is M. A. Netyksa, a member of the Scientific Department of the Society for the Distribution of Technical Knowledge.

Table of contents.
Division I.
Chapter I. The wood, its structure and properties ... The age of the twood ... The color of the wood ... The density of the wood ...
Chapter II Cutting wood into boards ... Machine sawing boards ... Diseases, defects and structural features of wood ...
Chapter III Various wood species ...
Chapter IV Chemical painting of wood ... Coloring methods and preparation of dye solutions ...
Division II.
Chapter I. The workbench and some adaptations to it ...
Saws and sawing ...
Chapter II Measuring, marking and testing instruments ... Compasses ...
Chapter III Cleaving, curing, cutting and planing ... Planes and planing ...
Chapter IV Rasps and filings ...
Chapter V. Drills and drilling ... Devices and devices for turning various drills ...
Chapter VI. Chisels ... Slotters ...
Chapter VII Various tools and accessories ... Devices for gluing ...
Chapter VIII. Sharpening  ...
Chapter IX The device and acquisition of a workshop ...
Division III. Different types of wooden joints ...
Division IV. Wooden surface finish ...
Division V. Furniture joinery ...
Division VI. Model business ...
Division VII. Machine building ...

Отзывов: 1

The book `Practical course of woodturning art` + Atlas of drawings, M. Netyksa

The book is about woodturning art as a separate craft that includes not only the work on the lathe. This book was a basic textbook on turning wood and bone throughout the first half of the twentieth century. Moscow 1910 / Reprint edition of St. Petersburg 2017. Format 145x215 mm, hard tissue binding, 440 pages. Also included is an album of drawings attached to the 1910 edition. The author is M. A. Netyksa, a member of the Scientific Department of the Society for the Distribution of Technical Knowledge.

Table of contents.

Division I. Machines, equipment and tools
Division II. Work techniques and special devices
Division III. Various materials in turning
Division IV. Adhesives, putties and surface grinding
Division V. Decoration and Surface Finishing Turning Works

Отзывов: 1

Outdoor axe PETROGRAD, model Roslavl, VII, curved handle

Hand forged outdoor axe Roslavl VII ( rus. Рославль VII ) with curved handle.

Total lenght is 370mm ( 14,57inch )
Height of axe is 140mm ( 5,51inch )
Lenght of cutting edge is 120mm ( 4,72inch )
Total weight of axe is 0,7kg  ( ± 0,05kg )

Axe is hand forged from "65Г" steel. Curved cutting edge was straight sharpened.
The axe comes with leather case for protecting cutting edge. Handle lenght is 320mm ( 12,6inch) and it is made from solid mapple with right grain position.
Axe is well balanced and would be a good choice for a lot types of work. It will be great as outdoor axe, for small carpentry and othe woodwork projects. This is kind of universal axe for everyone.

Axe Roslavl VII produced by Petrograd toolworks in Saint-Petersburg Russia.

Отзывов: 1

Sharpening stone PETROGRAD, 200*70*20mm, 3000 grit

Water stones. Grain size: 3000 and 6000 grit. Size 200*70*20mm. Abrasive grain - silicon carbide. Bundle - ceramics. Hardness I ensures minimal wear of the stone during operation. When sharpening does not overheat the steel. Does not require the use of oil. Soak in water for 2-10 minutes before use. Designed for sharpening steels and hard alloys. Made in Japan.


Отзывов: 1