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.

Woodcarving drawknife PETROGRAD , u-shaped, 130mm

Flat U-shaped drawknife is designed for joinery, woodcarving, as well as for carpentry. Ideal for making Windsor chairs. Handles are in the same plane with the blade that allows easy control of the tool, and their direction at an angle to the cutting edge allows for less stress on the wrists.. The 3.5 mm thick blade has a straight cutting edge, made of carbon steel 65G (Germany 66Mn4, Ck67, USA 1066) and hardened to 57-59 HRC. Handles 100mm long made of maple, impregnated with oil and reinforced with a brass ring. Blade length - 135 mm, width 20 mm. Sharpening angle - 30grad. Includes leather case to protect the blade. Totally hand made at PETROGRAD factory of joinery and carpentry tools.

Made in Russia.


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Adze PETROGRAD, type n4, flat

Straight adze.

Forged tempered to hardness of 58-60HRc. The blade are made of spring steel 65 g (Germany 66Mn4, Ck67, USA 1066). The blade width is 74 mm. Total length - 450 mm. Weight - 1.1 kg.

The adze handle is made of maple wood and covered with tung oil and has a curved finish and is fixed on a wooden wedge.

Totally hand made at PETROGRAD factory of joinery and carpentry tools.

Made in Russia

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Carving set PETROGRAD, N14

Carving set PETROGRAD, N14
The set includes:
Carving knife PETROGRAD, Bogorodsky type, 155mm/40mm
Spoon knife, PETROGRAD, D 27mm, right-handed
Spoon knife, PETROGRAD, D 27mm, left-handed
Sharpening stone PETROGRAD, 120*15*15mm, 1000 grit
Textile 6 pocket Tool Roll, PETROGRAD, 360*260mm, for carving knives
Totally hand made at PETROGRAD factory of joinery and carpentry tools. Made in Russia.


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Shallow Hook Knife, PETROGRAD, type 3, left-handed

Hook knife is used for cutting out a hollow in a wooden spoon or scoop, as well as for other similar work. Shallow hook knife N3 has a water drop 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 - 12mm.
  • Hook cutter length - 235 mm
  • Handle length - 160 mm
  • Hook knife blade made from tool steel and hardened up to 58-60HRC.
  • All hook cutters are sharpened and ready to go.
  • The outerside of the hook is ring-shaped 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

Leather fingertip for woodcarvers

Leather fingertip is a thumb guard for wood carvers by Petrograd toolworks. Designed to protect hands from sharp tools. Thumb guard protects your finger from cut injuries when you are moving the cutting tool towards thumb, and prevents the formation of calluses when working away from yourself. Watch pictures for more info.

  • made of 2mm leather
  • easy to use
  • save you from injures

Guard has a special ring that prevents it from slipping during operation. The thimble was made of 2mm soft leather, which provides good protection for the toe.

Thumb guard was made by Petrograd toolworks in Saint Petersburg Russia

Отзывов: 1

Barking shovel N1, straight, 80mm

Straight staple shovel No. 1 with a straight edge, length 100mm is designed for removing thin or loose bark and other carpentry work. Also this tool is widely known in the professional environment under such names as debarking shovel, Swedish shovel, Black forest shovel, Barking Spud.
The hand-forged 6mm blade has a 30º angle and a hardness of 55-57HRC. Blade material - steel 65G. The 530mm long handle is made of beech wood and impregnated with oil. Handle diameter 34mm. For additional fastening, there are holes for fastening with screws or pins. Weight - 1kg, total length 650mm. The dimensions of the paddles in a batch may vary slightly. Manufactured in Petrograd (Russia).

All scraper blades are supplied with leather sheaths.

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Sharpening stone PETROGRAD, D80mm*20mm, 220/600 grit

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. Used for sharpening and setting bevels.

High sharpening performance, second only to diamond, is ensured by the use of silicon carbide abrasive grains, which are notable for their sharpness and brittleness. The high hardness of carbide-silicon grinding materials allows you to confidently process not only carbon steels, but also hard alloys, which is impossible on stones made of electro-alumina powders. In addition to performance, it is worth noting the extraordinary tactile sensations when sharpening a tool. Stones quickly give a slurry and produce a very pleasant sound.

> Water stones PETROGRAD are distinguished by high performance and geometry in a state of delivery.
In the characteristic of a water stone are specified: the first letter - hardness (I, J - soft, K - average); Japanese grain size according to JIS R6001-1987 is 150 (80 microns), 360 (34 microns), 500 (24 microns), 1000 (12 microns), 2000 (6 microns) and C is silicon carbide.

Comparison of FEPA, JIS and GOST standards:

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Bevel edge chisel, PETROGRAD, model Volga, 26mm

Bevel edge chisel Volga. These chisels have a classic design with blades that are bevel-edged to a narrow land on each side, providing excellent clearance when trimming into an angled corner such as in dovetail work, as well as reducing sidewall friction when working in a tight recess.

  • blade lenght - 150 mm
  • blade width - 26 mm
  • blade is made of high-alloyed chrome-manganese steel
  • hardened to 59-61 HRc
  • basic edge angle - 25 degrees
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Bevel edge chisel, PETROGRAD, model Volga, 16mm

Стамеска ПЕТРОГРАДЪ, серия Волга, 16мм. Производятся шириной от 3мм до 50мм. Кованые стамески Волга спроектированы, ориентируясь на многолетний опыт мастеров-краснодеревщиков.
Форма лезвия имеет боковые скосы для работы в труднодоступных местах, например при доработке шиповых соединений и соединений на ласточкин хвост. Толщина лезвия переменная и увеличивается от РК к рукояти.
Полотно из инструментальной высоколегированной стали, закалено до 61HRc. Спинка столярной стамески или рабочая сторона выровнена на плоскошлифовальных станках. Стамески Волга производства фабрики Петроградъ заточены и готовы к работе. Заводской угол заточки 25град.
Деревянная рукоять выполнена из твердых пород древесины, усилена латунным кольцом для силовой работы с киянкой.
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