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.

Checkering tool complete C-1, 90°

Checkering tool C-1 has 1 pyramidal tooth. Angle top 90 degrees. All the cutters are made of steel, undergone the process of hardening and processing, for long and reliable work.
It is V-shaped with teeth on both sides. Checkering tool C-1 is designed for applying the original layout of the picture, as well as for deepening the grooves after their application, with other cutters.
The wooden handle is made of beech, well balanced and lies comfortably in your hand.
Pay attention to the high relief, providing fast and smooth cutting. The tines provide good removal of all hardwoods.
The cutter doesnt look like cutting - deep or shallow grooves, right or rounded corners, parallel lines or cross-hatching, in the direction of the fiber or across. No need to re-do the pass to treat uneven areas. Equal each element is obtained.

The width of the working part is 5 mm, the length of the working part is 11 mm, the apex angle 90 degrees.

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

Отзывов: 1

Checkering tool complete N2-18, 90°

Checkering tool No2. Both sides with teeth. Used for the application of grooves and their deepening after application. One blade runs along the guideline, while the other marks the next groove. When moving to the next groove, the tool deepens it and again applies the next groove. Cutter 2 It is a combination of tools for expanding and deepening grooves. Beech handle. All the cutters are made of steel, underwent a process of hardening and processing, for long and reliable work.

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


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Leather Knife PETROGRAD, type 1, single stright bevel

Straight and flat leather Knife type 1 with a single bevel (up or right). This model has one flat side and one bevel side. It's simple knife for paring and skiving.

  • for straight cuts
  • for skiving
  • for paring

Flat Leather knife type 1 by Petrograd toolworks comes with a leather sheath. Edge is perfectly sharpened and ready to work out of the box.
This type of knives is used in handicraft, leather work, and shoemaking.

  • blade made of tool alloy steel 9ХФ
  • blade thickness - 1.7 mm
  • edge lenght - 40 mm
  • blade lenght - 70mm
  • handle made of wood *
  • oil covered **
Отзывов: 1

Straight Gouge Rubankov, N3, 6mm

Straight Gouge Rubankov, N3, 6mm

Straight Gouge Rubankov, N3, 6mm (0.43 inches)
Carving chisel "Rubankov" Straight Gouge N3, 6mm (0.43 inches). This is universal chisel that perfectly suits for carving hard and soft wood. The width of the cutting edge is 6mm ( 0.43 inches ). The total lenght of the gouge is 280mm (11.02inches ), blade lenght is 145mm ( 5.71inches ), the lenght of the handle is 135mm (5.31inches ). Made of alloy steel, hand forged and hardened to 59-61HRc. The comfortable and ergonomic oval handle is made of cherrywood ( may change) and coated with oil.

Gouge is sharpened, honed and fully ready to work out of the box.
Produced by PETROGRAD toolworks. ( Saint-Petersburg Russia )

Отзывов: 1

Straight Gouge Rubankov, N2, 14mm, fishtail

A professional level cutting tool designed for processing hardwoods and hardwoods. The basis of any set of carving tools is straight chisels. Straight chisels "fish tail" (FT) are suitable for solving problems from creating curly shapes to the selection of lamps, allow you to work in hard-to-reach places where a regular straight chisel cannot handle. They can be used beveled up or down to create concave or convex surfaces.
RUBANKOV chisels are forged from low-alloy high-carbon steel. Hardened to a hardness of 59-61 HRc.
The faceted handle is made of precious wood and covered with oil. The impact side is rounded so as not to crush calluses on the palms. The brass ring has an exquisite look and the effect of the handle from cracking when working with a mallet. The internal profile of the chisel is polished, the detected edge is sharpened and ready for work.
These models are percussion, they can be paired with a mallet.
The declared geometric dimensions vary in handling, as the tool is made and hoarded by hand.
The length of the metal sheet is 145 mm. Overall length with handle 280mm.
Web width - 14mm.

Made at the PETROGRAD joinery and carpentry tools factory.
Production Russia.
Отзывов: 1

Straight Carving Chisel Rubankov, N1, 10mm

Straight carving gouge N1 has 10mm wide blade(0.39 inches) and slight profile for better carving abilities. It is universal wood carving chisel that perfectly suits for carving hard or soft wood. Best choice for relief wood carving.

  • cutting edge width - 10mm (0.39 inches)
  • blade lenght is 145mm (5.71inches)
  • Made of alloy steel
  • hand forged
  • hardened to 59-61HRc
Gouge is sharpened, honed and fully ready to work out of the box.

Produced by PETROGRAD toolworks. ( Saint-Petersburg Russia )

Отзывов: 1

Carving set PETROGRAD n19, 6 tools, chisel handles

Набор мини стамесок для резьбы по дереву, ПЕТРОГРАДЪ, N19, 6 предметов. Авторский набор мини-стамесок для миниатюрной резьбы по дереву. Эти прекрасные инструменты подойдут для моделистов, любителей миниатюрной резьбы и для максимальной деталировки резьбы. Набор включает три плоские прямые стамески, две косые стамески и одну полукруглую стамеску. Производство Россия.

Отзывов: 1

Petrograd Bushcraft Straight Gouge, n7, 30mm

Прямая стамеска для вырезания ложки, профиль Н7, ширина 30 мм. Эта стамеска была специально разработана с оглядкой на нужды ложкарей, ее профиль и общие габариты, даже внешний вид, подобраны исходя из эргономики изготовления деревянной ложки. Прямые стамески подходит для множества задач от создания фигурных форм до подбора фона Стамеска подойдет и для классической резьбы при съеме материала. Производство фабрика Петроградъ (Россия)

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