Gun Stock Checkering consists of closely spaced lines that are cut or stamped into the wood. Two sets of parallel lines are made at an angle to one another to produce small diamonds. These diamonds provide a firmer grip on the gun stock. The lines are normally spaced at 16 to 32 lines per inch (i.e. one-sixteenth to one-thirtysecond of an inch separation). There are two types and three styles of checkering with four bordering options.
There are two types of checkering. These are Cut checkering and Impressed checkering.
Cut CheckeringCut checkering is produced with hand or machine tools that cut and remove wood. The photo below shows an example of Cut checkering:
Impressed CheckeringImpressed checkering is produced by stamping or rolling the stock with a hot die that impresses the diamond pattern into the wood. The wood does not burn because the process is performed quickly. The wood fibers are not crushed because the heat basically melts the wood lignin which is the substance that bonds the wood fibers together.
There are two types of Impressed checkering. These are referred to as Positive and Negative Impressed checkering. Positive Impressed checkering produces diamonds that are projected above the lines. Negative Impressed checkering produces diamonds that are indentations below the lines. The photos below show these two types of Impressed checkering:
Positive Impressed Checkering
Negative Impressed Checkering
Impressed checkering can be converted into Cut checkering. This is true for both Positive and Negative Impressed checkering.
The photo below shows Positive Impressed checkering with the right portion converted to Cut checkering:
The photo below shows Negative Impressed checkering with the upper left portion converted to Cut checkering:
There are basically three styles of checkering. These are American, English, and French checkering.
American CheckeringAmerican checkering is produced with lines having 'V' shaped grooves. This produces diamonds having pointed tips. The graphic below shows an example of American checkering:
English CheckeringEnglish checkering is produced with lines having squared grooves. This produces diamonds having flat tops. The graphic below shows an example of English checkering:French Checkering
French checkering is produced by skipping lines at predetermined intervals. The graphic below shows an example of French checkering:
There are four types of checkering boarders. Borders may or may not be included around the checkering. They normally consist of one or more lines that are included around the perimeter of the checkering. Borders sometimes consist of a carving (cut or stamped) in the wood around the checkering. On rare occasions, borders are formed by intentionally overrunning the checkering line ends past the last crossed line as shown in the graphic below:
The photo below is of Negative Impressed checkering converted to Cut checkering with a carved border: