Checkering Lingo & Standards - Custom Checkering by Sherry Abraham

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Checkering Lingo & Standards

Click on the name to see a photo example!

Side Panel - This refers to a pattern that has four separate panels, one on either side of the grips and one on either side of the forend.

Wrap Around - This refers to a pattern that has one large panel on the forend, usually about 7 inches in length. It gives you more full coverage. Usually, when possible, I make what is called a cross over grip.

Cross Over Grip - This means that the two grip panels are joned on the top, looking like an "X" between the nose and action.

Action Panels -  Refers to the small raised panels in front of the grip panels. Occasionally these are checkered at a finer lines per inch than the rest of the checkering.

Point Patterns - Patterns that contain only points, no curves, ribbons or fleur d'lis.

Fleur d'Lis - These are shapes that resemble a spade or club from a playing card. They come in various shapes and sizes.

Ribbons - Bare strips of uncheckered wood that show through a pattern.

Basket Weave or Skip Line Checkering - This is a type of checkering that has several rows close together then a larger space, repeated. I do not do this style of checkering yet.

Borders - A border is simply an extra line that runs completely around the checkering pattern. Usually I work borderless, meaning that the checkering comes right up to the outline, but I can add an extra border at your request, for a minimal fee. It is considered more professional to work borderless. The extra borders were used to hide the over runs made by production checkerers. Some of the older patterns came with this extra border, so you may wnat to add it to a replacemet stock to keep it looking original.

Re-Cut - This pertains to going over the existing checkering.. Bringing back the old, worn checkering. It is sometimes also called "chasing" or retracing.

Metal Checkering - I do not do metal checkering, wood only. If you need a checkerer for metal work, please contact Charity Littleton at (605)722-7516. Charity also has a web site at

Buttpads & Grip Caps - I DO checker buttpads and grip caps, skeleton or otherwise. If it is NOT a skeleton pad or cap, I will make about an eighth inch border around the circumference and fill in with checkering. You may also add a fleur d'lis to these areas to match a fleur pattern on the rest of the stock. Please remove the metal before sending to me if you would like your skeleton grip cap or buttpad checkered!



Just a few words about Checkering...

Checkering should be sharp, no flat diamonds.
There is a style of checkering called "English" Checkering. The diamonds appear to be more of a "Square" shape and it is left flat on purpose.

All lines should go all the way to the edge of the pattern, and all lines should appear to be the same depth.

There should be no deep valleys in your checkering, it should appear even. (Occasionally with fiddle back wood/ or tiger stripped wood, there may appear to be areas where the diamonds will look more enlongated in those areas. The same goes for larger palm swells.)

No over-runs should be present. (Occasionally accidents happen, no one is perfect. Usually a small sanding job will take care of a scratch in the finish.)

As a rule, if I do manage to put a small scratch on your stock, I will not sand it out. Most customers have their own way of doing things, some scratches (if any) are so small that they may be well hidden by simply adding some finish to the stock. Occasionally a scratch will happen if your stock is not packaged well for shipping.

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