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  #26  
Old 01-23-2009, 03:34 PM
BigJon BigJon is offline
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Good advice throughout this thread, CK. If you decide to try, take the advice and practice first! I can tell you how important that is because I started right in on a 1991A1 Colt, and it is awful. Everything seemed to be going okay, but then I found that my horizontals across the front of the strap were wavy. I'm still practicing now on scrap stuff, and I STILL haven't gotten it right. I am commited to learning how to do it, but I'm just about ready to throw in the towel and go with the other option mentioned here: just getting things machine checkered.

For some folks, checkering may be easy. For me, it it most certainly is not.

Best,
Jon
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  #27  
Old 01-23-2009, 07:40 PM
Dr. Bob Dr. Bob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximus83 View Post
+1. And BTW, I think even Springfield sends this off to some other shop to get the work done. At least, they did on mine.
Yup, and I work at that shop part time...

I've done the hand checkering on many frames. It was one of my duties at RRA when I worked there. I got pretty good at it and I haven't forgotten how to ride that bike.

I will say this, when it comes to checkering, it's hard to beat that CNC. Machines don't sneeze or have a bad day. They don't slip or cough mid stroke. For the time, money, and overall satisfaction, have somebody do it for you.

If you are interested in sending the frame to me, keep in mind I take care of the men and women in LE and Military with discounts.

Take care,
Bob

Last edited by Dr. Bob; 01-23-2009 at 07:43 PM.
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  #28  
Old 01-24-2009, 08:12 AM
drail drail is offline
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Wrapping tape on the tips of your fingers where they hold on to the file will save you some pain. Always use some type of guide for the file. Go slowly and take breaks. Have a very well lit work area. Chalk the file and clean it often. Ensure that one edge of the file is parallel to the teeth and mark the file so you always use the same side. Flipping the file over in the middle of a job is a VERY BAD THING. Hold your breath. Doing checkering for a couple of years gave me arthritis in my wrists and elbows. I would be willing to pay for machine checkering now.

Last edited by drail; 01-24-2009 at 05:35 PM.
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  #29  
Old 03-26-2009, 04:59 PM
krs krs is offline
 
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Smoker,

In looking at your photos I've realized that I've got one of those Marvel checkering guides, or at least most of it. I bought it in ebay a while back but the instructions sent with it are for a Power Custom checkering tool and don't make any sense. I've never tried to use the jig because I couldn't make sense of all the parts.

What's chances of getting a copy of the instructions, or just a web address for who makes it. Every time I googled "Marvel Precision" it comes with a dozen links to the .22 conversion and it seems like that's a different marvel (?)

Now that I've seen what you did with it I'm newly inspired and took the gizmo out of a drawer to verify that it's the same thing. Beautiful job you've done with it!
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  #30  
Old 03-26-2009, 09:09 PM
blindhogg blindhogg is offline
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Hell you'll never know if you can do it unless you try it.
But if it were me I would get a blank frame casting from Sarco for $25 and practice on that first.
Chris
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  #31  
Old 03-27-2009, 09:57 AM
BigJon BigJon is offline
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A lot of water under the bridge since my last post on this thread. Since then, I have found that I can do a lot better job (not great yet, but much better) by NOT using a jig. No kidding! When I tried with the jig, I seemed to get waivy horizontals, and when I didn't they were straight! One problem I kept running into with the Marvel jig was that I found myself focussing on keeping the file straight in the jig, not keeping the file straight on the work. I think the difference is that by not using a jig, it forced me to go extremely slowly and concentrate on the front strap itself without distraction.

Instead of a jig, I'm now doing a lot better using a zip tie and my brass vice jaws for indicators.

First, I put the zip tie around the front strap as high as it will go, making sure that the coupler is behind (inside) the front strap so that it's out of the way, which lets the zip tie lie against the front strap all the way around.

Next, I put my brass jaw covers and the frame in in the vice, but I leave one brass cover higher than the other so that it's inside edge is above the front strap. That lets me use the higher cover as a guide for cutting the first verticals, and the zip tie acts as a stop so that I don't booger the area above where the checkering will be. Then, the zip tie serves as a guide for cutting the first verticals.

I still have a long way to go until I will be able to do truly beautiful hand checkering, but this has helped me move light years ahead of where I was when I tried to use dedicated fixtures. And even the best hand-checking job will never be as precise as machine-cut checkering. But, it's the time and effort involved that's the fun part for me, since I don't have the time-cost issues that a pro would have.

Best,
Jon

P.S.: I would be remiss in not citing the source where I got the idea to use the zip tie: http://www.ontargetcgw.com/basefile/diy-check.htm
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Last edited by BigJon; 03-27-2009 at 10:06 AM. Reason: Adding Source of Information
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  #32  
Old 03-27-2009, 01:33 PM
jbaker jbaker is offline
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Great Big Jon so can I give you my frame to checker now? That way I dont have to do them myself.
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  #33  
Old 03-27-2009, 01:39 PM
BigJon BigJon is offline
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No sir! I have SEEN your work, and my checkering would NOT be up to par with that!
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  #34  
Old 03-27-2009, 01:52 PM
jbaker jbaker is offline
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Darn I dont like checkering takes time away from dancing with the stars
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  #35  
Old 03-27-2009, 02:45 PM
BigJon BigJon is offline
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Don't mind JBaker, guys - he has a baby due in about 4 days and is losin' it. LOL!
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  #36  
Old 03-27-2009, 04:55 PM
blindhogg blindhogg is offline
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Personally I have used the checkering fixture shown in the photos and do not like it. It flexes too much for me creating a line not parallel with the side of the frame. I created my own jig which is very very easy to recreate. Photos on my website.
Chris
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  #37  
Old 03-27-2009, 08:05 PM
Smokers Smokers is offline
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krs,

I'll have to dig around to see if I still have the instructions. The jig was made by Bob Marvel who designed the .22 Conversions that bear his name. He no longer has anything to do with that company.

Bob Marvel has his own website for his custom gunsmith service. I'm not on my computer that has all the links, otherwise I'd post it here.



Quote:
Originally Posted by krs View Post
Smoker,

In looking at your photos I've realized that I've got one of those Marvel checkering guides, or at least most of it. I bought it in ebay a while back but the instructions sent with it are for a Power Custom checkering tool and don't make any sense. I've never tried to use the jig because I couldn't make sense of all the parts.

What's chances of getting a copy of the instructions, or just a web address for who makes it. Every time I googled "Marvel Precision" it comes with a dozen links to the .22 conversion and it seems like that's a different marvel (?)

Now that I've seen what you did with it I'm newly inspired and took the gizmo out of a drawer to verify that it's the same thing. Beautiful job you've done with it!
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  #38  
Old 03-28-2009, 10:00 PM
Smokers Smokers is offline
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wproct,
Thanks for the good words. I practice quite a bit before trying to checker a real frame. I've learned quite a bit from this forum and reading what Blindhogg has done.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wproct View Post
Smokers, you had done an excellent job, better than some factory work that I have seen. Great work!

I think that for the average person, sending the frame to the factory to have the job done would be a good approach, unless you have a local smith that can show you work that he has done.
Also, Wilson Combat makes a checkered frontstrap that slips under the grips that doesn't look too bad. It's only $10 or so. It is in the Brownell's book.
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