Front Strap Checkering - 1911Forum
1911Forum
Advertise Here
Forum   Reviews   Rules   Legal   Site Supporters & Donations   Advertise


Go Back   1911Forum > >

Notices


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-20-2009, 02:15 PM
CustomKimber CustomKimber is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 135
Front Strap Checkering

Want to have the front strap checkered on one of my Kimbers. Has anyone ever attempted it themselves? I am fairly experienced with gunsmithing but have never tried to cut the front strap checkering. I found a jig from Brownells that would make it easier. Any suggestions?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-20-2009, 02:37 PM
Stormin'N Stormin'N is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,355
Find some you like and pay the guy that did it to do yours? Buy/find a beater and practice first.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-20-2009, 02:37 PM
pdp pdp is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 396
I'e always thought it was an irony, that the 1911 and it's endless spin offs, had such nice checkered Stocks, when, the right manner of grip, would have recommended smooth Stocks, and checkering on the front and rear straps of the receiver.


Anyway, in times passed, special multi-row Files used for Thread chasing of Bolts, were somes used for checkering Steel. Engraver's Chisels of course allow for a tidy boarder...not possible to do with Files, although Rifflers could come close.


Darn it, I've really been wanting to do a 'project' 1911, but I have not found a frame or donor-pistol yet. But checkered front and backstraps are a-callin' to me, definitely...


Have fun!
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Old 01-20-2009, 02:39 PM
carlos64030 carlos64030 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 338
Checkering is an art.... leave it to the pros. Practice on something that doesn't have any value to you.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-20-2009, 02:39 PM
slopemeno slopemeno is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Age: 57
Posts: 1,507
Practice on a piece of 1" dia steel thick walled tubing, or even a round piece of delrin. It's easy to do, but harder to do well. The cleanup and blending after the fact takes quite a bit of effort too.

You can use the search function and look up a post I did back in, oh 2007? about metal checkering.

As far as the jigs, I made my own, as I really didn't like the existing ones we had. After you do a frame you'll understand why guys went to machine cut checkering.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-20-2009, 02:39 PM
pdp pdp is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormin'N View Post
Find some you like and pay the guy that did it to do yours?



That's a very good idea...probably the best idea, really...


Then too, there is value and satisfaction in learning by doing, though it can and does have it's cost(s)...liabilities...
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-20-2009, 02:57 PM
thelovedaddy thelovedaddy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Memphis,Tn
Age: 51
Posts: 349
dont waste your time, I had my first checkering job on a kimber...never again.
__________________
''Ya can't argue logic with ignorance''

N.R.A. Life Member
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-20-2009, 04:42 PM
45 nut 45 nut is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: dfw
Posts: 673
ship it off to springfield and get MACHINED checkering. its by far the best price you will find
__________________
SQUIBS-be aware,they can ruin your day,gun,and life
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-20-2009, 05:26 PM
Japle Japle is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 602
I've done a couple of dozen front straps. Never had a problem, but you have to be CAREFUL!! One second of lost concentration and you're screwed. You can't put the metal back.

I never used a jig. A pair of lined 4X6 cards lined up on either side of the frame in a padded vice works for me. But you have to be directly above the work and not move your head and have good light. Your vice should weigh at least 40 lbs (no lightweight woodworking vice!) and be bolted down to a solid bench.

Brownell's checkering files work fine. Chalk the file. Keep it clean. 30 LPI for a front strap. 40 LPI for the rear of the slide.

Good luck.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-20-2009, 05:36 PM
maximus83 maximus83 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: WA state
Posts: 1,241
Quote:
Originally Posted by 45 nut View Post
ship it off to springfield and get MACHINED checkering. its by far the best price you will find
+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.
__________________
Those who beat swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who don't. --Benjamin Franklin.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-20-2009, 07:27 PM
Old Guy Old Guy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 752
Go for it. Get some scrap metal similar to your frame and practice. You'll either enjoy it or decide it's too much work and ship your gun off to someone else.

But you'll never know until you try.
__________________
Bless the pessimist. He brings extra ammo.

The problem with the world is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-20-2009, 07:32 PM
pitghost pitghost is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by 45 nut View Post
ship it off to springfield and get MACHINED checkering. its by far the best price you will find
do you know approximately how much this cost? b/c i'll be getting a gun in a few months and i'd like it to have front strap checkering but my price range is $600-900. ill get it done at a later date if the gun i buy doesnt have it.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-20-2009, 08:01 PM
Shad Roe Shad Roe is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 7,402
Quote:
Originally Posted by pitghost View Post
do you know approximately how much this cost? b/c i'll be getting a gun in a few months and i'd like it to have front strap checkering but my price range is $600-900. ill get it done at a later date if the gun i buy doesnt have it.
You might want to try some 3M Tread Tape/skateboard tape. It may change your mind about fs checkering. I'd rather have the tape. I have guns with front strap checkering.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-20-2009, 09:11 PM
Greatgoogamooga Greatgoogamooga is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 533
I did sthe skate tape thing, then switched to a finer grit tape from Home Despot becaue the skate tape ripped up my hand too much. I then bought some files from Brownells and checkered it at 100LPI. Looks like I did it myself, but not terrible, by any means. If you really need a piece of art, have it professionally done., If you want something that works and is a serviceable, working gun, go ahead and do it yourself.

Goog
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-20-2009, 09:20 PM
NewKimber+1 NewKimber+1 is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: KCMO
Age: 59
Posts: 4,761
Get the brownells kit and start carvin'....hell, it's just a gun.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01-20-2009, 11:26 PM
carlos64030 carlos64030 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 338
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewKimber View Post
Get the brownells kit and start carvin'....hell, it's just a gun.
Just a gun?!?!?!?!

A 1911 can never be "just a gun".
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-21-2009, 08:26 AM
medic0079 medic0079 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 93
I think I saw some partially finished lowers at sarco for cheap to practice on
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01-21-2009, 10:31 PM
Smokers Smokers is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 370
I've been trying my hand at checkering for a couple of years. I started out checkering on some de-milled frames, but that was a mistake because the metal was really hard. Don't know if the torching made them harder than usual or if the old military stuff was just hard to begin with.

I've checkered on Colt frames, Springfield frames, and RIA frames. The metal in the RIA frames seem easier to checker. Maybe it's softer, I don't know.

Here's a pic of the tools I use. I've found the checkering guide very helpful. I think it's from Marvel. I forget.
[IMG][/IMG]

This is one of my later jobs on a RIA frame. I was kinda in a hurry, so I cold blued it before I was completely satisfied, but good enough for shooting. I'll clean up the edges later.

[IMG][/IMG]

This is a Springfield frame I'm still working on. It' almost done. I always get lazy with the edges. I haven't figured out a border that I like. Sometimes I leave a border, sometimes I don't.

[IMG][/IMG]

I've been asked a couple of times to checker guns for friends, but I always turn them down. A wise person once told me the best way to ruin a good hobby is to turn it into a business!
__________________
Randy
NRA Life Member
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 01-22-2009, 09:51 PM
RWW RWW is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Northern Illinois
Age: 73
Posts: 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by pitghost View Post
do you know approximately how much this cost? b/c i'll be getting a gun in a few months and i'd like it to have front strap checkering but my price range is $600-900. ill get it done at a later date if the gun i buy doesnt have it.
I have had two of my pistols done by Springfield. I highly recommend their machine cut checkering service.


I bought the Marvel checkering jig from Brownell's because I wanted to try it myself. I practiced on plastic pipe, and flat aluminum and on aluminum rod. That was easy I told myself. On to my gun. To make a long story short the gun turned into a DISASTER. The file wandered and I ended up cutting the points into.

I was able to find a vendor that could fix my screw-up (the fine folks at EGW) and my pistol is now done. Before I try it again I want to find someone that does it and ask to watch it happen. It is my understanding that Caspian will sell frames that can't be turned into guns. I will buy several of them and practice on a real front strap before I EVER try it on a real gun again.

RWW
__________________
I shoot with a Canon 1DMKII and a Ruger Vaquero (357), XD-9, PX9109L 1911A1, PB9108L Mil-Spec, PX9130LP 9mm Loaded and a 45acp Caspian build (full size) and a 9mm Caspian build (commander size)
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 01-23-2009, 07:03 AM
George Smith George Smith is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Quakertown Pa, 18951
Posts: 2,125
Quote:
Originally Posted by medic0079 View Post
I think I saw some partially finished lowers at sarco for cheap to practice on
Great Plan
also if you call Caspian they may have a demilled frame to practice on before you cut on your own bullet launcher.

geo

www.egw-guns.com

redone yesterday
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 01-23-2009, 08:42 AM
SRJim SRJim is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Flower Mound, Texas
Age: 57
Posts: 15,298
Quote:
Originally Posted by CustomKimber View Post
Want to have the front strap checkered on one of my Kimbers. Has anyone ever attempted it themselves? I am fairly experienced with gunsmithing but have never tried to cut the front strap checkering. I found a jig from Brownells that would make it easier. Any suggestions?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 45 nut View Post
ship it off to springfield and get MACHINED checkering. its by far the best price you will find
Since it's a Kimber, they may be more receptive to it.

I had Kimber do 30lpi to mine and they did a fantastic job. It was about $150 on a SS frame and they cleaned the frame up like new.
__________________
Kimber Pro Carry HD - Bobtailed
Kimber Combat Carry
Glock's, Colt/Bravo Company and misc.
"The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it." -- Thomas Jefferson

Last edited by SRJim; 01-23-2009 at 08:44 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 01-23-2009, 09:13 AM
wproct wproct is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 510
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.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 01-23-2009, 09:44 AM
liliysdad liliysdad is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Southern OK
Age: 40
Posts: 729
The Wilson add on frontstrap is nasty. It goes in the same category as Shok-Buffs and those magwells that go under the grips.

Springfield charges 80 bucks for machine cut checkering. Its the best deal going. Myself, I use 3M tread tape.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 01-23-2009, 10:16 AM
ken_mays ken_mays is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Memphis TN
Age: 50
Posts: 3,770
Here's my personal journey toward 20 lpi frontstrap checkering. It was my first attempt on a gun, and maybe it'll be of some help, maybe you'll just get a couple of belly laughs out of it.

Before I attempted it, I apprenticed under Wile E. Coyote for several years.

http://www.geocities.com/kemays/1911...1911frame2.htm
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 01-23-2009, 03:13 PM
CustomKimber CustomKimber is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 135
Thanks for all the great feedback. I believe I will try this once I get home from Iraq. I have done checkering on wood plenty of times. The pics were very helpful. If I jack it up I can always cover it with a set of wrap around grips.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:54 AM.


NOTICE TO USERS OF THIS SITE: By continuing to use this site, you certify that you have read and agree to abide by the Legal Terms of Use. All information, data, text or other materials ("Content") posted to this site by any users are the sole responsibility of those users. 1911Forum does not guarantee the accuracy, integrity, or quality of such Content.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 2015 1911Forum.com, LLC. All Rights Reserved