Hand checkering 1911 front strap. Anyone done it?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing - Assembly - Finishing' started by fieldgrade, Nov 30, 2019 at 6:03 PM.

  1. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade Well seasoned member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    And if so, which fixture/jig, and files did you use?
    I’ve seen Brownells offerings, and it looks like I could send the gun off to a smith to have it done for what their checkering fixture would cost, plus file/s.

    I’d like to try it myself, having had some success fitting beavertails, and other metal parts.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019 at 6:03 PM
  2. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade Well seasoned member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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  3. Catfish

    Catfish E Pluribus Mendacium Charter Member Supporting Member

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    I did the same just recently and decided it’s above my skill level. For me it looks like a great way to eff up a $1000 dollar gun tryna save $20.
     
  4. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade Well seasoned member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    For me it’s more about doing it, than the money saved, but I AM leery of making a mess. I ground down the frame tangs an 1/8” on a Colt last year and fit an upswept beavertail, and it turned out well both functionally and cosmetically. I was making an antique clock reproduction in shop class when I was 15 when everyone else was making bookends, so I’m pretty sure I can do it. I just want to start out with the right tools. The guys on a 1911 forum use a fixture of some sort to start and some of them freehand it after the first few lines. *egad*
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019 at 6:22 PM
  5. jmccracken1214

    jmccracken1214 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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  6. Catfish

    Catfish E Pluribus Mendacium Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Same here - I’d love to have the skills to do this. I even considered buying the tools and practicing on a piece of stock.
     
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  7. Schattenreiter

    Schattenreiter Member

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    I did a set of grips for one of my gun and it didn't turn out to bad. At least I didn't think so. It is labor intensive and you cannot rush. Lighting is critical. Watch a couple of videos about how it is done. You would think bright light is the key but shaded works better. It creates a shadow on the line which helps you to see it better. If you can get some scrap metal in the correct shape practice on it. I had the luxury of cutting the lines and not liking them and just sanding them down twice because I started the grips way thicker than I needed. You won't have that option.

    You will never know if you don't try so go for it.
     
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  8. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade Well seasoned member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I saw your thread earlier. Impressive work.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019 at 6:36 PM
  9. Ben Jefferson

    Ben Jefferson Active Member Supporting Member

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    I would love to try it,but I ama chicken shit!
     
  10. Schattenreiter

    Schattenreiter Member

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    Thank you sir. :)
     
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  11. CHRIS_WNC

    CHRIS_WNC Member

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    Let me check , heh heh, my tool box tomorrow and make sure my stuff is still where I think it is. If so, I have a jig and some checkering files that you can borrow if you are serious about doing it. I've done two of them. One for a buddy and one on my old beat up Springfield Loaded.

    CHRIS
     
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  12. ronn47

    ronn47 Where's the Scotch? Charter Member Benefactor Life Member

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    Try it on a piece of 3/4" or 1" black pipe and see how it goes.
     
  13. pfccorder

    pfccorder Happy to be here

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    Here’s one I hand checkered
     

    Attached Files:

  14. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade Well seasoned member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Very nice work.
    Did you use a jig or fixture?
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019 at 8:37 PM
  15. pfccorder

    pfccorder Happy to be here

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    i did not just a file
     
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  16. CHRIS_WNC

    CHRIS_WNC Member

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    @fieldgrade I have my Brownells jig and some files located. Message me your address and I’ll loan them to you for about a month.


    CHRIS
     
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  17. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade Well seasoned member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Thanks! PM inbound.