Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Metal Checkering Question (Caution-pics)

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Metal Checkering Question (Caution-pics)

    I used to do this the old fashioned, hard way, with a checkering file, beady eyes and steady hand.
    This is the first .45 I ever built, about 15 years (and over 60K rounds)ago, one of the first SS Gold Cups Colt made (ser.#SN004XX). It sure was SCARY taking that first cut. I spent over 40 hours (and wore out 2 checkering files) doing this one, SS is a bitch to checker by hand (as I found out). I had to dull the points a little bit as they would eat you up after a few hundred rounds.
    (Sorry for the big pics.)



    Now I have a new-fangled milling machine and haven't a clue as to how to do something like this. Anyone care to walk me through it (in generalities), tooling, set-up, etc.?
    Thanks,
    HB

    ------------------
    NRA Lifetime Member
    NRA Lifetime Member

  • #2
    You did this by hand??? WOW!! Congratulations!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Someone on another post mentioned uhmw blocks to cut to hold a 45.

      Beautiful job. I still love the govt models. My last was not so fancy. Just bomar sites, pacmar grips, micro bushing, beavertail saftey and microbore barrel. nothing as nice as yours.

      Nice work, you did a excellent job, If'n I was going to do it with a mill, it'd have to be a cnc with custom cutters. I don't think endmills will give you these results.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm very impressed with your craftmanship. Stainless yet. What are the side grips made from?

        You didn't say what kind of mill you have, horizontal or vertical. But, IMHO, to do that kind of work with either kind would take some very special set-ups. Way beyond my experience but I wouldn't mind trying it. Perhaps a mill is not even the best machine for the job. Perhaps a Dremel Tool with special cutters and some kind of fabricated guides? Also, the number of pieces would be a factor. One off - several - hundreds - or????

        I've seen some big multi-axis CNC machines that could make fast work of this but the $s would be astronomical.

        I know I'n not much help, but I just had to say something about your beautiful work.
        Paul A.
        SE Texas

        Make it fit.
        You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!

        Comment


        • #5
          Oh, I would love to see a picture of the whole pistol.
          Paul A.
          SE Texas

          Make it fit.
          You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!

          Comment


          • #6
            You could maybe rough it out on a mill and clean up with a checkering file.Excellent work!
            I just need one more tool,just one!

            Comment


            • #7
              HB

              Beautiful work. That retaining pin needs rework though - whadda whacking that for, man - it should come out with a 7.62mm "Pin Tool" (field strip)!

              That is one of the nicest checkering jobs I have seen on a 1911 for a very long time. I had a Para-Ordinance S&W .40 - they even machine the barrels chamber with CNC, their checkering job sucks.

              Keep doing it by hand - I would reather pay for good hand checkering than the CNC jobs I have seen.

              Damn, you are good - don't stop now!

              P.S. love the "funnel" too!

              [This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 04-24-2003).]

              Comment


              • #8
                There was an article in HSM a few years ago (maybe 10 yrs?) about checkering in the mill.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Want to sell it?

                  Love your workmanship!!!


                  Jerry


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ok here you go. If the radius of the grip is constant i.e. it is an perfect arc, you can set up a rotary table and indicate the center of the radius then dial off center with the table, install a carbide insert cutter with serations (from Brownell's) then dial back in with the same axis until you make contact with the frame then dial the rotary table around untill you complete the first pass. then dial in a little more and do it again. Most good smiths just run straight across the front strap and leave it or for a more custom look finish with a checkering file.
                    By the way the job you did would fetch about $100 to $200 per side depending on the pitch.
                    Excelent work I haven't seen better from a custom shop.
                    Kerry
                    Rule #1 be 10% smarter then what you\'re working on.
                    Rule #2 see Rule #1

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      All-Thanks for the compliments.

                      Paul-The grips are the factory 150 yr commemoratives (1886-1986, see the little emblem), they are just a black stained hardwood of some kind, I never found any I liked better, so I never changed them. I just have a verticle end mill, no production work, just for my own personal stuff (I have 5 more 45's and 3 Hi-Powers I'd like to checker). I've done 4-45's over the years. The Hi-Powers are scary because the Ser.#'s are in the center of the frontstrap...one slip and you've screwed up bigtime. I would probably superglue a small pc. of shimstock over the # to help protect it. Here's the whole pistol.........

                      Thrud--That pin has been in and out a bunch of times over the years, both in the field (cleaning @ pistol matches) and the shop.
                      What most people don't even notice about this job was one of the hardest parts to do (nicely) is the little frame strips on each side of the mainspring housing. I also took out a bunch of metal at the top of the frontstrap (for a higher grip, factory stock now, but not 15 years ago) and checkered all the way up to the square edge.
                      This pistol was "state of the art" 15 years ago, 3 lb trigger, would shoot 3" groups at 50 yards (Ransom rested), I learned a lot about .45's building this gun, lots of trial and error. Now the new CNC guns have 1 1/2 lb triggers and shoot 1" groups.
                      Now you can buy a Kimber with everything done to it for $750-850, just the parts (not counting the gun) in my old gun cost that at the time.

                      Jerry--Thanks, but I better not. Lot's of good memories in that gun. It gives you that "warm, fuzzy" feeling when you pick it up, it fits so good (got to be a gun nut to understand that one ).

                      Kerry-The hardest part of checkering (for me, anyway) is keeping the layout straight on those first few cuts (both horizontal and vert., to keep the diamonds square) If you get them off, the whole job is crooked. The radius of the frontstrap is NOT constant(on Colt's guns, I think it is done on a belt or drum sander, by hand, seriously). I think I could use the cutter you mentioned JUST to do a shallow cut (both ways) for layout and then finish it all up with files.


                      ------------------
                      NRA Lifetime Member

                      [This message has been edited by Hellbender (edited 04-25-2003).]

                      [This message has been edited by Hellbender (edited 04-25-2003).]
                      NRA Lifetime Member

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've heard that a good machinist can make anything using only a file. Now I'm convinced.

                        Albert

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Albert-the only power tools used on that gun was a buffer I made out of an old A/C motor to hold my 6" buffing wheel and a B&D hand drill to polish internal parts. But hours & hours of filing, sanding and polishing.
                          NRA Lifetime Member

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hellbender:
                            I never missed the checkering you mentioned, but you did not show the mag release, and I love it too.

                            Sorry to hear it shoots like a dog though. My .38 super ever shot THAT bad, nor did my Para-Ordinance S&W.40 - for shame! (Just kidding)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The first one I did was also stainless and like you found out how tough it was to do. But once you start, you have to finish. I would never do another. Took way too many hours. The one I did do, I went with "raised checkering" Put the checkering down and then removed the metal around it to the root of the checkering. After finding out how much fun this was to do, I made tool and did stripling on the stainless guns from there out. You did a very nice job.
                              Michael

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X