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Old 07-17-2020, 12:44 AM
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I bought two sets of SW factory target ruffies.

Mainly a winter project and not looking for perfection, just want to "clean" and refinish them for my shooters.

the checkering on the "Targets" need some detailed attention.

Not looking for a set of files or very expensive

but is their one file or riffler pattern that will "clean up" the checkering on factory SW wood?

thanks in advance
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Old 07-17-2020, 03:27 PM
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Actual riffler checkering files are expensive.

A lower cost tool would be to buy a single line checkering cutter and handle from Brownell's.
A single line cutter will work on most all checkering.

This will clean up the checkering one line at a time, but you have to pay close attention to prevent over cutting or a deformed line.
The idea is to just clean up and re-point one row at a time and not over do it.
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Old 07-17-2020, 07:07 PM
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Buy one handle and then what ever cutters you need. I have no idea what a ruffie is? I have a De Bart with a few cutters. It is no easy and patience is needed!


DEM-BART S-1 CHECKERING TOOL | Brownells
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Old 07-17-2020, 08:02 PM
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thanks for the direction. I assumed a riffler is what I needed.
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Old 07-18-2020, 07:47 PM
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Checkering Rifflers are not used much (as much) anymore. Grobett (sp?) is about the only one that makes them AFIK. They are very expensive but so are most checkering tools these days.
When I started checkering in the 70's they were often used and I still have a coarse one in the tool box. They were usually used for the first run at recutting old filthy checkering as they really plowed the old dirt, oil and crud out of the lines. Saved your real cutting tools
No carbide checkering cutters at the time (yet)


A type of riffler for checkering can be made easily out of a tri-square (triangle shape) tapered needle file.

Use a coarse or at least a medium cut file.
A fine cut will fill the teeth quickly and not be easy to clean out.

The file being straight as made doesn't do well for working over checkering lines on gun stocks.
So to make a checkering riffler out of it you heat the end of it that you will be doing the cutting with (the narrowed end). Heat it up red hot and then while still glowing red gently and easily press the tip down into a piece of hard wood. Place one of the 3 edges straight down so it's at the bottom of the gentle bend that you will be placing in the file.
You will have a nicely formed checkering riffler.
Don't play around too much changing the curve just push it into shape and while still red hot (or if not red hot,,quickly re-heat so it is) and then quench in cool water.

That's going to reharden to file hardness,,so it'll be brittle and fragile like all small delicate needle file are.

If you want you can draw it back just a bit to make it somewhat stronger. But not too much, The trade off is loosing sharpness quicker and there's not much of a way to resharpen other than placing the file in vinegar for a while.

To draw back the hardness on such a small part, start with the file room temp. Dip the tip/end of the file in plain water so there's some attached to the curved tip.
Now with a lighter or other very small heat source,,heat the file further up it length towards the handle.
The heat will travel down to the tip and as soon as the water on the tip sizzles off,,quench it again in cool water.
You've not gone much above 215/220F to sizzle off the water.
That's how I draw my engraving background punches back from full hardness and they seem to last a lot longer and don't shatter or crack in use.

Or you could just by a single line checkering tool!
On pistol grips with the short lines and tight corners all around, you'll probably need a short single line cutters. Very short in length with a different type of handle. Lets you get into very short checkering lines that are inbetw 2 border lines.
That's the Dembart S1 as Rule 3 noted.
Very handy when doing pistol grips.

When that tool gets too long to run back and forth on a line, you have to go to a Veiner carving tool to cut/recut the really short lines in the corners. These are the ones that are one diamond and sometimes less in length.
Even then you have to approach these for each direction to complete one side of each diamond.
It gets tedious, but that's what makes the differences betw checkering and good and great checkering.

Have fun!
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