A Checkering Tool Conundrum
We often get asked “Why do your spacing tools have teeth on all rows?” So much so we thought we would address the reason we do this and do not offer any other spacing tools. The short answer is that we feel it is best. However, let’s look at why owner, Michael D. Ullman feels this way and what over 25 years of experience has taught him.
Two Line Spacing Tool
The reason we make our checkering spacing cutters with teeth on every row has to do with traction. Lord knows that checkering can be difficult and that we should take every advantage we can to have a checkering job that enhances the looks and function of a firearm. By having teeth on all rows it gives you equal purchase and causes the checkering cutter to grab evenly. This helps facilitate straighter lines with your checkering cutters and therefore, gives a better-looking and more appealing checkering job.
To illustrate this idea, think of your car or truck with an open differential, if you happen to find yourself in a little bit of a sticky situation the wheels will begin to spin at different speeds. What you end up with is one wheel trying to do all to the work while the other is doing nothing. If the one wheel that is turning does gain some traction then the car will start to slide and spin, causing you to fight the sudden change in power and direction. This same principle applies to checkering, if only one of the rows in your spacing tool has teeth then the other is just sliding around and this can make the cutter want to drift and if it does, then you find yourself fighting the checkering tool to keep your lines straight.
Front View of our Two Line Spacing Tool
Now let’s look at a car or truck with lockers or positive-traction, where power is being distributed evenly to both wheels ensuring that the wheels are spinning at the same speed. Now apply this concept to our spacing tools when checkering, where both “wheels” are cutting at the same rate and both pulling in the same direction, things are less likely to go askew and it makes getting straighter lines in your checkering pattern a little bit easier.
The other advantage is that with teeth on every row of a spacing cutter you are doing work on every row, even the ones that you are following. This is strictly a matter of efficiency. Checkering a gunstock is a time-consuming process and in order to have the best economy of motion we want to always be doing some work wherever practical. Less time cutting and a quality final product are the benefits of using Ullman Precision Products hand checkering tools.
Picture courtesy of Cody Law
At Ullman Precision Products, we offer two and three-line spacing cutters from 16 to 32 lines per inch. We manufacture them here in house out of A2 Tool Steel and have control over every aspect of production. We take pride in our quality hand checkering tools and look forward to seeing what you create. Make sure to send us pictures on Facebook, Instagram, or e-mail so we can share your fantastic projects!