Cheek Checkering for an A Grade

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Cheek Checkering for an A Grade

Postby Uplandguy » Thu Jan 28, 2021 1:40 am

Hi Gentlemen,
I am restoring a 1915 Fox A grade which at some point required a pin in the stock cheeks to repair a crack in the tang. The pin is hidden behind some wooden spacers. It is pretty obvious that the spacers are there on each side. To me, the simplest way to help this lady keep her makeup on is to add checkering to the cheeks to hide the spacers. I have periodically come across Fox A grades in the past where the cheeks were checkered, much like a B grade, but I began thinking, has there ever been any officially checkered cheeks on A grades and what did the pattern look like?

Second Question - I recently read in the Double Gun Journal about Hybrid Fox guns where the action and barrels would emulate one grade and the stock wood and checkering would emulate another grade. If I were to add Grade B checkering to the cheeks, would it require that I also alter the checkering on the grip as well? Is there any difference between grip checkering for an A and B grade?
Thanks in advance,
- Doug

FYI - This gun is not “pure” as it has one serial number for the stock, action and barrels (1915), but the for-end has another number (1940), but all A grade parts. Her barrels where just blued, for-end tightened to stop wobbling and the wood is in the process of being refinished - DP
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Re: Cheek Checkering for an A Grade

Postby Jeff S » Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:24 am

Personally, in my limited experience, I have never seen a 2nd gen A with that style engraving on the grip.
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Re: Cheek Checkering for an A Grade

Postby Fin2Feather » Thu Jan 28, 2021 1:12 pm

Mine all have just two points and are squared off at the bottom and not checkered all the way to the ball.

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Re: Cheek Checkering for an A Grade

Postby Maggiemollie » Thu Jan 28, 2021 1:46 pm

The pictures don't have a single shot of the entire checkering and it's a much later Savage Fox BE Grade but the checkering does have 3 points and appears to go pretty close to the ball. It looks very similar to your checkering.

https://www.gunsinternational.com/guns- ... 90337#md-4
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Re: Cheek Checkering for an A Grade

Postby Uplandguy » Thu Jan 28, 2021 3:07 pm

Interesting! So based on these pictures, the 3 point checkering pattern that also extended down to followed the profile of the prince of wales grip, was evident on a Utica, NY gun. So that means that my gun has action/barrels from Philly (1915), a replacement fore-end with a serial number from 1940 AND possibly a stock from the Utica, NY period based on the stock and possibly the fore-end checkering pattern. I had been told that the stock was original and only the fore-end was replacement. Unlike LC Smiths, I don’t believe that Fox guns stamp a serial number on the wood of the stock nor the for-end wood. This adventure is becoming more interesting with each new find!
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Re: Cheek Checkering for an A Grade

Postby setterspell » Thu Jan 28, 2021 3:25 pm

Uplandguy wrote: Unlike LC Smiths, I don’t believe that Fox guns stamp a serial number on the wood of the stock nor the for-end wood. This adventure is becoming more interesting with each new find!

Here is a common example of factory s/n stamp on stock heads of A.H. Fox guns
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Re: Cheek Checkering for an A Grade

Postby Grouser » Thu Jan 28, 2021 6:42 pm

Here is an AE grade with factory upgraded checkering on an English stock, per the card.
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Re: Cheek Checkering for an A Grade

Postby Researcher » Thu Jan 28, 2021 7:36 pm

The OP's picture appears to my eyes to be a late Savage-era restock to an earlier A-Grade. My 1938 vintage A-grade has three points on its grip checkering. The linked gun on GI has the Savage-style top-lever and safety slide as my gun does, while the OP's picture shows a Philadelphia style top-lever and safety slide, which certainly can be seen in guns to the end of production as workers reached into bins and grabbed a part.
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Re: Cheek Checkering for an A Grade

Postby Uplandguy » Thu Jan 28, 2021 11:49 pm

Thank you for sharing this information with me. Looks like I may have two A grade Fox guns from two different periods, 25 years apart, put together to make one A grade gun. It also appears that there are some A grades out there with, what looks like B grade, checkering on the cheeks. So I don’t have to feel too badly about adding this checkering to cover the pin spacers in the cheeks. Just have to deal with ensuring there are no significant stain shading differences between the spacers and the cheek wood surrounding it.
Thanks for all your help!
- Doug
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Re: Cheek Checkering for an A Grade

Postby Brian Dudley » Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:36 pm

Checkering the cheeks is certainly the "easy" way out of covering the unsightly pin. It looks like an attempt has already been made to paint over the cheeks, all the way down to the checkering to hide the repair and maybe other damage. Whatever is going on there, it is not natural wood.
Keep in mind that even when checkering, the pin will still likely show some. This is because of the fact that the species of wood that the pin is made of is different than the stock and it will either be a different color, or if stained it will absorb the stain differently given that it is likely end grain and it will still show as a dark circle in the checkering.

If you are set on checkering the cheeks, the absolute best way to go about it is to inlay in a piece of walnut that is in the shape of the checkering panel and then checker it so that you are looking at all wood on the checkering panel. Or you could even inlay in a smaller diamond which would blend in with the checkering diamonds.

Another method to make that pin go away is to not checker, but to take the cheeks down and veneer on a piece of color and grain matched walnut over the whole cheek. If done properly, the results will be about as good as you could ask for.
,Brian Dudley
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