Author Topic: One of the World's Ugliest (and Cheapest) Checkering Cradles  (Read 639 times)

Offline Curtis

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One of the World's Ugliest (and Cheapest) Checkering Cradles
« on: December 08, 2018, 08:14:20 AM »
After some correspondence and much self debate I decided to construct a checkering cradle in preparation for my first attempt at checkering.  My better half sometimes chides me for saving junk that is of little value to the average person, but I often see potential in items for re-purposing, especially metal objects.  So when I was moving things around the shop to bring my tractor for the winter I started taking a mental inventory of what might be useful for cobbling together a checkering cradle.

I ran across a concrete anchor and thought it would work as an axle for the nose piece of the cradle.  Had a can of WD40 that quit spraying while it was still over half full.  I punched a hole in the WD40 can with a nail and emptied the contents into a pump spray bottle, hacksawed the top off the can, then snipped some slits in the exposed end and folded them over to eliminate sharp edges and add strength to the new rim.  Then I looked around for a bolt and some washers that fit the anchor, and a plastic yogurt cup that had some parts in it.  Here is what I came up with:



For the rear axle I used the eye rod from an implement stabilizer bar that got bent when one end came loose.  The eye piece was reverse threaded and I didn't have any nuts that fit so I cut the threaded end off the body of the stabilizer bar, then cut it in half to have 2 "nuts".



 I found a piece of metal tubing cut off a metal shelf leg to shorten the self, that slipped over the eye rod perfectly and cut it just slightly larger than a 2x4 width.  I cut a couple of uprights from a scrap piece of 2x4, then drilled a 1" hole in the rear upright and press fit the shelf leg in it.  Next I screwed on of my new nuts on the eye rod, slid the rod in the shelf leg, added the remaining nut and made a turning handle from tv antenna part, an old toilet bolt and a loose tool handle.  I made a clamp for the stock but out of some maple scraps, bolts and a leather remnant.



I added a bearing to the nosecup assembly and of course used duct tape to permanently secure the yogurt cup, then lined the cup with another piece of leather.  The whole mess was then passed through a 3/8" hole drilled in the front upright and secured with a nut and washer.



The wood parts were screwed & glued together the assembled on a 2x4 scrap with a slot cut to allow for adjustment of length.  It took about 2 hours to make the whole thing and not one cent our of pocket!  I love my junk pile!  8)



Thanks for looking,
Curtis
Curtis Allinson

NMLRA Gunsmithing Seminar and Workshop at WKU~ http://www.nmlragunsmithingseminar.org/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sometimes, late at night when I am alone in the inner sanctum of my workshop and no one else can see, I sand things using only my fingers for backing

Offline Davemuzz

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Re: One of the World's Ugliest (and Cheapest) Checkering Cradles
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2018, 04:52:03 PM »
When an ugly rifle shoots 1/4" MOA out to 400 yards.....suddenly it's not so ugly anymore.

It don't have to be pretty to work!!!

Offline Craig Wilcox

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Re: One of the World's Ugliest (and Cheapest) Checkering Cradles
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2018, 05:26:40 PM »
Great innovation, Curtis!  Love your invention.

I had gotten a checkering cradle from Brownell's many years ago, no where near as pretty as yours.  Worked great for the rifles that came across my bench.

Until a buddy brought me a longrifle to checker!  It was about 16" longer than my cradle.  I kinda spliced in a piece of 2 x 4, used the same hole spacing as on the original.  Worked pretty good, but working on that longrifle opened up a whole new world for me!  I don't think I will be going back to the "shortrifle", and would really feel bad checkering the long ones.

Thanks for showing your nifty invention!
Craig Wilcox
We are all elated when Dame Fortune smiles at us, but remember that she is always closely followed by her daughter, Miss Fortune.

Offline ericxvi

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Re: One of the World's Ugliest (and Cheapest) Checkering Cradles
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2018, 06:58:39 PM »
I'm not competing for the ugliest, just want to show what I've been using for the past 25 years. The ball vise is a trailer hitch ball, the base is an International Havester cream separator.


Offline smylee grouch

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Re: One of the World's Ugliest (and Cheapest) Checkering Cradles
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2018, 07:45:18 PM »
Adapt and improvise, it,s what gunsmiths do. Lots of good ideas on this site.

Offline RJD-VT

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Re: One of the World's Ugliest (and Cheapest) Checkering Cradles
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2018, 08:38:22 PM »
I think ericxvi has taken a slight lead in the competition.  ;D ;D
Below is a checkering cradle that I made almost 40 years ago. Also made from garage “treasures”.  And it too cost me $0.00.
Although I think my Dad later asked what happened to his aluminum. ::)
It probably doesn’t qualify for ugly competition but it could win in the excessive  class. The thing is so massive you could checker a green pulp log. The poor little Versa-Vise strains under the load.
This was in my “bigger is better” days.

Good luck Curtis. You will do fine.
You may have said, but are you going with flat top or diamond checkering?


Offline Curtis

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Re: One of the World's Ugliest (and Cheapest) Checkering Cradles
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2018, 07:42:12 AM »
Some real ingenious stuff there fellas!  I really like your base Eric, gotta find me one of those!

Curtis
Curtis Allinson

NMLRA Gunsmithing Seminar and Workshop at WKU~ http://www.nmlragunsmithingseminar.org/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sometimes, late at night when I am alone in the inner sanctum of my workshop and no one else can see, I sand things using only my fingers for backing

Online David R.

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Re: One of the World's Ugliest (and Cheapest) Checkering Cradles
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2018, 05:24:03 PM »
Who cares how ugly the cradle is, lets see the baby!
I would have no quarrel with thee if thou be a friend of liberty.

Offline Curtis

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Re: One of the World's Ugliest (and Cheapest) Checkering Cradles
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2018, 07:39:31 AM »
You may have said, but are you going with flat top or diamond checkering?

RJD-VT, I will be attempting flat topped checkering, similar to what is in the photo below.



Who cares how ugly the cradle is, lets see the baby!

I'll post the results when I get the checkering laid out and completed - it may be a while yet!  Too many irons in the fire...

Curtis
Curtis Allinson

NMLRA Gunsmithing Seminar and Workshop at WKU~ http://www.nmlragunsmithingseminar.org/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sometimes, late at night when I am alone in the inner sanctum of my workshop and no one else can see, I sand things using only my fingers for backing