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Hi strider,
These frames were hand-cut which I have absolutely no experience in so I have no authority to speak intelligently on the subject. Sorry I can’t write you a nice big super-duper post on the subject. The closest I can get is the “Judging Metal Checkering” post and is now located at the forum board “ how to”.
When I first started to customize 1911’s bought a checkering file and that’s as far as I got. I looked at the file, it was rather crude, and I gave it a few swipes across the frame, looked at the mill and put the file down. I made up my mind right then and there that I’d would have to perfect the machining so I wouldn’t have to file, if I do file I’m only lightly pointing-up the tops with a 6-cut file. If I’m behind a file for 5 minutes it feels like I been there for an hour.

I can tell you this on the subject and I said it before; MEASURE BEFORE YOU CUT.
Well you might say how do in know how deep the file is going? Ok, I would figure it this way. Some of the root (depth of the thread) diameters of standard American 60 degree V-threads are on a simple thread pitch gauge that cost a couple bucks, every smith should have a couple of these laying around. For a 20 lpi tread the gauge sez .065, divide that by 2 because they are measuring the diameter of a screw (a tread on each side), you get .0325. So if you coat your frame with die-cem or an ink marker your V should come to a point when you get .0325 deep.

The frames in the photo are a series 70 Colt and a Springfield which are the thickest front straps you’ll find, .85 to .090 thick. What I suspect happened is they start running amuck with the file and they keep filing (trying to straighten it out) till they see daylight through your frame. I’ve seen some F/S that reminded me of candy canes. How would you like to pay for these guys learning curve?

Maybe one of our hand checkering experts can enlighten you more on the subject.
Metal Smith
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