Grading stock blanks can be a complex and very subjective part of what we do here at Hatchers Rifle Stocks. One man’s X grade may be another’s Exhibition and when it all boils down to it beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is because of this that we attempt to keep things relatively simple when it comes to grading our blanks out. The following is an explanation of the system we use for our Walnut blanks:
X Grade - Very light coloured heartwood with little contrast or figure. (Please note this is not sapwood – but heartwood that has not coloured up. It is still physically hard and dense good quality stable stockwood) PLEASE NOTE; X GRADE WALNUT IS UNAVAILABLE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
XX Grade - Coloured heartwood, ranging from honey colour through to darker honey colours. May have some light contrast or figure.
XXX Grade - Full coloured heartwood, with higher degrees of colour contrast and/or fiddleback. NOTE: XXX covers a large range of blanks - If you wanted something a little nicer than the entry level XXX indicated by the price at the checkout then please contact us to discuss.
Exhibition grade -Rare, individual blanks that display extraordinary colour and figure, often set apart from other blanks by the presence of one or a combination of feather crotch, beautiful fiddleback, marbling or extreme colour contrast.
To cater for blanks that are graded right in between two categories, a ‘select’ grade of each (i.e. X select, XX select & XX select) is sometimes used. For example, a blank may be white in colour, but display exceptional fiddleback throughout. It doesn’t have the colour to fall into XX category but due to the fiddleback it has to be graded higher than the other planer X grade blanks. This is the same for blanks that have one side exceedingly better than the other. These select blanks are priced individually and customers are welcome to make an enquiry regarding purchasing them.