View Full Version : Differences bewt. stippling and hand matting?

Shutoku Shia
January 17, 2000, 08:59 PM
Does anybody know the differences bewt. stippling and hand matting? I just received a catalog from Novak, Inc. and one of the custom work they do on Browning High Power is the hand matte/matting (?) of the front and backstrap.

Does anybody know how this differs from strippling?

Thank you.

San Jose, California

George Stringer
January 17, 2000, 10:51 PM
****oku, that's the first I've heard of the term. I hope someone can enlightn us. It might just be a new age way of saying stippling. George

Rosco Benson
January 18, 2000, 09:21 AM
It is really just a terminology thing. For example, Novak calls gently rounding all of the edges and corners on a pistol a "carry bevel package". Other 'smiths call it "dehorning". Others carry the process to the extreme and call it a "meltdown". Novak calls his type of stippling "hand-matting", while others just call it "stippling" or other names (the Gunsite Gunsmithy/Ted Yost calls it "sharkskin").

In the area of "stippling", there are some different techniques. Clark offers their "tiger tooth" stippling, wherein a punch is used to raise individual burrs in a widely-spaced and regular pattern. Other 'smiths just use an air-hammer to beat the surface into a uniformly lumpy and rough surface. Novak's hand-matting results in a uniformly roughened surface that looks a bit like "woodgrain". The hand-matting technique can be executed so as to give a surface that is pretty rough...for frontstraps and backstraps...or only slightly rough, for the tops of slides and other essentially decorative use.


[This message has been edited by Rosco Benson (edited January 18, 2000).]

January 18, 2000, 08:31 PM
I duplicated the "matte" texture w/an electric engraving pen, like that used to put your license # on the back of your TV set. It did real well on the frontstrap of both an alloy and a polymer frame. It is far less aggressive to the metal, and is smoother than stippling. I feel it provides a great gripping surface.

January 18, 2000, 11:01 PM

Did you use the vibrating engraver? I tried it on aluminum scrap and with practice looks pretty good. What I'd realy like to do is a frontstrap and blank ms housing with a snakeskin pattern. Its too easy to mess up a uniform pattern with the engraver. I'll probably just use a random deep stippling with the sharp burrs rounded, unless I get any better ideas.

Krebs did a GREAT looking snakeskin pattern for one of the gun mags (American Handgunner or Handguns?). I talked to him and he doesn't do them because he said it takes too long to do and he has to charge too much. I wish I had the equiptment to do it. Best looking I've ever seen.

Just an idea.....I have some of the world's prettiest snakes (not to mention lizard, gator, and frog) in the freezer waiting to have the hides tanned. Has anyone ever seen a reptile skin epoxied and stretched across the frontstrap, secured under the grip panels? I don't know how good it would grip, but I can picture a multicolored snake skin and in my mind looks great.........Awwww, I'll probably just stipple.


Shutoku Shia
January 19, 2000, 01:07 PM
Rosco, thank for the info. So essentially, hand matte is just an an alternative term for more commonly used stippling.


January 19, 2000, 02:21 PM
EQ: Yes, a vibrating engraver. Wore hearing protection and did indeed practice on scrap alum. before I began. Found it MUCH easier to stay within the borders vs. stippling w/a punch and hammer.