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How deep into a typical slide top, frame front strap, or mainspring housing (Caspian slide, JEM frame, and Stan Chen SI magwell, for examples) can features be cut?

I'm thinking of slide top serrations, front strap and MSH grip textures.
 

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That would be bad, especially for a MSH or front strap.

And how far is "all the way through" for the typical slide, frame, or MSH?

Measure it.
 
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1911 Pistol Smith
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Front straps vary in thickness, sometimes only being thick enough to cut 30 lpi etc.. So this is really too broad a question to give a solid answer.. It really depends on how much thickness your starting with..

Just for instance a 20 LPI checkering requires about .035 deep. So, most want to see the front strap a minimum of .070 to start.. 25 Lpi around .027 deep So minimum around .060 to start etc.. Top of the slide. depends on the caliber a little as well and how much stress will be on the slide. I wouldn't cut a 10mm top of slide as deep as I would a 9mm. Because of the pressure and stress on the slide. Main spring housing if checkering using a checkering file then it will only cut until it bottoms out anyway. And of course because of the thickness of those 20 lpi is no problem and even 15 lpi etc..
 

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Front straps vary in thickness, sometimes only being thick enough to cut 30 lpi etc.. So this is really too broad a question to give a solid answer.. It really depends on how much thickness your starting with..

Just for instance a 20 LPI checkering requires about .035 deep. So, most want to see the front strap a minimum of .070 to start.. 25 Lpi around .027 deep So minimum around .060 to start etc.. Top of the slide. depends on the caliber a little as well and how much stress will be on the slide. I wouldn't cut a 10mm top of slide as deep as I would a 9mm. Because of the pressure and stress on the slide. Main spring housing if checkering using a checkering file then it will only cut until it bottoms out anyway. And of course because of the thickness of those 20 lpi is no problem and even 15 lpi etc..
Thanks for the years of experience info, you're a valuable resource.
 
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