Monday, July 25, 2011

3Jack's Guide To Simple Golf Shaft Installation

If you’ve read the forum (http://richie3jack.proboards.com) you may have read that I’ve gotten into installing my own shafts. It’s actually fairly easy and can save you a lot of money and take less time to do than going thru your local clubmaker. I decided to go thru some, hopefully brief, instructions. First, we’ll need the following tools:

1) Hand Torch (w/ oven mitt)
2) Exacto Knife
3) Masking Tape
4) Tube Cutter (steel) or Hacksaw (Graphite)
5) Epoxy
6) Granulated Sugar
7) 48” rule or tape measure
8) 80 Grit Sandpaper
9) Ferrules

You should be able find these items for less than $50, if not less than $40. Since the average price for a installing a new shaft is the cost of the shaft plus about $20 labor, after 2 installs you’ll be making up your money. And most of these items you will likely have on hand anyway.

GETTING THE CORRECT SHAFT

First, we should determine what type of shaft size we will need depending upon the size of the hosel diameter in the clubhead. This is VERY important because you might wind up ordering the wrong shaft that will not fit. Now, there are ways to make shafts that don’t fit actually fit, but that’s not something we’ll discuss right now.

Typically, there are 4 different sizes of hosels and shaft tip diameters:

.335 inches (woods and hybrids)
.350 inches (woods and hybrids)
.355 (irons)
.370 (irons and hybrids)

You can usually find the tip size of the shaft on the company’s Web Site. The same with the hosel size, but sometimes you need to perform a Google search to get the hosel size correct. More often than not, an OEM uses the same hosel size for their clubs. So if one driver is at a .350 hosel diameter, it’s likely that all of their drivers and fairway woods will be the same. And if one model of irons has a .370 hosel diameter, than likely all of the other irons will have the same hosel diameter.

Where it may get confusing is something like the Mizuno Fli-Hi CLK hybrid, which used a .350 hosel if the club was originally shafted with steel and a .370 hosel if it was originally shafted with graphite. If you screw up on the shaft, you want to lean more towards having the shaft too big. That way you could take it to a clubmaker who can possibly drill the hosel to fit that bigger shaft.


SHAFT REMOVAL

Here’s a video discussing the shaft removal.



As he explains, one can use a shaft extractor, but they are not mandatory. Shaft extractors are only useful on graphite shafts and if you want to keep the shaft you have taken out. Even still, one can keep an old graphite shaft without using the shaft extractor.

I actually cut the old ferrule off with my Exacto knife beforehand because I typically melt the hosel. If you have never used a torch before, they are quite easy to use. You can get propane tank with the torch head and spark lighter for about $10 at Home Depot or Lowe’s. Simply screw on the torch head to the top of the tank, turn the gas on and light it. Pretty simple stuff. I was told that heat guns don’t do nearly the job that torches do and heat guns usually run about $50.


HEAD SHAFT BORE (if necessary)

If you’re re-shafting woods, you will want to figure out what type of shaft bore the head has. There are 3 different ones

- Bore Thru head
- Standard Bore head
- Blind Bore head

Bore thru, obviously looks like this.


Blind Bore means that the shaft will go down the hosel, all the way to the sole plate of the club. And standard bore will go down about 1.5” deep. I measure this by getting a 3” golf tee and marking the tee with a marker at 1.5”. I then stick the tee down the hosel and see how far it goes down.

The reason for all of this is that with woods, the shaft trimming instructions may be different depending on the shaft bore of the clubhead. IIRC, the further down the hosel (blind bore or bore thru), the stiffer you may want to make the shaft. Still, most shaft companies will help you with questions with regards to different shaft bore heads.


TIP PREPPING (if necessary)

Necessary for mostly graphite shafts. When you get a graphite shaft, often times it will not fit into the hosel because of the paint on the shaft makes the shaft too big for that hosel. Thus, you need to take your Exacto knife and scrape the paint off the tip end of the shaft. You will scrape in a motion akin to scratching off a lottery ticket. Do NOT make a peeling motion like you are peeling an apple. As long as you scrape instead of peel, the shaft will be fine. And you just do it on the tip end until the shaft easily fits inside the hosel.


TRIMMING THE SHAFTS

First, we need the trimming instruction which can be found online. Some shafts require the user to trim the butt end of the shaft only. Other shafts require tip end and butt end trimming of the shafts.

This video helped me with the steps to prep and install a new shaft.



In the video, he uses a drill and a drill bit to clean out the hosel. I have a $15 piece of steel wool that works. However, you can just grab your sandpaper and roll it up into a sleeve and clean out the hosel with that.

The problem with steel shafts that you can run into is that the shaft might bend as you cut it. With graphite, the shaft may splinter. If you’re a little nervous cutting a shaft, I would recommend finding a junk shaft that you can get for $5-$10 and practicing with it.

With graphite, I use a hacksaw. Some use a more expensive Dremel tool. First though, I wrap some masking tape on and around the spot I’m going to cut. This will help prevent the graphite shaft from splintering. I’ve found the hacksaw to be difficult sometimes because the cut can come out uneven. That’s why I recommend going a bit slower with the cut. It doesn’t have to be perfectly even, just close enough and you’ll be fine. If you get some splinters after the cut, you can use your sandpaper and carefully smooth them out.

With steel, it may take some test runs with a junk steel shaft to get used to the pipe cutter. I get the pipe cutter on the shaft and spin it around a few times. That allows me to get the cut going and soften up the shaft a bit. Then I re-adjust the pipe cutter to give it a little slack and then slightly turn the knob each time I spin it around. That will allow me to cut the shaft without bending it. You do not need to wrap the shaft with masking tape when it’s a steel shaft.

I also make sure the shaft is clean, which is usually only an issue with graphite shafts because the tip end may be a bit dirty after scraping the paint off in the tip trim.


EPOXY AND FERRULES

With the ferrules, they are usually only an issue with graphite because of the paint on the shaft. If it’s a problem, I found that placing them in a bowl filled with water and then microwaving them for about 90 seconds (the water will be hot, so you’ll need to scoop the ferrule out of the water). This works quite well.

With epoxy, they call the drying process ‘curing.’ There are all sorts of different epoxies that have different curing times. Something like a 24 hour epoxy is about the longest curing time. This works well if you are a newbie and in particular, doing more than 3 shafts at once. The reason being is that you don’t have to worry about it curing too quickly and then having to use more epoxy.

Then there is Tour Van Epoxy.


This stuff starts curing in about 5 minutes and you can start using the club within a few hours of installation. Again, best for 3 or less clubs and more experienced clubmakers. I have used this though on my KZG hybrid without an issue.

Most epoxy comes in two different tubes that are connected together. This is so you can get a 50/50 mix from each tube. A loyal blog follower recommended using granulated sugar with the epoxy. Many clubmakers use what’s called ‘shaft beads’ that serve as an abrasive to help the epoxy that is on the shaft and hosel stick together. However, if you use granulated sugar, it will serve the same purpose. Don’t use granulated salt or regular sugar. Granulated sugar.

Just mix the granulated sugar in with the epoxy, stir it up a bit, and now your epoxy is good to go. You can used something like popsicle sticks to stir up the epoxy with the granulated sugar, then coat the inside of the hosel and the tip of the shaft. Put the ferrule on and then stick the shaft inside the hosel…wipe off the excess epoxy mix off the ferrule/hosel. And you are good to go.

With 24 hour epoxy, wait 24 hours to use the club. With Tour Van epoxy you should be good to go in 3 hours (and probably much less than that).

I find it incredibly helpful for my golf game to understand stuff that is outside of the game. With something like golf course architecture, I can better understand how architects think in order to understand how to attack a course and what pitfalls they try to present to the golfer. With clubmaking, one can better understand what type of equipment best works for them and better understand how to use the club so they can better develop their swing.

Like I mentioned earlier, let’s say that the equipment I used cost me $50 total (and that’s being rather pricey), there’s a lot of money to be saved. Currently, Golfsmith charges $19.99 per club to re-shaft the club (it’s $5 more for bore-thru clubs). And then an extra $3.49 per club to re-grip the club. For 13 clubs, that’s $305 for the set.

($19.99 + $3.49) * 13 = $305.24






3JACK

4 comments:

geoff said...

Since 2009 I have been committed to reshafting my own clubs. Not only has it saved me a lot of $ importantly it gave me the opportunity to trial all the variety of shafts available and improve underperforming clubs. In the bargain zone is getting a great set of irons cheap because of poor shafts and redoing them myself to end up with a quality set.

Shaun said...

My club Pro sadly broke/snapped off the steel shaft inside two of my old but highly cherished Tommy Armour heads (4 & 7 Iron). Do you know any 'secrets' to getting the bloody things out? Drilling with a pillar drill sends the drill-direction 'off'. Heating and dropping in cold water hasn't worked. :(

Rich H. said...

Shaun. I think you can heat the hosel and then use a shaft extractor. I saw a video of it on YouTube.



3JACK

jmomcc said...

is it a good idea to buy a driver head and shaft seperately and assemble them yourself? From an economical and fit point of view..