Golf Club Assembly |
by Staff 11
1. Hosel Preparation
Countersink and debur the hosel if it has not already been done by the manufacturer. This rounds the inside edge to reduce stress on the shaft at its most vulnerable point. Rough the hosel for a good bond with the epoxy. A piece of sand paper around a pencil or drill bit works well for this. Clean any remaining dust from inside the hosel with a bit of solvent on a clean towel.
Note the type of hosel edge-- most are flat and require a flat ferrule or o-ring. If it is rounded, you may need a beveled ferrule for use with a graphite shaft, or no ferrule on a steel shaft.
2. Cutting Preparation
Using the Traditional Club Length Guide as a reference and making adjustments for your size and style of play, determine your desired shaft lengths. Do this before tipping the shafts to assure you've considered adjustments before making any cuts.
Reference the tip trimming instructions for your particular shafts and note the length to remove from each for your desired flex. A slight variation determines the resulting flex of combination-flex shafts. Due to new technologies, tip trimming may vary a great deal from the old standards. Only use standard trimming charts if you have no other reference.
3. Tip Trim
A shaft clamp is recommended to protect shafts while clamped in a vise. For those shafts that require a trim, carefully measure from the small end of the shaft, tape (if necessary), and mark with a marker or grease pencil where the cuts will be made. Line up the shafts side by side and double-check your marks as they progress through the set. You're ready to cut the tips.
For steel and metal shafts: the preferred tool is a tubing cutter commonly used for plumbing. This process may leave the cut edge slightly flared. If so, you may use a file to round the edge. A fine-toothed hacksaw will also cut nicely.
For graphite shafts: the preferred tool is a grit-edge blade mounted in a hacksaw frame. A fine-toothed hacksaw will get the job done. Never use a tubing cutter. Because graphite shafts are prone to splintering, you should wrap masking tape around the area to be cut. It's also a good idea to notch cut all the way around the shaft before cutting through.
4. Tip Abrasion
For a secure epoxy bond, it is necessary to abrade about 1" of the tip of the shaft. Use a strip of sandpaper to roughen the chrome of steel shafts or remove the shiny coating of graphite shafts. Be careful not to scratch above the area covered by the hosel or ferrule.
5. Ferrule Placement
Many clubs require a plastic trim piece or ferrule for shaft support just above the hosel. Any clubhead that has a hosel with a squared off top requires a ferrule. There are sizes for woods and irons and beveled ferrules for rounded hosels. Twist the small end of the ferrule onto the shaft tip. You may need a rubber mallet and a wood block with a 3/8" hole to push the ferrule squarely onto the shaft. Some club builders use the clubhead on the shaft and tap the butt end on a hard floor to move the ferrule into final position.
Before assembly, decide which direction the shaft logos will face-- up is most common. Mix and apply a thin coat of shafting epoxy inside the hosel and on the shaft tip up to the ferrule. Work the shaft into the hosel by twisting it in one direction to coat evenly and remove air bubbles. The hosel should go tight up against the ferrule and the shaft logo should be aligned relative to the clubhead. Wipe away any excess epoxy with a paper towel. A bit of grip solvent on a towel is good for cleaning up epoxy smears. Stand the clubs head down and as straight as possible. Epoxy should harden in 2 hours and cure in 24 hours.
7. Final Cut Length
With the club sitting on the floor in playing position, measure from the floor up along the backside of the shaft to the desired club length. Subtract 1/8" for the grip cap and mark the butt cut. Using the cutting techniques mentioned earlier, cut the shaft to playing length.
To install the grip you need to fasten the club toe up in a vice with a protective shaft clamp. Place a paint pan, trash can, or similar catch tray under the butt end to collect solvent run-off. Apply a 10" long strip of two-sided 2" grip tape along the butt of the shaft with 1/2" extended beyond the end. Peel the backing off the tape and carefully wrap around the shaft making sure it does not wrinkle. Twist the 1/2" excess and push it in the end of the shaft.
Decide which way the grip logos should align. Cover the grip vent hole and pour some solvent into the grip. Cover the mouth of the grip and shake it to wet the entire inside. Pour the solvent from the grip over the length of the tape. Immediately slide the mouth of the grip over the shaft butt and push the grip all the way on. Don't stop until the grip is on and the logo is aligned. Remove the club from the vice and double-check grip alignment in the playing position. Trim excess grip tape and clean tape residue. Let dry four to six hours.
Some clubheads have a chamber that can be filled with lead powder to adjust the weight of the head. 4g of lead powder equals one swingweight. Use a swingweight scale to measure and make adjustments.