Making Your Own Vokey RAW Wedges - Step by Step
After searching around this site and a few others I had seen a number of people who were "making" their own Vokey Raw Wedges instead of paying the extra $$$ from Wedgeworks. However most of the threads were on the older SM5's or SM6's, I was in the market for a new set of SM7's so I decided to give it a go. After quite a bit of research and some previous knowledge of metal polishing I decided to go with a slightly different method than what I've typically seen posted. You will need CLR, 000 Steel Wool, 600 Grit Sandpaper, 1000 Grit Sandpaper, and 1500 Grit Sandpaper (Waterproof).
You start with the Jet Black standard finish from Vokey. These wedges were fresh out of the wrapper, and had never been hit. I started with just the 50 degree, I plan to do my 54 and 60 later this week. (Will post more pics when finished).
Step 1) I started by working the entire club with the steel wool with the grain (heel to toe), the change will not be drastic but after a few minutes you will see the color change from the deep black to a lighter black / grey color. Once you have reached this point you are ready for the first CLR bath. Submerge the entre head in a container of CLR, I stopped just shy of the ferrule. Let sit for 30-45 minutes. Remove the club from the CLR let the excess drip back into the container. Then repeat the process with the steel wool. I repeated this entire process three times until I felt like the majority of the finish had been removed. Then rise the head with water and dry completely. (Tip: If you have a golf club brush (not wire) it will help to get the groves. I did not have on available at the time, but will have one before I do the other two wedges).
Step 2) Now that the finish is removed it is time to get the desired look you are after of the raw steel. Start with the 600 grit paper and a dry sand, work the entire club head with the grain. Make sure you are not using too much pressure, and don’t work the same spot for too long to avoid heat buildup. This will take the club head from a very light grey closer to the raw metal look we are after, However you will see some minor score and scratch marks which we will fix in the next two steps. Once finished rise the club head, dry, and move onto the next step.
Step 3) Next up will be the 1000 Grit paper, we will follow the exact same process as in step 2. All this is doing is leveling out the minor scratches from the previous step. Some people will be satisfied with the look of the club at the completion of this step, and if so that’s perfectly ok. You can rinse the head off, dry it and be good to go. But if you want to take it even one step further to get a really nice clean finish with an almost mirror shine go to step 4.
Step 4) This will be a final hand polishing pass with a 1500 grit wet sand. Submerge your 1500 Grit waterproof sandpaper in either just plain water, or you can add a little dish soap or detergent if you like for 10-15 minutes. Once the paper is completely saturated you can start the final polishing passes. Working in the same direction as all of the previous passes work the entire club head until you get to the desired finish. In addition to the wet paper I also would occasionally rinse the head under cool water during this final step. Once you get a finish you are pleased with dry the club head and you are good to go.
NOTE: This is a raw finish and will rust, pit, and patina over time. So don’t expect for the finish to stay this way without constant maintenance.
If you are like me and love the look of a Raw wedge, but don’t want to spend the extra coin for Vokey to NOT finish your club I think this is a great option. Like I stated earlier, I plan to do my other two wedges later this week and will try to take better step by step photos, but for the time being here is a before and after. I was extremely pleased at how they turned out, can’t wait to see what they look like after a few months of play. If there is enough interest I may even post a YouTube video how-to. Thanks for reading, and good luck!