Making a Putter

 PaulN ·  
PaulNPaulN Members  164WRX Points: 0Posts: 164
Joined:  in Putters #1
Any machinists out there?
Has anyone here made their own putter? I don't mean picking up a head and a shaft, gluing them together, adding some lead tape, etc. I mean has anyone actually successfully designed and machined a real gamer?



I'm asking because there seems to be a relatively active group of hobby level machinists out there. Some of them must be golfers, right?



A friend of mine and I are making the journey into the 'putting lab' this winter. He is setting up the 'range' and I am building the test mules. The heads are nothing more than simple blocks of 6061 aluminum that will allow weights to be added and moved, faces of different lofts and materials to be added, etc. The idea is a modular design that offers flexibility and is easy to tune. It's actually a fairly simple process, and I'm surprised that no one is doing this. If they are, I can't find them discussing it anywhere. Plus, the raw materials are much cheaper then even garage sale finds.



If nothing else, we should be able to find the right mix of weight, length, balance, etc. that fits our putting styles. With that info we could either mill the final product, or find a commercial putter that matches the specs that we want without buying umpteen putters to get there!



Maybe I'm losing my mind, or setting myself up for a lot of frustration, but it just can't be that much of a stretch to go from lead tape hound to building putters from scratch.
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  • sharkharksharkhark Members  1691WRX Points: 129Posts: 1,691 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Sep 15, 2008 #2
    PaulN wrote on Sep 15 2008, 08:53 AM:
    Has anyone here made their own putter? I don't mean picking up a head and a shaft, gluing them together, adding some lead tape, etc. I mean has anyone actually successfully designed and machined a real gamer?



    I'm asking because there seems to be a relatively active group of hobby level machinists out there. Some of them must be golfers, right?




    of course there are...but people who do it successfully inevitably become bigger and launch businesses. An example is slighter putters.

    If you want someone who just passed from the cusp of doing it just for themselves and friends to starting to establish a business then...go with home town putters who i was just put onto. I am just gathering the funds now, but will be doing a putter thru him for sure i have decided.

    Another nice touch was getting a reply email back in less than 24 hours...slighter who a couple recommended has yet to reply to my week old reply.Even if they contacted me back now, i reward the quick contact from a seller like charlie dix who can take my hard earned money.

    Here is his new site. I only found out about him a week ago.

    http://www.hometownputters.com/
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  • PaulNPaulN Members  164WRX Points: 0Posts: 164
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    Thanks for the reply. I knew there were guys out the with the sickness AND and Bridgeport in the basement! I would love to pick their brains. It would help me to avoid some of the mistakes I'm sure to make.



    For me, the satisfaction comes from the process of creating it myself. I can't wait until we have ironed out the details and can start gaming our own stuff. Of course, the payoff will come when I jar a 30 footer with my own stick to win a match!
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  • larrybudlarrybud Rochester Hills, MIMembers  11592WRX Points: 477Handicap: 3.4Posts: 11,592 Titanium Tees
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    I wish I had access to the equipment at my old company. We had a pretty decent Bridgeport CNC machine and 2 metal lathes. I actually made an engine block for my old RC airplane.
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  • PaulNPaulN Members  164WRX Points: 0Posts: 164
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    I love the idea of CNC machining a billet into a gleaming new design, but that kind of misses the point. Decades before the term CNC was even coined, TP Mills was hammering out killer bump sticks with a slug of steel and a hammer. It can still be done, and the tolerances can still be just as tight without the huge investment up front.



    I have just basic metal working tools, and certainly nothing that is CNC controlled. I do, however, have the ability to check weight, balance, CG, swing weight, etc. I could never do even job shop sized production with my gear, but that isn't the point. I believe that the putter is really the last avenue that remains open for anyone who wants to get their hands dirty building gear for this game that I love so much. I also happen to believe its the single most important stick in the bag, no matter how beautiful that TM Quad 4 might be!
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  • claytonstoker21claytonstoker21 Members  623WRX Points: 55Posts: 623 Golden Tee
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    I recently bought a mini mill and have been doing it. I tryed one with aluminum and was way to light. now i am using soft carbon and is heavy and cuts easy. I will post some pics
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  • mp29mp29 Members  401WRX Points: 61Posts: 401 Greens
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    Funny you should ask this. I sell CNC machines for a living and actually just came home from Chicago where the IMTS(International Machine Tool Show) was taking place. One of the machines that I sell was actually set up at the show machining a putter head out of stainless steel right in the booth. It's no Cameron but I could see how easy it would be to feed a block of steel into a lathe and mill, turn, and machine the **** out of it. If you look at the Kevin Burns website you can see the Haas Milling Machines he uses to make putters. The Haas millers are quite cheap compared to highend CNCs. It wouldn't be all that hard to get started if you can program the machine etc. If you have an engineering background you'd be much better off though! I've dreamt of purchasing my own machine and setting up a shop. We'll see, maybe someday.
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  • PaulNPaulN Members  164WRX Points: 0Posts: 164
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    What kind of mini mill did you buy? If I end up getting into this the next piece of machiniery I will need (OK, want really bad) is a mini mill. What I have now is fine for experimental use, but making even one putter head is going to take hours and hours.
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  • claytonstoker21claytonstoker21 Members  623WRX Points: 55Posts: 623 Golden Tee
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    i bought a taig. Either those are sherlines are the best mini mills. Taigs are more presision and Sherlines are more powerful.
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  • golftechgolftech Members  468WRX Points: 85Posts: 468 Greens
    Joined:  edited Sep 30, 2008 #10
    sharkhark wrote on Sep 15 2008, 02:46 PM:
    ...slighter who a couple recommended has yet to reply to my week old reply.Even if they contacted me back now,




    That's very unusual. Tom Slighter has always been very prompt in responding to both emails and calls from me in the past. He makes an excellent product.
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  • indianshaftindianshaft Members  956WRX Points: 0Posts: 956
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    Where do you get the steel at, looking to buy SS, also what dimensions do you recommend on getting?
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  • claytonstoker21claytonstoker21 Members  623WRX Points: 55Posts: 623 Golden Tee
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    look at metalsupermarkets.com always buy a little big. You can machine down in size not up. Depends on what head you make
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  • SteveL1SteveL1 St. Louis, MOMembers  1413WRX Points: 110Handicap: 4.8 Posts: 1,413 Platinum Tees
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    OK, so I already have a Sherline mill and 24" bed lathe but have no clue how to go about designing one. Or the ability to be acurate enough to put a 4* face on something. That would be purely a guess with a protractor. Would be interesting to try this winter instead of wood working though. Hmmmmmmm, where's that pencil and paper?
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