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Why is custom/hand stamping so sought after?


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Hand stamping in general is more bespoke, and some people prefer that level of service. If you don’t like bespoke products, then hand stamping is not for you, and there is nothing wrong with that. The world would be pretty boring if everyone liked the same stuff.

 

That's the part I don't get right there..."more" bespoke? How so? It's the same thing, to a higher level of finish to engrave or mill the...whatever...into the putter. But at the end of the day it's just as "bespoke" (made to order) to do it either way.

 

If we all go to Augusta for the Masters, and there are racks of shirts with hand drawn (directly) on the shirt Masters logos, and racks with it machine embroidered, I'll bet most would take the machine embroidered.

 

We've, for the most part, moved way beyond "hand made" putters. None of these CNC putters are close to hand made. I still just don't get why we haven't also moved more modern in how we customize it. It's a real stretch to say that stamping makes a putter handmade, or even approaches hand made.

 

The way I read the definition for Bespoke is “made for a particular customer or user.” By using a method, such as hand stamping, that is not a mass production method, such as machine stamping/engraving, the creator is producing a more personalized product for the customer or user. No two hand stamps will ever be the same.

 

I can see maybe part of that point, but I don't see how it's a "more personalized" product. We are talking about the exact same customization, just the methods used to do said customization. And if anything, the CNC engraved option would offer MORE customization, as literally anything that can be thought up as a personalization mark could be put on the putter in any location. A mark or logo or phrase that wraps around the putter from face to sole, perhaps. Any size. A true reproduction of your own actual signature, or the makers. Or a realistic image of your pets paw print, or baby's foot print. Stamping can only be done based on the stamps the maker possesses. Look at hand stamped Camerons. Thanks see the same few stamped images/graphics over and over again.

 

If we are talking about possible customization, the possibilities are almost endless with CNC personalization. But, that has to be coded for and set up from the beginning of the putters design. I.e, more expensive. That's one of my other wonders about hand stamping...it honesty seems like the cheapest way for a maker to offer customization. Blank putters that they can hand stamp after the fact. i.e, a maker can keep blank stock this way. A bit harder to do with CNC personalization.

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Hand stamping in general is more bespoke, and some people prefer that level of service. If you don’t like bespoke products, then hand stamping is not for you, and there is nothing wrong with that. The world would be pretty boring if everyone liked the same stuff.

 

That's the part I don't get right there..."more" bespoke? How so? It's the same thing, to a higher level of finish to engrave or mill the...whatever...into the putter. But at the end of the day it's just as "bespoke" (made to order) to do it either way.

 

If we all go to Augusta for the Masters, and there are racks of shirts with hand drawn (directly) on the shirt Masters logos, and racks with it machine embroidered, I'll bet most would take the machine embroidered.

 

We've, for the most part, moved way beyond "hand made" putters. None of these CNC putters are close to hand made. I still just don't get why we haven't also moved more modern in how we customize it. It's a real stretch to say that stamping makes a putter handmade, or even approaches hand made.

There isn't anyone that is going to truly hand make a putter like they did in the 19th century. Everything high end today is going to be CNC milled with only the final stages being hand ground and finished. By that definition, in today's world, that is going to be classified as handmade. Any stamping and colorization is going to be done by hand because it is just easier and more creative that way. There is something to be said for the variations and flaws of hand stamping as opposed to the impersonal etchings by a machine. It's like a painting. No one wants a reproduction done by a computer.

 

I get why they do it for Tour players (even though the current tendency is to go overboard and they become gauche), but it isn't needed on the avg Joe's putter.

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Hand stamping in general is more bespoke, and some people prefer that level of service. If you don’t like bespoke products, then hand stamping is not for you, and there is nothing wrong with that. The world would be pretty boring if everyone liked the same stuff.

 

That's the part I don't get right there..."more" bespoke? How so? It's the same thing, to a higher level of finish to engrave or mill the...whatever...into the putter. But at the end of the day it's just as "bespoke" (made to order) to do it either way.

 

If we all go to Augusta for the Masters, and there are racks of shirts with hand drawn (directly) on the shirt Masters logos, and racks with it machine embroidered, I'll bet most would take the machine embroidered.

 

We've, for the most part, moved way beyond "hand made" putters. None of these CNC putters are close to hand made. I still just don't get why we haven't also moved more modern in how we customize it. It's a real stretch to say that stamping makes a putter handmade, or even approaches hand made.

There isn't anyone that is going to truly hand make a putter like they did in the 19th century. Everything high end today is going to be CNC milled with only the final stages being hand ground and finished. By that definition, in today's world, that is going to be classified as handmade. Any stamping and colorization is going to be done by hand because it is just easier and more creative that way. There is something to be said for the variations and flaws of hand stamping as opposed to the impersonal etchings by a machine. It's like a painting. No one wants a reproduction done by a computer.

 

I get why they do it for Tour players (even though the current tendency is to go overboard and they become gauche), but it isn't needed on the avg Joe's putter.

Whoa, there Socrates, let's keep some standards in place. Don't go giving anyone the green light to call a CNC-based putter handmade, again. Back in the 90's, the method was to CNC, then shape and tag it handmade. Nobody, outside of Truett was really doing what is honestly what could be considered "handmade" by a truly tight standard. Heck, even TP had some of his work started with a raw forging, then a ton of shaping and clean-up to create some genuine beauties. There really ARE guys making putters without CNC-head starts, but it IS sort of a lost art.

I have seen a maker who has been in the business for quite a while, having an entire line of his putters engraved with "HANDMADE SERIES" on the sole. It reminds me of the awesome "PROTOTYPE" hybrids from Adams, back in the day. If you make 5-10,000 pieces of anything and have them engraved or cast with PROTOTYPE..........it really burns the use of that word.

Standards have changed alot since the 90's, with just what makes a putter handmade, and I like it. While the craftsmen are not taking a piece of metal into the forge, they are cutting using what their eyes say is right, grinding the steel to get the heads closer to finished shape and creating looks that are far less sterile than the general CNC design.

Is handmade for everyone? Heck no. That is like saying one brand of chopper is the ONLY way to build a chopper.

We are in an era that is unbelievable, when it comes to choices on putter styles, looks and builders. Scotty brings new looks from time to time, Tyson is making some beauties and getting the blend with some killer handstamping, and Lumpy is making looks that are seldom just a new version of an old style. There are many others and each one has something to offer.

But, please do not lower the standards to make it any easier for guys to pull putters from the CNC, stamp a few marks and call it HAND MADE. Some of us have worked fairly hard to learn a craft that does not need to be watered down, ;).

Thanks for this thread. It has been fun to follow and hear all of the thoughts.

LaMont in AZ

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I was also wondering why everyone says 1 piece cnc construction is the best,but the ones with welded joints that haven't been ground down smooth are worth more? Why?

Wizzo1

 

I should have read Lamonts post before asking my question! Duh

 

However I have seen a bead of weld on the back of the flange for no apparent reason unless they wanted more weight in that area.

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Easiest comparison, using the art world. Would you rather have a print or the canvas original?

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I have numerous handstamped putters and not a single one would I consider 100% CNC milled.

 

Most guys(Not Cameron or Lamb) rough mill most of their putters(either by the machine doing all the work or controlling the wheels by hand) and then the putter spend quite a bit of time getting specific loft milled in, bumpers shaped to be softer or more square, this could be done by anyone with good programming knowledge.

 

The true art of putter making is lost on most of the people making "custom" putters nowadays. I will not throw anyone under the bus, or say anyone is better, but pulling a completed head out of a pile and stamping it and doing a finish and some paintfill may be custom, but there is no artistry in it from my POV. Let alone the people that call those handmades. I won't even get in a discussion about handmades anymore, some people think if as long as a computer doesn't do any of the work it's handmade, some people think if a milling machine is involved at all it isn't handmade, and some people think hand stamping a putter makes it hand made.

 

Pulling a rough milled head and hand shaping portions, milling a specific loft, then hand making a hosel(neck) or a machined neck to a specific length and a specific location to get desired look, feel, toe hang is an art, and having the makers mark on your art is more desireable, so hand stamping became popular. Plus smaller putter makers aren't going to produce and sell heads exactly alike, or even exactly alike with only some milled letters or logo being the only difference. As a former owner of a putter company, I can remember going a couple of months before getting orders for more than a couple of putters with the exact same weight, toe hang, hosel type, and loft that milling a pile of putters the same way is a waste of money.

--

On a side note I use to be like you. I wanted 100% milled putters, with no weld marks, didn't want a crooked stamping and wanted any customization milled into the putter. As I understood more about putter making(owning a company will do that to you) I started to understand that each putter wasn't just an order, it meant something to the person ordering and treating like a number(we never used order numbers for tracking progress, we used customer names) seemed counterinuitive. Making them all look the same is good for branding, but bad for selling.

Ok since you owned a putter company tell me this for my own learning. If you are machining heads it can be hard in say mass production to get the same specs correct? being in the scrap metal business I know all about the density of steels etc. So now they mill putters with adjustable weights to dial the weights in correct and cut production costs. correct? Enlighten me on that if you would

 

On the original post I would say it is whatever floats one's boat. Kinda like Burger King have it your way

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I was also wondering why everyone says 1 piece cnc construction is the best,but the ones with welded joints that haven't been ground down smooth are worth more? Why?

Wizzo1

 

I should have read Lamonts post before asking my question! Duh

 

However I have seen a bead of weld on the back of the flange for no apparent reason unless they wanted more weight in that area.

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And especially with the stock Cameron Gallery stuff. Like this one here (just one example, almost all of them there are this way): https://www.scottyca....aspx?zpid=2800

 

If you paid $4,000 (LOL) for that putter, would you like it to be unique or would you rather that there were exact copies floating around??

 

I could (if Cameron would offer it...would be easy enough if he really wanted to) have it made unique with my own personal choice(s) of letters/graphics milled directly into the putter if I chose to. I really doubt anyone would choose my exact same markings to mill into instead of stamp into the putter.

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Two reasons I think:

 

(1) It shows the craftsmanship of the maker. Good handstamping takes time.

 

Yet they like weld necks that look they were done by kindergarten shop class. I don’t get it at all.

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I have numerous handstamped putters and not a single one would I consider 100% CNC milled.

 

Most guys(Not Cameron or Lamb) rough mill most of their putters(either by the machine doing all the work or controlling the wheels by hand) and then the putter spend quite a bit of time getting specific loft milled in, bumpers shaped to be softer or more square, this could be done by anyone with good programming knowledge.

 

The true art of putter making is lost on most of the people making "custom" putters nowadays. I will not throw anyone under the bus, or say anyone is better, but pulling a completed head out of a pile and stamping it and doing a finish and some paintfill may be custom, but there is no artistry in it from my POV. Let alone the people that call those handmades. I won't even get in a discussion about handmades anymore, some people think if as long as a computer doesn't do any of the work it's handmade, some people think if a milling machine is involved at all it isn't handmade, and some people think hand stamping a putter makes it hand made.

 

Pulling a rough milled head and hand shaping portions, milling a specific loft, then hand making a hosel(neck) or a machined neck to a specific length and a specific location to get desired look, feel, toe hang is an art, and having the makers mark on your art is more desireable, so hand stamping became popular. Plus smaller putter makers aren't going to produce and sell heads exactly alike, or even exactly alike with only some milled letters or logo being the only difference. As a former owner of a putter company, I can remember going a couple of months before getting orders for more than a couple of putters with the exact same weight, toe hang, hosel type, and loft that milling a pile of putters the same way is a waste of money.

--

On a side note I use to be like you. I wanted 100% milled putters, with no weld marks, didn't want a crooked stamping and wanted any customization milled into the putter. As I understood more about putter making(owning a company will do that to you) I started to understand that each putter wasn't just an order, it meant something to the person ordering and treating like a number(we never used order numbers for tracking progress, we used customer names) seemed counterinuitive. Making them all look the same is good for branding, but bad for selling.

Ok since you owned a putter company tell me this for my own learning. If you are machining heads it can be hard in say mass production to get the same specs correct? being in the scrap metal business I know all about the density of steels etc. So now they mill putters with adjustable weights to dial the weights in correct and cut production costs. correct? Enlighten me on that if you would

 

On the original post I would say it is whatever floats one's boat. Kinda like Burger King have it your way

 

So we never mass milled anything, we never got to that scale. So when we say rough milled 25 heads out of the same piece of steel our weights we very close each time. Of course that is rough milling and then we got to the customer's desired weight through hand milling, work on a lathe, grinding wheel, belt sanders. I will say that some older mass produced CNC putters that I have weighed of the exact same head I have seen differences of 7 or 8 grams. Now I am sure with a bigger sampling of heads it could be a bigger gap, or it could be a I happened on some with a great range, I just have no idea since I was never involved with something large scale.

 

The reason they use the weights is this.....

One exact head shape, and little variance in shape or angles to get different weights. In theory whether you have a newport at 320 or 360 your top down view would be the same.

 

With offering different head weights without the weights, you are going to have some difference in the shape, whether it be an angle here or a bend there or a slight dimension bigger or smaller.

 

To be honest the companies that offer the different headweights I have no clue if they weigh them at all or company A with weights says...Here's 50 heads put the weights in them that are for 350, and then grab 50 with weights for 330. Do they ever test the heads to see if there are any discrepancies and how much weight? I doubt it. Company B has one specific shape for 330 and one for 350, do they weigh them before they shaft them up and say they are 340 or 350? Here again, I doubt it. I do not have any info to back my guesses up though.

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I'd be more impressed with hand stamping that is actually lined up. THAT takes talent.

 

"Dancing" anything is just a cover up for poor stamping skills.

 

That’s actually a fair point that represents a point of view I can understand. Personally the randomness of hand stamping is part of the appeal to me, but I can completely understand where you’re coming from.

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Hand stamping in general is more bespoke, and some people prefer that level of service. If you don’t like bespoke products, then hand stamping is not for you, and there is nothing wrong with that. The world would be pretty boring if everyone liked the same stuff.

 

That's the part I don't get right there..."more" bespoke? How so? It's the same thing, to a higher level of finish to engrave or mill the...whatever...into the putter. But at the end of the day it's just as "bespoke" (made to order) to do it either way.

 

If we all go to Augusta for the Masters, and there are racks of shirts with hand drawn (directly) on the shirt Masters logos, and racks with it machine embroidered, I'll bet most would take the machine embroidered.

 

We've, for the most part, moved way beyond "hand made" putters. None of these CNC putters are close to hand made. I still just don't get why we haven't also moved more modern in how we customize it. It's a real stretch to say that stamping makes a putter handmade, or even approaches hand made.

 

Honestly, if the Masters shirt is hand drawn by an artist, I'm taking the hand drawn shirt every time, assuming it's good work.

 

Same goes for hand stamping vs. engraving for me. The designs that are turned in to either a metal stamp or programmed to be engraved are equally artistic. As a collector (who has some of each by the way), the difference to me is that every time that the hammer hits the stamp, the artistic ability is being practiced again and again. The art in engraving (assuming were talking CNC, not hand engraving) is in the original design, not the many times a CNC machine carves it into a putter.

 

I have little interest in a printed reproduction of Starry Night, but if Van Gogh would paint a new copy of it for me, I'd be all over it. I value the brush marks and the texture of the artist's medium in paintings, just as I value the mushrooming of the stamping and milling marks that comes through on putters. This is totally a "to each his own" topic, and important to remember that both methods produce cool putters. Some hate stamping, some hate engraving, some love both.

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