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Spalding Woods Restoration, all done!(*)


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Hi everyone, I wanted to thank you for the advice I've received on these old woods, and want to start the restoration project. I thought I'd make a post that went through the whole process from start to finish, and I can ask for questions and receive feedback from the wiser minds on this site.

 

I don't know a lot about these clubs. They belonged to my great-grandfather who died when I was 2... but they are Spalding Percussion Weighted 113's, 1-4 wood with True Temper shafts amd leather wrap grips. Robert Jones Jr. engraved (not decalled...) on the crown.

 

Initial condition is not too good. The finish is bad, made worse by me as a kid trying to spray paint them black. The 2-wood is in the best shape, but it's not thaaat good and will be an ugly duckling if I don't do it too. The whippings are not salvageable; they crumble at the touch. The wood has some small cracks here and there, but nothing that I've seen so far in the neck. More interestingly, it seems the wood has swollen over time and things don't quiiite fit up right. Sanding will be required.

 

I de-shafted the driver already and removed the sole-plate and insert. The backscrew was buried in filler, but upon removing that came out with a screwdriver. After that the shaft slid out. Interestingly, each wood has a different color ferrule stripe.

 

So tomorrow's plan is to disassemble the remaining woods and strip them down to bare wood. Then I intend to take advantage of my being in California instead of Finland, and playing 18 with my old High School coach.

 

I'll update this post as the project progresses.

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Here are some more pictures from the good camera. As you can see the two-wood will need to have some more work done, but that's how it goes sometimes.   Reading back over this thread I realized I ha

Woods 1, 3, and 4 are done! Wood 2 had a problem with the poly and it has completely marred the crown... I will need to do a lot of work to re-repair, which again I don't have time for. I will post mo

I seem to recall that Holden Cornfield has a similar set of woods that he refinished and plays regularly. If he hasn't responded to your inquiries already, I would expect him to comment at some point.

 

Found the thread where he discussed his project: http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/1432652-spalding-top-flite-power-weighted-woods/

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I seem to recall that Holden Cornfield has a similar set of woods that he refinished and plays regularly. If he hasn't responded to your inquiries already, I would expect him to comment at some point.

 

Found the thread where he discussed his project: http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/1432652-spalding-top-flite-power-weighted-woods/

 

That post is incredibly useful, because his woods have black faces, and I wasn’t sure if they did originally or not. Thanks!

 

That will be a great resource to help with this operation.

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This should be a fun project. Go to Dave Woods website and print his step by step process for refinishing woods.

I hope you saw on the Holden cornfield post, how ugly the faces look with the insert screws sawed thru.

Be very light handed with your sanding no coarser than ,180-220, especially near the stampings.

Ask questions here if you are unsure of anything. I have some parts, screws etc. Don't hesitate to ask.

 

Treat them with respect and care since they were your Great Grandfathers. Don't rush!!

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This should be a fun project. Go to Dave Woods website and print his step by step process for refinishing woods.

I hope you saw on the Holden cornfield post, how ugly the faces look with the insert screws sawed thru.

Be very light handed with your sanding no coarser than ,180-220, especially near the stampings.

Ask questions here if you are unsure of anything. I have some parts, screws etc. Don't hesitate to ask.

 

Treat them with respect and care since they were your Great Grandfathers. Don't rush!!

 

 

Somebody already cut the screws, made them a PITA to remove, because there wasn’t much to bite into with the screwdriver. The heads are currently soaking in a liberal coat of jasco, which took care of the outer stuff pretty well but the stain underneath is resisting. I know I don’t need it all off, but I want more removed. Hitting them veeeeery gently with a wire brush to get the paint off. Seems to be working and not scratching the persimmon surface.

 

Questions:

What solvent is good for cleaning inserts? All 4 inserts came out in one piece and are in decent shape, just tired looking. Gentle acetone and soft cloth?

 

Whipping source? Ashaway makes it but its a $100 minimum order for 3000yd of cord, about 2990 yards more than I need. Maybe black mono-filament nylon fishing line?

 

Sole plates/screws: polish with brasso+steel wool

 

Shafts: turtle wax chrome polish

 

To reset the sole plate and insert, what glue? I don’t want to use epoxy because then they cannot be removed...

 

Thank you all for everything!

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OMG a wire brush NEVER!!! Use 180 to 220 wet or dry sandpaper.Go lightly around the stampings.

 

Throw the old screws away. Use Brass #4 Phillips as replacements. Lightly sand the inserts don't put any kind of solvent on them.

 

Look for whipping on e bay. If you don't know how to do whipping, go to You tube there are video instructions.

 

You need to use good epoxy to re set the insert and soleplate. GolfWorks has excellent, High Shear Strength Epoxy. Normal heat will allow you to remove a soleplate. If you used good High Shear Strength Epoxy you shouldn't" have to remove an insert .

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OMG a wire brush NEVER!!! Use 180 to 220 wet or dry sandpaper.Go lightly around the stampings.

 

Throw the old screws away. Use Brass #4 Phillips as replacements. Lightly sand the inserts don't put any kind of solvent on them.

 

 

 

 

Quickly realized wire brush was doing more harm than good and went to more conservative methods!

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Well after day one most of the old stain has been removed, and tomorrow will be sanding and more sanding. A couple of setbacks: Now without paint, the 3 wood has a visible crack in the neck. Epoxy and whipping should take care of that. Other annoyances, the stripper creates a paste of the old stain as it removes it, and this paste has a habit of settling into engravings. Will need to carve them out carefully and then mask them off. Otherwise I am pretty happy with today's progress: I haven't destroyed anything, and the finish is gone. I only got a little stripper on my hands, and it only burns a little :D

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Doesn't look like you epoxied and re set the soleplates. I see gaps around them. Old clubs like these need soleplates and inserts re set. By this age they are loose. Also lead weights under the soleplate should be tightened, you may need to adjust the swing weight. Clean under the plate and abrade the plate. The inserts will also be loose. Clean and abrade the bottom and sides of the insert and the wood before installing them.

Any gaps around the soleplate and insert will cause a separation in any Poly that you apply.

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Today’s work was primarily sanding and filling gaps. The only highlight was the driver, where I touched up the profile to match the sole-plate. That might not be correct but it’s more aesthetically pleasing to me. Anyway, before and after photos of that. Notice also the filler on the sole plate. Tomorrow the staining/painting process begins. I am a little concerned that the wood filler pictured will not be able to hold up to the rigors of golf club life, but it will be under poly and in the vicinity of the hitting faces epoxy-based filler was used. I will need to touch up all the gaps around the inserts, but the process is getting there.

 

Today I also stripped a MacGregor Tourney DX2W to start the process all over again. That club was stained, however, so will require much better prep to produce a good finish.

 

Edit: For the black paint is there anything special or will any black paint do?

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Agree with Robert. If your intention is to put these in play you will regret not epoxy resetting the inserts and soleplates. Impact with a golf ball will result in adhesion issues with your finish coats.

 

Honestly these are probably going to be more display than play, but I get the reason for the epoxy now. The problem being I didn’t at the time of gluing them in, and now I can’t get them off. Honestly if the poly has problems or the filler breaks down then absolute worst case I just do this all again. These clubs aren’t going to see the course much anyway I don’t think, but let’s see what happens. I’m a little glum that I didn’t do that.

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The spaldings got their grain filled today, and in addition a MacGregor received a coat of stain. The spaldings will be painted next, once I decide what kind of paint to use on them. I have latex house paint and rustoleum enamel. I’m leaning towards the rustoleum. Then the poly (or shellac) is there any specific kind to use?

 

More photos of the process...

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I use mat finish spray poly as I'm not into the shinny shinny look myself. The mat finish screams 'Bad Boy.' ;)

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After a short break for Christmas (I got an Adams tightlies tour 14.5 3 wood from 2013, so look out par 5’s!) I’m back at it today, with the first coat of rustoleum. Upon closer inspection, this paint is just a thicker, brush on version of the rustoleuom spray paint, so it should work just fine. On Sunday I painted the neck of the 4 wood to see how the paint would do, and after it dried I was satisfied with the adhesion and color, so today I painted all four woods and set them to dry. After that’s done, I’ll sand them and give them another coat, and I might thin the paint a little as well. I will also need to clean up the stampings between coats. The face inserts and sole-plates are masked off with clear tape, which will remain in place until the painting is complete.

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James, nice first effort. Mistakes will be made, no doubt. I've done 4 or 5 sets now, I guess. Most of them turned out fairly well but I did completely ruin one set. Sigh.

 

I am NOT an artist, and do not have the patience nor, frankly, the talent to be one. But my goal is not to produce wall hangers for the Smithsonian. My #1 priority is to restore them to playability. Cosmetics are nice, but the first time you throw them in your bag for play battle scars are inevitable.

 

So just keep in mind whatever your goal is. And it looks to me that your main goal is as a tribute to your great grandfather, which is certainly a worthy one. There will be imperfections but likely you will be the only one who will see them. Enjoy the process. I suspect your great grandfather would be very proud that you took an interest in them.

And if you play persimmon, you're my friend

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Took a little break to go to Monterey with the family for the weekend. Got to look real longingly at Spanish Bay and watch the Bagpiper, before getting in a round at Pacific Grove in perfect weather. So I'll post a photo of that because it is one of my favorite golf course anywhere.

 

As for the project, I had some problems with paint drying, so I removed it all and started again with thinner coats. There is a problem: I have only until Saturday before I go back to Europe, and it looks like I’m not going to be able to finish in time.

 

To distract from that unpleasant thought, the first poly coat went on the Mac driver! I think that that club is looking very, very good. I will paintfill the engravings tomorrow (second coat is curing right now) and then seal it off with a final coat

before whipping and completing.

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The MacGregor is DONE!(*)

 

* The whipping thread (read 35lb test monofilament fishing line) I used I didn't wind up liking. In addition to being a greenish translucent, it looks pretty tacky. But it's strong and tightly wrapped, so I think I can hit with it.

 

The club came out more blonde than I expected but I don't think it looks that bad.

 

Pictures:

 

Will be added when I compress them, they are too big for WRX

 

Edit: Pictures now

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DX looks good, you chose to make the face the same stain as the body, I like.

 

My only comment would be to see if you can get more of the sole plate scratches (front and back edge) out next time, usually a fine file and some sand paper will do it, as the scratches are minor on your DX. However, the small ding on the front edge towards the toe might not be removable. Also, could clean out and re-fill the "MacGregor" and "1" on the sole plate.

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The DX looks pretty good James. Like mocokid mentioned, a file and sandpaper will get out a lot of the scratches in the sole plate, but probably not all. I’d also add make sure you get all the old finish off. I can see in the stripped pics of the DX the top of the head out at the toe still had some finish on it which now looks red on the finished club.

 

I’m not sure exactly how it was done in the old days, I’m assuming they used pitch or something similar, but there needs to be a smooth transition from shaft to head to allow the whipping to be nice and even. It looks like your whipping is a bit off right about where the shaft enters the clubhead.

 

 

Overall looking pretty good and you will get even better results with each one you do.

 

Keep it up!

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