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How tight should heads feel on shaft when reshafting?


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In the middle of reshafting my irons for the first time and I am concerned that the heads are moving a little freely on the shafts. Is this normal?

 

There is no play in them i just feel that the heads spin on the shaft a little more freely than I expected. Is this the way they should be or am I doing something wrong? 

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Once the epoxy gels you will be set.  I have found sometimes the epoxy almost feels like a lubricant before it sets and the shafts do spin freely while you’re trying to line up them up.  The scenario

If the shaft fit is too tight there would not be enough room for the epoxy to sufficiently bond the shaft to the hosel. From what you’ve said it should be fine. There are some good YouTube videos that

You basically want to avoid any fit the requires effort to get the shaft in place e.g. twisting or "tamping" down. There can and should always be a touch of play in them to allow room for the epoxy, b

1 minute ago, hoffa72002 said:

Once you get some epoxy in there, you will be fine.  If there’s no play on them you won’t need to worry about shafting beads or even shims. Just remember, a little bit of epoxy goes a long way!

The epoxy came out between the head and the hosel so I am sure I have enough in there I was just concerned with how freely the head moved on the shaft when trying to line it up, I expected it to be a little tighter fitting. 

 

I even tried to bang the shaft on the ground to make sure it was all the way home, I had marked the shaft with a sharpie so the ferrule would cover the mark when it was right on so I know I am fully in. 

 

Just need to wait and see what they are like tomorrow. Hope I don't need to pull them back apart! 

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Once the epoxy gels you will be set.  I have found sometimes the epoxy almost feels like a lubricant before it sets and the shafts do spin freely while you’re trying to line up them up.  The scenario you’ve described doesn’t sound like anything out of the ordinary to me.  I doubt you’ll have to take them apart.  I like to put a couple strips of tape between the hosel and shaft while the export cures to prevent movement.

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1 hour ago, Alan Pllu said:

In the middle of reshafting my irons for the first time and I am concerned that the heads are moving a little freely on the shafts. Is this normal?

 

There is no play in them i just feel that the heads spin on the shaft a little more freely than I expected. Is this the way they should be or am I doing something wrong? 

If the shaft fit is too tight there would not be enough room for the epoxy to sufficiently bond the shaft to the hosel. From what you’ve said it should be fine. There are some good YouTube videos that will give you an idea of proper shafting techniques.

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You basically want to avoid any fit the requires effort to get the shaft in place e.g. twisting or "tamping" down. There can and should always be a touch of play in them to allow room for the epoxy, because if the fit is too tight then you can end up wicking too epoxy off the surface of the shaft when setting them in place. You also don't want the shaft rattling around inside the hosel either, but there is a decent sized middle ground between that and too tight that will work just fine as long as you are mixing the epoxy well and prepping the surfaces properly. 

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Back in time, I had a conversation with one of the chemical engineers at Industrial Formulators (now System3) and he said you want about 5/1000"  of clearance in club building.  For those wondering what 5/1000" looks like, it is just slightly thicker than one sheet of printer paper.

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Thanks for the replys everyone, it has put my mind at ease now. I thought something was wrong but it would appear I was just expecting something that wouldn't be right. 

 

The epoxy and mixer left on the cardboard I was using is nice and stuck and starting to firm up nicely this morning when I got up so hopefully it will be all good. 

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12 hours ago, hoffa72002 said:

Once the epoxy gels you will be set.  I have found sometimes the epoxy almost feels like a lubricant before it sets and the shafts do spin freely while you’re trying to line up them up.  The scenario you’ve described doesn’t sound like anything out of the ordinary to me.  I doubt you’ll have to take them apart.  I like to put a couple strips of tape between the hosel and shaft while the export cures to prevent movement.

This was exactly what I was feeling it was like the epoxy became a lubricant and the head started spinning easier on the shaft than it did when I was dry building them. 

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How long should I leave them before hitting them? They have been sat in the office with the heating set to 20 Celsius since I built them back up about 23 hours ago. 

 

They feel pretty solid now but its too late (11pm here just now) and far too cold to go out to the garage to hit them, hoping to get a bit of time to hit them tomorrow night after work, will probably be about 45-46 hours by then. Will that be long enough to have left them? 

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47 minutes ago, Alan Pllu said:

How long should I leave them before hitting them? They have been sat in the office with the heating set to 20 Celsius since I built them back up about 23 hours ago. 

 

They feel pretty solid now but its too late (11pm here just now) and far too cold to go out to the garage to hit them, hoping to get a bit of time to hit them tomorrow night after work, will probably be about 45-46 hours by then. Will that be long enough to have left them? 


If the epoxy was mixed correctly then yes, that is plenty of time after curing at 20*C. It can take up to a full week for them to cure to their maximum advertised numbers, but 24 hours at a good temp is basically the safe "standard" before you can use them. No concerns at all after 45-46 hours then.

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Update on this, been out to hit the clubs tonight. Just had to take the heads back off my 9i, pw and gw as they started clicking and spun when I had hit them after about 20-30 shots. 

 

These were 3 of the last 4 heads I did. Dont know what has gone wrong with them? 

 

The rest all feel ok and I have been hitting them and had a really good twist at them to try and turn them off and they seem solid. 

 

Question is what did I do wrong and should I redo the entire set now? 

 

I made sure I was really thorough with my prep, everything was roughed up and cleaned and I left them indoors with the heating on in the room whilst they cured. At a loss as to why they have failed. 

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I'd redo the entire set.

 

Start fresh and clean both the shaft and hosel down to clean metal, then blow off the dust and wipe down both parts with acetone or MEK.  Let dry.

 

Be sure to use quality epoxy.  Golf specific or quality industrial epoxy like 3M or Hysol.  

 

Be sure the inside of the shaft is cleaned out so you air has an escape path when the shaft is inserted.

 

Coat both the inside of the hosel and the outside of the shaft with an even coat of epoxy.  Insert the shaft, wipe off any ooze out, align the shaft like you want, then position the club with the shaft straight up and don't touch it again until the epoxy is cured.  A better cure can be gotten by adding some heat; I like to arrange all the clubs in a row then set up some scraps of wood around the heads and set my hot air gun on low and heat the heads up to about 140F.  The heads will be too warm to keep your hand on but it won't burn you.  Heat like this and the epoxy will be fully cured in about one hour.  There is no reason what so ever to wait for 24 or 48 hours to cure epoxy, unless you like waiting I suppose.

Edited by Nessism

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Sometimes it depends on the type of epoxy. One of my favorite is the Tour Set Plus epoxy, which gels and cures fast and almost is like a tar when you mix the two parts. Fit up is a little more snug when you use a faster curing epoxy like that. 

 

I'm using a 24 hour golf-specific mix now and the clubs need to be sitting securely if you need a specific alignment. Once the epoxy gels though, everything gets nice and snug. Like others have said, less is more when it comes to epoxy. 

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1 minute ago, Alan Pllu said:

Its golf works 24 hour epoxy I have used, haven't a clue what I have done wrong. Did loads of research and really took my time doing them. 2nd time lucky! 

 

In the middle of doing them now. 

Were they new steel shafts and did you get through the layer of chrome for the tip prep?  Otherwise my guess is heads were not properly cleaned. You also want to spin the shaft a few times inside the head to make sure every surface has epoxy. 

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25 minutes ago, golfsticks said:

Did you abrade the shafts and bore?

Yeah, sanded them wiped off the dust, epoxy on the shaft tip stuck it in the hosel and spun it a few times then a little more on the shaft and stuck it back in. 

 

5 of the 8 I did are solid and I have hit lots of shots with them tonight and they still feel fine. At a loss with what happened with these 3? 

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27 minutes ago, Krt22 said:

Were they new steel shafts and did you get through the layer of chrome for the tip prep?  Otherwise my guess is heads were not properly cleaned. You also want to spin the shaft a few times inside the head to make sure every surface has epoxy. 

2 were new and 6 were pulls. 

 

Cleaned the heads with a wire brush on a drill as soon as the old shafts were removed and the hosels were still hot. 

 

As I said above I spun the heads a few times then took the shaft out and put a little dab extra epoxy on and stuck it back in. Was nicely coated as far as I thought. 

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Just now, Alan Pllu said:

2 were new and 6 were pulls. 

 

Cleaned the heads with a wire brush on a drill as soon as the old shafts were removed and the hosels were still hot. 

 

As I said above I spun the heads a few times then took the shaft out and put a little dab extra epoxy on and stuck it back in. Was nicely coated as far as I thought. 

After you did the wire brush, did you clean out the hosels? I use compressed air

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26 minutes ago, golfsticks said:

Forget all that crap you read.   Just abrade the shaft and bore good, use 24 hour set shafting epoxy, and a light sprinkling of aluminium oxide sand to lock everything together and a fat elephant wont knock it apart.   Dry them toe down.

I used 80 grit paper on them to rough them up, golf works 24 hour epoxy and some shafting sand, taped the shaft and head and sat them against a wall grip end up next to a radiator to cure for 2 days before hitting them on what is now day 3. 

 

Don't know what I have done wrong. 

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1 minute ago, Krt22 said:

After you did the wire brush, did you clean out the hosels? I use compressed air

I used a spirit based cleaned that evaporates. Sprayed it in then turned the heads upside down so it all ran out the hosel then stuck a paper towel rolled up in to try remove anything that was left over. 

 

I don't have a compressor so can't used compressed Air to blow them out. 

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Spinning the head around is bad practice.  It's okay to insert and spin a little to align the shaft, but there is no reason to spin the head around.  And don't pull the shaft in and out.  Plus, you need to degrease both the shaft and hosel.  I've learned this part from personal experience...clean, abrade, clean, let dry.  That's best practice.

Oh, and putting "shafting sand" in the epoxy reduces it's strength.  There is no reason to do that.

 

Edit: and "sprit" cleaner leaves an oily residue.  MEK is best followed by acetone.  

Edited by Nessism

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11 minutes ago, Nessism said:

Spinning the head around is bad practice.  It's okay to insert and spin a little to align the shaft, but there is no reason to spin the head around.  And don't pull the shaft in and out.  Plus, you need to degrease both the shaft and hosel.  I've learned this part from personal experience...clean, abrade, clean, let dry.  That's best practice.

Oh, and putting "shafting sand" in the epoxy reduces it's strength.  There is no reason to do that.

 

Edit: and "sprit" cleaner leaves an oily residue.  MEK is best followed by acetone.  

Thats probably where I have gone wrong then. 

 

I didn't use sand this time as the shafts were a pretty snug fit so felt it was a step that wasn't needed. 

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4 minutes ago, golfsticks said:

Did you mix epoxy properly?

Mixed it constantly for about 3 or 4 min, the mix that came out the gun did seem a little different tonight compared to when I did it on Saturday. Seemed a little more thicker and sticky tonight for want of a better way of putting it. Maybe the first of the epoxy out of the applicator was a little runny when I did it first time. 

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I had a few heads of my very first build come loose, had to redo the whole set as I couldn’t stop thinking “what if...”. It’s part of the learning process!

 

I highly recommend using 24 h epoxy like the GW one you’re already using. I had some heads come loose which I used 3 minute Brampton Quick Fix epoxy on. I’m sure it’s fine but I’m a 24 h guy now 😄

 

Also, get a heating pad and BBQ thermometer! Heat speeds up curing and strengthens the bond. When I do single clubs, after assembling one I lean it against a wall (upright) and wrap a heating pad around it, so the hosel gets enough heat.  BBQ thermometer probe stuck against outside of the hosel, as that’s the point that is important.

With a little moving around and on the right setting, it hits the temperature sweet spot. I leave it on overnight and the club is ready after around 10 hours. I usually wait the full 24 (after getting up in the morning, I turn off the pad), but the heat really makes the bond stronger. 
I go with 60 degrees Celsius.
 

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I don't know what shafting sand is specifically, but aluminium oxide sand is what I used, and may be close to the same thing,  and works great,  but don't mix it with epoxy, just a light sprinkle prior to setting shaft.  It's purpose is to center shaft in bore and take up any slack in the bore, makes aligning easy, and it does not degrade the epoxy's strength.  Without putting some eye balls on it, hard to say, maybe the bores are off a little.

 

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When you get a few out of set that come apart, you have to assume that there was a contamination issue.  If it was anything else, you would have had them all fail.  It likely was the spirits that were used to clean out the hosel and there was residue in the ones that failed.

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