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Advice for new clubmaker…


JackGatling
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I’ve recently started doing most of my own club work (reshafting irons, messing around with swing weights, etc…) and have really enjoyed it. I have been thinking about trying to do some repairs or custom builds for people locally, and maybe even eventually online.

 

I would love to get some general advice from the community before I dive to deep into this.

 

What tool/piece of equipment have did you think you needed and hardly use? What are the must haves?

 

Favorite places to source supplies/equipment and parts?

 

Things you wish you knew before you started down this rabbit hole? General advice?

 

I have done a lot of digging through the forum and have learned a lot, but I appreciate any tips or advice you guys can throw my way.
 

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I have a Frequency Analyzer but never use it as I don't do .370 Parallel shafts in my builds.   I did use it after FLO'ing shafts to identify the strong plane, but no longer go to such trouble as I feel FLO / Spine'ing shafts is overrated ( in a nutshell, a golf swing is not an oscillation ).

 

I also have the Auditor MOI device, but whether I build to MOI via Swing-Weight methods ( 1.333 SWP per inch ) or via the Auditor, I usually end up further fine-tuning via lead tape based on feel, even though "the math is perfect".

 

Must Have:

- good SW Scale

- a good ruler

- 1" belt sander

- abrasive chop saw

- a good vise

- gripping setup ( I only use single-sided tape & a compressor, so no need for solvents, solvent collection, etc  )

- lots of supplies -> all sorts of tip weights and ferrules

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2 minutes ago, ShortGolfer said:

Air compressor for blowing grips on and off is a must have.

Hard disagree. 
 

grips that don’t slip > grips that slip 

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The tip and 18v inflator I use:

 

IMG_2889.jpg.6d77169a571fd670656aa19ded7dfc8d.jpgIMG_2883.jpg.39c727a1c31614ca775538919eb4de99.jpg

Edited by subrew
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A dedicated work area and mini lathe is nice!

 

A mini lathe works great on golf sized stuff.  I use mine to turn ferrules into alignment fixtures that are glued into place.  

I learned that gluing driver adapters that have precisely shaped ferrules.  Then I did a Ping wedge and learned about collared ferrules.  Bought just what I needed on eBay.

Easy enough for me to make my own collared ferrules like the ones used on Ping clubs.

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Yep, I've done the same too.  One of the set of iron heads I've built up (maybe the MacGregor) has a rather obvious step to the inside of the hosel. So I turned a corresponding step on the ferrule.  Everything was a nice tight dry fit before the epoxy stage.  

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I do my own clubmaking and am on a limited budget. Here is my list:

 

1. grip reshafting rod to install and remove grips w/o damaging them.

2. graphite shaft extractor, I think Golfworks has the cheapest model that works well.

3. propane torch.

4. rubber shaft clamp

 

Everything else can be cobbbled together from a local hardware store fairly cheaply, sandpaper, round files, epoxy,etc, I for one don't have a vice clamp nor a workbench.

 

No sw balance is really needed, the balance point can be measured and with the overall weight the SW can be calculated using an easy formula.

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1. Hogan -  Active leg tension, 2. Forward press, 3. Torres - club over right shoulder 

Only swing thought - extend left arm at shirt sleeve when reaching left hand over right shoulder

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2 hours ago, ChristopherMcDonald said:

Hard disagree. 
 

grips that don’t slip > grips that slip 

Never had a blown on grip slip yet.. it literally makes grip change a breeze. 

 

Some of the things I have found to be very useful..

  • Swing weight scale
  • Heat gun.. you can use propane torch as well but requires some more delicate touch if you are working with graphite shafts
  • At least a basic shaft puller.. a must have if you want to pull graphite shafts with burn them into a crisp
  • A Dremel tool. Have used it from cutting graphite shaft to cleaning out hosel and many other things I can't remember now. It is also used to drill out epoxy left in the the shaft tip as a shaft would not go in all the way if the tip is sealed shut because of the air being trapped. 
  • Pipe cutter for cutting steel shafts. 
  • Rubber shaft clamp
  • Air compressor
  • Grip removal tool

Some tools I wish I got every time when I need one

  • Belt sander
  • Small Chop saw

 

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4 minutes ago, mister2cool said:

Never had a blown on grip slip yet.. it literally makes grip change a breeze. 

I’ve heard stories go both ways. If it works for you it works for you! 👍🏼

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Just now, ChristopherMcDonald said:

I’ve heard stories go both ways. If it works for you it works for you! 👍🏼

It has more to do with the type of grips. Some stretches more so they are tight enough to have enough friction. Some others are not as tight so I typically add a little tape to help with the squeeze. 

 

Ok.. get that mind out of the gutter now. 🤣

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I appreciate all of the replies! Sounds like I’m definitely on the right track as far as the equipment goes, I’ve got my eye on the belt sander/shaft cutter combo that golfworks sells.

 

Ive definitely ruined a few ferrules using the shoe shine method with sandpaper, I have a hard time keeping the right taper on the ferrule without making the end farthest up the shaft too thin

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2 hours ago, ShortGolfer said:

Air compressor for blowing grips on and off is a must have.

 Bad advice for a business! You'll get a reputation as a builder who cuts corners because some proportion of no tape air-installed grips will slip.

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1 hour ago, JackGatling said:

I appreciate all of the replies! Sounds like I’m definitely on the right track as far as the equipment goes, I’ve got my eye on the belt sander/shaft cutter combo that golfworks sells.

 

Ive definitely ruined a few ferrules using the shoe shine method with sandpaper, I have a hard time keeping the right taper on the ferrule without making the end farthest up the shaft too thin

I've seen people grab too wide of ferrule pretty commonly. I'd recommend a heat gun, and a ferrule installer. Best to heat up a tight fitting ferrule and jam it then it is to get a ferrule that's too loose and comes unattached within a couple weeks and slides up the shaft.

 

Depending on how much you are looking to spend, golfworks sells an entire clubmaking kit and everything included would make your life easier. 

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30 minutes ago, McScoots said:

Do people really do this? I thought the air compressor replaced the solvent in the equation, not the tape

I dont use double sided tape.  You are correct. You can blow on a grip with or without solvent, but for testing and saving grips, I use masking tape and make sure it is the right diameter.  If you don't know what you are doing grips can slip. That goes for many aspects if club building. 

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Not to be disrespectful but I suggest gaining a lot more knowledge and experience before charging others for your work, except maybe a few buddies.

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12 minutes ago, AmateurAmateur said:

I've seen people grab too wide of ferrule pretty commonly. I'd recommend a heat gun, and a ferrule installer. Best to heat up a tight fitting ferrule and jam it then it is to get a ferrule that's too loose and comes unattached within a couple weeks and slides up the shaft.

 

Depending on how much you are looking to spend, golfworks sells an entire clubmaking kit and everything included would make your life easier. 

"Depending on how much you are looking to spend, golfworks sells an entire clubmaking kit and everything included would make your life easier. "

 

This. Or use it as a guideline for what you'll need and piecemeal it. I'd suggest going to their club making school or Mitchell's, if you are serious. And then practice, practice, practice before you hang your sign. 

 

Don't expect to get rich or even make a living. It's great if you have other income coming in. Fun work, good luck! 

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IMO Air is for experimenting with grips, but solvent/tape on gamers/customers. I have had grips twist while swinging (Usually at the butt) Also have noticed the grips creep a bit. I don't have any interest in saving a used grip(Unless its a putter grip and I tend to blow those on since I change them out all the time). If I'm going to spend the time installing grips I want them to be new. No better feeling then playing with fresh grips(I change mine every season.) 

 

Also, I think a loft/lie machine is critical if you are reshafting for other people. I wouldn't let anyone touch my clubs unless I knew they could build them to spec. 

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34 minutes ago, 5hort5tuff said:

 

Disagree with this. 

 

My grips never slip. As long as you have an appropriate wrap/tape underneath, you will never have issues. 

 

Blowing off grips has saved me many many hundreds of dollars by reusing and experimenting. 

 

 

Yep just like the other bloke, if it works for you awesome, I’m not here to tell you to switch things up. A non-zero amount of grip types will slip with air install and to me that’s enough to splurge on the (reusable) mineral spirits, especially if you’re doing more than just building for yourself or friends, which it sounds like OP is trying to venture into.

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4 hours ago, subrew said:

The tip and 18v inflator I use:

 

IMG_2889.jpg.6d77169a571fd670656aa19ded7dfc8d.jpgIMG_2883.jpg.39c727a1c31614ca775538919eb4de99.jpg

 

How does this work?  I just bought one for airing up kids toys and never thought about using it for blowing on grips.

 

That said, when you see a video of a tour truck gripping a club they NEVER use air, so for me, its solvent all day long.  But I'd like to try air to get grips off because I have about $2,000 worth of Z Cords on random shafts, lol.  

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Just now, 5hort5tuff said:

I agree that if you are building for others as a business, it may be smarter to use tape and solvent.  

 

I dont think the grips slip if done correctly. To each their own, but I use gripmaster wraps and I'm not cutting off a $30 grip to switch it to another club. 

 

 

 I've been blowing on my grips with an old tire inflator since 2009. I have never had any grips slip on any of my clubs. I use masking tape or blue painters tape. It's saved me a ton of money. I've changed my grips four times this yr. I recently put on my grips I like to use when it is cold.

 

The funny thing is I have only put on grips for one of my friends. I told him to get the grips and I would put them on for free. He gets some of the cheapest grips he can find on Amazon. I blow them on and half of them slip on him our next time out. I'm guessing the inside diameters were all over the place. I had to reinstall them with tape and solvent. They were ok after that. I had to buy tape and solvent and when I charged him for the materials he gets bent out of shape. He says you said free..

 

I would agree if I was running a business and charging to install grips I would use tape and solvent. Do it right.

 

 

 

 

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40 minutes ago, J_Tizzle said:

 

How does this work?  I just bought one for airing up kids toys and never thought about using it for blowing on grips.

 

That said, when you see a video of a tour truck gripping a club they NEVER use air, so for me, its solvent all day long.  But I'd like to try air to get grips off because I have about $2,000 worth of Z Cords on random shafts, lol.  

It’s not easy to get grips off if they were installed with double sided tape. Most will blow up before they start moving. 
 

I use air for my grips. After I figured out how to do it properly, I have never had one slip.

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