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What is nearnet forging?


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I've been tempted to buy some Kenneth Smith or Wood Bros. heads to build a set for my dad (I know they are not the same company they used to be - that's beside the point). They are advertised as "nearnet forged". What is this process? Just curious.

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I think it's just another way of saying "form forged". In other words, the initial forging step starts with a clubhead that's cast fairly close to the final shape rather than a blank/billet. When the final step is complete, the clubhead is "near the net weight" of the final forged product.

 

Older/traditional forging methods start with basically a raw piece of solid steel, then after two or three forging steps, the clubhead is then fairly extensively ground to final specs prior to chroming.

 

I'll be upfront and close with the caveat that I'm not certain this is the case, but I'd bet that it's just a similar manufacturing process as form forging a clubhead.

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Scotty Golo

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That was my guess, too. How many ways can you forge a club?

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The old fashioned way was to start with a 4 or 5 inch, kind of tubular piece of soft carbon steel, then use a 20 or so ton drop forge to shape the steel in a die. Usually three strikes made the form, then a craftsman shaped the head by grinding to get the final shape and weight. This is an expensive process with a lot of labor cost in each head.

 

Form forging starts with a pre-cast head instead of a raw piece of steel. As long as you don't get any significant voids in the starting form, the forging process on the formed head is really about two things: producing the kind of grain structure usually associated with high quality forgings, and getting a high quality finished shape that is very close to final production specs. This reduces the labor cost.

 

As for methods, most form forging these days is done with hydraulic presses, which can generate the same (or much higher) compression forces as the old drop forge while producing much finer detail in the final product. In some cases, the production process for making iron heads is a lot closer to the forging process for producing coins than it is to an automotive part.

 

So you can produce very fine detail while eliminating the odd misplacement of the piece in the forge that ruins the part.

Taylormade r11s 9 Penley Stealth 70x 44.5" D-3 ------> Taylormade 16 M1 8.5 GD AD TP6x 44.0" D3 [s]PX Hzrdus Black 75 6.0 44.5" D-3[/s]
Nickent 3DX Pro 14 MRC Diamana WB 83s
Hybrid: Adams Idea Pro 18 Grafalloy CNote ProtoX
Mizuno MP62 DG x-100 Sensicore D-4 3-pw ---------> Ping i200 DG120 S3 D-3 +1/4" Red 4-U.
Vokey SM6 56-14/60-04M DG x-100 Sensicore 1xss D-5 ------------> Vokey SM6 56/10 60/4M DG 120 S300 35" D-5
Scotty Golo

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  • 10 years later...

I've been tempted to buy some Kenneth Smith or Wood Bros. heads to build a set for my dad (I know they are not the same company they used to be - that's beside the point). They are advertised as "nearnet forged". What is this process? Just curious.

Hello, nearnet forged means that they forge to such precision that there is very little flash to cut off after forging. Everytime you apply heat to steel to work it, whether trimming, cutting, etc. it makes the metal that much harder and since nearnet forging is so precise it is able to maintain its softness, which is why nearnet forged clubs feel so buttery soft.
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