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regripping air or solvent


grumpy123golf

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I just purchased the Star Grips air tool last week. I was interested based on a positive review in Golf Today mag (a Northern California freebie mag at golf courses here). They have a monthly feature by Leith Anderson at The Golf Lab in Palo Alto which talked about how well this worked. I gave Star a call a couple of weeks ago and had a great conversation with somebody there who was the guy behind productizing the gun (he might have been the president). The tool, a custom fitting on a blower nozzle costs $30 although you do need an air compressor. I just have a small Porter-Cable pancake compressor for brad guns that's more that enough.

 

So, I've done about 6 clubs since I got it. I'm pretty happy so far, with some caveats. I've only been able to remove one taped-on grip without damaging it, and I think you should generally plan on cutting the grips off (the guy at Star basically said this). The results for blowing grips on vary with the particular grip you're using. The guys at the Golf Lab had not had good results with Winn or Golf Pride Dual Durometers, but I had no problems getting them on and back off. I did have some problems with installing some of the new Lamkin Crossline Black Full Cord Midsize, specifically with getting them started on the club (note that there's another thread here about a guy having a hard time installing new Lamkin Dual Densities, and it sounds like the same problem - the collar at the open end of the grip is really soft). The non-cords (I tried a GP Tour Velvet and a Lamkin Crossline putter grip) have no problems at all.

 

The theory behind this thing is that you pressurize the inside of the club and the flow of air around the grip is enough to slide it on and position it. You only need about 50 psi to put a grip on. This part definitely works, and it's trivial to pop a grip on or off or reposition in seconds. I was particularly interested in trying this out since I have very large hands and would like to experiment with varying amounts of wrap tape under the different parts of the grip, something that I really wouldn't do if I had to cut the grip off each time. I put 4 layers of build-up/masking tape under the right hand area and there were no problems blowing a grip on as long as the tape sits flat (ripples in the tape can make air leaks as the grip goes on which makes it hang up). It also lets me try out different kinds of grips with great ease.

 

The guy from Star said that you would need to crank the pressure up considerably to get a taped-on grip off. That's true. I was able to pull a Winn putter grip off at 95psi, but I'm not sure that I would consider it undamaged. I was pulling grips off a new set of Cleveland CG4s with Tour Velvet-type grips and was unable to remove them - the right hand area was sealed down so tight that the pressure only make a big bubble about halfway along the grip, so they needed to be cut off.

 

I have been air installing the grips with no double-sided tape. I think you could probably blow the grip on over double sided tape if you wanted to, but it doesn't seem necessary, and it would make it harder to do fine repositioning later. I wonder if this may lead to the grip being loose in play and have been watching for that, but even with some mishit 5-iron shots it doesn't seem like that Lamkin cord grip rotated at all.

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I didn't see the other thread, but covering the grip with a tube seems like a good idea. Even at fairly high pressure, I wasn't concerned about popping the grip, but I was mostly working on the new CG4 set, so the grips were completely unused and had no opportunity for wear (still in Cleveland's shrinkwrap!). With those new grips, the tape seal couldn't be beaten by the air in the lower 4", and right in the middle, the grip bulged to about 3" in diameter. After cutting them off, the bulge was permanent. They'd still bulge with a plastic tube around the handle, but it might push the air down farther too.

 

As an experiment, I tried shooting some grip solvent in the lower part of one of these grips, but I didn't have the proper tools to get it far enough up, so it didn't make any difference.

 

I was hoping that the ability to remove grips would be better. I play a very short putter at 33" (should probably be 32.5" with my gorilla-length arms), and I've often bought used putters and shortened them. If I want to keep a stock appearance, some of the crazy OEM grips can be very expensive to replace (bright green Bettinardi/Hogans, any Cameron). My #1 putter is a Bettinardi Big Ben with the OEM black rubber grip which looks like a (now defunct) Royal STS midsize. I love the grip, but this was on a 35" club, so I've been playing it uncut and with my lower hand on the shaft because I don't want to lose the "mojo" of the putter by cutting the shaft and replacing the grip. Unless I can come up with a way to inject solvent more completely under the grip, the air grip fitment won't really help out here.

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got my "gun" today -so far ruined two grips but practise should improve the situation -tried on a few old clubs each one burst -old rubber i assume - in the uk golfsmiths only supply to pga pros or clubfitters = any thoughts where i can purchase solvent and a few club repair tools ? so far i have a shaft puller and clamps -shaft cutter

plus the air gun - all purchased from usa - would like to purchase in uk. if poss . cheers and regards ron :)

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With regard to burst grips... The Star guy suggested setting the pressure to 40-50 psi (sorry, don't know that in metric) for installing grips, somewhere around 90 psi to remove them. Regular taped grips can make for a very airtight seal, so it may not be possible to get them off with the air tool. I have been meaning to go get a length of thick wall vinyl tubing or solid tube to put around the grip will removing - seems like that would help prevent the "bubble" effect, but may just make it tear.

 

Many common solvents will work for installing grips. I usually used lighter fluid (naptha) in the past and it works fine, a buddy of mine used kerosene. The commercial stuff that you buy is non-flammable and that would be greatly preferrable if you can find something that dissolves the adhesive on the grip tape. I've come to think that the double sided grip tape is more for creating a temporary slippery layer to install the grip more than to actually hold the grip one when the solvent goes away.

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  • 10 years later...

I didn't see the other thread, but covering the grip with a tube seems like a good idea. Even at fairly high pressure, I wasn't concerned about popping the grip, but I was mostly working on the new CG4 set, so the grips were completely unused and had no opportunity for wear (still in Cleveland's shrinkwrap!). With those new grips, the tape seal couldn't be beaten by the air in the lower 4", and right in the middle, the grip bulged to about 3" in diameter. After cutting them off, the bulge was permanent. They'd still bulge with a plastic tube around the handle, but it might push the air down farther too.

 

As an experiment, I tried shooting some grip solvent in the lower part of one of these grips, but I didn't have the proper tools to get it far enough up, so it didn't make any difference.

 

I was hoping that the ability to remove grips would be better. I play a very short putter at 33" (should probably be 32.5" with my gorilla-length arms), and I've often bought used putters and shortened them. If I want to keep a stock appearance, some of the crazy OEM grips can be very expensive to replace (bright green Bettinardi/Hogans, any Cameron). My #1 putter is a Bettinardi Big Ben with the OEM black rubber grip which looks like a (now defunct) Royal STS midsize. I love the grip, but this was on a 35" club, so I've been playing it uncut and with my lower hand on the shaft because I don't want to lose the "mojo" of the putter by cutting the shaft and replacing the grip. Unless I can come up with a way to inject solvent more completely under the grip, the air grip fitment won't really help out here.

 

I used a bit of soapy water to lubricate the inside of the grip and the tape. That allows the grip to go on smoothly. Some thin grips will ballon if the pressure is too high or the tape is dry. You could also use a spray on solvent but you want something that won't leave a slick residue.

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got my "gun" today -so far ruined two grips but practise should improve the situation -tried on a few old clubs each one burst -old rubber i assume - in the uk golfsmiths only supply to pga pros or clubfitters = any thoughts where i can purchase solvent and a few club repair tools ? so far i have a shaft puller and clamps -shaft cutter

plus the air gun - all purchased from usa - would like to purchase in uk. if poss . cheers and regards ron :drinks:

 

It's only a blow gun with a long nozzle. They are easily obtainable and cheap. 1 1/4" plastic waste pipe if you want a "guard" over the grip but only needed when blowing glued on grips off.

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I have had mixed results putting grips on with air. Some tend to shift/rotate when in use while others do not. Mostly with GP tour velvet. I mainly use it if I'm experimenting with a club and will likely need to remove the grip. But for my gamer set, double sided tape all the way.

 

I will say air works great with superstroke putter grips. Because removing them is tough without damaging them.

Cally AI Smoke TD 9 Ventus Black 6x
Sim 16.5 Ventus Black 7x
Titeist TSi3 18 Hybrid GD Tour AD IZ 85x
Srixon ZX7 Mkii 4-PW DG TI 120 X100
Vokey SM9 50/54/60
TM Spider X Tour Stability Shaft

ProV1

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I prefer solvent, but blowing them on when you get the skill would be easier in the long run. I just dont want to risk ruining a grip plus I like to adjust my grip when drying because i use GP tour velvet with the label up.

Driver-TM Sim 9 GD- Tour ADDI 6x

Fairway- Nike VR Pro 15- Fubuki Alpha 70x

Irons- Mizuno MP20 6-PW MMC-4,5- PJX LZ 6.5

Wedges- RTX4  50,56,60- DG s400 

Putter- Scotty Cameron Studio Design 1.5 w/Hula Girl 2006 cover

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I didn't see the other thread, but covering the grip with a tube seems like a good idea. Even at fairly high pressure, I wasn't concerned about popping the grip, but I was mostly working on the new CG4 set, so the grips were completely unused and had no opportunity for wear (still in Cleveland's shrinkwrap!). With those new grips, the tape seal couldn't be beaten by the air in the lower 4", and right in the middle, the grip bulged to about 3" in diameter. After cutting them off, the bulge was permanent. They'd still bulge with a plastic tube around the handle, but it might push the air down farther too.

 

As an experiment, I tried shooting some grip solvent in the lower part of one of these grips, but I didn't have the proper tools to get it far enough up, so it didn't make any difference.

 

I was hoping that the ability to remove grips would be better. I play a very short putter at 33" (should probably be 32.5" with my gorilla-length arms), and I've often bought used putters and shortened them. If I want to keep a stock appearance, some of the crazy OEM grips can be very expensive to replace (bright green Bettinardi/Hogans, any Cameron). My #1 putter is a Bettinardi Big Ben with the OEM black rubber grip which looks like a (now defunct) Royal STS midsize. I love the grip, but this was on a 35" club, so I've been playing it uncut and with my lower hand on the shaft because I don't want to lose the "mojo" of the putter by cutting the shaft and replacing the grip. Unless I can come up with a way to inject solvent more completely under the grip, the air grip fitment won't really help out here.

 

I used a bit of soapy water to lubricate the inside of the grip and the tape. That allows the grip to go on smoothly. Some thin grips will ballon if the pressure is too high or the tape is dry. You could also use a spray on solvent but you want something that won't leave a slick residue.

I run a regulator on my air hose for this 30 to 35 lbs max. Tour Wraps you only need about 20 lbs. I use blue painters tape the cheap Dollar General kind and lubricate the mouth of the grip with a little charcoal starter fluid (also cheap at the dollar stores). Never had any problems with slippage. Due to my setup I very seldom have any alignment issues. If I Do I screw the regulator down to about 15 lbs or so that is enough to turn it. I have one nozzle that I have set up for this held in the open position by a wire tie so I can set the club down in the address position with a barbed fitting in the air hole and adjust if needed

Driver--- Callaway Big Bertha Alpha--- Speeder 565 R flex

3W--- TM V-Steel TMR7 REAX 55g R

7W --- TM V Steel UST Pro Force 65 R flex

9W--- TM V Steel Stock V Steel R flex shaft

5 Hybrid-- Cobra Baffler DWS NVS 60A High Launch

Irons 5 thru PW 1985 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW -- Cleveland 588 56* Shaft Unknown

LW Vokey SM5 L Grind 58* 04 bounce Stock Vokey Shaft

Putter -- Rusty 1997 Scottie Santa Fe-- Fluted Bulls Eye Shaft

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got my "gun" today -so far ruined two grips but practise should improve the situation -tried on a few old clubs each one burst -old rubber i assume - in the uk golfsmiths only supply to pga pros or clubfitters = any thoughts where i can purchase solvent and a few club repair tools ? so far i have a shaft puller and clamps -shaft cutter

plus the air gun - all purchased from usa - would like to purchase in uk. if poss . cheers and regards ron :drinks:

 

It's a myth that you can simply blow a grip off. It can be done but you truly need to set the air pressure way low so that you can break the adhesion without blowing up the grip. I expect that in time you will simply go backwards to removing grips that need saving by injecting them with solvent and working the grip off by hand. The old way is good enough unless you really need to do that many grips that frequently. Not as common as one would think. It's more often easier to cut off the old grip and blow on the new.

 

Blowing grips on is way easy and actually does not need more than the grip and the shaft. You use tape to get the grip size that suits you best and need not add any adhesive. If it's a new grip or even a slightly old grip, just blow it on and let it set. The last grip I set I used water to make the grip slide more easily onto the tape. Kind of fun pouring water into the grip but it does make a spray that needs some cleaning. Still, the water does make adjusting the grip a lot easier than doing it dry. Grips get to holding on way tight after a couple of days so if you are going to do a do over, do it in the first few days or risk blowing up the grips.

 

 

 

Shambles

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Perhaps this is a dumb question, but in most situations, why do you want to save the grip? I can see why you would want to do this if you were testing different sized grips or you were just experimenting with something, but most the time when you're taking grips off, it's because they are worn out, isn't it? Cut 'em.

 

Or changing shafts, or trying different grips (putter grips especially for me), or new set of clubs you want to use your old grips on (I've got a couple iron sets laying around gripless at the moment). I bought a nice set of BestGrips, so a little different, but I honestly don't get why anybody would use the traditional method. No positives to it as far as I'm concerned. Somebody mentioned worrying they would ruin a grip trying to blow it on, no way that happens.

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Never had a grip installed with air slip, not an issue. The big bonus is that you can rotate the grips around in your set as you see fit. Driver and Wedges will always wear faster, pull the 4i or 5i grip and rotate it with a wedge or your driver. Your grip "set" will last longer.

 

I would not expect to be able to remove a grip installed with double sided tape with an air gun. You may get lucky, but not consistently.

 

I've never used the fancy air tools old by the grip companies, any flare tip nozzle on an air compressor will work. Those are $7 max at any industrial store vs. the $25-&30 for the tool sold by grip companies.

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Never had a grip installed with air slip, not an issue. The big bonus is that you can rotate the grips around in your set as you see fit. Driver and Wedges will always wear faster, pull the 4i or 5i grip and rotate it with a wedge or your driver. Your grip "set" will last longer.

 

I would not expect to be able to remove a grip installed with double sided tape with an air gun. You may get lucky, but not consistently.

 

I've never used the fancy air tools old by the grip companies, any flare tip nozzle on an air compressor will work. Those are $7 max at any industrial store vs. the $25-&30 for the tool sold by grip companies.

 

What kind of tape are you using under the grip to prevent it from rotating when put on with air?

Cally AI Smoke TD 9 Ventus Black 6x
Sim 16.5 Ventus Black 7x
Titeist TSi3 18 Hybrid GD Tour AD IZ 85x
Srixon ZX7 Mkii 4-PW DG TI 120 X100
Vokey SM9 50/54/60
TM Spider X Tour Stability Shaft

ProV1

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Never had a grip installed with air slip, not an issue. The big bonus is that you can rotate the grips around in your set as you see fit. Driver and Wedges will always wear faster, pull the 4i or 5i grip and rotate it with a wedge or your driver. Your grip "set" will last longer.

 

I would not expect to be able to remove a grip installed with double sided tape with an air gun. You may get lucky, but not consistently.

 

I've never used the fancy air tools old by the grip companies, any flare tip nozzle on an air compressor will work. Those are $7 max at any industrial store vs. the $25-&30 for the tool sold by grip companies.

 

What kind of tape are you using under the grip to prevent it from rotating when put on with air?

 

I use painters tape and some hairspray to help them slide on, and stick a little once it's dry. Never had a grip slip.

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