Reshafting Golf Clubs - Part One

There are many reasons a golf club will need reshafting – some amusing, like the argument a club had with a tree, the garage drive over or the knee-shaped club. On a more serious note it may be to improve performance, change the feel of a club or simply that the game of the player has advanced beyond the current level of the shaft.

Part one of this article will explain how to remove a golf club head from a club with a full shaft still in place. Part two will show how to reassemble the club and part three will address how to remove a shaft that has snapped off in the hosel.

Tools Required for Club Reshafting

  • 2 part shafting epoxy
  • A shaft puller, shaft clamp or a vice and a small pry bar
  • A sharp craft knife
  • Drill bit fine enough to fit into a graphite/steel shaft tip
  • For iron clubheads, a propane torch
  • Heat gun or butane micro torch for painted clubheads
  • Heat proof gloves
  • Hosel brush cleaner
  • Replacement Ferrule

NB: A ferrule is the small plastic piece at the bottom of the shaft next to the neck of the hosel

Securing the Club

Firstly, remove the original grip if you intend reusing the shaft at a later date. If you have a replacement ferrule and do not wish to reuse the old one, use a craft knife and cut the ferrule off the shaft. If the clubhead is painted, adhere a few layers of masking tape along the exposed surface to protect it in case you slip while cutting the ferrule (Fig 2).

Secure the shaft in the clamp, here I am using a shaft puller (Fig 3). You can also use a small shaft clamp held securely (but not too tight as you will crush the shaft) in an ordinary vice. If you are using the small clamp, leave 1cm to allow the pry bar to fit snuggly next to the neck of the hosel. If you have one, use a hosel collar to avoid scuffing the neck (Fig 4).

Heating the Head

Put on your heatproof gloves as catching a hot head with bare hands, that has finally detached itself, is not a good idea. These days 99% of club heads are secured onto the shafts by epoxy glues. These have fantastic sheer strength however can be easily broken down with the gentle application of heat (Fig 5).

Heads are made of different materials therefore the amount of time required to get them hot enough to break the epoxy bonds differs. Steel will keep the heat in a localized area longer than will titanium, so the titanium heads take longer to warm up enough to break the bond.

As most titanium clubs are drivers or fairway woods they are likely to have paint and poly finishes which adds another element. Simply heating the head with a propane flame will burn the poly finish and leave you with a discoloured brown mess. Where there is paint involved a heat gun and patience, a lot of patience, is recommended to save the finish. Move the heat gun or micro torch quickly over the entire surface of the hosel so that no area gets "spot heated" which will also result in a brown finish.

After applying heat for a few minutes use your pry bar and apply pressure to the neck of the hosel to try and slide the head down the shaft. If the shaft is graphite DO NOT TWIST the clubhead off the shaft, as it will destroy the graphite's structure. While heating you will usually see a little puff of smoke as the epoxy starts to give way. The head should then come off with a little effort. It is important to apply any pressure evenly, so as not to jerk the pry bar as this can have drastic consequences. Catch the head in your gloved hand, turn off your heating equipment and place it somewhere you will not be able to accidentally make contact with it. Now allow the head to cool down in a dust free environment (Fig 6).

Cleaning The Hosel

Once the head has cooled, any remaining epoxy should be cleaned from the inside of the hosel. A hosel cleaning tool does an excellent job. Be thorough, as a clean surface is imperative in order for the new shaft to bond and any epoxy left inside can prevent this, resulting in the entire process having to be repeated (Fig 7).

If you are reusing the shaft, drill out any remaining epoxy in the shaft to avoid an air bubble forming when it is set back into a hosel. This is also why we initially remove the grip to knock out epoxy swarf which otherwise can spend a lifetime rattling around in the shaft (Fig 8).

Well that is it for this week, I hope you have enjoyed part one of my club reshafting article. Look out for part two, which will cover reassembly of the club.

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