Basic Club Assembly
Installing Ferrules
Shaft Removal
Through-bore Reshafting
Regripping or Gripping Clubs

10 Techniques for a Tricky Task: A Guide to Through-Bore Reshafting

Most everyone has experienced that horrible feeling. A golfer inquires about reshafting his driver and, after you match his specifications, he selects a shaft and pulls his driver from the bag. Instantly, a cold chill sweeps over your body. You see that dreaded shaft tip through the sole of a metal wood, defiantly glaring at you as if saying, "I dare you to replace me."

It's a through-bore hosel design. And reshafting metal woods and irons of that construction is a repair that can strike fear in the soul of most clubmakers.

However, our expert clubmakers tackled the often-daunting task of modern through-bore reshafting. Follow these tips and techniques and you will soon master this tricky job.

STEP 1: Careful Planning and Preparation

Should you save the shaft? Does the club have a special ferrule that can't be replaced? Does the club have a thin-walled, ultra light shaft that might crack from clamping pressure? Answers to these questions guide the techniques used to remove the existing shaft.

First, if you don't need to save the shaft (i.e. a broken shaft), cut it flush to the top of the hosel and drill out the remaining portion. This makes it easier to save the ferrule as well.

If you are saving the shaft and ferrule, use a knife to slide the ferrule up and away from the hosel so it is not damaged when heat is applied. Shafts installed by Callaway in their large titanium drivers are very thin walled, as are many other ultra light graphite shafts, so be very careful when clamping these shafts. Keep in mind, you don't need excessive clamping force when removing graphite shafts because you're not twisting the shaft; you're simply pushing or pulling the head off the shaft.

STEP 2: Secure Club for Shaft Removal

When removing clubheads from metal shafts, use normal heating and twisting techniques. For composite shafts, Golfsmith professionals favor the Pry Bar (#8230) for pushing off the head. Place the shaft in a rubber shaft clamp just tight enough to prevent the shaft from moving. Secure the vise clamp with the back of the heel pointing up. Other graphite shaft extractors may make it difficult to save the ferrule.

In the case of Callaway metal woods, a suitable O-Ring ferrule may be unavailable. Use of O-Rings on Callaway clubheads is trademarked and prevents other companies from selling such a ferrule. Therefore, cut through the O-Ring base, and slide it up the shaft to save it for later.

STEP 3: Heat to Loosen the Epoxy

For Callaway woods, use the lower flame temperature of a heat gun to soften the epoxy bond. Heat the sole of the clubhead surrounding the shaft tip for about 25-30 seconds and for an additional 15-20 seconds around the back of the heel. A propane torch is NOT recommended for this task; higher flame temperatures will scorch the clubhead's finish. Allow approximately 50% more heating time when working on titanium metal woods.

STEP 4: Apply Pushing Pressure

Immediately after heating, apply constant, firm, pushing force against the top of the hosel with the Pry Bar. After 60 to 90 seconds apply heat for an additional 10 to 15 seconds with the heat gun. The clubhead should now begin to move off the shaft. Most clubmakers that attend our training schools don't apply enough pushing force with the pry bar. With many woods, using more force than heat is better. Remember, titanium heads take more time because the heat sinks slower to the epoxy.

STEP 5: Push Clubhead Off the Shaft & Remove Ferrule

Once you feel the clubhead move, you've won the war. Keep pushing and apply more heat only if the head resists under very firm force. Remove the shaft from the clamp and slide the ferrule or O-Ring off the shaft. Save the ferrule for re-use.

STEP 6: Prepare Tip Angle

The key to success in through-bore reshafting is to perfectly match the shaft tip angle to the sole angle where the shaft protrudes. This can be accomplished in two ways:

  • If you have sanding or polishing equipment, grind the shaft tip flush to the sole after the shaft is installed. This task is not difficult to learn, but requires polishing the entire sole to match the finish of the area you are grinding.
  • Pre-grind the shaft tip angle before installation so the shaft fits perfectly flush to the sole. This method is preferred by most clubmakers.

Use the old shaft as a guide for grinding the tip angle of the new shaft. First, pre-trim the new shaft's tip per any trimming instructions. Do not sand or abrade the shaft tip. Tip-prepping (sanding the tip's circumference) for epoxy adhesion is done after establishing the tip angle.

Then, position the old shaft so the tip angle is flat against the face of a belt sander or the side of a chop saw's cut-off wheel. Draw a line parallel to the shaft as it lays on the work surface. Once done, this line will serve as your alignment guide for grinding the tip angle of the new shaft.

Keep in mind the final position of the shaft's logo before grinding the tip angle. Lay the shaft so the tip angle allows the shaft logo to face the desired position. Begin grinding and repeatedly compare the new tip angle against the tip angle of the old shaft.

When the new shaft tip angle appears close to the old shaft tip angle, test fit the new shaft in the clubhead and check if the tip is flush with the sole. Touch-up with the sander or chop-saw until the shaft tip is perfectly smooth across the surface of the sole. (Same technique for irons.)

STEP 7: Plug and Prepare the Shaft Tip

Use 5-minute epoxy to secure one of the plastic tip plugs in the open core of the shaft tip. Shaft core diameters are not standard, so you should maintain a small supply of both plug sizes.

When the epoxy is dry, cut the excess plug and file the remaining portion to be flush with the tip. Be careful not to change the angle of the shaft tip.

We recommend scraping the finish from the tip portion inserted into the hosel instead of sanding. This ensures a tighter fit for the shaft and prevents the shaft from twisting after installation.

STEP 8: Install Ferrule

After prepping, slide the appropriate ferrule over the tip and up the shaft. While a ferrule tool can establish the ferrule's final position, it is easier and more accurate to push the ferrule into its proper position by test fitting the new shaft into the hosel. Once the ferrule is set, wrap thin masking tape about four to five times around the shaft, butted against the ferrule.

STEP 9: Epoxy the Shaft

Mix a high shear strength shafting epoxy and allow it to sit until it becomes thicker in viscosity. Immediately using the epoxy is acceptable, but Golfsmith's clubmakers prefer using a little thicker epoxy to prevent the shaft from twisting during the start of its drying time. Use a dowel or stick to swab the inside of the hosel and the outside of the shaft tip with a thin coating of epoxy. In this case, less is definitely more. A minimum amount of epoxy means less clean up and less chance of moving the shaft after installation.

To begin, insert the shaft with a rotating motion until the shaft tip is slightly short of being flush with the sole. Align the tip properly to the bore and slowly push the shaft into place. Press a strip of clear tape (clear packaging tape is thicker and better than cellophane tapes) across the sole and over the shaft tip. Touching the tip area through the tape with one finger, adjust the shaft until it feels smooth across the shaft tip to the sole.

Carefully set the club aside to dry in a position that keeps the shaft from twisting. A horizontal rack works best. If the shaft moves, readjust it after setting the club up to dry.

If the shaft's tip angle was not pre-ground (see Step 6), install the shaft and allow it to dry with the entire shaft tip circumference protruding through the sole. In this case do not use clear tape on the sole as the shaft will be ground flush to the sole after curing.

STEP 10: Clean Up Sole Area

If the shaft tip was pre-ground, peel off the clear tape and check for epoxy smears or leaks. On titanium heads, use a heat gun or very short applications of heat (one or two seconds) from the heat gun to soften the epoxy. Scrape off the epoxy with a fingernail or non-abrasive tool. On steel heads it is acceptable to buff the area around the shaft tip with 3/0 grade steel wool. If the shaft preparation and installation is done properly, little if any cleanup is required. The club can be cut to its desired playing length, swingweight checked and grip installed.

If the shaft twisted during the cure time so the tip is noticeably off the mark, remove the shaft and start over.

A Word About Callaway Irons

Callaway employs a special swaged fit in their irons which is accomplished by slitting the tip of a parallel tip shaft and force fitting the shaft into a specially-tapered hosel. When the shaft is installed, the bottom of the hosel squeezes the slit tip and gives the shaft a tighter fit within the clubhead.

Other than demanding more patience and more pushing pressure, the removal of iron shafts is no different. Installation of the new shaft, however, does require a clubmaker to make a decision as to whether to:

  1. Use parallel tip iron shafts and ream the bottom of the hosel to a .370-inch diameter using a reamer (#838b)
  2. Leave the hosel alone and reshaft with a .355-inch taper tip shaft
Grinding and Finishing a Non-Pre-Angled Shafts

Installing through-bore shafts without pre-grinding the tip is faster and easier to ensure that the tip is flush with the sole. This is perfectly acceptable for woods and irons, but requires more machinery for properly finishing the job. In fact, some clubmakers who pre-grind tip angles for woods prefer this method for irons because an iron's narrower sole makes grinding and touch up work easier.

After the shaft is epoxied and dry, use a belt sander with a medium grit belt (150) to grind the shaft tip flush with the sole. A bench grinder can remove the majority of the tip, but a belt sander or strong wood head sanding machine should be used to finish the shaft tip flush with the sole.

It is virtually impossible to sand the tip flush without sanding a portion of the sole around the shaft. This means the clubmaker must approach this step with the expectation that the entire sole will be re-surfaced.

For titanium woods and irons, use 150-grit sandpaper to resurface the entire sole. For stainless woods and irons, use a Nylon polishing wheel (#440) to polish the entire sole. For best appearance, polish the clubhead's sole so the abrasion lines run parallel from toe to heel.

Once you have completed this task, take a deep breath and congratulate yourself. You can now do anything!