Class A Clubmaker
Once you have chosen a new shaft, you can have a club repair shop install it or you can install it yourself. If you're the do-it-yourself type, follow these steps to prepare the clubhead for a new shaft:
Step 1 - Removing the Old Shaft
The old shaft - or whatever is left of it - must be removed from the head. To do this, you must apply enough heat to the clubhead to break down the epoxy bond between the shaft and the head. A heat gun or torch can be used.
If there is enough shaft left in the head to do so, place the shaft in a vise (if replacing a shaft that is not broken or a shaft you plan on saving, purchase a rubber shaft holder to prevent damage to the shaft). Apply the heat evenly to the hosel (where the shaft is attached). After a minute or so the epoxy will break down and you can twist the head off the shaft.
Wear protective work gloves to prevent burning your hands - the part of the hosel that is heated can reach temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees!
Step 2 - Cleaning Out the Hosel
Once the shaft is removed, the epoxy residue that is left in the hosel must be cleaned out. You can purchase hosel cleaners or use a round file. When the hosel is relatively clean, squeeze some Acetone (or equivalent) into the hosel to remove any grease or similar materials that might be present.
Step 3 - Preparing Shaft for Installation
First, follow the manufacturer's recommended tip trimming. Next, measure the depth of the hosel and mark this dimension on the shaft. If the shaft is graphite, be sure not to splinter the graphite during cutting as this will weaken the shaft. I suggest that you place several wraps of masking tape around the area to be cut.
On a graphite shaft, remove all the paint from the tip - I suggest using a razor knife to do this - and again, be careful not to damage the graphite fibers.
For a steel shaft, use a heavy-grit sandpaper to take the plating off the tip.
Step 4 - Installing the Shaft
Once the hosel and shaft have been prepared you are ready to install the shaft.
Mix your epoxy and apply it to the inside of the hosel, making sure to coat the entire surface. Then apply the epoxy to the end of the shaft. Slowly push the shaft into the hosel, being sure to turn the shaft at the same time.
If the shaft requires a ferrule (the small plastic piece that goes over the shaft and butts against the hosel), place a small amount of epoxy on the shaft tip and twist and push the ferrule on until a small part of the shaft shows. Then place the clubhead over the shaft and, holding the head in your hand, tap the end of the shaft on the floor until the shaft is seated at the bottom of the hosel.
Use a soft rag and some Acetone to clean any epoxy residue from the hosel area. If installing a graphite shaft, line up the shaft graphics.
Carefully place the shaft against the wall and in about 12 hours the epoxy will be fully cured and you can proceed to the next step.
Step 5 - Trimming and Adding Grip
Once the epoxy has completely cured, decide how long the finished club is to be. Cut the shaft and install your grip. To properly choose and install a grip, see my article on grip installation.
Everything necessary for this process - ferrules, epoxy, etc. - can be purchased from any component company. Good luck and have fun!
About Dennis Mack
Dennis Mack is the owner of DenMak Golf and Certified Class A clubmaker. He served as the golf pro at Como Golf Club in Hudson, Quebec, from 1993-97, and has been in the retail golf business since 1997. Email Dennis.