Graphite golf shaft preparation

This tip involves the proper installation of graphite or composite shafts
into clubheads. Here are some helpful ideas.

1. Always use special formulated 24 hour cure epoxy on any shafting operation.
The longer cures will ensure longer lasting and more consistent bonding
between the shaft and the head.

Some epoxies found at a hardware store may work, but be on the safe side
and purchase the epoxy from your component supplier that is specifically
designed to withstand the high shear stress on the shaft tip.

2. Don’t overuse epoxy. It only takes a small coating of epoxy on the
shaft and/or hosel; excess epoxy tends to go up inside the shaft creating
a shear point at the top of the hosel leading to shaft breakage. Epoxy
inside a graphite shaft is one of the leading causes of shaft failure
according to the returns we receive from customers. Shaft companies and
component supplier will not warrant these types of assemblies.

3. Always make certain that the head you are using has been properly
countersunk or coned approximately 20 degrees. This coning eliminates
any sharp area where the shaft flexes at the top of the hosel, potentially
reducing the probability of shaft breakage. Note: All Hireko heads are
countersunk at the foundry, thus eliminating this step when using our
heads. However, it may be necessary when re-shafting older clubs or ones
that the hosel had to be re-bored. Some heads may be counter-bored, which
may require the use of special collared ferrules.

4. Always abrade the shaft tip the entire length of the insertion depth
of the head. If the head requires a ferrule (like most do), you can continue
abrading to position ½ way up inside the ferrule. Sandpaper by
hand using a “shoe shine” method works well as does a special
graphite tip abrasion belt on a 1″ X 42″ belt sander. Even if
there is no paint on the shaft tip always abrade the shaft for better
bonding.

5. Never use a tubing cutter to cut graphite as shy away from using a
standard hacksaw blade as it can splinter the shaft. A cutoff wheel or
grit edge blade works well. A chop saw is also acceptable. Remember to
measure twice and cut once, especially with some of the very high graphite
shafts available today.

6. Be cautious when clamping a shaft for gripping or any assembly/repair
work that requires the shaft to be in a vise. Using too much pressure
can crack the shaft, especially lighter shafts.

by Jeff Summitt, Hireko Technical Director
jsummitt@hirekogolf.com