Penick Tip Trimming
Back to Apprentice Home Page
Follow these step by step directions to build your own set of Harvey Penick irons. Fondly referred to in some circles as the cut and stick method, in a short time you'll have crafted a beautiful set of golf clubs of better quality than the brand name club manufacturers' at about 1/2 the cost. Go ahead and print these instructions so you don't end up with a huge online phone bill- spend the savings on lessons. While you're at it you might as well print the Penick Tip Trimming Chart. Go ahead I'll wait... Are you back? These instructions apply if you don't have a swingweight scale, a loft/lie machine, and don't have the money (or inclination) to weight sort all of your components and to maintain a stockpile of grips, shafts, and heads to make a perfectly matched set. (we'll save that for the next set). Consider building the set and paying a professional clubmaker to tweak the clubs. It would be cheaper to pay a professional clubmaker to check/adjust the lie and check/adjust the swingweight of your finished set than to buy a loft/lie machine (between $300-$1,500) swingweight scale ($50 and up) when you're building your first set. . Who knows, your new sticks just might not need any adjusting! I'd suggest following the instructions below, building the set, and then trying them out at the course or driving range before you mess with adjusting them. See the swingweight chart (under construction) for approximate swingweights using various components at given club lengths and recommended swingweight ranges.
I'll be adding more technical pages when you want to get to the next step and really chop, bend, whack, and otherwise mutilate your clubs so they feel just right. I'd suggest joining the Shoptalk Mailing List so you can post clubmaking questions and get help from some of the top custom clubmakers around. If you ever have any questions I'll try to answer them or find someone who can. Email me at email@example.com.
Step 1. Organize your components- Mark each shaft butt with masking tape and write the corresponding club head number on the shaft so you can keep the 3 iron head with the shaft you so meticulously measured, trimmed and cut to fit your 3 iron. If you don't do this you may mix up the shafts and may end up with a very long 9 iron and a tiny 3 iron--a definite no-no.
Step 2. Tip trim steel shafts-in order for the shafts to play to their proper specifications, you'll need to trim the proper amount off the tip (the tip is the skinny part where the clubhead fits, the butt is the fat part where the grip goes). Lets use the 3 iron as an example. The chart shows that the proper amount to trim off the Penick Steel Iron Shaft is 1" to maintain the proper flex for your 3 iron. Place the shaft in the rubber shaft clamp and measure 1" from the tip and mark it. Cut 1" off the tip with your hack saw. Tip trim the remainder of the shafts according to the table (1.5" for the 4 iron, 2" for the 5 iron, etc.). Tip Trimming Graphite shafts-If you are trimming graphite shafts with a hack saw you need to wrap the tip with masking tape and score/circumscribe the shaft to prevent the graphite from splitting. Simply cut slightly into the masking tape/graphite in a circle where you have marked it for tip trimming, then go ahead a hack away.
Step 3. Abrade the steel shaft tip-after tip trimming you need to rough up the shaft tip to provide a good bonding surface for the epoxy. Insert the shaft tip into the hosel of the clubhead and mark the shaft with a felt tip pen even with the top of the hosel. This assures you don't rough up the shaft too far up the shaft for the whole world to see- this definitely looks tacky. Remove the shaft from the clubhead and lightly sand the shaft using course sandpaper or emory cloth to just before the mark you've made on the shaft. After you've abraded the shaft wipe it down with a bit of grip solvent to remove any crud that might be on the tip. Finish abrading the rest of the shafts.
Abrading Graphite Shafts-graphite shafts should be abraded only through the paint/polyurethane finish. Lightly sand to avoid damaging the graphite fibers. A Scotch Brite pad also works well for this step.
Step 4. Measure and cut shaft to finished length-insert the trimmed/abraded shaft into the clubhead; measure and mark the butt of the shaft at the desired playing length, subtracting an 1/8" to allow for the grip cap, and cut using the using the same techniques used for tip trimming. Remember to score/circumscribe graphite shafts to avoid splitting the graphite. The playing length chart is only a guide; you might want to pay a clubmaker to fit you for the proper length clubs or try fitting yourself. Measure your 5 iron in the playing position and record the length. Go to the driving range and lightly coat the face of your 5 iron with baby powder and take a few swings noticing the mark that is left by the ball on the clubface. If your setup and posture at address are okay, in general, a shaft that is too short will tend to produce toe hits and if the shaft is too long it will tend to produce heel hits. Remember that every 1/2" off center with a 5 iron equals 5% distance loss. One inch off center equals 10% distance loss. With some drivers the distance loss can be even more dramatic; 1/2" off center equals 7% loss and 1" off center equals 14% distance loss*.
Please go to Shaft Trimming Table for recommended final playing lengths.
Step 5-Install ferrule-if irons require a ferrule get the ferrule started by sliding the ferrule into position on the tip of the shaft and then push it to the proper depth on the shaft using the hosel of the clubhead to slide it into position. Be certain to slide the ferrule down far enough so the shaft can penetrate to the bottom of the hosel bore. It helps to measure the depth of the hosel and mark the depth on the shaft with a felt pen so you know how far the hosel must be pushed down the shaft.
Step 6. Mix the Epoxy-Please follow the manufacturers directions exactly when mixing the epoxy. Failure to do so could cause the epoxy to fail and the clubhead to fly off causing serious injury. Take your time and mix the epoxy thoroughly.
Step 7 Apply Epoxy to Shaft and Clubhead- Lightly and evenly coat both the tip of the shaft and the inside of the hosel with epoxy. Use a piece of the shaft left over from tip trimming to coat the inside of the hosel. Next insert the shaft into the iron head pushing the shaft to the bottom of the clubhead hosel bore while rotating the shaft to evenly distribute the epoxy. Make certain the shaft goes all the way to the bottom of the clubhead bore. Rotate the shaft a few times and work it around to help distribute the epoxy evenly up and down the shaft tip. Remove the shaft from the clubhead and check to make certain the shaft is well covered with epoxy. With the shaft butt resting on the garage floor, reinstall the shaft into the clubhead hosel and place one hand on the clubhead and the other on the shaft and firmly push the clubhead into position. This will help assure the shaft is all the way to the bottom of the clubhead bore and also position the ferrule.
Any epoxy that has squished out (that's clubmaker lingo) on to the shaft can be wiped up with a rag and a bit of grip solvent. Line up the silkscreen of the shaft so it is centered, facing toward the front of the shaft (pointing away from you). Some clubmakers prefer to have the silkscreen facing toward you so it isn't a distraction when you're setting up to make a shot, it's up to you. Personally I am so busy worrying about staying out of the woods, water, next fairway, etc., that I've never noticed which way the silkscreen points!
Step 8 Let epoxy dry-let the epoxy dry for at least 24 hours. I know you are anxious to start wacking away at these beauties and start carving up the golf course, but there is no rush! Besides you may have noticed that you haven't installed the grips yet.
Step 9 Install Grips-I have a confession; I love grips! I know the first step is admitting you have a problem but I can't help myself. I experiment with different grips all the time and it is getting to be an expensive obsession but I working my way through it.
Gripping is very easy but a bit of a pain to explain without pictures (the pictures are coming soon). Take the 2" two sided grip tape that came with your kit and cut a strip about 10" long. Peel the protective layer off one side and apply the tape lengthwise to the shaft. The tape should be slightly shorter than the grip length and extend about a 1/2" or so over the butt end of the shaft. Hold the tape down with your thumb and peel off the top and carefully wrap the tape around the shaft. Twist the end of the tape together and poke it inside the shaft. This helps prevent grip solvent from getting into the inside of the shaft.
Make sure you place some sort of pan-not from the kitchen, please (a clean paint roller tray works) so you can collect and re-use the excess grip solvent. Block the vent hole of the grip with your finger or a tee and squirt a generous amount of grip solvent into the grip, plug up the other end and shake it around a bit to coat the inside of the grip with solvent. Pour the excess solvent over the entire length of the double coated tape to wet it thoroughly. If it is not completely wet you can squirt a bit more on the tape. Make sure the butt end of the shaft/tape is wet.
Time is of the essence. Work quickly and slide the open end of the grip just underneath the shaft butt and slip the grip up and over the shaft, sliding/pushing the grip down until the end of the shaft stops at the top of the grip. If you were good at the game Twister this should be no problem for you. Make certain the grip is aligned correctly by placing the club in the playing position and sighting down the club. You've got a minute or two to do this so work quickly.
After gripping all of the clubs wipe down the shaft with solvent to remove the gunk that has gotten all over the shafts. A quick wipe of the grip sometimes helps clean up the grip, too.
Give the solvent/tape a few hours to set up and dry before using the clubs.
Step 10-Apply shaft logo sticker
As I mentioned earlier, after you have played a few rounds with your new clubs and you want to give yourself the deluxe treatment, take the set to a clubmaker/repair shop and pay them to check the lie and swingweight for you and adjust if necessary to fine tune the clubs. If you're nailing shots straight and true, don't let anyone near them!
If you have questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll try to help.
| Clubhouse | Ticker | Green Pages | Virtual Trade Show | ShopTalk |
| Professional Clubmakers Society | Clubmaker Catalog |
Back to Apprentice Home Page