Looking for the perfect shaft to reshaft your Big Bertha?

Reshafting Callaway Big Bertha Woods with Graphite Shafts

Return to Resource page

By Mark Weidel

Owner, ProTech Golf Company

PCS Certified Class A Clubmaker

The reshafting of Callaway wood heads with any of the new higher-performance graphite shafts should not be a daunting process. But it is one where the use of proper tools and some experience make all the difference in the world. If you follow the instructions here, your customers will be well pleased with your efforts and the results will rival the look of the factory installation. And we all know how important cosmetics are to the golfer's mental health!

The following instructions are applicable to any Big Bertha model and are particularly suited to those with Warbird sole plates.

Shaft Removal

Original shaft removal is no different for a Bertha than any other comparable metal wood. Since so many woods now have graphite in them originally, and more and more are made of titanium, I have virtually abandoned the use of a torch in favor of an electric heat gun. The heat guns build heat in the head slower and you have more control and time to remove the head without damaging the graphite shaft. Under no circumstances should you use a torch on titanium heads.

I highly recommend the use of a good quality shaft extractor ( I use the Golfworks #GSEX model ) for graphite removal. While you certainly can do an adequate job with a pry bar, fact is, you'll save more shafts with a good extractor and it will more than pay for itself. In fact, in the year I have been using the Golfworks extractor, I have not lost one graphite shaft during removal. A good extractor allows you to exert modest but constant pressure while heating the club, so you feel the epoxy bond let go and can immediately remove the heat source while safely pushing the head off the shaft.

Just remember when working with Berthas that you have no hosel to heat, keep the heat gun moving constantly so as not to scorch or discolor the head or ruin the exposed part of the shaft at the point it enters the head.

Once the shaft is removed, make sure to remove any remnants of the ferrule, particularly in the groove at the top of the head. Use a hosel cleaning brush or file though the inside hosel area and finish up by running a paper towel with acetone through the head to clean out any residue.

Installing the New Shaft.

By installing the new shaft in a couple of distinct steps you will save a lot of effort over trying to do everything at once.

In step one, I insert the shaft plug and set the ferrule. After any necessary shaft trimming, I install one of the readily available plastic plugs in the end of the shaft with some quick setting epoxy. Make sure to roughen the plug for better adhesion. I also run a rat tail file in the tip end of the shaft since they tend to be very smooth inside and don't adhere well.

Next lightly roughen the shaft tip. At this point you still want a snug fit, so just take off enough paint to get the shaft through the head. You can use either an o-ring style ferrule, which looks a little more like the original, or the very short "sliced-bagel" style, which actually gives a better epoxy cushion around the shaft. If the customer goes for it, the shorty ferrule is the better choice. Put a little quick set epoxy on the shaft, install the ferrule and then insert the shaft in the head until enough sticks out of the sole to rim off properly. Wipe excess epoxy off the shaft and set aside for a while to allow the plug and ferrule to set. This will allow you to later insert the shaft and have the ferrule act as a stop without the shaft possibly sliding through the head while the epoxy sets.

Once the plug and ferrule have set, abrade the tip as usual and epoxy the shaft into position and carefully line up the shaft graphics. I highly recommend the use of shafting beads to help keep the shaft centered and prevent the possibility of a leaner. While like any other installation you want a light film of epoxy on the shaft, make sure there is a sufficient amount to fill the channel at the top of the club head and under the ferrule. This provides an extra cushion around the shaft.

Making the Difference. Proper Finishing of the Installation.

I have seen many Bertha reshafts where the finish, particularly of the bore thru sole plate area, was less than satisfactory. You can do a quality factory-like job with the simple addition of one tool to your arsenal. Get a Scotchbrite EXL finishing wheel for your bench grinder. There is no better way to deal with the contours of the warbird sole plate and get the bore through shaft perfectly flush with the sole. It ain't cheap at over $50, but lasts a long time and you'll be hooked on it after your first use. You'll also find many other uses for it in your clubmaking as time goes by.

When your Bertha is reshafted and the epoxy set, take a few strips of heavy duty duct tape and put it on the sole around the bore thru. Use a hack saw to roughly cut off the protruding shaft, but don't worry about taking it down too close.

Now go to that magic Scotchbrite wheel and slowly and carefully take the bore thru shaft down flush with the sole plate. You'll find that attacking the job from several different angles (turning the club around) will make it easier. Keep the club moving back and forth across the face of the wheel so as not to gouge the shaft in one place.

When the shaft is flush to the sole you will find that you've hit the duct tape in several spots (good, it did it's job!). When you remove the tape, the residue will easily clean up with naphtha or other solvent. If you have any polishing marks from the Scotchbrite wheel, they can be blended in with some wax on an unstitched wheel. Actually this is a good idea anyway, and I make a habit of running the wax wheel all over the sole plate for a nice finish.

So, there you have it, a reshafted Bertha with a quality installation that your customers will happily show their friends and hopefully get you more business. If you have any questions or comments about the instructions,

please feel free to Email me at MWeidel@aol.com.


Mark Weidel, owner of ProTech Golf, has been a clubmaker for seven years. He is a Class A Clubmaker as certified by the Professional Clubmakers' Society and is expert moderator of the Golfweb equipment discussion group on the World Wide Web. He can be reached in the shop at 610-399-9636 or MWeidel@aol.com.

Return to Resource page

Looking for the perfect shaft to reshaft your Big Bertha?