Dave Wood Arts
WB Golf
Classical Wood Restoration Process

With all of the parts having been reset securely, this wood has a great foundation for which a beautiful and durable finish can now be produced. Its time to strip away the old finish using a paste formula stripper.

Note: Be extra careful when handling chemical strippers. Follow all manufacturers warnings and safety precautions. Also, do not to get any of the stripper onto plastic parts such as the ferrule or cycolac inserts used by some manufacturers.

Pour stripper into a shallow ceramic bowl, or plate. Use enough to completely coat the club head two times. With a 1" glue brush, apply the stripper onto the club head with thick and even strokes. Wait 10-15 minutes for the stripper to melt away the old finish. (fig 10)

Following in the direction of the wood grain, scrape away the bulk of the dissolved finish with a craft stick. Wipe off the residue with heavy paper towels.
Repeat the stripping process with special focus on wood stampings, sole plate markings and scoring lines. This second layer of stripper will remove any of the coatings that remain, while reducing the woods stain saturation and dissolving the recessed paint fillings buried within the markings.

After removing the second layer of stripper, use a firm bristle toothbrush and water to scrub away all residual paint fillings that remain within the markings, scoring lines and wood stamping. For additional detail, use acetone and the toothbrush for a third level of stripping focused on the stamp cavities.

Sole Area

With all finish removed from the wood, its time to begin the first stages of the sanding and polishing processes. Start with cleaning up the soleplate by using a fine file to level the screw heads and remove minor nicks and dents from the plate.

Once you are satisfied with the plates levelness and appearance, begin sanding from heel-to-toe using long strokes with 180 grit paper.
(I prefer black "wet-or-dry" sand papers)

This is to blend and create a uniform scratch pattern to the metal plate. Take care when sanding on the sole to avoid the wood stampings above the soleplate.

Filing and sanding the plate and sole area completely by hand allows for very precise control when preserving the depth and clarity of the stampings.

Tools for etching, preserving, or enhancing original stampings (fig 11) include; strong reading glasses, acetone, pencil, round file with tip ground to a soft point, vibrating engraver with tip modified into a small rounded point.

Face Area

The chemical stripping process from the previous stage should have removed most of the paint filling from the scoring lines and screws (fiber inserts). For scoring line re-work and cleanup, make your own tool by cutting a fine tooth hack saw blade to 7", then grind its tooth width (sides) to 1/32".
Be patient, this detail work comes to life one groove at a time. With the club clamped securely in a vice, I begin working from the toe side, with a focus of keeping the blade carefully aligned to the scoring line.

You may note in the above drawing, the saw teeth on my scoring tool are oriented to cut the line with a pulling stroke. As with drawing, I find it much easier to maintain a smooth, straight line by pulling the pencil, or, in this case- the cutting edge, rather than pushing it.

Whenever filing and sanding on the face surface, always check your progress using radius gauges, to maintain even levelness of the radial surface (fig 12).

Using a fine file, begin leveling and blending the face screws to be flush with the inserts surface. Once this has been accomplished, smooth and blend the entire face surface and its perimeter areas with 220 grit sand paper.

If you intend to alter, or modify the face geometry to new specifications, or to an optical preference, this is the appropriate time to make the shape adjustments.

With any physical alteration to the face, other adjustments and blends connected to the face profile, such as crown, top-line, toe and hosel, must be made to accommodate and compliment the clubs appearance.

The remodeled 1953 MacGregor M43T (fig 13) is an example of facial alterations. It's face angle has been opened, while its progression, loft and horizontal bulge were reduced. Softening and blending the top-line and toe profiles were required to give the wood a balanced and refined look in the address position.

Neck and Bore Alignment

Another example repair one may consider prior to final finishing, deals with the bore and hosel alignment on reshafted woods. Pictured in fig 14 is a rare Wood Bros DM16 Texan that had been originally built for a PGA Tour player. At some point, its original taper tip shaft had been replaced with a larger diameter parallel tip, causing for its bore to be enlarged to accommodate the new shaft.

During the reshafting process, probably in ferrule blending, some of the front and right side of the hosel had been ground away. This caused for the neck to appear bent, with the shaft on an odd upright angle. Even with its great looking face and profile, the odd alignment of the shaft to neck blend confuses the eye and sends a mixed visual. To correct this, build-up the distorted area of the neck with epoxy, then sculpt and re-blend to the correct look and taper.


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Copyright 2017 © Dave Wood

Dave Wood Arts

info: davewoodarts@gmail.com