Essentials and Other Items

    I was educated to be an accountant. Many years later, I discovered I had become a master carpenter.  While my vocation is that of someone who builds, my avocation is that of a restorer of sorts. Repairing hickory golf clubs and seeing or hearing the reaction of the customer upon the return of his or her prized possession is as rewarding as building a library addition to a stately home and witnessing the homeowner, upon his return from England, wander about slack jawed as he attempts to absorb the changes and marvels at the craftsmanship.
    One other similarity stands out between my vocation and my avocation and that is that they both require a vast amount of tools and supplies. While these items may vary in cost from a few cents to many hundreds of dollars, having the proper tools makes all the difference in the world. I once had a carpenter who worked for me and he attempted to make allowances by using a crescent wrench as a hammer and a garbage can as a sawhorse. While these efforts may solve a temporary problem, there is no substitute or more effective way to accomplish a task then having, knowing how to use, and using the proper tool.
    As I look around my workshop I see many tools and supplies that are essential to hickory repair, many that are a nice to have, and a few that are a luxury. I will list those items and explain, where needed, the implementation of them and a source for you to explore in order to obtain them. Many of you may have some or all of these items. Some may be considering doing their own restoration work and for those aspiring craftsmen, here’s what you will need. Please don’t feel overwhelmed by the length of the list. You can acquire them over time as resources or needs arise.


  • 6 inch buffing tool – available at Lowe’s or Home Depot  (I prefer Delta) as well as a 6 inch brass buffing wheel – fine – an great way to remove rust

That covers the power tools, now let’s move on to the hand tools

  • A hammer – 16 ounces or more, a claw is not necessary, for hammering tacks and removing stubborn irons from shafts.
  • A slotted screwdriver for removal of, and installation of, screws on brassies and spoons and for removing the lid on the stain and polyurethane cans.
  • A 1/8-inch punch for the removal of hosel pins.
  • An awl for punching a hole to accept a tack when gripping a club.
  • A pair of linesman’s pliers (I prefer Klein) for cutting pins when re-pinning an iron.
  • A 10-inch bastard file for filing down the pins on irons.
  • A 2-pound sledge hammer to act as an anvil when hammering those pins.
  • A work bench for performing the restoration processes.
  • A vise attached to the above mentioned work bench.
  • A saw horse for drying the clubs when your stain and polyurethane them.

   You may have any or all of these items but they are readily available at your local hardware store.  A good quality bench can be ordered from Lie-Nielsen or, if you are particularly handy, you can make your own.

    As you begin the process of restoring your club, you will find yourself in need of any, and most likely all, of the following.  You may wish to acquire them up front in an effort to hasten the satisfaction of a seamless restoration. Most of these items can also be purchased at Lowe’s or Home Depot but, where they are not, I will indicate a recommended source.

  • Utility blades – 100 pack to remove old shellac
  • Sand paper -120, 150, and 200 grit
  • Sanding sponges – 3M in medium, fine and extra-fine grit
  • Frog tape in green for hosels and yellow for staining
  • Latex gloves to keep the stain off your fingers
  • A bag of rags for staining
  • A Sharpie – fine point to sign your work
  • A one-inch china bristle paintbrush
  • Glue – I prefer Tite Bond III for repairing cracked shafts
  • Epoxy – two part for securing heads
  • One-inch galvanized roofing nails to act as pins once the heads are removed
  • Minwax polycryllic polyurethane (I prefer matte finish)
  • Stain (I prefer Minwax or Cabots) color is your preference
  • 1-ounce upholsterer’s tacks –
  • 4-ply waxed linen – black and any other color you prefer –
  • Tape – ¾ inch friction hockey stick, 1-inch hockey stick and athletic underwrap – Sports Authority or Dick’s
  • Cowhide – Tandy leather is one source, check your local listings

   This is an excellent start. As you begin the process you will undoubtedly hone your needs and add or delete items from this list. You will find yourself fabricating tools to simplify the process and finding uses for items you presently have around the house. Enjoy the journey.