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Shaft Tip Preparation During Installation

People are always asking us about the causes for breakage in graphite shafts. While the percentage of Harrison shafts returned to us is less than one percent of our total shafts sold, we monitor broken shafts constantly to determine the true causes of breakage. Through our ongoing research, we have determined that there are four primary culprits that account for over 95 percent of shaft breakage:
•  Failure to use a ferrule.
•  Use of a ferrule without countersinking the hosel 20 degrees.
•  Use of countersunk ferrule and hosel without filling the chamber with epoxy.
•  Use of a sandbelt to prepare the tip.

tip_prep_150One of the most common abuses of graphite shafts is the use of a sandbelt to prepare the tip of the shaft. In preparing the tip of your shaft for attachment to the club head, it is important to evenly remove the paint from the tip without removing or damaging the graphite.

Harrison shafts are made using the sheet lamination process which means they are constructed using multiple layers of graphite and boron prepegs. These multiple layers are what gives the shafts their strength and rigidity. The use of a sandbelt to remove the paint destroys layers of graphite in the tip. We frequently receive broken shafts with the tip of the shaft being sanded all the way down to the boron layer.
It is crucial that the graphite layers in the tip
 are not damaged during preparation because the tip portion is under tremendous stress during play. When the graphite layers are damaged or destroyed by a sandbelt, the tip is weakened and this can lead to the breakage of the shaft inside the hosel.

Therefore, we recommend that when preparing your shafts for club fitting, you should use a razor blade or a finishing flap brush wheel that evenly removes paint from the shaft without damaging the graphite layers. Carefully using a finishing flap brush wheel powered by a 3000 RPM motor to remove the paint will preserve the structural integrity of the shaft.

The way to remove the paint with the brush wheel is as follows: Hold the shaft lightly with both of your hands with your right hand closer to the tip. Rotate the shaft as you press it lightly against the wheel to remove the paint. If you press the shaft too hard against the wheel, the wheel will also eat into the graphite layers. So, do it lightly and rotate it constantly!

If you need the finishing flap brush wheel but cannot locate one in your neighborhood, they are available from your local 3M distributor.