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Hi spies. I just completed my first attempt at restoring a set of clubs and I'm really proud of it Just wanted to share and show how it went. It wasn't easy and I feel like I can get much much better at this with practice, but I'm still really happy with the final product and had a lot of fun with the process. Enjoy! Last week I came across a set of 1981 Titleist Tour Model irons (3-PW) that someone was selling for $40 on craigslist. I thought they looked super cool and I had been reading about club restoration before so it felt like a good opportunity to finally take the plunge and have a go at it. I met the guy selling them and he told me he had been playing them as his gamers for decades but finally upgraded to more forgiving / modern clubs since he was older and needed a bit of help with his game. I could tell when I saw the clubs that they were pretty banged up (lots of nicks and dings, dirty, dull, grips were very worn through, etc.) but the shape and bones of these old blades was still so sexy so I happily handed him $40 and took them off his hands. Here they are before I did anything to them. The first thing I did was give them a really thorough cleaning by washing them in hot, soapy water and scrubbing them with steel wool and Barkeeper's Friend. That alone worked wonders to bring back some of the shine and make them look better. Here they are after the deep cleaning (already a big improvement IMO, although they look shinier and better in this pic due to the sunlight than they really were). The next step was to grind out all the nicks and dings, then buff and polish them. Based on youtube videos I had watched, I knew I was going to need some sort of bench grinder or multitool to do this (neither of which I had), so I went to Home Depot and purchased the cheapest bench grinder I could find ($49). I also purchased a fine grit deburring wheel for it, a buffing wheel, a polishing wheel, and a small buffing compound kit (all of those were probably another $25-30). I went to work grinding the clubs with the deburring wheel to remove the nicks and dings, then worked through the polishing compounds with the buffing and polishing wheels. This phase of the process was really where the magic happened. Here are some side by side comparisons of a few clubs before these steps, and after: The deburring was the part that took the most skill and I think I could improve upon the most with more practice. I was able to get some of the nicks and dings out, but not completely and I think to do better, I would need a more coarse wheel, but then I would have to be careful to not grind away too much metal. It seems like a fine line to walk so that you can improve the look of the club but also not change the structure or weight at all. Overall, I'm very happy with how it turned out though. The next step was to remove all the old paint with acetone, and then do a fresh paint fill. This was pretty easy. I found that the old paint came right off with a little acetone and a gentle scrubbing with an old toothbrush. Then the paintfilling was super easy. I used black enamel paint, applied a couple coats, and let it dry for a day. Here they are after the fresh paint fill! The last step was to replace the grips. I could have bought old stock grips to restore their original look, but I am not planning on selling these or treating them as "collectibles", rather I want to actually play them occasionally, so I put on my preferred grips (Winn Dri-Tac). Grip replacement is pretty easy/standard if you've done it before, so I didn't take before/after grip pics, but... Here is the final product! I love em! That's that! Can't wait to hit them and see how much worse I am with 40 year old blades in hand! Hope you all enjoyed. Let me know if I should post any updates or more club restorations in the future - I enjoyed this and could see myself getting into it, especially as a fun covid hobby.
Hey guys. I am wondering what the process you use to get out the nicks and dents and scratches in golf clubs you work on? If using a bench grinder, what wheels/compounds do you use and in what order if using several? Thanks!