Removing and Re-setting the Heads of Hickory Irons - Part 1

I do not claim to be an 'expert' in this area. All I can claim to be is experienced - I've done uncounted numbers of these. I always end up doing a whole bunch in the Spring. This is how I do it. You need to look at the captions on the individual pictures for details. See Part 2 for the rest of the process.

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Often the pin will be easily seen. If it isn't, rubbing with some emery paper will generally show it up. Usually pins go front to back, but it you can't find a pin on the front, try the diagonal, as this sometimes happens. Once found, I mark the pin with Sharpie.

I start the extraction of the pin by using a lead sheet on a small anvil. I use a pointed punch to start the pin. On the right in this picture are a bunch of previously extracted pins.

The lead sheet allows you to put the head right on the anvil and get a good hit, whilst still allowing the pin to start coming out the lower side.

Here the pointed punch goes on the marked pin, with the lead sheet underneath, ready to be hit with a full-size hammer (see hammer in previous pictures).

If you look carefully here, you will see that the pin has started to move down, and now there is absolutely no mistaking where it is.

Once the pin has started to move, I switch from the pointed punch to a flat-headed 1/8" punch, move the pin over the edge of the anvil, and punch it the rest of the way out.

Here you can see the pin part-way out.

Once the pin is out, before I remove the punch, I mark the position of the shaft and head.

Usually, once the pin is out, a slight twist and pull will allow the shaft to be easily removed from the head.

If, for some reason, the shaft will not come out after the pin is removed (could be because the head was attached with modern epoxy), then I put a leather gauntlet on my left hand, grasp the head, and play the hosel over a heat-gun on medium setting, gently twisting until the shaft comes out.

I clean rust and debris from the inside of the hosel with some emery paper on a stick.

And gently clean and sand the cone.

For wooden pins, I generally use some 1/8" sandalwood sticks I obtained for watch-making. Regular 1/8" dowel can be used, but it tends to be rather under-size.

I make an end on the wooden pin with a pencil-sharpener.

Then cut the wooden pin to a bit less than 1" in length with a sharp clip with pliers.

It's a good idea to clean out the hole with an 1/8" drill bit. Make sure the head and shaft are properly aligned when doing this.Of course, this is assuming that the pin was a standard 1/8" size, as most are.

If the pin-hole is the standard 1/8" size, the wooden pin should fit into it readily but tightly. If the wooden pin won't go through after the hole is cleaned, make the wooden pin a tiny bit smaller by sanding.

I currently favour Brampton Pro-Fix 20/20 shafting epoxy. This has a good working consistency after being mixed, and cures basically in about 24 hours. I leave clubs for another week of curing before playing them.

I squeeze equal parts of Part A and Part B onto the top of an old coffee can, and mix with a wooden chopstick. A find about 2 x 2" runs of each part make enough epoxy for one club. In this picture there are 6 x 2" runs of each, enough for three clubs (the most I ever do at one time).

I use the chopstick to put a good quantity of epoxy inside the hosel, smeared all over the walls.

I work the epoxy well into the hosel. Then I put the head aside, propped upright.

Then I smear epoxy all over the cone, leaving some extra thickness toward the point.

I push the cone up into the hosel, using my alignment mark, squeezing out excess epoxy, and wiping it off with paper towel.

Then I push the previously prepared wooden pin through the hole, and again wipe off with paper towel.

I prop the club with the head uppermost (so the epoxy will settle and cure between the cone and the hosel), and leave it for 24 hours to cure. I will deal with the process of riveting the head in Part 2, since this always happens on another day anyway. I clean up with mineral spirits in a spray bottle (though the epoxy instructions actually say to use alcohol). I used to wear rubber gloves, by I found they interfered with dexterity too much.

Ken Leedham, GHSC. If you have questions or comments, please email