This is dedicated to all those who admire the elegance, history and performance characteristics of fine wood golf clubs from the game's classical period. For preservation of these beautiful instruments, I hope to take you through this step-by-step restoration process. Only simple tools are required. However, as with fine crafting, one's most important assets are internal; patience, a light touch and an eye for detail.
Examination and planning
These 1954 MacGregor M85 Eye-O-Matic Driver and Two woods are in relatively good condition for restoration. The woods have never been worked on, or refinished. The original shafts are amazingly tight, considering the amount of play they've seen since their creation 60 years ago. The original inserts and sole plates have loosened and must be reset, for the heads to be made playable again.
Removing and resetting soleplate and insert
The first step in the restoration process is to remove all loose parts and reset them securely. There are a few things to consider when removing the club heads original screws. These solid brass, Frearson head screws aren't readily available today and are difficult to find, so its necessary to remove and save with great care. Use appropriate drivers for screw slots to avoid stripping or breaking off the head. If one is advanced with a bench grinder, you can modify numbers 1 and 2 Philips drivers to work.
Saving the screws begins with cleaning out debris and old paint filling from the screw head with the tip of an exacto knife (fig 1).
This insures crisp edges and deep slots for getting a secure grip and avoid stripping or breakage (fig 2).
Running a heat gun (low setting) over the surface of the part to be removed will soften the adhesives that bond the parts and screws into the club head.
If the screws are too tight, rather than taking a chance on stripping or breaking off the head, apply heat to the tip of an old screw driver with a propane torch and insert into the screw for a few seconds to transfer the heat. (fig 3)
This procedure will loosen even the most stubborn screws that have been installed with epoxy.
Safety note: The edges of original screw heads are razor sharp and will cut your fingers. Completely turn-out with a screw driver until very loose.
After removing the screws, make sure they are saved for being returned to exactly the same hole locations and orientations as original. (fig 4)