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Do You Have to Remove All the Paint from a Graphite Shaft Tip?

One question I often hear from customers is whether or not you need to completely remove all the paint (and polyurethane) from a graphite shaft tip.

Properly abrading a graphite shaftBefore I answer that I want to first explain that proper shaft abrasion is absolutely necessary for a good bonding surface for the epoxy to adhere between the shaft and the interior of the hosel. You never ever want to epoxy the graphite shaft that hasn’t had some prep work done to the tip or the way it was shipped from the manufacturer. The outer surface of a graphite shaft is painted (sometimes with multiple layers) to provide the aesthetics and then sprayed with a clear coat or polyurethane over it to protect the paint. This provides a very smooth surface that is not conducive to bonding the head and the shaft.

So back to the main question; do you need to remove all the paint? The answer is no. What you want is the paint and polyurethane to be roughened to eliminate the smooth surface. In some cases it may require you to remove all the paint to be able to get the shaft to seat all the way into the hosel. But leaving a little on there, as long as it is roughed up and the shaft bottoms out in the hosel without being forced, is all that is necessary.

Whether you are abrading a graphite shaft on a belt sander with a graphite shaft sanding belt, using an electric motor with a synthetic abrasive wheel, by hand with a strip of medium grit sandpaper or lastly using a knife blade to scrape the paint off, it is advisable to periodically test fit the shaft into the head you are going to be installing the head into. You may encounter a shaft that may happen to be undersized. If all the paint were to be removed, this will leave a loose fitting shaft and require shafting beads to be used. This is why leaving some of the paint on is perfectly acceptable in certain cases.

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