Lathe services for turning hickory golf shafts

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Forum topic by Kernel posted 01-25-2013 09:37 AM 2999 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Kernel's profile


7 posts in 1948 days

01-25-2013 09:37 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Two questions as a newbie please….

1. Where might I go to find lathe services to turn hickory wooden golf shafts? CNC or other autmated lathe services?

2. If a hickory golf shaft is 45” long, what is the preferred length of the hickory billet before turning the same?

10 replies so far

View hairy's profile


2701 posts in 3527 days

#1 posted 01-25-2013 03:46 PM

Put an ad on craigslist. Some woodturner might want a paying job.

I would want at least 1 inch extra on each end.

-- My reality check bounced...

View Kernel's profile


7 posts in 1948 days

#2 posted 01-25-2013 03:54 PM

Thx Hairy. Good info.

I was in AL last year and noticed an old lathe (made in Italy) that had a side bar that was shaped in the same manner as the shaft it was turning. Might you or anyone else know the name of this type of wood turning lathe? It was huge, maybe even with a 60” bed?

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2106 days

#3 posted 01-25-2013 03:58 PM

Look for a wood turning club in your area. You might be able to get a member to do the turning for you.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View Wildwood's profile


2305 posts in 2130 days

#4 posted 01-25-2013 10:12 PM

If looking for a company that turns golf club wood shafts checkout folks that turn baseball bats for the big leagues. Do not know of company that turns just golf wood shafts club on their CNC wood lathes.

Regular long bed wood lathes may not have the distance between centers to turn a spindle 45” to 48” even with a bed extension. When looking at lathe specs have to take into account drive center or chuck in headstock and live center in tailstock. My lathe Jet 16” x 42” lathe has an optional bed extension available but cost too high for me. have no idea of actual distance between centers, never measured.

If doing a lot of wood shafts would buy an aftermarket copying attachment from Vega.

If want to buy lathe and copier together look here:

New Vega lathes not cheap plenty of used ones out there if look hard enough can be had for less than 75% new. Have seen used vega lathes with copiers selling in $1,000 to $1,500 range. Vega will provide a lot of help even on lathes out of warranty.

If want to see more lathes do a google image search for copying wood lathes or CNC wood lathes.

-- Bill

View Kernel's profile


7 posts in 1948 days

#5 posted 01-25-2013 10:16 PM

Wildwood, thanks so much for good info. I think I will contact Vega next to ask if they recommend any of their customers for this job.

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 2826 days

#6 posted 01-25-2013 10:41 PM

You would also have to source some clear rough blanks/logs. The blanks would then need to be hand split to ensure that the grain is running continuously down the shaft. Similar to making cedar shaft arrows.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View Kernel's profile


7 posts in 1948 days

#7 posted 01-30-2013 06:33 PM

Thx GaryL. I do have a question as stupid as it may sound, but then no question is a dumb one I’ve been told! :)

If a hickory shaft has to be finished at 48” to turn and finalize length at 44” how would it get split by hand?

Is this the same as splitting on a pneumatic rail splitter? Better still for mass production, could the hickory not be split with a band saw to 1” X 1” X 48” billets while ensuring the wood is split (cut) to preserve grain directional cut?

I think I said that correctly? Yes-No?

View grfrazee's profile


388 posts in 2135 days

#8 posted 01-30-2013 06:41 PM

You would get a log of hickory 48-50 inches long, then split it down until you have a blank roughly the size you want. Splitting, as opposed to cutting, keeps the grain intact along the length of the blank and makes it much stronger.

To be clear, you would split with a froe or an axe, not a saw. A wedge tool, not a cutting tool.

-- -=Pride is not a sin=-

View Knothead62's profile


2584 posts in 2956 days

#9 posted 02-02-2013 12:18 AM

Make them the old fashioned way- rasp and spoke shave.

View DS's profile


2917 posts in 2415 days

#10 posted 02-28-2013 05:59 PM

Is this hickory shaft tapered, or is it just like a dowel?

There are specialty machines for similar applications, which are used to make pool cues.

Because of the small diameter and the long length, the shaft isn’t sturdy enough to turn on a lathe.
Instead, it is mounted stationary on centers and a toroid style cutter (Imagine a donut with knives in the donut hole) spins around the shaft and cuts along the the length. The knives are inside the toroid and adjust the cutting diameter as it travels along.

If I needed to make these, I might contact a pool cue maker, as they would have the proper tools to produce this efficiently in volume.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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