Stamping A Wedge

January 17, 2011

Here at the PF, we try to share both our accomplishments and failures with the community in hopes that we can help someone out there learn from both our successes and out mistakes. With that backdrop in mind, here is my description of stamping my own wedges.

I followed the directions listed at the links in our prior post on stamping/paint filling clubs, located at https://thepowerfade.wordpress.com/2010/12/18/great-link-to-stamppaint-fill-your-irons/.

I trolled eBay for the cheapest stamp set I could find and ended up with one that was $16 shipped. If you go to buy your own stamp set, make sure you check with the sellers to ensure that your stamps can be used on steel. Many of the stamps on eBay are designed for jewelry applications, which involve MUCH softer metals (gold, silver, etc.).

The photo below shows the supplies I needed, including:

1. A work bench of some type (could be just a table)
2. A hammer
3. A stamp set
4. Masking tape
5. Safety glasses (yes, potential shards of hardened steel breaking off and flying is a hazard for your eyes)
6. A golf club to be stamped (duh)
7. A test piece
8. Ibuprofen for when you smash your fingers (just kidding….kind of)

Here is a look at my stamp set. You can also see the test piece with markings in it from where I tested my stamp set on it.

My goal in this first stamping project was to stamp the number “53” on the bottom of my gap wedge, because I regularly grab it instead of the lob wedge or vice versa–they look the same when in the bag. Thus, I clamped the club in by the neck….but….

That was a bad idea. We’ll get to it later on in the post, but, suffice to say, if you’re clamping your work piece, do not try to clamp it on a rounded portion. Hitting the club head with a hammer will cause it to move (duh). This project was a bit difficult because I wanted to stamp the sole of the club. However, I should’ve known this setup wouldn’t work out.

The correct setup is below. Because the blade is actually clamped, the club will not move.

I taped the bottom of the club…

Then I held the stamp and hit it with the hammer. The following is the result.

A couple of things I learned from this. As you can see below in the red oval, the bottom of the “3” is moving down the club. This was a result of the bad clamping, which I discussed above. With each hammer strike, the club moved a little. Once I reclamped it on the blade, it was OK, and I was able to get the deep 3 located above the red oval.

A second learning experience was with the 5. Although you don’t need to swing the hammer very hard, you do need to strike the stamp about 15-20 times to get a nice deep stamping (at least on these wedges–it may be different with different metals). With that in mind, you need to be darn sure that the stamp itself doesn’t move. So, what I had to learn how to do was to hold down the stamp in contact with the club head, rather than simply holding it over the club head. In other words, I needed to actually be pushing the stamp into the club head to hold it in the exact place. Otherwise, it’ll move a bit, as you can see in the yellow circle.

But, with renewed enthusiasm, I tried it on the lob wedge, stamping with my initial “J.” I think it looks pretty good, despite a few errors.

One last thing I learned from the experience: don’t just try your technique on a test piece; perfect it on the test piece. Otherwise, you’ll end up with some errors. None of them bother me that much (because I’m just not that serious), but I know some of you out there (LG?) would be extremely bothered by an error on the club.

All in all, it’s not difficult, but it requires patience and absolute accuracy.

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