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1967 HB Power-Bilt Golf Clubs Catalog - A few pages to note


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#1 Maxwell

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 02:17 PM

Some years ago I traded something(club head insert cavity outline tool?) for a 1967 HB Powerbilt Golf Club Catalog from a young professional chartered accountant in Michigan. Right now...he's busier than a one armed wallpaper hanger.
A few weeks back I went looking for a very good original condition 1928 Hillerich & Bradsby golf club catalog I have(somewhere) and even though I couldn't find it I saw this catalog and thought to myself...I wonder if anyone at GolfWRX might find a few pictures and descriptions from it interesting?
First, there was a description of what persimmon wood Radio-Frequency  Penetration Seasoning(drying) is and (2) what a "Club Facing" craftsman does.

Before you read on I'd just like to add one note....there is a booklet out there entitled," The Persimmon Story" by Elmore Just( Nov./47 - April 01). They only made 10,000 copies of this booklet. It is worth purchasing, reading, asking some questions, re-reading, asking more questions and putting in your library. In it, Elmore goes into some detail on all the persimmon wood drying processes he was aware of. Radio-Frequency Penetration Seasoning(drying) is just one method of drying persimmon wood. I suggest you pick up the booklet(48 pages) if you're interested in working with persimmon wood golf clubs.

One last thing....the colour scheme of the pictures attached IS how they are shown in the catalog.  

Blair
Canada

Attached Thumbnails

  • Page one.jpg
  • Page two.jpg
  • Page three.jpg
  • Page four.jpg
  • The Persimmon Wood Story.jpg

Edited by Maxwell, 13 February 2018 - 03:45 PM.

"One Day At a Time"

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#2 Texsport

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 06:21 PM

Quite interesting. I have experience with all types of drying, including Radio Wave Drying of foods, and the step-wise processes for persimmon are similar to food drying schemes.

(1) Traditional material drying is simple air drying, preferably in low humidity air. It is a long process - even years for a persimmon block, as practiced by companies such as MacGregor.

(2) Conventional drying with gas burners is slightly faster but only surface applied heating is possible. This heat must then be transferred by conduction, one molecule to the next into the interior. Surface temperatures are alway higher and surface moistures are always lower than in the center of the object being dried. Multi-step drying is used, alternating heating with resting steps. When resting, moisture tends to even out - being drawn from the moister interior toward the dry surface. The next drying step then again evaporates surface moisture. So, a sequence of heating and resting gradually lowers average moisture, though, since the surface is always drier than the interior, this method is not ideal for a wooden headed golf club.

(3 and 4) Both Microwave and Radio Wave drying heat by vibrating the molecules struck by the energy waves, instead of by conduction.

However, since Microwaves penetrate only just below the surface of the material being dried, this method only slightly more effective than hot air drying for removing moisture from the center of anything that is thick, being dried.

Radio Waves, however, penetrate deeply into a material being dried, simultaneously heating the whole thing - in this case a persimmon block intended for use as a golf club. Sequential drying and resting steps are still required, but the whole process is much shorter than the methods described above.

This rapid Radio Wave drying method jump-started H&B into a competitive position with older companies like MacGregor, which had warehouses full of heads dried the old way - in the air.

One important thing of note here is that once the drying was completed, the wood will not just remain at the 9% moisture content if left to it's own devices. The moisture in most materials, including wood will adapt to the environmental moisture content in which they reside - something called equilibration.

To prevent the natural, future equilibration changes the wood might experience, companies like MacGregor infused the heads with oil, often linseed, which stabilized the final moisture. Since oil and water won't mix, this prevented future water absorption/desorption by the wood.

Texsport

Edited by Texsport, 20 February 2018 - 08:22 AM.

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#3 Bella Woods

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 08:35 PM

This is a very important post for anyone who wants to understand the methods in creating
(and the related quality of) classic woods over the years - the drying method is the key and
the reason for the various types finishes and styles over the years........

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#4 wkuo3

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 08:36 PM

View PostTexsport, on 13 February 2018 - 06:21 PM, said:


To prevent the natural future changes the wood might experience, companies like MacGregor infused the heads with oil, often linseed, which stabilized the final moisture. Since oil and water won't mix, this prevented future water absorption/desorption by the wood.

Texsport

Is that what the term "oil hardened" meant ?

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#5 wkuo3

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 08:39 PM

View PostBella Woods, on 13 February 2018 - 08:35 PM, said:

This is a very important post for anyone who wants to understand the methods in creating
(and the related quality of) classic woods over the years - the drying method is the key and
the reason for the various types finishes and styles over the years........

Had never known the drying process is so important, just like a musical instrument had to be cured properly ( violin is one of the instrument made with wood casing ).
I thought the final coating on the wood surface should put a barrier up from the environment.


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#6 Texsport

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:30 PM

View Postwkuo3, on 13 February 2018 - 08:36 PM, said:

View PostTexsport, on 13 February 2018 - 06:21 PM, said:

To prevent the natural future changes the wood might experience, companies like MacGregor infused the heads with oil, often linseed, which stabilized the final moisture. Since oil and water won't mix, this prevented future water absorption/desorption by the wood.

Texsport

Is that what the term "oil hardened" meant ?

Mostly. If the interior and exterior of a wood equilibrated to different moistures, stresses would develop due to different degrees of expansion of the wood fibers in the different moisture areas. These stresses would cause cracking and breakage of the head.

A surface coat of polyurethane served to protect against moisture absorption, but total head oil infusion was better.

Traditional, classic MacGregor classic woods had very dense, very slowly dried/aged wood + each head was oil hardened/infused. It's why so many of those heads survive until today.

The last great quality persimmon heads were from Wood Bros, because Dave Wood used old growth, dense persimmon he discovered on family land + he oil hardened the heads, the old fashioned way, in linseed oil on the roof of his shop. Next, heating the oil soaked heads, for weeks, equalized the oil throughout the heads.

The very best heads, with super dense wood, didn't require back weighting, in fact, sometimes requiring some drilling out under the sole plate to achieve a low enough swing weight. (HINT - Check out Wood Bros drivers made for Tour pros - most dense wood + Oil hardening + Exactly weighted sole plates = Drivers with no back weights!)

Texsport

Edited by Texsport, 20 February 2018 - 08:25 AM.

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#7 wkuo3

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:58 PM

View PostTexsport, on 13 February 2018 - 09:30 PM, said:

View Postwkuo3, on 13 February 2018 - 08:36 PM, said:

View PostTexsport, on 13 February 2018 - 06:21 PM, said:

To prevent the natural future changes the wood might experience, companies like MacGregor infused the heads with oil, often linseed, which stabilized the final moisture. Since oil and water won't mix, this prevented future water absorption/desorption by the wood.

Texsport

Is that what the term "oil hardened" meant ?

Mostly. If the interior and exterior of a wood equilibrated to different moistures, stresses would develop due to different degrees of expansion of the wood fibers in the different moisture areas. These stresses would cause cracking and breakage of the head.

MacGregor classic woods had both very dense wood + it was oil hardened. It's why so many of those heads survive until today. The last great quality persimmon heads were from Wood Bros, because Dave Wood used old growth, dense persimmon he discovered on family land + he oil hardened the heads in linseed oil on the roof of his shop. Heating the oil soaked heads equalized the oil throughout the heads. The very best heads, with super dense wood, didn't require back weighting, in fact, sometimes requiring some drilling out under the sole plate to achieve a low enough swing weight.

Texsport

Thanks, that is a clear and concise answer.    I guess some of these old persimmon woods should not be played hard again for fear of structure failure.  No wonder some of those earlier Japanese persimmon heads had issue with cracking.

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#8 rex235

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 01:10 AM

wkuo-

"... I guess some of these old persimmon woods should not be played hard again for fear of structure failure."

Do you mean these?

DSCN9235.JPG

1936 MacGregor Will Sime BAP model persimmon woods- Each with the "Oil Hardened" stamp?

Dave Wood was kind enough to write an explanation for the development of the "Oil Hardened" process, as was told to him by  "Mr. Demaret, in Consultation with Mr. Sime of MacGregor"

Edited by rex235, 14 February 2018 - 01:18 AM.


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#9 oldschoolrocker

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 05:46 AM

BZ to all the above contributing.  To paraphrase what the  big guy from MB says, you can learn something everyday around here.

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#10 freddiec

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 09:06 AM

Thanks Maxwell for posting this . A lost art of clubmaking...  Fascinating pics and descriptions of a great process. It would have been amazing to witness all these processes first hand from start to finish, then walk to the range with some balatas and your custom club..

Edited by freddiec, 14 February 2018 - 09:08 AM.


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#11 rex235

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 09:08 PM

View Postfreddiec, on 14 February 2018 - 09:06 AM, said:

Thanks Maxwell for posting this . A lost art of clubmaking...  Fascinating pics and descriptions of a great process. It would have been amazing to witness all these processes first hand from start to finish, then walk to the range with some balatas and your custom club..

Freddie-

..Which by the way, you can gladly replicate with any of those 10 WBs you choose...  

...along with those Wilson Staff  Tour Blade "B L"irons custom made for Bernhard Langer...by Robert Mendralla Sr....

...Maybe we'll see you on the range at Crumpin Fox in Bernardston, MA...

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#12 Texsport

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 12:42 AM

I added further drying explanation in post #2.

Texsport

Edited by Texsport, 15 February 2018 - 12:43 AM.

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#13 sbboudreau

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 02:54 AM

You can always sand off the shellac of old and Linseed oil the heads or shafts and use them as intended. The process I use is to try to do all refinishing of Hickory shafts and Persimmon heads in the winter months when humidity is in the 10-20% range and Linseed oil once every three days for a total of twelve days, four applications of new boiled linseed oil total. You must submerge the Head for a minimum of 30 minutes and allow the oil to drip off for another 15 minutes and then wipe dry, repeat in three days. This does not effect face inserts or screws. The whipping needs to be redone after new shellac is applied and if so desired in place of shellac Guardsmen Polyurethane, tough and water resistant.
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#14 BIG STU

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 04:06 AM

View Postoldschoolrocker, on 14 February 2018 - 05:46 AM, said:

BZ to all the above contributing.  To paraphrase what the  big guy from MB says, " you can learn something everyday around here."
Exactly it still amazes me the collective wealth of knowledge on here and those willing to share it
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#15 TimV

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 08:19 AM

Never had an issue with either Laminates or Persimmons. I just clean them up, lightly sand or steel wool, touch up color if needed, and hit them with the polyurethane.
Then again, unlike some of you, I'm sure that works because I can't swing them hard enough to cause a problem!  :taunt:

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#16 elwhippy

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 04:32 PM

Dug out my rather spending blonde Powebilt driver. New grip going on tomorrow. Might re-grip the Mac 693 as well and give them a ride out.

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#17 wkuo3

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 08:41 PM

View Postelwhippy, on 18 February 2018 - 04:32 PM, said:

Dug out my rather spending blonde Powebilt driver. New grip going on tomorrow. Might re-grip the Mac 693 as well and give them a ride out.

Good for you, we're having stormy weather, wind gust over 50 MPH and 12 miles from our house was over 75 MPH gust,
Plus over night temperature in the mid to low 20's.   All these will blow over to the East to the Mid-West and the East Coast.
I can only re-shaft and swing weight a few sets.  Don't even want to go to the garage to do additional work on the golf clubs................

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