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Maltby DBM Iron Set Build + First Impressions


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#1 kleydejong

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 12:38 PM

Introduction

I am going to document my recent Maltby DBM build.  I am a pretty inexperienced club builder, so this is more of a 'learn from my mistakes' or 'tell me how to do this better next time' rather than a 'this is how you should do it' type thread.

I started with a M+ 54* wedge last fall and it has served me really well.  I fell pretty hard for the DBM finish.  I've found it to be very durable and I have always loved a black or raw finished iron.  Then my research on the DBM / TE heads seemed to show that they're proven to be a solid design.  The thin top line and minimal set offset combined with just a touch of cavity back forgiveness sealed the deal.

For this thread I'm putting together a set of 5-PW irons.  Let's get started.

Purchase

I tried to be fairly frugal with this build.  I started with shafts and kept my eye on eBay for a little while.  The 6-PW came from a nice set of pulls with Golf Pride Tour Velvets already installed - a nice bonus.  The 5 iron shaft came from a set of Mizuno T-Zoid Pro II irons that I use to beat balls on the range.  Perhaps I'm taking a bit of a risk by using old shafts from pulls or iron sets that might be near 20 years old.  We'll find out.

I got the 6 iron head as a gift for Christmas and then purchased the 5, 7-PW myself new from Golfworks.  I selected the Maltby collared ferrule MA0300 as well.

First reaction is that they're stunning iron heads.


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I bought some Gorilla branded epoxy at my local hardware store for $5.

Total estimated cost:

Shafts - $30
Heads - $165
Epoxy - $5
Ferrules - $5

Total - $205



The Build

All my raw materials ready to go.


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First step was to get the shaft pulls and 5 iron ready to work with.  I used a torch to head up the 5 iron and remove the head.  Then I just nuked the existing ferrules and scraped them off.  Then I used sandpaper to clean off all the residue and prep the tip for glue.


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At this stage I did a little dry test run, which I would recommend.  I put the heads on each shaft and then would use my set of Mizuno MP57's that I've been gaming as a reference for length and weight.  I discovered that the 5 iron was just a little long and so I trimmed it down a little bit with my dremel.

Next I moved into building.  I mixed the epoxy in the plastic try coming with the package.  Then I'd apply epoxy to the ferrule, shaft, and head.  I slid the ferrule on and then followed with the clubhead.

This is where I realized my first mistake.  The Maltby collared ferrules aren't actually designed to fit with the DBM's.  I didn't read the description closely enough, my mistake.  The collar is just slightly too large to fit into the head.  So I had to stop where I was at and decided to use my belt sander to just remove the indented collar part of the ferrule so it would just sit flush against the head.  An imperfect solution and I did waste some Epoxy and have to resand the shaft clean.

I went back to my building process.  I experienced two issues here.  First the Gorilla Glue epoxy I used was a 5 minute quick set type.  I found that I had trouble moving quickly enough to get through more than two clubs before the epoxy would be hard to work with.  In hindsight I think a slower setting epoxy would have saved me a lot of headache, more of which we'll get into shortly.  Second, I wish I would have more clearly marked the shafts with their corresponding head.  I ended up going out of order a bit and actually had to go back and redo the 7,8,9 irons.  You can see here after I first finished that something isn't right.


Posted Image

As I went through the build the second time I started to get some epoxy all over my fingers and hands.  This created an issue where I was getting little smudges of epoxy onto the heads and shafts.  You can see here.  Once all the irons were assembled I took a paper towel and attempted to clean up the residual epoxy.  But due to some combination of it drying quickly, me not cleaning it up sufficiently, and me not knowing how it would go if I didn't - I ran out of time so I called it quits and left it to dry.


Posted Image

This was a big mistake.  I came back the next morning and the smudges had dried noticeably.  The PW got it worst.  I was able to scrape off the other irons fairly easily.  I found the most success heating it a bit with the torch first and then using a find utility knife to scrape it away.  This was very time consuming though.  Things would have been much better had I simply used the proper glue and taken the time to clean it up while it was still fresh.

The next night I had to spend a lot of time on the PW.  Hit it with the torch to soften the epoxy.  Scape it off with the utility knife.  On the bright side I can confirm that the DBM finish seems very scratch resistant!  I did some light buffing after all the scraping just to try restore some of that 'new' look.  I still have some work to do on some of the irons.

Test Run

The next day I had a chance to take the irons to an indoor launch monitor setup.  I had my MP57's there to compare against.  Overall the results were great.  They felt really good.  I did not experience any firmess or harshness due to the finish.  Center strikes felt buttery smooth.  Perhaps not as amazing my MP14 blades.  But a mishit did generate some forgiveness, especially low or on the toe.  The lofts are a bit stronger than what I'm used to, so I'm experiencing a little bump in distance.  But the spin rates weren't so low either.  My overall experience is that they performed very well and in line with my expectations.  A nice forged cavity back iron through and through.

I'll also comment on the aesthetics.  I LOVE the thin top line and minimal offset.  I like that the offset isn't progressive.  The head overall is fairly compact.  I was surprised how it made my MP57 look downright chunky in comparison.

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There are some very minor head shape elements that I have had to get used to.  The transition at the leading edge by the first groove seems to have this dimple or curve which took some getting used to.  Given its minimal offset and overall fairly compact size I was kind of expecting it to look more like a blade with a more straight forward leading edge.  Next the angle from the top line to the hozel on the heel size is a little too steep and sits a little too high for my tastes.  Here are some side by sides with some other irons I own for comparison.

Giving it a few more days I think my initial concerns were more 'woah, this is different than what I'm used to' rather than 'I don't like this'.  The DBMs are really growing on me.  Overall I'm at the point now where I really am quite smitten with their appearance.  I love the overall minimal aesthetic and branding.  I love the way they sit in the bag.  I love the black finish.  I love the thin top line and minimal offset.


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Conclusion

Overall I'm very happy with these irons.  I definitely made some mistakes and learned a lot along the way.  But for the money spent I imagine I couldn't do much better.  I also find the process of building and learning about how clubs are made to be very enjoyable.  I also find that I take a unique ownership over something I make myself.  I've already started contemplating some paint fill and stamping ideas.  I'd recommend them to anyone!  Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed.


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#2 Cwebb

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 01:34 PM

You gotta splurge and get yourself some golf specific epoxy.  It's worth it

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#3 kleydejong

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 03:39 PM

View PostCwebb, on 11 January 2019 - 01:34 PM, said:

You gotta splurge and get yourself some golf specific epoxy.  It's worth it

It is in my shopping cart.  I need a 50* and am debating on either the M+ or DBM set GW.

Also, can I use that as an excuse to justify building lots more golf clubs to my wife?

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#4 kleydejong

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 03:42 PM

Took a few photos comparing to an old set of Mizuno MP14's I have.  They're my favorite looking irons of all time.

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#5 dbdors

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 03:58 PM

Also get yourself some of those disposable shop rags (heavy duty paper towels) and some denatured alcohol.  Use it to clean up the excess epoxy before it sets up.  You apply the epoxy, check it out then give it a wipe at the joints of any squeeze out (before it sets).

And for a big build, don't use the 5 minute stuff.  You need some time work clean up and double check alignment.  That works fine for a putter, but not a club build

And if you don't already watch this guy on youtube; https://www.youtube....SFfcG-wsUsvSG8Q
he's a good builder and you can learn a lot.


Woods: Ping G30 10.5 Aldila Rogue Silver 60 Tour S, TEE CBX 4W (16.5) Aldila Rogue Silver 70 S
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Irons: TM 2017 M2, 5-PW, KBS Tour 105 S
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#6 Cwebb

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 07:04 PM

View Postkleydejong, on 11 January 2019 - 03:39 PM, said:

View PostCwebb, on 11 January 2019 - 01:34 PM, said:

You gotta splurge and get yourself some golf specific epoxy.  It's worth it

It is in my shopping cart.  I need a 50* and am debating on either the M+ or DBM set GW.

Also, can I use that as an excuse to justify building lots more golf clubs to my wife?

I'd go with the set DBM GW.  It's outstanding for chipping, pitching, and of course full shots

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#7 kleydejong

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 08:11 PM

View Postdbdors, on 11 January 2019 - 03:58 PM, said:

Also get yourself some of those disposable shop rags (heavy duty paper towels) and some denatured alcohol.  Use it to clean up the excess epoxy before it sets up.  You apply the epoxy, check it out then give it a wipe at the joints of any squeeze out (before it sets).

And for a big build, don't use the 5 minute stuff.  You need some time work clean up and double check alignment.  That works fine for a putter, but not a club build

And if you don't already watch this guy on youtube; https://www.youtube....SFfcG-wsUsvSG8Q
he's a good builder and you can learn a lot.

Thank you very much for the resources and tips.

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#8 Thayneil

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 11:17 PM

View Postdbdors, on 11 January 2019 - 03:58 PM, said:

Also get yourself some of those disposable shop rags (heavy duty paper towels) and some denatured alcohol.  Use it to clean up the excess epoxy before it sets up.  You apply the epoxy, check it out then give it a wipe at the joints of any squeeze out (before it sets).

And for a big build, don't use the 5 minute stuff.  You need some time work clean up and double check alignment.  That works fine for a putter, but not a club build

And if you don't already watch this guy on youtube; https://www.youtube....SFfcG-wsUsvSG8Q
he's a good builder and you can learn a lot.

yes very methodical and clean

its not hard to do,but he does it well every time

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#9 Nollster

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 10:34 AM

I think this is an awesome post -- especially for those new to club building!  I know I did some of the same things when starting out.  Thanks for sharing.  The shop rags mentioned are definitely a huge help.  I also started accumulating the essential tools - a shaft puller has been the best investment, but having an air compressor (for grips), chop saw and now a belt sander gives me almost everything I need.  I'd love a loft/lie machine, but thankfully they're a bit more of an investment...the Mrs. would never see me if I had one!
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#10 tokeyb

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 01:10 PM

I'm really glad you posted this. Inspiring indeed, and man the black finish is sexy! Not that I need another iron set, but love this idea.

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#11 Mikeski

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 10:59 PM

A paper towel with some grip solvent removes the excess epoxy that squeezes out between the head and ferrule but wipe it as soon as you set the head.
Those DMB's are a nice looking club.

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#12 offwhite

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 10:41 PM

How does the constant offset look in terms of the short irons? Pictures of the DBMs look great but Iím so used to progressive offset Iíd be worried that it would be a little off-putting.
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#13 kleydejong

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 10:55 AM

View Postoffwhite, on 15 January 2019 - 10:41 PM, said:

How does the constant offset look in terms of the short irons? Pictures of the DBMs look great but I'm so used to progressive offset I'd be worried that it would be a little off-putting.

Do you mean the long irons?  Like 5 and 6 where you'd expect more progressive offset?

I really like it.  The 5 iron looks more like a blade than a cavity from address.  I currently have the following iron sets to compare against - Mizuno MP14, Mizuno MP57, and Mizuno T-Zoid Pro II.  The DBM 5 and 6 irons look most like the MP14 blades in terms of appearance, but their performance is more like the MP57's.  I have never really gamed the MP14s.  I bought them mostly as a collector.  I always drooled over Mizuno blades in High School when I was picking up the game heavily.  However on a thin or toe strike they can be quite penalizing compared to the 57's.  The DBM's do a nice job of tapping into that look while giving more forgiveness.  Exactly what I was looking for.

I will say that I've had kind of an adjustment period.  I mentioned above that my very first initial reaction was fairly mixed, and not over the moon in love.  However as I've spent more time I would say the appearance has really grown on me.  I've attributed that mostly to the shaping of the heads.  But the progressive offset may be a part of that as well.  Now that I've settled in a bit more I would say I'm pretty over the moon.

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#14 offwhite

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 04:41 PM

With the constant offset do you find mentally that the shorter irons appear to have too much offset? Itís very hard to tell from pictures but it looks like the leading edge on these is slightly rounded and gives the illusion of more offset because of the way it curves back into the hosel?
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#15 HitaHouse

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 05:30 PM

View Posttokeyb, on 13 January 2019 - 01:10 PM, said:

I'm really glad you posted this. Inspiring indeed, and man the black finish is sexy! Not that I need another iron set, but love this idea.

Yes, thanks for sharing, nice work.  I have reshafted several/many sets now and still learn something new with each one.  I have become fanatical about measuring everything - lengths, weights, etc.


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#16 Cwebb

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 11:14 PM

View Postoffwhite, on 17 January 2019 - 04:41 PM, said:

With the constant offset do you find mentally that the shorter irons appear to have too much offset? It's very hard to tell from pictures but it looks like the leading edge on these is slightly rounded and gives the illusion of more offset because of the way it curves back into the hosel?
P

Personally, I think the constant offset is great.  The DBM's look fantastic.  Wish more sets were designed this way.  I've never understood why anyone would visually want their Pw to have less offset than their 6 iron.  Many of the classic sets from the past had constant offset all the way through the 1 iron

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#17 kleydejong

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 05:31 PM

View Postoffwhite, on 17 January 2019 - 04:41 PM, said:

With the constant offset do you find mentally that the shorter irons appear to have too much offset? It's very hard to tell from pictures but it looks like the leading edge on these is slightly rounded and gives the illusion of more offset because of the way it curves back into the hosel?

I do believe the leading edge is slightly curved, especially on the 8, 9, PW.  There is a little dimple near where the hozel turns into the leading edge of the heel.  The longer irons are a little more squarish.  The slightly roundish edge does give some appearance of slightly more offset than there truly is at the impact zone.

5 Iron compared to Mizuno MP14.  Looks very square to me and similar to the blade.


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7 Iron

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9 Iron compared to Mizuno MP57.  I think you can really see how thin the top line is, but also how the leading edge is slightly curved.

Posted Image

I hit them for a bit last night in my basement into a net and would affirm that I've become very smitten with their appearance.

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#18 offwhite

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 03:47 AM

I wonít lie this post is looking to cost me some money.

Thanks for the pics and for the original post topic. Really cool to see!
SLDR 10.5 Matrix Ozik X
SLDR 3hl TP Fuji ts 8.3X
585h 17* rifle 6.5
Mizuno MP 68 4-PW PX 6.0
Mizuno MP R-12 52, 56, 60
Odyssey Tour Black

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