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This is a study of the radial properties of 6 shafts.  It is a supplement to the golf shaft alignment video. I discussed bow vs spine in that video, and mentioned that the two did not necessarily align with each other. But the example used in the video very closely aligned with one of the FLO’s. In this larger study of 6 shafts, there are examples showing more clearly the point that was made in the video.

The charts below show the effectiveness of the Three Point bearing tool, often referred to as a spine tool and a tip weight laser tool in locating the radial stiffness high and low points of a driver shaft.  The tip laser device, often refered to as Flat Line Oscillation FLO or Vertical Oscillation Plane VOP was an effective tool for finding the stiff and weak planes of the shaft.  This can be accomplished by the club maker by FLOing the shaft in a CPM device and noting the CPM of the shaft at each of the two FLO planes.  The stiff and weak planes are easily identified.

The bearing based Spine tool is not a reliable device for identifing the stiff and weak planes of a shaft.

This study was inspried by the writing of my friend, Dave Tutelman.  This link is his article on the subject, http://www.tutelman.com/golf/shafts/allAboutSpines.php

Four properties were measured as follows:

Stiffness

The stiffnes of the shaft as measured every 10 degrees.  The shaft was clamped at the butt end, the tip was deflected 1″, the load cell was set to zero.  The shaft was then deflected 5″.  This method measures the stiffness of the material without any affect from any bowing or curvature in the shaft.  The readings are shown as the blue line.  The readings were smoothed to eliminate measurement ‘noise’.

Vertical Oscilation

A weighted laser tip was attached to the shaft.  The shaft was deflected 3″ and released.  The laser trace was recorded in a 5 second timed exposure.  The shaft was rotated until a stable plane of oscillation was found.  The photo of the trace is shown to the right of the shaft.  The shaft was then turned 90 degrees and the second stable plane was located.  The solid red line shows the stable plane of the shaft closest to the stiff side of the shaft.  The dashed red line, the stable plane that was on the softer side of the shaft.

Bow

Using a three point bending tool the bow of the shaft was located.  This tool is a pair of bearings in a tube.  The shaft is inserted into the ID of the bearings and a third bearing is used to deflect the shaft.  The shaft turns to the bowed side to minimize the stress of the loading force.  The Bow is shown as a Yellow line.

Tip Deflection

The shaft was inserted into a machining chuck which can be rotated.  Two pieces of card stock were bent 90 degrees and set against each side of the tip.  The shaft was rotated.  The cardstock was pushed away from the shaft as the tip moved during the rotation.  The points of maximum deflection to the right and left were noted and indicated by the black line.

 

 

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