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View Full Version : You Learn Something Every Day (about billet that is)



lynnl
08-26-2011, 07:56 PM
Was watching an episode of "Factory Made" showing how golf putters are carved out of billet.

The narrator was explaining how the material was mild carbon steel. He said it also contained a small amount of lead, "to make it softer to the golfer's hand when he strikes the ball."

I did not know that! (Still don't, for that matter. :D)

Now I'm sure someone at the manufacturing facility, providing a preliminary briefing before production of the film, told him that. Obviously one of the MBA bean counters. ...or do you suppose it was one of the ladies working in the dining facility?

He also said, during one of the CNC machining passes on the face of the club, that it had to be accurate to 2 millionths of an inch, to insure proper balance between club head and shaft. Otherwise it would throw off the putt. Maybe that's what's wrong with Tiger Woods' game lately. He got one that slipped through QC.

KiddZimaHater
08-26-2011, 08:18 PM
The narrators on shows like "Factory Made" et al, usually have no idea what they're reading off of the script.
I saw the episode where pliers were being deburred on a belt sander to insure "A High-Precission Fit.":D

John Stevenson
08-26-2011, 08:21 PM
Obviously sub-standard putters if they are using steel.

Everyone knows Billet HAS to be aluminium :rolleyes:

Black_Moons
08-26-2011, 08:22 PM
Obviously sub-standard putters if they are using steel.

Everyone knows Billet HAS to be aluminium :rolleyes:

Aircraft grade aluminium no less! whatever alloy that is....

uncle pete
08-26-2011, 08:31 PM
Every gearhead non machine tool user just "knows" billet is the only thing to use for top quality parts. 2 millionths required? Didn't the Haggis Hunters invent that game for something to do with the wooden tree branch clubs and rocks while they took a break from killing the English with those same clubs and rocks? :-) Leaded steel makes it softer on the golfers hands? Guess If I hit someone with a lead hammer they won't notice.

Pete

Black_Moons
08-26-2011, 08:42 PM
Every gearhead non machine tool user just "knows" billet is the only thing to use for top quality parts:D 2 millionths required? Didn't the Scotchmen invent that game for something to do with the wooden tree branch clubs and rocks while they took a break from killing the English with those same clubs and rocks?

Pete

Hehe.
Balanced? The damn stick isent even straight!

MotorradMike
08-26-2011, 08:46 PM
Golf is a silly game.
I quit when I discovered I couldn't get a better score than 18.

vpt
08-26-2011, 10:00 PM
Golf is a silly game.
I quit when I discovered I couldn't get a better score than 18.


So you quit before getting to the second hole? :D

Black_Moons
08-26-2011, 10:02 PM
Golf is a silly game.
I quit when I discovered I couldn't get a better score than 18.

18? You must really suck, I scored over 100 my first try!! :D

panchula
08-26-2011, 11:03 PM
Last time I played I shot an 89 -- on the short nine. 'Nuff said.

tdmidget
08-26-2011, 11:32 PM
What an idiot. Many many years ago, I worked for a summer at McGregor- Brunswick. I made golf clubs. NONE were made from "billet" or even from solid. Depending on price range they were either castings or forgings. The machining was limited to drilling and tapping the "hosel" (where the shaft is attached), and broaching it to shape. Some had an insert screwed into the face, where the ball contacts the clubhead. The rest of the work up to vibatory finishing and plating was done by hand. The hosel was ground concentric on a belt sander with a jig pressed against the grinders gut. The face was ground flat freehand. The back surfaces were ground freehand. These hand grinders were some of the highest paid employees.
Most of them were 17-4 ph, not carbon steel.

x39
08-26-2011, 11:51 PM
Everyone knows Billet HAS to be aluminium
No, no, no... anybody with an aftermarket motorcycle parts catalog knows that billet is just billet!

Carld
08-26-2011, 11:57 PM
Billet was what I said when I took a finished job to the boss.;)

boslab
08-27-2011, 12:13 AM
an unrelated story, well to billets anyway [you can have steel billots, the billet casters at our steelplant are 6 strand continuous casters, billot are square section castings, slabs are rectangular but around the same thickness, there are blooms too, and a hybrid apparently at Lackenby called a sloom, not sure how they define that but up north they work bit differently!]
At an old steelplant i used to work at [duport steel] we used to make leaded steels for Free cutting, and i think some went into plate for battleships, why i dont know.
Anyway we used to get tickets every day that entitled us to free milk in the canteen, 2 pints a day was recomended! breathing apparatus would have been more suitable when casting a lead charge, or adding sulpher for that matter, its amazing what crap went on in factories before and up the seventies.
mark

uncle pete
08-27-2011, 02:32 AM
Boslab,
Great story. Scary what some of the working conditions were like.

If I ever get to sell parts to somebody really rich their now going to be made from Bloom Sloom Billet, Or just to make it a catchy phrase, B.S. Billet. :D

Pete

dp
08-27-2011, 02:56 AM
Hehe.
Balanced? The damn stick isent even straight!


Surely not while you're swinging it.

EVguru
08-27-2011, 03:55 AM
No, no, no... anybody with an aftermarket motorcycle parts catalog knows that billet is just billet!

It's all going to end up on a 'Billet Barge'

MrSleepy
08-27-2011, 04:52 AM
What an idiot. Many many years ago, I worked for a summer at McGregor- Brunswick. I made golf clubs. NONE were made from "billet" or even from solid.
So its little surprise that the McGregor brand is almost dead to golfers.The trend now is for milled putters (at the sharp end).

Ive had a few "Scotty Cameron (http://www.scottycameron.com/putters/putterfamily.aspx?id=137)" titliest putters that are milled from billet..some from blackened steel (http://www.scottycameron.com/putters/archivedetail.aspx?id=138&seasonID=20) and my current one from stainless.

Ping have the "Redwood series (http://www.ping.com/clubs/puttersdetail.aspx?id=170&tid=78)"...and virtually all premium brands make them.

And they do feel better..the removal of as many glue joints as possible does make a difference....Nike even have putters where the shaft is welded to the putter head.

Rob

Circlip
08-27-2011, 05:23 AM
Every gearhead non machine tool user just "knows" billet is the only thing to use for top quality parts. 2 millionths required? Didn't the Scotchmen invent that game for something to do with the wooden tree branch clubs and rocks while they took a break from killing the English with those same clubs and rocks? :-) Leaded steel makes it softer on the golfers hands? Guess If I hit someone with a lead hammer they won't notice.

Pete


Despite being a "Sasenacht" (?), there's no such animal as a Scotchman, Scotsman, Haggis Hunter yes but "Scotch" is a poisonous brown liquid best used for starting recalcitrant engines, gasoline OR Diesel.

Regards Ian.

uncle pete
08-27-2011, 05:46 AM
Sorry Ian,
LOL, I've edited my post. I quite agree with your points about that vile brown stuff too.

Pete

davidwdyer
08-27-2011, 07:05 AM
Sort of related to the subject, I found a large rectangular piece of "steel" at a scrap yard which the guy who runs the place says also contains a lot of lead. It looks like a large (heavy) brick with two holes drilled through the sides sort of spaced evenly across the broad face.

The guy said people use them for counter weights on doors, etc.

I never can resist a good chunk of metal.

So now what can I use it for? Has anyone every made anything out of something like this? Is there such a things as leaded steel, and is it good for something besides a boat anchor. No boat here. Could this be a "billet?"

Ron of Va
08-27-2011, 08:24 AM
When I play, I shoot in the seventies.

If it gets any hotter than that I don't go out.;)

Black_Moons
08-27-2011, 08:37 AM
Sort of related to the subject, I found a large rectangular piece of "steel" at a scrap yard which the guy who runs the place says also contains a lot of lead. It looks like a large (heavy) brick with two holes drilled through the sides sort of spaced evenly across the broad face.

The guy said people use them for counter weights on doors, etc.

I never can resist a good chunk of metal.

So now what can I use it for? Has anyone every made anything out of something like this? Is there such a things as leaded steel, and is it good for something besides a boat anchor. No boat here. Could this be a "billet?"

Leaded steels are used for machining, as they give a better finish, however can't be welded worth a damn.

I don't think they would be much heavyer then normal steel as I seem to recall the lead is less then 10%

Beware that anything classifyed as 'counterweight' is most likey the poorest made steel on the face of the planet, and may include (But not limited to) Unmelted ball bearings/bedsprings/car springs/files/etc of unmachinable hardness.

Some people have gotten lucky, Lots of other people have found trash inside that busted an endmill or two worth more then the metal was.

383 240z
08-27-2011, 08:47 AM
to get this thread back on topic (golf) this is the best explination of golf I have ever heard. Caution NWS!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDQd49rEF_0 Keith

lynnl
08-27-2011, 09:19 AM
I'm not sure what brand these clubs were. In one step the name was engraved on them, but wasn't a name I recognized. Seemed to be pretty upscale brand tho.
I'll watch it again and get the name. (I always record this stuff and watch later, so I can skip all but the good parts.)

Rustybolt
08-27-2011, 09:40 AM
Golf course: A waste of perfectly good farmland, pheasant,grouse,quail cover,deer cover,fishing ponds.
A good place to hunt geese.

davidwdyer
08-27-2011, 09:52 AM
Golf is a game for masochistic perfectionists.

You spend all your time trying to perfect something (your swing), which if you manage to do it, lasts only a short while.

It's no wonder that a lot of machinists play.

By the way, I thought this thread was about billet.

lynnl
08-27-2011, 11:27 AM
By the way, I thought this thread was about billet.

Actually, my point was the issue of leaded steel, and the idiotic notion that such steel would be noticeably softer to a degree that a golfer would sense.

That term billet is now so ingrained in popular useage that there's no going back. Billet is billet.

topct
08-27-2011, 11:49 AM
If you suspend a piece of leaded steel in your fingers and tap it with a hammer and then a piece of cold roll you can hear the difference. The leaded steel will not have the same ring to it.

davidwdyer
08-27-2011, 12:09 PM
If you suspend a piece of leaded steel in your fingers and tap it with a hammer and then a piece of cold roll you can hear the difference. The leaded steel will not have the same ring to it.

I guess my question is: is it hard enough to make something out of. Does it dent easily? Does it wear easily, or is is durable enough for something beside a door stop or a putter for the golfer with very, very sensitive hands?

lynnl
08-27-2011, 12:11 PM
If you suspend a piece of leaded steel in your fingers and tap it with a hammer and then a piece of cold roll you can hear the difference. The leaded steel will not have the same ring to it.

Yeah, and in fairness I should've mentioned that the narrator did say something about reduced vibrations as one of the attributes of the leaded steel.

Nevertheless, I don't think you'd notice much difference if boinked over the head with a chunk of each. :)

davidwdyer
08-27-2011, 01:11 PM
Hey guys, lemme know if this stuff can be useful, 'cause the scrap yard has a couple more blocks of it and scrap here is pretty cheap.

Carld
08-27-2011, 03:51 PM
david, your just going to have to machine some of it and find out what happens.

tdmidget
08-27-2011, 07:40 PM
So its little surprise that the McGregor brand is almost dead to golfers.The trend now is for milled putters (at the sharp end).

Ive had a few "Scotty Cameron (http://www.scottycameron.com/putters/putterfamily.aspx?id=137)" titliest putters that are milled from billet..some from blackened steel (http://www.scottycameron.com/putters/archivedetail.aspx?id=138&seasonID=20) and my current one from stainless.

Ping have the "Redwood series (http://www.ping.com/clubs/puttersdetail.aspx?id=170&tid=78)"...and virtually all premium brands make them.

And they do feel better..the removal of as many glue joints as possible does make a difference....Nike even have putters where the shaft is welded to the putter head.

Rob
I've never played, what with golf an ethnic game, an upper crust thing. I do however think it's all psychological, a fad. Remember when they had to be brass with a hickory shaft?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/OTEY-CRISMAN-Putter-Classic-Blade-Vintage-Rare-/380358479060?pt=Golf_Clubs&hash=item588f21ccd4

If there really is a difference then they should be outlawed. How dare one compare oneself to great players in the past while using trick gear they never dreamed of? Just as in baseball, The Babe did it with ash bats and hot dogs and beer, not steroids, growth hormones and maple bats.

Mc Gregor never was a hoity toity brand that I recall. I would suspect that most are still investment castings or forgings.

MrSleepy
08-27-2011, 07:57 PM
Mc Gregor never was a hoity toity brand that I recall. I would suspect that most are still investment castings or forgings.

The McGregor "Eye o Matic" drivers were the dogs boxxxcks in their day.. but McGregor got left behind in both tech and desireability.

The second generation of metal woods killed of McGregors wooden masterpieces.and the decline insued.

Technology is killing golf.. A 6000 yrd course was a struggle 25yrs ago...but its a pitch and put now..They will have to be 7500 yards (and have enough expansion room for the 20 yrs of tech thats coming).

Rob