US 3571900 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor Benjamin T. Hardesty Columbia, S.C. ] Appl. No. 882,838  Filed Dec. 8, 1969  Patented Mar. 23, 1971  Assignee Shakespeare Company Kalamazoo, Mich. Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 789,677, Jan. 8, 1969, which is a Division of Ser No. 667,991, Sept  METHOD OF MOLDING A GOLF CLUB HEAD 6 Claims, 19 Drawing Figs.  US. Cl 29/416, 29/425, 264/250, 264/263, 264/328, 273/l67(i), 273/ 173  Int. Cl A63!) 53/04. B29f l/OO  Field of Search 273/173, 167(i); l8/(lnquired); 29/416, 425; 264/263, 250, 328
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,190,651 6/1965 Thomas 273/173 3,218,072 11/1965 Burr 273/167 3,368,812 2/1968 Baldwin 273/173 Primary Examiner-Robert F. White Assistant Examiner-Richard Shear Attorneys-Talivaldis Cepuritis and Gordon W. Hueschen ABSTRACT: A plastic golf club head is formed in two major parts, a body member and a faceplate. Complementary dovetail members are provided on the body member and face plate so that the faceplate may be founded by sliding it onto the body member. To prevent movement therebetween when in position, an insert plug is inserted in channels provided in both the body member and faceplate in mutual registry. One or more plugs and complementary channels may be utilized. The plugs may be of any desired cross section. However, when only one plug is utilized, it should preferably have a noncircular cross section such as rectangular to prevent rotational movement of the faceplate. Where two or more plugs are utilized, they may be of any cross section. A screw is inserted either through the faceplate and engaged by a threaded insert in the body member, or alternatively inserted through the body member and engaged in a threaded means provided either in the insert plug or in the body member. The structure permits ready changing of the faceplate to provide the club head with various striking contours and angles. The insert plugs are preferably of the same cross section as the entry ducts of the mold used for molding of the plastic heads, so that the trees" from molding of the heads may be used for insert plugs.
' PATENIED HAR23 new SHEET 1 BF 8 PATENTEDNARZSISYI I 7 3571900 SHEET 8 BF 8 METHOD OF MOLDING A GOLF GLUE HEAD "CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a continuation-in-part of US. Ser. No. 789,677 filed on 8 lan. I969, which, in turn, is a division of Ser. No. 667,991 filed on Sept. 1967.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Golf club heads of the wood type, i.e., drivers, brassies and spoons, have in the past been manufactured of wood. Golfers of the so-called duffer type generally purchase such clubs with preformed faces of standard slant or pitch and utilize them without modification. I-lowever, golfers of the expert, professional or semiprofessional classes are not satisfied with the standard pitches provided by the manufacturer and invariably require that the pitch or curvature of the club be tailored to suit their tastes and style of play. In the case of clubs actually made of wood, the striking face may be altered by grinding or sanding to the proper pitch, and the finish of the face subsequently restored without difficulty. More recently, golf clubs of the wood type have been formed of moldable plastic materials. Such clubs have the advantage that they are more economical, stronger and more readily shaped since they may be formed automatically according to predetermined dimensions and forms. These clubs are suitable for use by those golfers who do not require reworking of the club face to their specifications. However, it has been found that club heads molded of plastic materials, and particularly those containing glass fibers disposed through the plastic cannot be readily altered in pitch or shape of the striking face by simple processes as described above, since it is extremely difficult to restore a suitable finish to the altered surface in the plastic material after grinding or sanding. Moreover, to provide premolded clubs in all the various ranges of pitch and shape required by expert golfers would be prohibitively expensive.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide a golf club head of the wood type which may be molded from suitable plastic materials. It is a further object to'provide a golf club head of the type described comprised of a body member and a face plate, which face plate may be inexpensively molded in a large number of various pitches and contours and which face plate may be readily affixed to the body member or detached therefrom. It is a further object to provide a golf club of the structure described wherein the faceplate may be securely af fixed to the body portion by means of insert plugs. It is an additional object to provide such a structure which is relatively inexpensive to produce. It is another object to provide a method for the production of a golf club head having a body portion of which a faceplate may be secured, and whereby the means for securing the faceplate may be molded at the same time that the body member is molded and as a byproduct thereof. Additional objects will be apparent to one skilled in the art and still others will become apparent hereinafter.
According to the invention, a mold is provided having a mold cavity in which a body member for a golf club head of the wood type may be molded. A channel is provided in the body member into which a plug may be inserted. The inlet duct leading to the cavity mold is so dimensioned that the tree resulting from the molding process hm an outer peripheral contour adapted to serve as the plug and to be inserted in the channel provided in the body member. A faceplate is also molded from a suitable plastic. During the molding processes, the faceplate and the body member are provided with complementary dovetail members horizontally disposed. The club head is assembled by sliding the faceplate laterally onto the body member while engaging the dovetail members. The insert plug formed from the mold tree" and cut to proper length is inserted through complementary channels provided in both the faceplate and body member. The plug is affixed to the body member by suitable screw means. The resulting structure is a golf club head having a removable faceplate which may be molded to the proper pitch and contour, and which may be readily affixed in place and securely held, and readily removed and replaced by faceplates of other pitches and contours.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention in its preferred embodiment is illustrated by the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. I is a cross-sectional view of a gold club head according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the structure of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a top view of the golf club head;
FIG. l is a side elevation of a golf club head of the invention having a modified fastening means;
FIG. 5 is a top view of the golf club head shown in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of a golf club of the invention having a somewhat modified means for affixing the faceplate;
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of another embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 8 is a side elevational view of the golf club head of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a top view of the golf club head of FIG. 7;
FIG. 10 is a side elevational view showing modified means for affixing the faceplate; I
FIG. ii is a top view of the golf club head of FIG. 10;
FIG. I2 is a side elevational view of a club head similar to that of FIGS. Ill and II, but having plugs of modified cross section;
FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view of still another embodiment of the invention;
FIG. I4 is a top view of the golf club head of FIG. 13;
FIG. I5 is a partial-sectional view of a mold designed for molding a golf club head or body member of the type shown in FIGS. ll--6;
FIG. I6 is a top view of the mold of FIG. 15 partially disassembled;
FIG. I7 is a front elevation of the mold of FIG. I5 completely disassembled;
FIG. lid is a partial-sectional view of a mold used for forming the golf club head or body member shown in FIG. 7; and
FIG. I9 is a cross-sectional view of a mold used for forming the golf club head or body member shown in FIG. I3.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Reference is now made to the accompanying drawings for a better understanding of the invention, wherein all the parts are numbered and wherein the same numbers are used to refer to the same parts throughout.
Referring to FIGS. ll3, a golf club is shown comprising a body member I, a shank 2 having a bore 3 provided therein into which a shaft, not shown, is inserted and affixed by means of a binding 4. A faceplate 5 is mounted on the body member l by means of complementary dovetail members s, '7, and 8, horizontally oriented. An insert plug 9 of rectangular cross section is positioned within channels it) and I1 provided in the faceplate and body member, respectively. A screw 12 is positioned within a channel I3 provided in the plug 9 and threadedly engaged by a screw insert M affixed in a channel l5 provided in the body member ll. Conventional grooves lb are provided in the striking surface of the faceplate 5 and the plug 9.
in the embodiment shown in FIGS. l-3 the plug 9 has a rectangular cross section to prevent rotational movement of the faceplate. However, in a modified form shown in FIGS. dtwo separate plugs l7 and it are inserted in suitable channels 21, 22, 23, and 24 provided in the faceplate 5 and body member 1, respectively. The plugs i7 and lb are afiixed in place by means of screws 25 and 26 positioned in channels 27 and 28 provided in the plugs l7 and lit. The screws are threadedly engaged in screw inserts 29 and fill imbedded within the body member 1. The plugs l7 and lil may have rectangular cross sections as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. Altematively, plugs 31 and 32 of round cross section, shown in FIG. 6, may be utilized, the presence of the two spaced-apart plugs being efiective in preventing rotation of the faceplate 5.
FIGS. 7-9 illustrate an alternative embodiment of the invention. In this embodiment, the club comprises a body member 40 having a shank 41, a shaft channel 42 and a binding 43. A faceplate 44 is mounted on the body member by means of complementary dovetail members 45, 46, and 47. A rectangular plug 48 is inserted in complementary channels 49 and 50 provided in the faceplate 44 and body member 40, respectively. In this embodiment the plug is maintained in place by means of a screw 51 disposed in channel 52 provided in the rear of the body member 40 and engaged in either threads or a threaded insert provided in the end of the plug 48.
FIGS. -12 illustrate forms of the embodiment of FIGS. 7-9 but using modified plug means. In FIGS. 10 and 11 two rectangular plugs 53 and 54 are utilized in spaced-apart relationship. Alternatively, plugs 55 and 56 of circular cross section as shown in FIG. 12 may be used, as can plugs of any of a large number of cross-sectional forms such as oval, triangular, etc. The remainder of the structure of FIGS. 10-12 is substantially the same and comprises a body member 60, faceplate 61, complementary dovetail members 62, 63, and 64 and screws 65 and 66 retaining the plugs 53 and 54, or 55 and 56, respectively.
Still another embodiment is shown in FIGS. 13 and 14. This embodiment is similar to that of FIGS. 7-9. In the embodiment of FIGS. 13 and 14, the club head comprises a body member 70, a shank 72, and a binding 73. A faceplate 74 is mounted on the body member 70 by means of complementary dovetail members 75, 76, and 77. An insert plug 78 is slidably positioned within a channel 79 provided in the body member 70 and a partial channel or recess 80 provided in the faceplate 74. The channel 79 should be at least as long as the insert plug 78 so that, prior to assembling the faceplate, the plug may be entirely contained within the channel to a sufficient depth so that the end 81 of the plug is recessed below or flush with the end of the body member 70. This pennits the faceplate to be mounted on the body member by means of the dovetail members without being impeded by the plug. In order to position the plug in place to engage the faceplate, a screw 82 is provided which is positioned in a suitable channel in the body member and engaging a screw insert 83 mounted in an enlarged channel 84 provided in the body member 70.
To mount the faceplate, the screw is retracted until the end 81 of the plug 78 has receded into the channel 79 so that said end no longer protrudes. The faceplate is then mounted in a manner similar to that described with respect to the other embodiments. The screw 82 is then turned inwardly until it forces the plug 78 into the channel 80 provided in the faceplate, thereby affixing the faceplate in place. It is of course understood that plugs modified in form or number, as described above with regard to the previous embodiments, may also be utilized with respect to the embodiment of FIGS. 13 and 14.
The body member of the invention may be formed of any moldable composition, such as phenolic molding compounds, polypropylene, polycarbonate resins, epoxy resins, polyester resins, polyurethane resins, and many others known in the art. In order to enhance the strength of the body member, a molding composition containing randomly dispersed glass fibers may be utilized. Since, in the preferred method for forming the present golf club heads, the plugs are formed of the trees or flashing left over in the molding process, they will of course be of the same material as the body member. However, plugs may be fomred separately and may then be of any suitable material, not necessarily the same as that of the body member.
The faceplate may be molded of the same material as the body member, or, alternatively, may be molded of a difi'erent compound. The material preferably but not necessarily contains glass fibers randomly disposed to increase the impact resistance of the material.
The manufacturing steps of a golf club head of this invention are (l) provision of a mold cavity which is contoured so as to produce a body portion of the golf club head having the desired shape, which contains a core member therewithin adapted to provide a channel within the body portion, and having an entry duct with the inner peripheral contour thereof complementary to the outer peripheral contour of the core member, (2) introduction of a suitable molding composition into the mold cavity and the entry duct so as to form the body portion and an elongated plug of the same material within the entry duct, (3) severance of the plug from the molded body portion and the use thereof as an insert within the aforesaid channel, (4) attachment of the faceplate to the body portion, and (5) engagement of the plug inserted in the channel in the body portion with the faceplate. As is readily apparent from the several drawings, the insert plug 9 can engage the faceplate 5 through the faceplate as shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 7, or from the back side of faceplate 5 as shown in FIG. 13.
FIGS. 15-19 illustrate molds which may be prepared according to common mold practice for forming body members according to the invention. In each case the injection flue or inlet duct is so dimensioned that the resulting molded plug closely fits the channels, as for example channels 10 and 11, provided in the faceplate and body member, respectively in FIGS. 1-3. Using such a mold and method for molding obviates the need for separately forming the plugs, and additionally conserves the material which would normally be lost in the injection flue or duct.
FIGS. 15-17 illustrate a mold which may be used for fonning body members such as shown in FIGS. 1-3, and which also may be used with modifications to form the body members shown in FIGS. 4-6. As shown, the mold comprises two main mold members 81 and 82 having main mold cavities 83 and 84 provided therein. An injection channel or entry duct 85 having an orifice 86 is connected with the cavity 84 and provides a means for injecting plastic material into the mold cavities. The assembled mold also comprises a slidably removable dovetail forming member 87 and a core member 88 for forming the channel 11 of the body member 1. The dovetail forming member 87 is slidably mounted in a channel 95. The core member has a venting channel 89 and venting orifices 90 permitting air to escape from the mold cavity when the plastic material is injected thereinto. At the other end of the core member 88 a reduced spindle 91 is provided having a threaded insert 92 mounted thereon. The threaded insert 92 is provided with a flange 93 having an orifice closely fitting around the spindle 91 in order to prevent the plastic material from being forced into the threaded cavity 94.
In operation the mold assembly is set up as shown in FIG. 15. An injection noule is then applied at the orifice 86 and a molding composition, such as a plastic material, injected into the mold cavity to fonn the body member. After the molding composition has hardened or thenno'set, the mold is disassembled as follows: First, the dovetail forming member 87 is removed by sliding it laterally as shown in FIG. 16. Next, the core member 88 is removed, also as shown in FIG. 16. In FIG. 17 the threaded insert 92 is shown still mounted on the spindle 91, since the FIG. illustrates an empty disassembly. However, when a molding composition is injected into the mold cavity, the insert 92 is retained within the molded body member. As further shown in FIG. 17, the mold is separated and the molded body member may then be removed. Finally the plug formed in injection channel or entry duct 85 may be removed by tapping or otherwise ejecting it.
FIG. 18 illustrates a mold assembly suitable for forming the body member shown in FIG. 7. The assembly comprises main mold members 97 and 98 having mold cavities 99 and 100. A first core member 101 is inserted in an orifice at one side of the mold for producing the plug channel 50 of the body member shown in FIGS. 7-9. The core member has an air vent channel 89 and air vent orifices 90. A dovetail fonning member 87 is slidably mounted in a suitable channel provided therefor. A second core member 102 is provided in the mold member 97 and comprises a large diameter section 103 for forming a screw head countersink, and a reduced section 104 for forming a screw channel. The end of the reduced section 104 and the end of the core member 101 should be contiguous to provide communication between the channels formed. An injection channel W5 is provided for injecting the molding composition into the mold cavity and is contoured to form a plug which closely fits into the channel formed by the core 101. A constriction 1% is provided to enable the plug which is formed to be easily detached from the body member without leaving appreciable flashing. The mold shown in FIG. id is assembled, molding composition injected thereinto, and disassembled in a manner similar to that described with respect to FIG. 15. The plug formed in channel MS may be readily removed since the mold separates at its midline.
HG. 19 illustrates a mold assembly for forming a body member similar to that shown in FIG. 13. The mold is basically the same as that shown in FIG. i8. However, in this embodiment the core member MP8 has a reduced end in the form of a spindle W9 which supports a threaded insert Hill. The mold is assembled, molding composition injected thereinto and permitted to harden, and the mold disassembled in the same manner as that of MG. 18. However, when the core member lltlh is removed, the threaded insert M0 remains imbedded in the molded body portion. A screw may then be threadedly engaged therewith and utilized to retain the club face in position by tightening plug 78 into socket 80, as shown in H68. 13 and M.
The gold club head of the present invention has many advantages over those known in the art. lit has advantages over wooden heads in being stronger, less subject to cracking and chipping, and more readily prepared by molding. it has a number of advantages over even prior art club heads made of plastic materials in that an entire detachable faceplate is provided which is sufficiently inexpensive so that it may be molded by the manufacturer in a large variety of pitches and shapes. The correct preformed pitch may be chosen by the expert golfer, obviating the need for grinding the club head to the proper pitch. This is extremely important in the case of club heads made of plastic materials, since it is difficult to grind down such a club head and subsequently provide a suitably finished surface. The invention provides a novel means for affixing the faceplate to the body member by a combination comprising complementary dovetail members and a plastic plug which is secured to the body member and disposed in a channel provided in the faceplate and prevents movement of the faceplate. Moreover, in the improved method for forming the body member, the mold for forming the body member is so arranged that the entry duct for the molding composition has an inner peripheral contour which is the same as that of the channel which is provided in the body member for the plug. A plug having a complementary outer peripheral contour may then be formed from the resulting tree as a byproduct of the molding process, thus reducing the cost or" the plug.
The plug may be formed in any desirable shape. When a single plug is used it should preferably have a noncircular cross section, as for example rectangular or elliptical, to prevent rotational movement of the faceplate. Where more than one plug is used, however, the cross section may be of any shape, including circular, since the presence of a plurality of spacedapart plugs will in itself prevent rotational movement of the faceplate. The end of the plug should preferably complement the contour of the faceplate in theembodiments in which the plug end is exposed.
it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the exact details of construction, operation, or exact materials or embodiments shown and described, as obvious modifications and equivalents will be apparent to one skilled in the art, and the invention is therefore to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.
l. A method for the manufacture of a golf club head of the wood type having a body portion and a faceplate which comprises the steps of:
providing a mold cavity contoured for molding the body portion, containing a core member therewithin adapted to provide a channel extending within the body portion, and having an entry duct with the inner peripheral contour thereof complementary to the outer peripheral contour of said core member;
introducing a molding composition into said mold cavity and said entry duct so as to form said body portion and an elongated plug within said entry duct;
severing said plug from said body portion and using at least a portion thereof as an insert within said channel;
afiixing a faceplate to said body portion; and
engaging said plug insert with said faceplate.
2. The method in accordance with claim 1 wherein the molding composition contains randomly dispersed glass fibers therein.
3. The method in accordance with claim ll wherein the faceplate is affixed to the body portion by means of complementary dovetail members of said faceplate and said body portion.
4. The method in accordance with claim 1 wherein the plug insert engages the faceplate from the back side of the faceplate.
5. The method in accordance with claim 1 wherein the plug insert engages the faceplate therethrough.
6. The method in accordance with claim ll wherein a plurality of plug inserts engage the faceplate.