Decoration and Repair

How I Made My Clubs Look Shiny-New and What I Learned:
Club Chop-Shop, with thomasl

"No, sorry, I haven't seen your gold Dubé europeans, but how do you like my brand-new Todd Smith silver beauties, with custom pin-stripes?"
Longing for new clubs, but unable to afford the $75? Perhaps a face-lift would perk those clubs up. Yeah, chops and flourishes really sparkle when the mylar is fresh. I just rejuvinated my clubs, and now I will share with you some of things I found out.

First, most silver mylar seems to reverse to gold. Gold, similarly, often reverses to silver. You can keep going back n' forth, 'till you figure out how it works. (I am not sure what the colored ornamental wrap reverses to, but the next time steve koch goes off to work on his devilstick I'll strip down his yellow, blue or red club, and post the results. Stay tuned!)

The Beginning

Ok, here's what you can do to freshen your clubs. First procure supplies. The scotch brand 3m vinyl tapes are lovely, and come in lots of colors. Check hardware stores, supermarkets, drugstores, artsupply stores. Become aware of where supplies are, and what is available, since you may decide to focus on club decoration rather than on practicing patterns and tricks. To pinstrip I got 3/4'' white and 1/2'' black (electrical). It's difficult for me to find the thinner tape in colors. Also be sure to pick up one roll of clear vinyl, for taping the mylar. One roll should do 6 clubs, if you don't mess up and undo it alot. Be sure to buy enough, though. It's nice to have on hand for repairs, and there is nothing worse then getting to the last club, last stripe, and finding yourself 3/4'' short. I know. It happened to me. Tape is cheap, between $1-$2 a roll.

Maybe you want new mylar, or holographic designs. Decorator outlets or mail order catalogues may have this stuff. You can use the old pieces as templates. I just reversed mine.

Doing It

Do one club at a time, so you have some fully dressed clubs for comparison. Now, unwrap the tape running horizontaly, just under the tip at the top of the mylar, and the piece of tape below it. Peel off the clear strip running vertically which holds the mylar on. Do the same for the tape and mylar below the belly of the club.

Pry off the staples which keep the handle wrap secure at the top. Note there are two of them. If your knobs are secured with a screw, unscrew them. If glued, carefully pry and twist until it comes off. Pry off the two staples fastening the mylar handlewrap under the knob.

Now pretty up the mylar bits and the bell of the club before putting it back together. You can clean off the tape residue with nailpolish remover (acetone). Cleaning the mylar is recommended, it really makes it shine. Be careful, though, because overly vigorous wiping will take of the coating on the mylar. At this point you can scrub off the plastic bell if you like, using a nylon scrubber. Try to keep the club dry, since it does have a wooden dowel in it which can hold water.


Secure the mylar nearest the tip with a piece of clear vinyl tape. Get a snug fit, with the top of the mylar just even or a tad below the very tip. When fastening the mylar, afix the tape to one edge, wrap the club, and then stretch the tape a bit when making the seal. Avoid trapping air under it, or wrinkling the tape. Get it smooth and straight.

If your tips are a mess I don't know what to tell you. Mine are not. I am noted for my nice tips. Perhaps you can order them or something. I am sure someone will post this information.

Have you decided what colors you want on the stripes? Wrap the 3/4" tape around the top and bottom, so that the bottom edge of the mylar is in the middle. Stretch the tape a bit as you wrap. To stretch evenly, cut a notch out of each side, which is to say cut the corners off the end of the tape so that you have a pointy bit, put this down, cover it with your thumb, and stretch as you wrap. This way you have a better chance of maintaining the same tape-width, and where you overlap will look neater. Do be sure and over- lap the tape, because with use and heat it will shrink and move some. At least one inch is necessary I think, if you are going to pinstripe. If you will not be covering this base tape with another tape then probably it is a good idea to go twice around. To pinstripe, take the 1/2" tape and do the same thing on top. Be aware of where all of your seams are, to either keep them lined up, if you want them that way, or all offset. There will be seams where the mylar is taped, and where the tapes are finished.

Wrapping the handle

Before you wrap the handle check and make sure the little nail holding the plastic on is secure. If it is popping out you will want to fix it, probably by putting a new one in at another place. Let us assume it is fine.

First attach the mylar at the knob end with two staples. Be sure you staple it low enough so that the knob will cover it, but not so low that you will not have enough length to go very far up the handle. Tightly wrap the handle with the piece of mylar you took off (If you want to cut new mylar, use the old pieces for templates and use an exacto knife). When you staple the top of the handle wrap you can catch the bottom of the second mylar piece, too.

The second mylar bit is done just as the first one was. Be sure the handle wrap and the middle piece of mylar at the belly are close enough together so that your tape will cover the old staple holes and the new staples.

Now you need only re-attach the knob. Screw it back on, if applicable. If the hole is too big for the screw, because the dowel is worn away, you can fill it in some with wood dough (available at hard- ware stores). I am given to understand that toothpick shims work too, but I would go with the wood filler. To glue on a knob, I use Duco household cement (it works really well on plastic frame glasses, too, as well as qualatex balloon pumps). Use lots of cement, but don't let it spill onto your pretty mylar. Dry the club upright, resting on the knob, maybe even with a book or weightplate on top.


There. Wasn't that easy? I hope I haven't left out any vital information. I found most of this stuff out through hands-on experience, and tips picked up second hand from the club repair workshop at st. louis. Special thanx to Steven Ragatz for mentioning that handles are wrapped beginning at the knob end (guess when he told me this? Yup! just after i wrapped theother way, and found it didnt come out right-- thanks steve!) Also thanks to Steve for suggesting this info. be posted. And a wave of the hand and a flourish to Bloomington lame duck prez. terry jones. Thanks four everything. Remember folks, it's NOT too late to move to bloomington so you can vote terry in for one more term. Elections held just after the Bloomington JUGGLE FEST.

I look forward to seeing each and every one of you THIS WEEKEND in bloomington for jugglefest '91. I only hope our party is as good as Purdue's was. For safety's sake we are hiding the fire extinguishers. BTW, PURDUE: The official combat uniform has been changed. Leave your tutus at home.

From Bloomington,

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