Plastic, composite, wood hockey sticks are from China's manufacturer
Our company offers composite hockey sticks and wood hockey sticks for every level of play. Generally, composite hockey sticks will offer a lighter, snappier feel, while traditional wood hockey sticks will deliver that solid, consistent puck feel.
Composite, plastic hockey sticks
Composite materials begin as a synthetic cloth just as fiberglass does, but most are far lighter, stiffer, and sometimes more durable than fiberglass. The primary reinforcing fiber used in composite hockey sticks is graphite.
Several layers of the composite material are wrapped around a mold in the shape of the finished shaft and then heated and pressed through one of three methods. The first method utilizes a traditional hydraulic press. The composite-wrapped mold is placed inside another split mold carrying its mirror image, the outer mold is closed, and hydraulic pressure compacts the composite material. The second method uses vacuum pressure to force the composite against the mold and take its shape. The third method uses an inflatable bladder as the inside mold. The composite-wrapped bladder is placed into the outer mold and then is inflated to force the material into shape. The molded shaft is finished and attached to the blade in the same fashion as an aluminum shaft.
Wood hockey sticks
The lumber used to make wood shafts is first dried and cured in building-sized kilns to prevent the wood from warping after manufacture. Logs are then fed through a multi-bladed saw that cuts the wood into thin sheets. The sheets of wood and layers of fiberglass are coated with adhesive and pressed together in a heated hydraulic mold. The finished laminate is then cut into the rough shape of a stick and shipped to the stick maker.
The stick uses a saw with splayed teeth to cut the rough wood into the desired shape. Each pass on the saw cuts two corners of the shaft, so after two passes the shaft has four beveled corners and has reached its final shape.
A block of ash is glued onto the end of the stick. This will form the joint between the shaft and the blade. A groove is cut into the center of the block to accept a tongue shaped into one end of the blade. The tongue and groove are glued, fit together, and placed in a heated hydraulic press to cure for about half an hour.
The dried assembly is then shaped and smoothed on a large drum sander. The fiberglass is pulled over this assembly like a sock and is dipped in resin and allowed to dry. Once dry, the stick is again sanded to remove any rough edges.
Graphics are silk-screened on and parts of the stick may be painted, and the stick is finished with a clear gloss varnish.
Aluminum hockey sticks
Aluminum shafts begin as flat sheets, which are folded and compressed into a long block. The advantage of this is that the walls of the final shaft will be made up of numerous extremely thin layers, each reinforcing the next and making a much stronger material than one layer.
The long block is cut into billets roughly the size of the intended stick. The billets are then fed into a machine that heats it and pushes it under enormous pressure through a hole the shape of a hollow hockey stick shaft in a process called extrusion. The extruded metal is cut off in lengths about the measurement of a stick.
These pieces are then drawn through a series of smaller and smaller dies to compress the metal and bring it to its final size.
The metal is heated to approximately 320° C. This final step is called heat treating and is designed to strengthen the metal.
Finishing an aluminum shaft is simpler finishing a wood one. Aluminum can be painted. The metal itself may also be colored or anodized. To fit the blade, one end of the shaft is left open, a peg on the heel end of the blade is coated with hot glue, and the two pieces are clamped and left to dry. A rubber plug is inserted in the other end of the shaft for grip and safety.
Blades of the hockey sticks
Blades are placed on a pattern or jig to be cut into their final shape. They are steam-heated or boiled then clamped in a hydraulic press to curve them.