old wooden goalie stick
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Old Wooden Goalie Stick – Traditional Thursday

This week I fix up an Old Wooden Goalie Stick. Welcome to Traditional Thursday! It’s an old Bacharach Rasin wooden goalie stick… I think!

I picked up this old goalie stick a while ago, but I was waiting around for some interesting leathers before I strung it up. I found some nice 36″ long “Redhawk” leathers from Stringer’s Shack, and I was ready to roll. Of course I also needed a spool of crosselace, and a spool of shooting string, because who doesn’t? Stringer’s Shack has great stuff (and their mesh costs under $6 – it’s awesome) and they make it all in the USA. I’m a big fan.

lacrosse stringing products

Old Wooden Goalie Stick

This old wooden goalie stick doesn’t actually have a label on it, so that makes it harder to identify. However, I’m willing to bet it is a Bacharach Rasin stick, from their old store in Towson, MD. Here is why I believe this: A) It looks like a B-R stick in general. 2) It was in a box with other B-R sticks and looked very similar in cut, shape, wood type and grain, and size. At the end of the day, I can’t be sure, but sometimes that’s just as close as you can come. It’s irrelevant, the stick is a keeper.

old wooden goalie stick

There is a crack on the corner, and almost every old wooden goalie stick that has been used will have a crack there. It isn’t too bad on this stick, but it will require a new wrap with tape. The shaft is also cracked, likely from being banged on the goal pipes, but with a little more athletic tape, this will be a non-issue.

The first thing I’ll do is cut the old pocket out. I will leave the tops of the leathers in place, both where they run through the wood, and where they run through the original gut shooters. I will leave the gut in place as this gut is 100% salvagable, and take out all of the other strings, pieces of leather, etc. I will also leave the original gut ball stop at the bottom. It is also in great shape.

Once I have removed everything I’m going to remove from the old wooden goalie stick, I wet a soft cloth with warm water, and run the stick with the cloth. This cleans up the dust, but doesn’t remove the wear and patina that the stick has accumulated over its life. Sometimes I sand a stick down, but I’m leaving this one as-is. I love a beat up goalie stick. The wood cleans up nicely, and much of its former glory is quickly restored with a solid wash and cloth treatment. Add a little soap to the water to remove some extra grime, then cloth it with water again, and dry the stick completely. Do not soak old sticks in water. That can lead to damage and further warping.

Next I will put in my new leathers. I will first removed the old leather from the wooden hole, and put my new leather in place. Once it is locked down, I will removed the old leather from the gut shooter, and quickly slide the new leather through in its place. I do this quickly before the gut shooter tightens up and I can’t get a new leather through. Once I repeat this for all six leathers, I attach the bottom of the leathers to the wood, using the top 6 of the bottom 8 holes.

Then I will use the bottom two holes I left open to re-attach the gutwall to the wood frame. You can use leather to do this, or as I did here, you can use sidewall or some other type of string. Then I put in the sidewall in a traditional way (going up, then looping back down and tying off), and I am ready to start the crosslace.

Old sticks are single string, so I do that here. I cut a long piece of crosslace (5 full arm lengths at least) and get started. The hardest thing here is keeping the crosslace from twisting and/or kinking. After 4-5 knots, I typically work all the kinks out of my super long piece of crosslace. Then I do 4-5 more knots, repeat… you get the idea. It takes extra time but makes a big difference in final appearance and your overall tension.

Finally, I throw one “cotton” (it’s not all cotton, but it’s soft like cotton!) shooter in and this bad boy is ready to go. It’s all cleaned up, restrung with good diamond size and tension, has fresh tape, and would be good to hit the field, if only it were 1967!

old wooden goalie stick

If you have tips you want to share on wooden lacrosse stick refurb projects, drop them in the comments below!

Here is a link to our Traditional Thursday Archives! Plenty of fun stuff in there! Spend some time, wander around, and learn the art of traditional, or just improve your trad game.