I've read enough!
Lets go to the brooms!
Broom Maintenance (Images from 2002 - Who remembers The Hammer Broom?)
The durability and quality of curling brooms has increased tremendously, but there are a few tricks that can help you get a little longer life out of your favourite broom.
Synthetic broom heads do a great job brushing aside or picking up most things that end up on the ice ... the problem is that they tend to accumulate between the fibres of the broom headís synthetic surface negatively impacting sweeping performance and head life.
As a matter of course, you need to clean the head of your broom through out the game. Most clubs have cleaning brushes at the end of the sheet so that you can quickly brush away any foreign material off the head and into a garage pail or waste basket. If your club doesnít have cleaning brushes, buy yourself a small finger nail brush from the dollar store and put it in your pocket. What ever you do please clean your broom head over a pail and not while you walk back down the ice!
From time to time, your head is going to need a good cleaning. Ironically, many people buy a new replacement head for their broom far too early. We love the business, but all you really need is to give your broom head a bath. Hereís how you do it!
|Remove faceplate.||Rinse the plate with warm water.||Use a drop of dishwashing detergent.|
|Using a brush, gently wash and rinse.||Soak up extra water with a cloth or paper towel.||Dry using a hair dryer...|
|...or place on the furnace air register.||Re-attach the plate and you are ready to go!|
Believe it or not you can double your broom head life if you give do a totally cleaning once or twice a season.
How about hog hair brushes? Well they are not as quick to clean, you can do it, but we recommend this be done only at the end of the season. Before you start you really need to determine if the broom is in reasonably good shape or not. The problem with most hair brooms is that the hairs are held together by embedding them as a group or clump into a wooden block. As this block dries, the wood shrinks and the holes that hold the clumps of hairs together increase in size and thus loose retention. The net result is that the hairs begin to fall out. The easiest way to determine whether your head is past the point of not return is to simply pull at a few hairs on your broom. If a light force pulls them out then you have a problem.
|Hog Hair||Pulling out the loose hairs.|
If you still have good retention proceed as follows. Soaking the head will remove some of the dirt that brushing canít dislodge, but the primary purpose of the soak is to add moisture to the wood and slow down the dry out. Whether you actively use a hair broom or not, its tough to get any significant life extension to a hair room simply due to trhe nature of the materials used
|Rough brush the hairs||Soak head in water for 30 minutes. No soap.||Shake or wipe head to remove excess water.|
|Naturally dry by standing up the broom in a corner with head up.|
I replace sliding bars? The answer is yes and no. Talk about your
political answer. Hereís
the scoop. Many brooms these
days come with a sliding bar. This
is an extended part of the broom head so as to reduce drag. In some brooms
this extension or sliding bar is part of the overall head where as in
others it is attached to the broom. If
your sliding bar is attached you are in luck as most manufacturers provide
replacement sliding bars. Olsons for example gives you a new bar as part
of their replacement head.
|Fixed sliding bar.||Disassembled broom.|
Over the years I have seen a number of home made sliding bars added to brooms... usually not that great. If this feature is important to you... you need to take this into consideration the next time you purchase a curling broom.
Can Curling Broom shafts be replaced? Yes, but we donít recommend it. Heres why. Its money! By the time you purchase a new shaft and get it installed (lots of gluing required) you are just as well off to buy a new broom. Interesting, broom shaft breakage particularly with the fibreglass and composite handles is almost non-exsistent these days. I have seen it happen, in fact, we had one last year but it was broken as a result of being slammed by the trunk lid of a car.