It’s something that i’ve always wanted to do. I was wondering if anyone else is feeling the same way. Anyways, I will be making one very soon, and I was also wondering if anyone has had any experiences or tips to share (i’ll be making mine out of blank ash, no knots).
Wood is a unique material due to its properties during the tree’s growth cycle. Ash is a great wood due to it’s uniformity (mostly) while growing during wet and dry spells and its workability while turning. Try to get a blank as close to the core of the tree as you can … however most vendors and sellers of blanks really won’t know … nor do thy care.
While turning your balnk, be especially careful at the narrow handle end. The speed of your turning should be matched by the grain and the cutting tools that your using. The grain should be almost none existent – very tight and compact. The cutting tools should be razor sharpe … be careful using a “gouge” tool here. If your not experienced with using the lathe and woodturning tools - chucks, chisels, mandrels and the like … ask for help and guidence from your shop teacher or someone in the business to help you and guide you. This not something that you want to learn on the run.
The handle of your bat and up to about twenty inches is the most important part. This portion of a wooden bat is the composition that balances your “feel” for committing and not committing to an incoming pitch. In other words … this is the balance spectrum of your bat, that lends effectiveness to the bat’s sweet spot and your ability to control that sweet spot all the way through your swing.
I would suggest turing your bat to a basic “form” , then take it off the lathe and see how it feels to you. Easy does it … by putting the form back on the lathe and turning it some more,… then take it off the lathe and … again see how it feels … resting on your shoulder… swinging it… take a bunt stance with it… etc… Remember you can always take stock off the blank… but you can’t put the stuff back on it.
With respct to the handle … turn it so your fingers “just about” meet your plam … but not all the way. I say this because when the hands are open slightly while gripping the bat … the more muscle power is given to your swing. A whip neck bat (narrow handle) requires a lot more bat savvy and expertise.
Best wishes with your project.
Also, remember your bat has to met certain “SPEC’S” in oder for it to be playable. The bat’s lenght, dia., are very important.
Thanks, a lot coach. I plan to have the barrel around 2.5 to 2.75 inches in diameter. The Ash blank that I’m getting, is from a highly reputable store near me called “Exotic Woods” and focuses a lot on woodturning, etc. The blank is 3x3x36, which leaves about an inch of waste on each side. I think it will work, there is a bat near the lathe to use as a marker, which will help as well. Not too sure about the sharpness of the tools. I will inquire tommorow.