How to Make a Wood Bat
by Jordan C, Age 10 , Grade 4, PA
The first person to make a bat was only seventeen years old and his name was John A. Bud “Hillerich”. He worked with his dad making butter, but then he left his dad and made the first wooden bat.
Have you ever wondered how to make a wooden bat? Well you are in luck, because I am going to tell you how to make them. BWP is a bat making company in Pennsylvania, where they use wood from western Pennsylvania to make their bats. If you were wondering what BWP stands for, then here you go, it stands for Brookville wood products. An interesting fact is that, some baseball players help make the bats for them.
It takes fourteen steps for BWP to make a quality bat.
Wood “blank” to create the bat
Wood lathe ( can be purchased from a tool or hardware store.)
Assorted chisels (roughing gouge,skew chisel,parting tool.)
Caliners used for measuring
Sandpaper (assorted grits from 60-600.)
How to make a wooden bat
Once you get all of the tools then you can start to make your bat.
The first step you need to do is pick your wood. You can pick Ash Maple or Birch.
Once you find what wood you want you need to go out and get a round blank piece of that wood. Just to make sure you don’t get the wrong size you should take a measuring tool. Here are the measurements (long 37 inches) ( width 3 inches.)
After you finish getting the wood you need to mark the wood every four inches with the pencil and the calipers.
When you are done with marking the wood you need to know what the maximum barrel diameter like the handle can be one inch in length and two and one half.
If you finish with that then you can start marking the diameter of each section of the bat so you get a picture of what the bat will look like. And if you do not like the diameter of the bat then you can always erase it and put other diameter on the bat.
When you finish marking the bat you get to use the lathe. The lathe will spin the piece of wood so you can start making it into a round piece of wood.
But before you can make it into a round piece of wood you have to set the tool rest. The tool rest will allow you to rest your tool or your hand on the lathe so you are not just holding it in the air.
Now you can turn on the lathe. When you turn on the lathe you need to have the roughing gouge so you can round the wood into a cylinder for a little bit of a bat shape. Make sure the wood is completely symmetrical.
After you finish with the lathe then you can make cuts every four inches. But when you are doing it you should take the calipers for a diameter of the grooves so you know that you are doing it right.
When you are done with that then you need to determined the length of the bat. The maximum length should be thirty-two inches or you can make it longer if you need it. Then take your measuring tool and the pencil and mark how long the bat is going to be. Where the mark you just made that is going to be the start of the handle.
Now you need to round off the knob of the bat. You will need the skew chisel to round off the top of the knob. When you do the knob you need to remove the wood from the top of the knob where it connects to the handle.Now you will need the parting tool to get enough wood off the knob so you can put the skew chisel inside the knob so you can round off the end of the knob.To be able to round off the knob you need remove wood from the end of the bat so you can fit the skew chisel around of the bottom of the bat.
Once you are done with that you need to turn on the lathe and run your hand on the bat to check for bumps. If there are any bumps then take the gouge and smooth the bat off. And if you need to you can adjust the thickness of the bat.
After you are done doing that then you need to get it even more smooth by taking sandpaper and rub it on the bat. For the sandpaper should be bigger than the bat.The sandpaper should be around 60 to 80 grits.
Now you will need the Varnish to put on the bat. When you are putting the Varnish on the bat you should have it on the lathe and have it running and run the cloth with lathe on the bat so you get every spot. When applying the Varnish you should put two coats on and want till it drys before you put the second coat on.
Now that you have finished putting the Varnish on you need to put on Minwax do the same thing except with a different cloth and run it along the bat when the lathe is going so you get every part of the bat.
Once you are done with that get the parting tool and put it close to the end of the bat and start the lathe. You should reduce tenon ¼ in diameter.
After you finish with that take the bat off of the lathe. The part you were just working on needs to be removed. So take a Hacksaw and cut the tenons off from either side of the bat.
Finally you can finish the bat. All you need is the Varnish, the Midwax and sandpaper. Take the sandpaper and sand down the ends of the bat. Now you can apply the Varnish and the Midwax. Don’t forget to add two coats of Varnish but you have to want till the first coat dries.