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Author Topic: Bat Making - Where to begin :)  (Read 1065 times)

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kancell10

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Bat Making - Where to begin :)
« on: May 29, 2023, 03:07:13 PM »

Hi guys,

I am located in Eastern Scotland, and after a long time playing this wonderful game (with the odd enforced sabbatical due to work and family) I have decided I would be keen to learn the art of bat making.

I was thinking why this idea has really become deeply lodged within me, and I think there are a few reasons:

As a player, there are not many bat stockists in Scotland with a wide range of choice
As an engineer I'd really like to understand the science and physics behind it
As an engineer, I'd like to use my hands and tools to learn and craft something useful
As a father, I'd like to make bats with and for my young boys and bond over our shared love of cricket

I've seen lot's of threads on tools and set up etc, which is a wonderful place to begin.

I don't think I'm quite ready to get going and would love to do more reading on the basics:

Understanding all the different shapes and profiles that bats can be made into and the benefits of each
Understanding how different weights and lengths impact playability and the key characteristics
Understanding all the 'system level' trade offs that you can tweak to alter performance, weight, pick up etc
Understanding how to measure a bat to define spine, edges, swell location etc
Understanding the different grading methods and whether it really impacts performance i.e. G1, G2, G3, butterfly

I would really appreciate it if you have resources or links available that would allow me to go read and study the above.

I tend to find books are my best form of media to understand something, but I'm very open to videos as well.

For what it's worth, I'm an opening batsman, more a strokemaker/grinder/anchor than a big hitter, happy to bat out 45 overs and be on round about 100 on a good day.

Wickets are generally low and slow in Scotland, I primarily score runs front foot driving along ground, so I believe what I would hope to make is a low to mid swell, full profile preferred, well balanced pick up, weight 2.9 typically.

As for my favourite ever bat, it would be a Kookaburra Bubble 5 Star which I had for 10 years from mid 90's. After that probably my Hunts County Reflex in early 90's. Current bat is a Hunts County Triumph, it's ok but we're just not getting on, it's lacking a bit of oomph when I do try to drive the ball hard or over the top of the infield.

Many thanks for any help which can be offered!

Yours in cricket,

Kevin
« Last Edit: May 29, 2023, 03:16:22 PM by kancell10 »
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kancell10

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Re: Bat Making - Where to begin :)
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2023, 03:49:55 PM »

Hello again,

94 views but no replies, did I go to big for a first post? ha!

No problems if I did, I thought it might be a good introduction.

I've been digging through the forum for a couple of days now and scribbling, I guess I'll just keep doing that.

I'm actually visiting Yorkshire this summer (Harrogate base with trips to York and Leeds) so had hoped to visit a bat maker whilst down that way.

I'm hoping to pick up new bats for me and my son, but I'd really love the opportunity to see them being made and able to ask questions about the process.

In the meantime, if you have any resources which you suggest would be a good place to start, that would be appreciated.
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Andythomo21

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Re: Bat Making - Where to begin :)
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2023, 04:19:46 PM »

Kippax in Methley near Leeds and Nixon in Malton may be worth a visit?
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Andythomo21

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Re: Bat Making - Where to begin :)
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2023, 04:26:17 PM »

Theres also Jack Holt near Scarborough and Mangled bats near York but dont know much about their setups?
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jonny77

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Re: Bat Making - Where to begin :)
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2023, 06:52:19 PM »

Hello again,

94 views but no replies, did I go to big for a first post? ha!

No problems if I did, I thought it might be a good introduction.

I've been digging through the forum for a couple of days now and scribbling, I guess I'll just keep doing that.

I'm actually visiting Yorkshire this summer (Harrogate base with trips to York and Leeds) so had hoped to visit a bat maker whilst down that way.

I'm hoping to pick up new bats for me and my son, but I'd really love the opportunity to see them being made and able to ask questions about the process.

In the meantime, if you have any resources which you suggest would be a good place to start, that would be appreciated.

Happy to have you visit mate if we can work a time. Feel free to message me. You'll find most batmakers are a little guarded, as they have spent a lot of time and money refining their process, learning the hard way and don't want to give away free advice or their secrets. I understand that, but also see the other side of starting out and looking for info.

Unfortunately, nobody can really tell you how to make bats in short, and you won't find many books on it either. Youtube is your friend, but again it's limited.

Imo, the best way is to get a few part mades and hand tools. Spend some time thinking about the shapes you want to make etc and then try it. You can make a bat from a partmade with just a drawknife, plane and spokeshave really. But a travisher is a very useful tool.

 To make from scratch you'll need a lot more kit (a press, saws, spindle moulders etc) and will have to source willow, handles etc etc. Not an easy or cheap thing to do, as I've found out! 😆

Depends what you're happy doing really. Imo, no right or wrong. As long as you're happy with what you're producing (if selling then especially) and enjoying the process, who cares!
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marsbug

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Re: Bat Making - Where to begin :)
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2023, 08:16:57 AM »

Welcome to my own personal unhealthy obsession rabbit hole! Where to start...

Others will (and already have) share some tips on bat making in general. I learnt a lot from going back through every bat making thread on here. It was mostly fun  :) And YouTube is great to see what some of the tools and techniques actually look like, although you'll start to notice a few subtle differences in the way, or order, different people make bats - each to their own, but overall the approaches are pretty similar.

I've probably made about a dozen of my own bats now over the last couple of years, and so am not an expert in any way. I start with a part-made bat, which as Jonny said is the best way to give it a go. I've only got a few hand tools, and with a bit of perseverance, have managed to make a few bats that I've used in games and even made for other people. One of the most enjoyable things has been noticing the (slight) improvement in my own methods, and at the same time, a new found appreciation for bat makers.

I have also become slightly obsessed with the engineering and physics behind cricket bats. You can see some of my ramblings here:
http://custombats.co.uk/cbforum/index.php?topic=48259.0

There are some, although not lots, of papers published on cricket bat design, theory, etc... I got into the literature through this (freely available) Masters thesis on using AI to improve the shape of cricket and baseball bats. I even managed to recreate some of the work. The main topic probably isn't relevant, but a lot of the background is.
https://open.library.ubc.ca/soa/cIRcle/collections/ubctheses/24/items/1.0392675

And in case you REALLY want to get into it, here's a very short list of some of the papers I've read:

   Brooks, R., J.S.B. Mather, and S. Knowles. DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF A HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPOSITE CRICKET BAT. in Proceedings of ICCM11. 2006. J. Materials: Design and Applications.
   Brooks, R.R., J.S.B. Mather, and S. Knowles, The influence of impact vibration modes and frequencies on cricket bat performance. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part L: Journal of Materials Design and Applications, 2006. 220: p. 237 - 248.
   Curtis, D., B. Heller, and T. Senior, Methods for estimating moment of inertia of cricket bats. Sports Engineering, 2021. 24(1): p. 11.
   Eftaxiopoulou, T., et al., A performance comparison between cricket bat designs. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part P: Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology, 2011. 226(1): p. 16-23.
   Fisher, S., Experimental and finite element analysis of cricket bats. 2005, University of Bath.
   Grant, R.A., L. Taraborrelli, and T. Allen, Morphometrics for sports mechanics: Showcasing tennis racket shape diversity. PLOS ONE, 2022. 17(1): p. e0263120.
   John, S. and Z. Li. Multi-directional Vibration Analysis of Cricket bats. 2008.
   Kilpatrick, T., L. Mulcahy, and A. Blicblau, Improving the performance of cricket bats: An experimental and modelling approach. Sensoria: A Journal of Mind, Brain & Culture, 2016. 12.
   Mazloomi, M.S., Shape optimization of wooden bats using genetic algorithm and artificial intelligence. 2020.
   Mazloomi, S., M. Saadatfar, and P. Evans, Designing cricket bats using parametric modeling and genetic algorithms. Wood Science and Technology, 2020. 54.
   Mulchand, Y., A. Pooransingh, and R. Latchman. Determination of the Sweet Spot of a Cricket Bat using COMSOL Multiphysics . 2016.
   Symes, A.W., The effect of mass distribution on cricket bat playing properties. 2012, Loughborough University.
   Tinkler-Davies, B., M.H. Ramage, and D.U. Shah, Replacing willow with bamboo in cricket bats. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part P: Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology, 2021. 236(4): p. 255-265.
   Yang, D., et al., Mechanical properties of laminated bamboo under off-axis compression. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 2020. 138: p. 106042.

Enjoy!
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Buzz

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Re: Bat Making - Where to begin :)
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2023, 12:22:14 PM »

Hi, welcome to the forum, sorry I missed this first time round.

Take a look at this from Ryan a while back, it is a really great thread, even though photo bucket isn't so accessible these days.

http://custombats.co.uk/cbforum/index.php?topic=20740.0
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kancell10

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Re: Bat Making - Where to begin :)
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2023, 10:09:07 AM »

Happy to have you visit mate if we can work a time. Feel free to message me. You'll find most batmakers are a little guarded, as they have spent a lot of time and money refining their process, learning the hard way and don't want to give away free advice or their secrets. I understand that, but also see the other side of starting out and looking for info.

Unfortunately, nobody can really tell you how to make bats in short, and you won't find many books on it either. Youtube is your friend, but again it's limited.

Imo, the best way is to get a few part mades and hand tools. Spend some time thinking about the shapes you want to make etc and then try it. You can make a bat from a partmade with just a drawknife, plane and spokeshave really. But a travisher is a very useful tool.

 To make from scratch you'll need a lot more kit (a press, saws, spindle moulders etc) and will have to source willow, handles etc etc. Not an easy or cheap thing to do, as I've found out! 😆

Depends what you're happy doing really. Imo, no right or wrong. As long as you're happy with what you're producing (if selling then especially) and enjoying the process, who cares!

Hi Jonny, appreciate the comments. I totally understand batmakers views, those information and skills are hard won!

I'm happy trawling this treasure trove of a forum picking up nuggets or two as I go, I think I've favourited about 20 threads already ha!

To be honest, I have no intention of going into serial production, I'm perfectly happy with my engineering job and the security with a young family.

I do however really really really want to make my own bat, and for my sons as they grow up also, I think it would be a great bonding and life experience.

It is my intention to start picking up some tools, and popping into a local Men's Shed, that has huge amounts of equipment and tools, plus knowledge.

I think I'm initially just going to get some off cuts and cheap wood and learn basic woodworking skills, before I try my hand with part mades but all in due course.

I'm going to be in Yorkshire from 02 - 10 July, I would be delighted if you wouldn't mind me popping in for a bit for a chat and see some of the weapons of mass destruction you make ha ha!
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kancell10

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Re: Bat Making - Where to begin :)
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2023, 01:11:49 PM »

Theres also Jack Holt near Scarborough and Mangled bats near York but dont know much about their setups?

Thanks for these recommendations. I was aware of Kippax but none of the others.
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