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Author Topic: Cleft update - trying again!  (Read 966 times)

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JK Lewis

Cleft update - trying again!
« on: September 27, 2017, 08:04:23 AM »

Sorry, I've been absent for ages, what with cricket and life and whatever. Also managed to sign myself off the Forum and got stuck outside it, so big thanks to the CBF technical johnnies for helping me back in.

So, the clefts keep on drying out. All being well they should be ready for use around November/December. The edges have been dry for a while now, about 12% moisture and falling, but getting the moisture out of the centre is the tricky bit. You'll remember the clefts were massive at the start because I was paranoid about them warping. We've now cut a lot of them down now, and this seems to be helping the drying process. Seeing as we felled the tree in February, I can well understand why many willow suppliers use kilns.

Click the link to the photo below (the white clefts are mine, not the 2 grey ones on the top row):

http://cubeupload.com/im/ozPBHL.jpg
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Seniorplayer

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Re: Cleft update - trying again!
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2017, 08:51:21 AM »

Well done  Justin on air drying the clefts as bats they will be less  subsceptical  to break Once you get the moisture down to ten percent or below it will become much easier  work to turn  them into bats.
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iand123

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Re: Cleft update - trying again!
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2017, 10:41:21 AM »

Possibly a stupid question but if they are being air dried as we head into autumn/winter wouldnt the moisture in the air be higher and this would slow the process down?
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tom line

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Re: Cleft update - trying again!
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2017, 11:00:47 AM »

It's not just the moisture of water that you're removing from the cleft when you allow it to dry out, it is too some of the sap content, which can't return, so I think that although the drying process will slow, they can't put that weight back on
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JK Lewis

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Re: Cleft update - trying again!
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2017, 11:04:47 AM »

Possibly a stupid question but if they are being air dried as we head into autumn/winter wouldnt the moisture in the air be higher and this would slow the process down?

Not stupid at all! I have been wondering the same myself, so thanks to Tom for an interesting comment. I'll weigh them again, hopefully later this week.
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Seniorplayer

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Re: Cleft update - trying again!
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2017, 11:19:23 AM »

Possibly a stupid question but if they are being air dried as we head into autumn/winter wouldnt the moisture in the air be higher and this would slow the process down?

Yes as the Uk pushes towards autumn/winter  the process slows down but natural air dryed  clefts in the UK   still make better bats.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 11:22:51 AM by Seniorplayer »
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Neon Cricket

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Re: Cleft update - trying again!
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2017, 11:24:43 AM »

Yes as the Uk pushes towards autumn/winter  the process slows down but natural air dryed  clefts in the UK   still make better bats.

Do they actually? Or is just another stab in the air statement...

Surely if the bats were better then all the big companies would air dry their clefts instead of using kilns... interested to know your thoughts.

JK Lewis

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Re: Cleft update - trying again!
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2017, 11:49:58 AM »

Beat me to it.
Air dired bats are probably fine, bit of they were superior why do the likes of GM invest into a room with humidity control to get every cleft to exactly 10%?

My guess is that the use of kilns and drying rooms is purely about reducing time to market. If all GM's clefts had to airdry, they would have to own 9-12 months of stock, which would be many tens of thousands of clefts I imagine. In that case I suppose they would outsource the drying to someone else, but the additional costs of the storage space and cleft handling would end up adding to the price of each bat.
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JK Lewis

Re: Cleft update - trying again!
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2017, 11:54:08 AM »

Right now I've read the wise words of @edge , here's the photo:

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Cow_corner

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Re: Cleft update - trying again!
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2017, 11:57:04 AM »

Time to market and repeatability in process.
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Seniorplayer

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Re: Cleft update - trying again!
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2017, 12:21:21 PM »

Do they actually? Or is just another stab in the air statement...

Surely if the bats were better then all the big companies would air dry their clefts instead of using kilns... interested to know your thoughts.

Hi Adam not a stab in the air  statement
Here's my best anwser :
By air drying the clefts are given a longer  period of  time which gives the cleft a far more EVEN MOSITURE  content.
This method also means you are far less likely to get moisture trapped inside the blade causing heavyweight clefts.
Once the cleft then gets to the correct moisture content the resulting blades are unbeatable.
As for the big companies they air dry then use kilns
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Vitas Cricket

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Re: Cleft update - trying again!
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2017, 12:43:27 PM »

Hi Adam not a stab in the air  statement
Here's my best anwser :
By air drying the clefts are given a longer  period of  time which gives the cleft a far more EVEN MOSITURE  content.
This method also means you are far less likely to get moisture trapped inside the blade causing heavyweight clefts.
Once the cleft then gets to the correct moisture content the resulting blades are unbeatable.
As for the big companies they air dry then use kilns

I'd argue leaving it out in the elements means a far less consistent moisture level, particularly given the variable climate in the UK, this applies especially to cleft piles at the back of the sheds which don't get the same level of airflow as those at the front. Hence the investment in the moisture control room at GM for example. They can put thousands of clefts in and a few weeks later via an automated process they will have clefts all at the exact moisture content they require. Of course much faster turnaround is also a big advantage.

If i'm reading it right you are trying to suggest that a kiln dried cleft will be wet in the middle and therefore heavy, but earlier in the topic you have said a naturally dried cleft is less susceptible to breakage than a kiln dried one? A kiln dried cleft can't be both brittle and wet?

The Doctor

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Re: Cleft update - trying again!
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2017, 01:15:22 PM »

A few little pointers - you will only ever get to about 20% moisture air drying in the UK - and there will be a seasonal fluctuation.

If there is more than 2% difference in moisture content between adjoining cells the moisture movement will stop - therefore if your edges are 20% and your core is lets say 35% you will not be able to remove any further moisture from the core, exposure to heat/humidity will only continue to remove moisture from the surface.

Hope this helps

edge

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Re: Cleft update - trying again!
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2017, 01:19:44 PM »

@JK Lewis they look great! Always good to get an update on how your project is going, keep them coming through the winter. You must be getting impatient by now, some of those clefts look like real stunners as well - 23 and the top right, mmmmm...
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JK Lewis

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Re: Cleft update - trying again!
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2017, 03:38:54 PM »

A few little pointers - you will only ever get to about 20% moisture air drying in the UK - and there will be a seasonal fluctuation.

If there is more than 2% difference in moisture content between adjoining cells the moisture movement will stop - therefore if your edges are 20% and your core is lets say 35% you will not be able to remove any further moisture from the core, exposure to heat/humidity will only continue to remove moisture from the surface.

Hope this helps

I saw an interesting photo recently, on one of the Australian batmakers FB pages I think, of a pile of clefts drying down there. It looked as though they had been 'cored' at one end to some extent, presumably to get a bit more moisture out from the middle. I haven't seen that done here in the UK. I will try to find the photo again, and post it up.
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