My visit to Salix
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IWTUK

My visit to Salix
« on: May 27, 2014, 09:50:30 AM »

To celebrate an impending significant birthday (50 cough!), my wife kindly treated me to a new bat, courtesy of the guys at Salix. We went to visit the workshop on Saturday where I was treated to 90 minutes of what can only be described as ‘bat heaven’!

Arriving at the workshop, we were met by Vicky who immediately made us feel welcome by putting the kettle on and suggesting that we look at the shop whilst the previous client was finishing up. The shop itself is lovely; full of beautiful softs, accessories and ‘show bats’ from the entire Salix, Hits Hard and AJK range. I’d mentally spent several hundred pounds before even looking seriously at the available willow!

I’d pretty much decided prior to the visit that I was after the Supernatural model, although the Torque with its flatter face and larger edges was also tempting, but my more natural ‘nurdling’ game was probably more suited to the rounder features and subtle shape of the former. I was then introduced to Chris (SOULMAN1012), who was nothing other than enthusiastic and keen to talk all things cricket. He then took me through to the workshop itself where we set about looking for a suitable cleft from which to make the new bat. The choice of wood available was quite amazing; I’d never seen that much quality looking and sounding willow before. Chris introduced me to Andrew himself who talked through what I was looking for and confirmed that it was a reasonable request (the Supernatural, as I mentioned, but with a slightly lower sweet-spot and no concaving at all). Weight-wise, I was happy with something that picked up nicely, with the current bat being a guide only, and not a weight to be set in stone.

Once the final cleft choice had been made, with some words of wisdom from Andrew, he went to work on the willow. Watching this happen in front of me was a real eye-opener. The skill level involved is immense, but it was made to look ludicrously easy. The willow was passed backwards and forwards several times during the shaping process to allow me to gauge the feel and shape and pickup of the piece until I was happy that we were at a point of comfort.

All that remained was to select how the bat was to be finished; sticker choice, grip, scuff sheet etc. This was not as easy as it seemed either as there was a vast selection, all of which are easy on the eye and of an excellent quality, but I chose what I wanted and the bat was booked in for completion. I have attached a couple of pictures (taken with my phone so excuse the quality). Bear in mind this is the un-sanded and unfinished cleft, it’s just been shaped so will look a lot cleaner when finished.





Weight in current state is 2lb 11oz, and I'm told to expect it to stay around that weight once sanded and then stickered / gripped. I will post some more of the finished article when it's received.

Andrew then had the time and grace to ask if I wanted to look around the rest of the workshop; he spent another 20 minutes or so showing me all the various pieces of equipment used; he talked through the processes that the wood goes through, the different pressing options, how each piece is treated individually and much more, including his insights and opinions on bat manufacturing and the shrinking art of the bat maker, all of which to me, was of huge interest.

A great morning spent with interesting and genuinely nice people, all of whom have an obvious love and enthusiasm for both the quality of their own products, and the game in general. A big Thanks to Andrew, Chris, Vicky and nice to be introduced to Part-Time Pete (yogi206); a pleasure to meet you all. Simply can’t wait for my finished bat to arrive….at least I now have some time to find some form!
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SOULMAN1012

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Re: My visit to Salix
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2014, 08:13:59 AM »

Was good to meet you last Saturday mate, glad you enjoyed your visit. You picked an amazing cleft mate that was super powerful.
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shoab68

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Re: My visit to Salix
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2014, 09:02:10 AM »

Very well written and explained, really impressive. Bat looks good too.
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sarg

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Re: My visit to Salix
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2014, 10:37:36 AM »

Looks like a great bat. Really 3 ounces worth of wood coming off that? I'm estimating stickers, string and the grip. Great write up. Wish i could get  over to England one day to visit. Might have to book a future Ashes tour.
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FattusCattus

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Re: My visit to Salix
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2014, 12:29:29 PM »

You have very nice legs.
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IWTUK

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Re: My visit to Salix
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2014, 12:44:02 PM »

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mini998

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Re: My visit to Salix
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2014, 12:51:13 PM »

You have very nice legs.

I think you just compliment his wife.
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FattusCattus

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Re: My visit to Salix
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2014, 12:53:11 PM »

I think there plenty room between your head and sky.
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GarrettJ

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Re: My visit to Salix
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2014, 01:04:44 PM »

superb write up, love anything like this and the bat looks superb.

I think i like unfinished bats more than the actual finished, polished and stickered up version.

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IWTUK

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Re: My visit to Salix
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2014, 01:43:05 PM »

superb write up, love anything like this and the bat looks superb.

I think i like unfinished bats more than the actual finished, polished and stickered up version.

Thanks, Chris and Andrew helped with the cleft selection, so I'm pretty confident the wood itself is good; whether I can make best use of it is, however, open to debate! I know what you mean about the unfinished product; there is something beautiful about the wood in that raw state, but seeing the quality of the finished bats in the shop was quite something (albeit they were all Players Grade, as opposed to mine which is Grade One). I can't wait to see what it looks and feels like once they have finished working their magic with sanding, polishing, stickering and gripping etc! Will obviously post some more pics when it arrives :)
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yogi206

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Re: My visit to Salix
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2014, 10:08:49 AM »

Pleased to meet you too, will be ready soon and look forward to seeing you again. pleased you enjoyed the morning and saw the passion we all have for making bats


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i12breakfree

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Re: My visit to Salix
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2014, 12:00:19 PM »

Waiting on finished pics
Looks great
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IWTUK

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Re: My visit to Salix
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2014, 02:31:24 PM »

So, after an impatient wait on my part, I picked up my completed Supernatural today and I am very impressed. Dressed with one grip (no scuff sheet yet), it comes in at 2ib 10oz on the nose; an ounce heavier than my current Thruxton Player, but with a bigger looking profile I think. Love the finish on it; it looks immaculate, and the stickers are of a really nice calibre, all adding to the look and feel of a quality brand.

I’ll oil and start knocking in over the next couple of days, and will try to stay patient but really want to start hitting throw downs / catches ASAP; would be lovely to use this in anger before the end of the season, although my enthusiasm is tempered with the knowledge that I can’t afford to rush it and start too soon.

Great overall experience with the team at Salix; the whole process from beginning to end was professional yet really personal; I felt like they had an awful lot of time for me even though I’m only one bat out of the god knows how many they’re making. Would highly recommend a visit down there to see Andrew, Vicky, Chris, Pete and Ben etc. if you get the chance.

Some pictures below for your enjoyment. Please excuse the poor quality, they were taken on my phone.

Cheers,
Ian















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tushar sehgal

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Re: My visit to Salix
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2014, 02:34:37 PM »

That is a beautiful bat!!
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Cumbrian Pete

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Re: My visit to Salix
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2014, 02:54:37 PM »

That is a lovely looking bat, very impressed with everything about it!
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