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Author Topic: Fixing up dents with steam  (Read 867 times)

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eddiec

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Fixing up dents with steam
« on: April 30, 2015, 10:52:18 AM »

Hey guys, first post, but I noticed something curious last week and wondered if anyone on here had come across it before.

About a month ago I got a dent in the face of a new bat the first time I netted it, so I pulled off the scuff sheet, gave it another oil and some more knocking in then re-covered it, which has stopped it getting any more damage since, but the original dent was still visible. Last week I was reading on here about people steaming out dents from bats and figured I'd have a go at it. Not wanting to pull the scuff sheet off again, I just steamed it with it on, not really thinking about what I was doing. Up until now, I'd just assumed that the moisture in the steam made the damaged part of the bat swell up, but the dent seems to be almost gone and I'm assuming the scuff sheet is waterproof? I figure the likely options are; a) the heat straightens the fibres in a similar way to ironing clothes without using steam, or b) I'm slowly going mad, it's just a placebo effect and the dent is the same size as it was pre-steaming.

Anyway, I thought I'd ask and see if anyone has ever tried to remove dents just using heat and/or steamed a dent with the scuff sheet still on?
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Seniorplayer

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Re: Fixing up dents with steam
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2015, 11:59:13 AM »

Never steamed a bat with a scuff sheet fitted.    Check to see if you have lifted the scuff sheet slightly and the steam as created a misty effect between the willow and the scuff giving the appearance of removing the dent.
When steaming out dents i use an hand held steamer with a taper  nossle which directs  the steam  onto the dent  held around 4 inches from the dent  as this not only speeds up the process but allows deeper dents to be swelled out.
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eddiec

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Re: Fixing up dents with steam
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2015, 12:40:29 PM »

The scuff sheet is definitely still stuck down. Sounds like you have the process well sorted though, I just boiled a kettle  :-[

How do the repaired sections normally go for you? Any noticeable change in performance or durability? I'm just curious as this is the first time I've tried steaming it.
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Seniorplayer

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Re: Fixing up dents with steam
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2015, 08:34:09 PM »

The scuff sheet is definitely still stuck down. Sounds like you have the process well sorted though, I just boiled a kettle  :-[

How do the repaired sections normally go for you? Any noticeable change in performance or durability? I'm just curious as this is the first time I've tried steaming it.
When the process is carried out correctly
There should be no change in the bats performance or durability as all steaming does is swell the willow back to where it needs to be.


« Last Edit: May 01, 2015, 08:39:55 AM by Seniorplayer »
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kvskpin

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Re: Fixing up dents with steam
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2017, 04:16:35 AM »

Well, This is my take in this and I did some experiments on my SS Gladiator and MRF Grand Edition to test out. I have to say that I was very cautious considering the sheer quality of bats that was at stake.

A bit of science:

1. Trees suck up water along the direction of the grains and not perpendicular to them. This is the reason why the toe of a bat is the most vulnerable in addition to the fact that it is exposed more to the factors such as dampness of the ground. It is also subject to most of the abuse (apart from the middle of the bat that is). That is not to say that if you have a splash in the middle of your bat, you should not be worried. Timber being a porous material, that splash may prove costly and spills should be wiped off immediately. I had a BAS Vampire Grade 2 Willow bat, with which I played on damp ground and trust me, it had some serious swelling near the toe. That bat was later machine rolled and turned into a beautiful tennis ball bat.

2. Steam - We all know that water is harmful for a bat. But then, steam is a different proposition. The reason for the same is how much of steam? 10 grams of water when converted to 10 grams of steam, is actually, a hell of a lot of steam. If I expose my bat to a jet of steam from a steam cleaner for a minute, that is equivalent of 10 grams of water at the best (approx). Out of that 10 grams of steam, most of it is going to fly off. At the best a gram of it is what would condensate on the bat. If one is careful about wiping it off immediately, a good amount of it gets into the towel, leaving about 0.1 of a gram of water. That is a rough, back of a tissue paper calculation. Having said that, steam is hot and it is the heat that is damaging. Prolonged exposure would cause damage to the wood. So, short bursts of steam of up to 10 sec and up to 5 times with 5 minutes break in between, shouldn't be a concern.

Finally, it is about time to put theory to practice. As I said, what is at stakes are two beautiful blades that have been bowlers envy, but also have enough dings of various sizes on the face, on the back and on the edges. Having stripped the extratec and edge tapes, I set out with a towel, linseed oil and steamer with me and did exactly 5 bursts of steam, each not more than 10 sec on each ding on each bat and this is what I have to report -

1. Smoothened out big dings - No, the size of it remained the same, but the edges seemed to have softened out.
2. Small dings of 1 to 3 mm have disappeared - But really, do you guys really worry about dents so small?
3. Dents (sorry Craters) on the bat face remained as they were.
4. The steam seemed to have cleared up the linseed oil coating. So, I have oiled the bats again.

Quite frankly, I have not seen any significant differences between the before and after scenarios here. The bats were oiled, dried and replacement extratec on them. Didn't feel a thing in the nets - the bats were exactly the same. If anything, a few minor, inconsequential dents have disappeared. That is all there is to it.

Is it worth the pain? No. Shall I do it again? Never.
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