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Author Topic: What makes a batmaker?  (Read 3525 times)

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Tom

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What makes a batmaker?
« on: February 13, 2009, 04:45:02 PM »

Interested to hear thoughts on what makes a batmaker:

Do they have to make the bat from scratch e.g from cleft and then pressing themselves. Or can they handfinish bats (basically a cleft and handle)

As a buyer or even a batmaker what would you consider a batmaker/podshaver and is there a seperate category for part-time/hobby batmakers/hand finishers.

Interested not because of any brands, but because I am looking to craft on my return from India.
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Str8bat

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2009, 06:52:15 PM »

For me, a podshaver should be controlling the key determinants of balance and performance. So, shaping and (especially) pressing are critical. And they should be able to consistently make well balanced bats rather than sporadic masterpieces. Ideally they should also have a good supply of high quality willow but that might depend on scale and in my mind should not detract from podshaving skill. Handles could be insourced but should be high quality.
Having said that, I admire and envy hobbyists who can make good bats without formal training/apprenticeship.
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SAF Bats

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2009, 10:28:51 PM »

I would say there is a certain amount of skill involved in both of the aspects you mentioned... That is the bat maker that presses his own bat and the bat maker that doesn't.

The way I see it pressing is hugely important to the performance of a bat. Cricket bat manufacturers that press there clefts the same way, you cant say they have any real skill in that aspect of the process.  It is easy to under press a cleft and then say knock it in, similarly it is easy to over press a bat and it even easier to a buy a press and press every cleft the same way but it is hugely difficult to get the pressing right for each cleft that is run through the press.... I wont go to my theories on pressing clefts here....

OK on to the shaping.... shaping a bat is fairly straight forward you could become very good at making a particular profile / shape but again it is about variation.   Cleft variation mass volume differs and therefore balance where the sweet spot will be in relation to the middle etc etc. If you make your standard shape for a low density cleft the same way as you shape a high density cleft then you not really doing anything apart from whittling wood.  If you shape a bat according to its natural benefits then you are on to something...

My personal opinion is that if you do both well you can call yourself a Master Bat Maker if you do the shaping bit well then you can call yourself a bat maker / podshaver.

If you do neither very well you may as well buy them and sticker them and call yourself a retailer...
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Str8bat

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2009, 02:56:05 PM »

Norb's classification of Master Bat Maker (or "Mistri" in the sub-continent) is more precise to describe what I meant.

And I fully second his point about the importance of variations rather than churning out 1-2 standard profiles. In fact, I'd argue that for the bat maker who is not pressing but only shaping, this is a must-have skill. And this skill can be greatly honed by developing a deep understanding of the game to be able to translate a normal player's needs (expressed in language like type of pitches, back-lift and bat speed etc.) into the right profile and pick-up. Clearly, the pros know exactly what they want so its less relevant to them. I guess they will mostly be valuing consistency.
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Beachcricket

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2009, 04:54:10 PM »

Personally I think there is a clear difference between companies who make bats and batmakers.

A batmaker must care about every bat as it represents him/her and satisfy the customer perhaps by being willing to try something different. Trying their upmost to get the best out of each piece of willow.
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ianbuchanan

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2009, 05:01:48 PM »

i agree with beachcricket. treat every bat as if your making it for yourself! also, perfectionism is needed for batmaking, to get it just right!

yvk3103

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2009, 07:30:34 PM »

To be a good/great batmaker I feel the following are important:

Passion - to learn and experiment
Creativity
Skill (which can be learn't and developed over a period)
artistic inclination
self belief
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SAF Bats

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2009, 08:24:32 PM »

To be a good/great batmaker I feel the following are important:

Passion - to learn and experiment
Creativity
Skill (which can be learn't and developed over a period)
artistic inclination
self belief


I'm sorry but that sounds like an aprentice not a batmaker
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drawknife23

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2020, 09:52:04 PM »

The original question was what makes a bat maker. Isnt this someone who has this job as his/her main job or source of income? I changed a plug once does that make me an electrician? While Im at it I also topped up my washer fluid in my car so I must be a mechanic, I organised a bookshelf once so must be a librarian. I also decided myself which colour to paint my own walls so I must be an interior designer.
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WalkingWicket37

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2020, 10:01:09 PM »

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Hoover

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2020, 01:21:23 AM »

Great question Tom. I have had this discussion time and time again with my bat maker partner.  We believe it is an industry that would benefit from an accreditation system.  Here in Australia, we have a self appointed cowboy that runs a five day course and bang! You are a bat maker. We would fully support an international association that can be a voice for the industry, as opposed to ex players positioned on committees within the MCC making statements they have no right to make.  The true craftsmen (and women) are under massive threat from garage, or bedroom brands that are sticker brands and essentially dilute the role of the crafting in the industry.  These cowboys are motivated by the success of the large marketing companies that use the cricket bat as a billboard for tv exposure by presenting themselves as a cricket brand.  We believe an accreditation system will protect the craft from extinction, sort the cowboys from the crafters and give credit where credit is due.  Establish actual apprenticeship standards. Most importantly, be a voice for an industry under huge economic pressure from an almost blackmarket economy of unstructured sticker brands.  The question is then asked, who is in a position to establish this body?
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Buzz

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2020, 06:54:58 AM »

If this was the UK we would create "the worshipful company of podshavers"

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Hoover

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2020, 09:47:52 AM »

Here is a link to the UK Heritage Crafts Association which is interesting reading regarding the industry. https://heritagecrafts.org.uk/cricket-bat-making/
It may be a credit to the industry to develop an international association that is responsible for setting criteria which gives credit to the bat maker, sets standards for accreditation even developing a recognised apprenticeship. In other crafts, a genuine crafter has a mark, or stamp in addition to branding. Nice to give credit where credit due and limit the glory taken by others for work they havent skills to do. (MCC thought about this in 2001 but caved to big brands over genuine manufactures). Also gives greater exposure of origin to the end consumer.

No more photos on Instagram of brands showing our factory or the hand written famous player penned on the toe to fool them into thinking they are buying a Pros actual bat from the genuine maker.
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nivaga

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2020, 10:51:20 AM »

Sounds like heritage crafts are really talking "artisinal bats"?  Going to this level sounds like it would exclude CNC and part-mades (... fitting handles made elsewhere?)
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Red Ink Cricket

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2020, 11:58:43 AM »

Interesting sources used for information. Some mentioned are either no longer making or have historically not made bats
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