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Author Topic: What makes a batmaker?  (Read 2753 times)

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drawknife23

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2020, 04:03:58 PM »

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

Name and shame!!
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Red Ink Cricket

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2020, 04:20:04 PM »

Name and shame!!

Heritage stopped making a little while ago, unless Kieran has restarted again. Wont name and shame but its been well documented on here in the past of someone who claims to make and doesnt. Had dealings with this company when I first started and all claims were that they made from the raw cleft which turned out to be false. Unless of course things have changed and then Ill happily stand corrected.

Its an interesting point. I started with part mades as I didnt have the means to press and handle or even source the clefts at the start. I was however honest about it and have since progressed to making from the raw cleft. I was fortunate to be able to speak to a couple of bat makers who helped and I wouldnt be where I am today without their help. I also support some smaller makers with part mades to enable them to develop their skills. Ultimately I have no issue with people who shape part mades or to some extend sticker brands as long as they are clear about what they do and where things are sourced from. Its frustrating when you know that customers are being lied to.

I was asked to refurb a bat from a smaller relatively unknown brand a few months ago for a customer. It was massive for the weight and clearly made abroad. He was told it was from a jsw cleft made in the north of the uk by an up and coming maker who ran the brand. Whilst some of this could be taken with a pinch of salt, even half of it is a massive fabrication and the customer has been clearly misled. It had all the hallmark signs of a bat made on the subcontinent and the customer paid top dollar for it. In my opinion these things shouldnt happen and it should be much more clear as to what you are buying.

Its not to say they are inferior products, just that they carry the cost associated with a UK made product
« Last Edit: February 24, 2020, 04:22:40 PM by Red Ink Cricket »
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Yorkershire

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2020, 05:46:26 PM »

Why is it acceptable for the batmaker not to make the handle? Just curious...

Also with accusations being flung, is rebadging of softs when almost none of the UK brands make them acceptable also?

Because I see it as hypocritical when some in here have a go at the 'sticker brands' or those who use third parties to make the bats.
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WalkingWicket37

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2020, 05:54:48 PM »

Julian Millichamp was widely regarded as the best podshaver in the world before his retirement.

He used to shape clefts that had already been handled and pressed. Nobody was accusing him of "not being a bat maker"
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Yorkershire

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2020, 05:57:15 PM »

Julian Millichamp was widely regarded as the best podshaver in the world before his retirement.

He used to shape clefts that had already been handled and pressed. Nobody was accusing him of "not being a bat maker"

Yup agree. Was he also importing them already handled and pressed?

My point is that the handle is an important part of the bat... so with accusations made... thoughts... as Millicahmp wouldn't be regarded as batmaker for this and more...
« Last Edit: February 24, 2020, 05:59:11 PM by Yorkershire »
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Northern monkey

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2020, 07:34:28 PM »

Its the way of the world now,,,,outsourcing is in every business.
Very very few companies actually manufacture anything in house now

A batmaker?,,,you know what, do the majority of the bat buyers out there really care? Thats a better question
Personally I class a podshaver as a batmaker,,,you cant walk out to bat with a pod, it has to be shaped/made whatever into a usable bat,,
I really dont mind the sticker up brands,,,,as long as they dont play on lies,,and dont charge ridiculous money for basically the same product.

The real issue is there is genuinely no money to be made from making cricket bats, the time,and willow costs alone, never mind the cost of tools,machinery etc, mean its gotta be one of the worst things you could manufacture,(in the uk) to make a half decent living from.
Hence why most outsource, to cheaper companies
Im sure Paul Aldred mentions it took him 8yrs before he made enough to give up the coaching etc? I could be wrong on that.

More money,profit to be made bringing in bags,softs etc and stickering up ready made bats



« Last Edit: February 24, 2020, 07:36:28 PM by Northern monkey »
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Red Ink Cricket

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2020, 07:44:11 PM »

I think JM did that towards the end of his career, probably due to timings but clearly he could make a bat from scratch and has done for a number of years.

I dont make handles, very few do. I think its a case of not enough time and not having a reliable source of cane. I dont think that takes away from being a bat maker. Same with softs, its just not physically possible to do this yourself and maintain a sale point that customers would expect. I dont use stock designs for softs and design things myself so I dont have a generic design. There are however massive limitations and unless you do something pretty obscure, there are only so many things you can change.

I appreciate its different industries but do apple, Mercedes or any other brand make every component of their product and does it detract from the product. Are they open and honest about it? Not necessarily but a little research and its easily found out who makes what for the item. My point I was making was do they lie about it? Do they present it as something different? They dont, whereas someone cricket brands pretend to be something they arent to make their products appealing.

As I said, making from part mades is where I started and I think thats acceptable as long as you are clear that you dont press them yourself.
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SurreySam

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2020, 08:24:51 PM »

I think its quite simple really.

To be classed as a bat maker, you have to possess the necessary knowledge and skills in order to: handle, press, shave and finish the bat to a competent standard, for an industry competitive cricket bat. 

Whether a bat maker chooses to do all the above or outsource, within their daily business, is down to money and economies of scale. Then, if the main source of income is derived from bat making and they have the aforementioned skillset. I would class that person/outfit as a professional bat maker.
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jonny77

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2020, 10:22:57 PM »

The issue is having the opportunity. If there was an apprenticship scheme, qualification etc available, then great. However as far as I'm aware there isn't, or are extremely hard to come by (drop me a PM in you know of any!)

So you're left with either teaching yourself from part mades and progressing to pressing if you can (as John did and I think Aldred too?), or buying bats in and stickering up. No issue with either. Neither are maybe classed, or should be classed, as batmakers. But not sure they do class themselves as this. I'm not sure any I know of claim to press themselves? Everyone has to start somewhere, otherwise there won't be any batmakers in 20 years or so.

Anyone offering a good product, at a fair price and is honest as to its origins etc, is surely offering a good service?
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SouthpawMark

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2020, 10:54:21 PM »

I think we should all club together and launch CBF Bats. Would love to do something like that.
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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2020, 08:11:42 AM »

Sticker up brands get a bad rep because there's been plenty of examples of brands that have taken liberties by misleading people about what they're buying in one way or another. Plenty that do things right of course.

I think shaping clefts is the basic entry requirement to calling yourself a batmaker - anyone starting with a part made and turning it into a finished bat is definitely making bats, but I'd definitely defer to someone who presses and handles as well as just shaping. I'd love to be able to handle and press my own bats, but after I'd sunk a few grand into the necessary gear I'd have to be selling a lot to make it worthwhile!
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nivaga

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2020, 09:07:16 AM »

I think shaping clefts is the basic entry requirement to calling yourself a batmaker

... Where does that leave those (well respected brands) that use CNC?  Pressing is clearly one of the most important steps and individual attention to pressing each cleft/bat is rightly promoted by most bat 'makers' as a USP. 

For me the next most important part is balance and that has to do with shaping the cleft ... but I guess what I cannot figure out is whether individual clefts vary sufficiently that hand shaping is a real advantage over cookie cuter CNC shaping ...? 
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edge

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2020, 09:36:04 AM »

... Where does that leave those (well respected brands) that use CNC?  Pressing is clearly one of the most important steps and individual attention to pressing each cleft/bat is rightly promoted by most bat 'makers' as a USP. 

For me the next most important part is balance and that has to do with shaping the cleft ... but I guess what I cannot figure out is whether individual clefts vary sufficiently that hand shaping is a real advantage over cookie cuter CNC shaping ...?
People seriously underestimate the time and knowledge jump between having a CNC machine and some willow and producing cricket bats! There is a lot more to it than shoving clefts in one end and getting a finished bat out the other, just the skills required to automate part of the production are very different to the skills a traditional batmaker needs.

As for balance, I don't think that's a CNC vs hand made question - it's just time taken on each bat. Noone has a fully automated bat production line (at least not that I'm aware of!) so there's always human involvement, in most cases that will be the final finishing where fine balance adjustments take place anyway. On the other side, just because someone is making bats entirely with hand tools, that doesn't necessarily mean they're taking loads of time over balancing every stick.
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Yorkershire

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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2020, 10:01:11 AM »

Personally it's an issue I'm not bothered with but wanted to guage a few things...

I dont care if it is a cnc made  stickered up bat... or the whole thing hand made from scratch. What I dont like is when people get on their high horse about certain brands but yet brands they like or praise do similar. My point being if you are so anal about such stuff then your favourite batmaker shouldn't sell branded softs.

As long as brands are open I'm not bothered. I currently use a GM and have used Charlie French back in the day when he made everything from the handle to pressing.

I just don't like the selective bashing in here... point in case when people had a go at SS butterfly bats. Someone rightly pointed out if the batmaker or seller was different there would either be praise or wrath unleashed...
« Last Edit: February 25, 2020, 10:03:17 AM by Yorkershire »
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Re: What makes a batmaker?
« Reply #29 on: February 25, 2020, 10:16:04 AM »

I think you're missing the point @Yorkershire - people complain when they're misled. Noone is moaning about people sourcing nice bats and selling them under their own brand. People 'get on their high horse' when brands do things like build a reputation based on using a certain UK batmaker and market that heavily, then quietly switch to cheaper suppliers and put up prices. Sticker up brands that are well liked on here are ones that are honest and consistent about their sourcing. I've never seen a small UK brand claim to make their own softs.

Similarly noone was bagging SS butterflies, just some didn't like the price they were up for.
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