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Author Topic: Making, Shaping or Finishing?  (Read 588 times)

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LukeFramBurton

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Making, Shaping or Finishing?
« on: December 02, 2018, 04:18:00 PM »

I apologise if this is something that has already been covered in a thread (theres a good chance that it has), if so, Id be grateful if someone could direct me there, but here goes...

Im interested to know what the collective thoughts are on what differentiates a bat maker from a bat shaper and a bat finisher. Im new to this malarkey and Im, possibly, coming at it from a slightly different angle to others (in that I am a dreadful batsman but I do other types of wood carvings and wanted to try my hand at bat making).

I stumbled across an Aldred video on YouTube (Im aware that his views are somewhat militant) in which he discusses what makes a handmade bat company. My issue is that he is of the belief that unless you are fitting the handle, pressing, shaping and finishing, then you cant consider yourself to be a bat maker, just a shaper or finisher. If this theory were applied to other industries then it would seem a bit ridiculous - nobody would argue that someone who makes shoes isnt a shoemaker because they dont tan the leather themselves; painters/artists rarely prepare their own canvases, etc.

I guess my question is this:
What are the minimum requirements to be considered a bat maker?

Thanks.
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SD

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Re: Making, Shaping or Finishing?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2018, 08:45:50 PM »

I doubt there are many who make the entire bat from start to fiish - including the handles - so I don't think that many, if any, can claim the moral high ground.  More to the point, as the end user my concern is how the bat performs, not who did what to put it together who what combination of man or machine built it
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JK Lewis

Re: Making, Shaping or Finishing?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2018, 05:38:40 PM »

I make bats as a hobby, in my garage, have done for a few years. I start with a cleft which is pressed for me, the splice cut and the handle cut to match. Everything else I do, from fitting the handle, through the shaping process to the final finish. I consider myself an amateur batmaker, working within the limitations of my equipment list which does not include a press, or a bandsaw.

For me, there are 2 main differences between what I do, and what a pro batmaker does. Firstly, they tend to have the full equipment list, without which it really isn't possible to handmake enough bats to make a living. Secondly, they deliver very consistent craftsmanship. I can make bats, but each one turns out a bit different to the others. Pro batmakers can create their model range and then replicate pretty much the same bat time after time. They can do it very consistently, and do it quickly enough to be profitable. On handles though, I think that possibly only 1 or 2 batmakers in the UK still make them. Importing cane is increasingly difficult and anyway making handles is a complex and time-consuming process, for no additional profit.

I think that Paul's main issue is with sticker brands, who import bats that are pretty much complete, and maybe just need a bit of sanding and polishing before being labelled up under their own brands. Clearly, this is different to what he, the forum sponsors and other traditional batmakers in the country (and also in Asia of course) do.

Alongside that are other batmakers who use CNC machinery and automated processes to produce high volumes of bats. This being the Custom Bats Forum I don't think that is such a discussion.
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Seniorplayer

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Re: Making, Shaping or Finishing?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2018, 09:21:51 PM »

I've shaped  handled finished and  repaired  many bats but I am no batmaker   My view is to  call yourself a batmaker you have to have the skills to make the entire bat from start to finish  inc pressing.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2018, 09:23:55 PM by Seniorplayer »
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