How to Make a Baseball Bat
August 13, 2019
Today I’m going to be turning a baseball bat over on my lathe. To get started, you’ll need to choose a wood that can withstand the loads put on a bat. Woodworking companies sell specific types of wood called bat billets. These billets are sold in a cylindrical shape (usually about 3″ in diameter) and are made out of common hardwoods used for baseball bats. Ash and Maple are usually the front runners, but bamboo can also be used too. Ultimately I ended up choosing maple not only because of its strength and durability, but I really like the way it looks. To begin, I loaded up the bat billet onto my lathe and started the turning process. I reference an old wood bat I already had to match the shape. Using a caliper can help you get the exact dimensions needed for your bat. After an hour or so of turning, I had the shape of my bat. Next, I sanded the bat all the way up to 400 grit sandpaper for a super smooth finish. My work on the lathe was done so I cut off the ends on my bandsaw and sanded them to match the contour of the bat. For the finish, I used black spray paint and spray lacquer to finish and protect the bat. I painted about halfway up the bat with the black paint and then I used a stencil to paint my logo on the barrel. I was really pleased with the way the paint came out. In order to protect the wood from the elements, I added a few coats of spray lacquer after the paint was fully cured. When spraying lacquer over paint, you’ll want to build up multiple light coats at first. If you spray it too heavy, it can cause the paint to bubble up and peel off. Once you have the paint sealed in by the lacquer, you can begin to spray heavier coats. You’ll want to give the lacquer a few days to fully cure and then you can hit the fields with your bat!
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