How to Build a Pitching Machine
When you need to work on your baseball batting technique, but don't have a pitcher available, you need your own batting machine. Purchasing commercial versions of batting machines can be expensive, but it is possible to make your own. All you need is a few power tools and a lot of ingenuity.
Build the Base
Screw the two pieces of 6-inch-long 2x6's to the upper left and right corners of the plywood. Place at least two wood screws through the plywood and into the vertical pieces of 2x6.
Lay the 3 foot long piece of 2x6 across the tops of the upright 2x6 posts and screw them down using the wood screws.
Place the four tire jacks under the legs of the coffee table on a flat surface. Raise the jacks to approximately waist height. Use a carpenter's level to ensure that the table is level.
Set the plywood and 2x6 frame on the table.
Set Up the Motor and the Feed Chute
Use one of the electric drills to drill two holes in 3-foot piece of 2x6. These holes should be moderately larger than diameter of the axles and placed approximately 11 inches apart.
Thread a nut and lock washer up the axle.
Place the two wheel barrow tires under the holes. Thread them onto the axles and use an additional lock washer and nut to firmly hold them in place. You will need to tighten both nuts and washers around the wheel hub.
Screw the 2x2 pieces to either side of the 2x6 where the axle rises out of the board.
Center the short piece of plumbing drain hose at the opening between the two wheel barrow tires and screw it into the plywood.
Securely affix the drills to the visible ends of each axle. The drills should be facing into each other, so that when they are turned on, they will rotate the wheel barrow wheels at the same speed, in opposite directions.
Drop a baseball down the drain hose and watch it fling out from between the tires. Your now ready to start pitching your first baseballs with your home made pitching machine.
You may need to secure the wood frame you are constructing to the table. Using the same kind of drill for each side will increase your chances of the spin speeds of the drills being equivalent. Use the tire jacks to adjust the height and angle that the pitching machine is throwing the baseballs.
Always wear safety goggles when using power tools. Do not stand directly in front of the pitching machine until you can determine the speed and distance that it is throwing the baseballs.
- You may need to secure the wood frame you are constructing to the table.
- Using the same kind of drill for each side will increase your chances of the spin speeds of the drills being equivalent.
- Use the tire jacks to adjust the height and angle that the pitching machine is throwing the baseballs.
- Always wear safety goggles when using power tools.
- Do not stand directly in front of the pitching machine until you can determine the speed and distance that it is throwing the baseballs.
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