How to Make a Cricket Bat at Home
Cricket bats generally are made out of the wood from willow trees (Salix alba Caerulea). This wood is soft and fibrous, so a great deal of care and maintenance is required if the bat is to perform at its peak capacity. Building your own cricket bat at home requires a bit of woodworking knowledge and skill in order to create the ideal bat for you.
Select the cut of wood you intend to use for constructing your cricket bat. English Willow trees often have minor imperfections in the wood, but these faults have little effect on the final piece. The section of wood you choose for your cricket bat should have been pre-cut into a workable size, then waxed at both ends and dried. A slow drying process before any work is done ensures that the wood won’t crack or warp after your project is complete.
Use a table saw to cut the basic shape of the cricket bat. The front of the cricket bat has a raised peak roughly halfway up the center (resembles a small hill from all angles). The back is left flat.
Compress the bat in order to strengthen the willow fibers. Surround the bat with flat pieces of scrap iron roughly the same size as the bat blade and use strong clamps to add pressure. The closer you can get to 2,000 pounds per square inch of compression, the stronger your bat will be.
Construct a handle using cane and rubber strips. The handle should be comfortable to grip, and the rubber strips should be glued to the wood before the whole piece is laminated. The lower portion of the handle is cut into a wedge shape, the reverse of which is then carved into the blade of the bat using a band saw. Glue the handle in place so that the top edge extends a tiny bit above the front face of the blade, and leave it to dry overnight.
Carve the blade using a draw knife so that it is perfectly balanced. Try to leave as much wood behind as possible in the striking portion of the blade since this will give it more strength and help it to last longer. Smooth out any imperfections in your carving using a wooden plane.
Sand the entire bat. All the work you’ve done so far will have given the bat an uneven texture, so it needs to be sanded down to a smooth finish. After sanding the wood, polish it with a compound wax.
Wrap hockey tape around the handle for a better grip.
Wear safety glasses when using the table and band saws. Cut away from yourself with the draw knife.
Joanne Robitaille's first journalistic experience was in 1994, when she did school reports for a local newspaper, "Shoreline." Her articles now appear on various websites. Robitaille has a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of Windsor.