Originally, sticks were used to hit the ball when playing baseball. But as the game developed, players started to use wood bats which they carve on their own or buy from a shop.
A lot of experimentation regarding the size and shape of the baseball bats were made since there is no regulation yet on the bat structure. Because of this, rules had to be established.
You can’t use any self-created bat or a bat with the wrong dimensions anymore. Baseball players need high-quality branded bats that are 100% accurate, meets BBCOR standards, and follow the guidelines of the baseball leagues.
Now, several questions arise,
How do the manufacturers make the baseball bats today?
What are the processes that occur in producing an aluminum bat and wood bat?
And other similar questions.
So, here, I’ll try to answer every question that comes to your mind related to the manufacturing of wood and aluminum bats.
Types of Baseball Bats
Before we start learning about the process of making a bat, it’s important to learn about the two common types of bats.
- Wood Bats
- Aluminum Bats
The aluminum bats can be used in the little leagues and youth leagues. These bats are lightweight and provide an advantage to the hitter. The wood bats can also be used in the little or youth leagues, depending upon the preference of the player.
While, in the major or professional leagues, only wood bats are allowed because it is believed that the professional players have enough strength & skills that they don’t require any additional benefit from the bat.
How are Baseball Bats Made?
How are Wood Bats Made?
The process of making a wooden bat is different from the making of an aluminum bat.
It is also important to know about the different types of wood that can be used to make a bat. But, while manufacturing a single bat, only one type of wood is used.
You must be thinking,
Which wood can be used to make a baseball bat?
The baseball bats can be made from any of the six different types of wood.
The six different types of wood that are allowed by Major League Baseball are:
- White Ash
- True Hickory
- Red Oak
- Sugar Maple
- Yellow Birch
- Japanese Ash
The majority of the bats are made of either Sugar Maple or White Ashwood.
The Process of Making a Wooden Baseball Bat
First, the wood is placed in the modern lathe that makes it a cylindrical shape.
The weight is checked, and after that, it is again placed on the modern lathe machine that gives it a rough baseball bat shape.
One of the modern lathe machines takes approximately 3 minutes to give the raw wood a rough shape of a bat. The time it takes depends on the lathe machine, and it can be less or more depending upon the lathe machine.
Now, the final shape is given manually by removing the extra wood by using a chisel to give an accurate length, weight, and drop weight to the baseball bat.
After that, the final bat is almost ready.
Before painting the bat, the electric sander is used to remove any rough edges that give it a more clean look which is necessary.
The final weight is again checked, whether it meets the standard size & weight as per the player’s requirement or not.
After painting the bat, the brand name, model number, and other things are applied to the bat.
This is the final step that completes the process of making a baseball bat.
How are Aluminium Bats Made?
The process of making an aluminum bat starts with the cutting of aluminum rods into a similar size of bats.
These aluminum rods are loaded in the computerized lathe and cuts the inner part of the rod. This makes it hollow from the center.
Now, these small aluminum rods are stretched up to twice their length.
By using a forming tool, these aluminum rods were given a rough shape of an aluminum bat.
The manual check is done to see whether the bat is straight. If it’s not, then by applying the hydraulic pressure to bend it into the shape.
This is a very important step as a non-straight bat can hugely affect the performance of a player.
Next, an electric sander is used to get rid of any rough surfaces and any small defects.
Heavy-duty paint is used on the bat because they are used a lot in the game with numerous hitting.
The trademark, model number & name are applied to the bat along with the finishing of the bat.
The aluminum knob is fused with the handle by doing welding, and the plastic end cap is pressed at the end of the bat.
To provide a non-slip grip on the handle, synthetic leather, lizard skin grip, or any other grip is wrapped around the handle.
Finally, the process of manufacturing an aluminum bat is finally done.
The above-mentioned steps are used by all the bat manufacturers, but there can be some minor changes from one company to another depending upon whether they’re making a BBCOR bat for power hitters or drop 10 USA bat.
Some companies use white ash while others use maple wood for making wood bats because these two are the widely used woods in manufacturing.
If you have any questions regarding the manufacturing of baseball bats, then feel free to put them in the comment box.