Thursday, February 18, 2010

Homemade Bat System

We have been looking at several bat systems that use a main bat and inserts, but didn't want to spend the money with so few reviews to go on. So, we decided to create our own bat system using upcycled materials.

First we started with a plastic bat like this:


Then, we marked a square, drilled a hole in one corner, and used a router to cut out a square. The router leaves rounded corners. Rather than going in with a scroll or hand saw and squaring the corners, we decided to take care of it on the inserts.




Next, we cut the inserts. We used Corian™ counter top material that was left over from sink cutouts at our local counter top fabricators. It is smooth, non-absorbent, and durable. These were cut to the same measurement as our cut-out bat. We clipped the corners which was initially done to avoid messing with the square in the main bat, but ended up being better when throwing as well.


We originally thought we would use the wrong side of the Corian™ because it has a little tooth, but we found we preferred throwing on the right side. The wrong side is not planed perfectly smooth and the wobble transferred to the clay.


Alex quickly whipped out stacks of inserts and we made them in 6 inch and 8 inch sizes.


The inserts are easy to remove from the main bat using any number of tools. When we designed the system, we thought the hole drilled in the corner would aid in popping the insert out, but we found that with the corners clipped, we can pop a tool under any corner and lift the insert out.


FAQs

Corian™?
Yup. We chose it because it is durable and waterproof and there is a lot of it headed to dumpsters. Upcycling is the new black.

I notice the insert sits higher than the bat. Is this a problem?
It hasn't been for us. Before using this system, we frequently used small, square bats. As long as we are using the right size insert for our piece, there is plenty of room for our hands.

Is it really easier to clip the corners of each insert rather than square out the corners of the bat?
Um... I don't know. It happened by serendipity and turned out to be a good thing. Now there are no hard corners to catch tools or hands!

How do you get the cutout centered?
Well, with the plastic bats, you can see the pin holes through the top. So, We marked a straight line across the bat through the pin holes. We found the center of that. Then we marked a line perpendicular to the first through the center. From there, it is fairly straightforward to mark a square that is centered on the bat.

Are you going to make these to sell?
We are considering it. Because we make sure each insert fits the bat perfectly, we are concerned it would be hard to supply more inserts at a later date. However, about 20 inserts fit in a flat rate Priority Mail box with a plastic bat... at least in the 6 inch size.

13 comments:

Ken Dolph said...

You did well not to square the corners. A square inside corner is a stress riser in Corian and will be a place for a crack to start. By having radiused Corners you avoided this.

For more information on using Corian in the home workshop Check out http://coriart.blogspot.com/

I hope this helps.
Ken

Kim Hines said...

i bought something very similar to this a while back, the wonder bat system i think it's called. it's pretty much the same as yours except it's made out of some type of waterproof wood composite. it absorbs the water a little and the piece will pop off on it's own when dry enough. the surfaces of the main bat and inserts are the same thickness, but i don't think that'd make much difference. mine wasn't free though... i like it very much and use it for almost everything so long as the base of the piece will fit on the insert. i may take your cue and make my own inserts though, they're around $15 for 6 at my local clay supply place.

createniks said...

Those are really cool. We've been using corain for the whole bat.
http://createniks.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/diy-corian-pottery-wheel-bats/
I'm going to cut a square out of one of our corian bats and try an insert like yours. That way their wouldn't be a height difference.

Falcon Hill Pottery said...

I use a similar system that I learned from Jeff Campana. I can throw all day! My tiles are just too small to make big bowls, so I have to use my old bats for the big stuff.

119 said...

I love readding, and thanks for your artical. ........................................

唱歌 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
惠蘋惠蘋 said...

April showers bring May flowers. ........................................

Cynthia said...

Brilliant!

香昱信張君林 said...

Poverty is stranger to industry.............................................................

承蘋承蘋 said...

Share and share alike.............................................................

Pottery Making Info said...

Hello LaPella Art,
I just wanted to post a quick note to tell you that the RSS feed for this blog has been added to the Potters and Ceramic Artists Blog Feed at Pottery Making Info. Thanks for all the hard work with your clay and your blog!

佳張張張張燕張張張張張 said...

No pains, no gains..................................................................

孫邦柔 said...
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