Making cricket bats is a traditional and highly skilled job that has changed little since the game began. The first job of the batmaker is to roughly shape the clefts using a circular saw, the clefts are then left to dry out further and then graded.

Each blade is then individually shaped to ensure the right amount of wood is in the right place to give a perfect balance. During the shaping process the bat is passed underneath the roller of the cricket bat press and the face and edges compressed, this will ensure resilience and provide a hardened surface capable of withstanding the impact of a cricket ball.

At Laver & Wood we finish this process with a hardwood mallet whilst the bat is held in a padded bed, which ensures improved performance. Manufacturers differ in the number of times the bat is passed through the press and the amount of pressure that is applied. The bat is generally subjected to a load of up to 2 tons per square inch. After pressing, the splice (V) is cut at the shoulder end of the blade to accept the handle.

WILLOW MICROGRAPHS

Courtesy of Dr.Michael Walmsley & Materials & Process Engineering Dept, University of Waikato, New Zealand

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