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Crusty

Bats-

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I like Creative Industries / Speedball bats. They're injection molded instead of cut/drilled, they don't have holes all the way through, and I've not had any of them warp in 5+ years. I have several of the 7.5" square ones. They're also rather affordable compared to a lot of the others.

 

I don't want the maintenance of Masonite, plywood or plaster.

 

(I've got to agree with Robin Hopper, though... why didn't manufacturers put a pin in the center and a pin 3.5" off-center? Then we could have 7" *round* bats instead of having to make small bats square.)

ChenowethArts likes this

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Carl, I bought the Speedball bats, for some of the reasons you mentioned.  But mine have a slight up and down wobble, and they came that way.

 

They work well enough for my classroom though.

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What kind do you like and why?

 

I've never had (or used) any professionally made bats.

 

I like the free ones I make myself from leftovers, usually from 12mm - 18mm ply.

 

I made a template to drill the bats and wheel head, it all works just fine, I do need to expand it to something smaller, if that makes sense,  :D  (all my current bats are large, I need some smaller ones).

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we have some speedball bats ad they are past a slight wobble, I heard you can fix them but I do not know how.. Im not sure how they should be stored either.. an y help is greatly welcome and thanks..

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I have the Northstar bat system with 5 1/2 inch square Medex bats and I love it. Great for mugs, tumblers, bowls up to soup size or a little bigger - so they work for 90% of what I throw. You can fit a ton of those little guys on a shelf too, much better than round bats when you're like me and don't have much shelf space. I also have some 12" Speedball bats for big stuff like plates and planters, but like Benzine said they're a little wobbly - not my favorite, although I do like that they're flat with no holes on top.  

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I think plywood bats are going to delaminate at some point. Exterior ply has x number of wet/dry cycles before it starts but it will get uneven and warp first. Maybe you can get enough uses out of it to make it worth it though.   

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I've got the Wondrbat system, with the removble square inserts. I like it, but sometime the inserts are tough to pop out. The material swells a bit, and gets "snug"

Like Chesari mentioned, the square inserts take up a lot less space, which is nice. The downside for me, is that if the ware hangs out past the edge, it's easy to scoot them too close, and misform them.

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Old White plastic cutting boards work well. My wife keeps wondering where all of her plastic cutting boards have gone,.......I have NO idea.

 

Don't even try to import african fruit bat these days. It takes at least 21 days and lots of Ebola testing before they ever make it out of quarantine. And by that time they just fly off the wheel unless you keep your studio very dark and cool....:D

 

 

Jed

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I don't know but I know I have 4 that we cant throw on.. Way to much up and down, throws it off center and the lip is off so bad you really cant cut it all that straight, when its off the bat its not level.. were looking into something else.. I have 50#s of plaster augnd a plastic lid that will fit my wheel head pretty snug..

 

would the plaster be hard to get off the aluminum wheel head?

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would the plaster be hard to get off the aluminum wheel head?

Throw a thin, even clay slab on your wheel. Place your plaster bats on the clay slab. No problem taking slabs off.

 

Unless you have inserts to go over the wheel pins for bats, you don't want to make plaster ones that just sit on top of the pins -- wheel friction/vibration will grind them down and put plaster bits in your clay.

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Plaster batts, no pins, no clay disc. Xiem BatMate. Wet it, put it on the wheelhead and the plaster batts stick to it. Wood batts under about 8" stick to it also. No clay to recycle, no mess on the underside of the batts. 12" or 14" from $10-12

 

 

image_1483.jpg

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All my bats are pre-Speedball. I wonder if the material or manufacturing process has changed.

 

That is an excellent question, @CarlCravens. My older bats from CI are still functioning pretty well, but our latest order from Speedball arrived with bats so warped that they were un-usable out of the box.  Speedball DID replace the bad bats and the replacements are doing just fine...but something has changed, in my opinion.

 

-Paul

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I've been using something I got from my local studio -- it's like the Wonderbat, with a heavy-duty base that takes inserts. The inserts are actually bisqued tiles that fit into the square space.

 

I do a lot of small stuff, so the square tile-bats work great. I pop them out of the base with an old butterknife and let them dry on a rack (air flow underneath and above helps them to dry evenly). Plus, they release as soon as they are ready to be trimmed! Since they're bisqued I don't have to worry about plaster chipping off, either.

 

The ONLY issue I've had is that sometimes the tolerances of the tile's manufacturing cause a bit of a wiggle. But a little slip down in the crevice fixes that easily.

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how thick do you make your plaster bats?

For plaster, I'd suggest at least 1/2" or 5/8". Use a spring-form for making cheese cakes as your mold. Coat the inside with Murphys Oil or similar release agent, sit on a level surface, fill with plaster, tap sides a few times to release air bubbles, and then release the spring on the side of the form to remove the mold. Sounds so easy I need to try it.

 

While your bats are drying, think about how you will store them so they can air dry and not get nicked/chipped.

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At the end of a throwing session with clay slab and 6" bats, I use and wood tool to get under the outside edge of the clay disc. Then I turn it into a bowl and I (1) don't have to recycle that clay, (2) have one more item thrown.

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