The Fun and Frustration of Finishing
When you get the finish just right, there’s fewer parts of the process that can be as satisfying. Seeing the grain of the wood come to life, along with the blemishes is rewarding. Usually, people want to cleanest looking, straightest grained piece of willow they can find, but the blemishes add character in my opinion.
Despite my usual enthusiasm for finishing, it was not an enjoyable experience with this bat. I’ve been experimenting with different abrasives and techniques recently. Whilst my finishing is satisfactory, the time it takes is not. The longer I stand there sanding, the dustier I get and the more worn my hands become. I’d like to say that my hands are like those of a seasoned lumberjack…
They’re not though, so I need to start finding alternatives. That doesn’t mean I’ll be buying a sander, I’d rather buy The Anarchist’s Tool Chest by Christopher Schwarz.
Given that we have a good idea of how the finishing went, we’ll get onto the shaping part of this bat. It weighed a whopping 3lbs 13oz, so barring a small miracle I could safely assume that I wouldn’t be making a 2lbs 6oz bat with 40mm edges.
I started out wanting to make a bat that had edges that were at their thickest just under half way up the blade and no concaving. But as always the shape changes.
|I had to use my spokeshave across the grain here for some reason. When I went up or down the blade it was having none of it. Weird?!?!|
|Blending the area around the swell of the middle.|
I should mention I have started to use my round bottom plane and travisher to take some weight out. I’d reached a point where I was going to be taking height from the spine after having reduced the edges considerably. In other news, my travisher is now in my tool rotation again. The new mouth I made has had a dramatic impact on the quality of the tool, it makes me wonder why it was originally made in the manner it was.
I’m not sure if the three pictures above are from when I finished it for the second time or third?. Either way we know how that turned out.
And now for something completely different…
This window has been stuck shut for a while, but a rubber mallet solved that. As soon as it opened the air was so much cleaner. A nice little breeze helped to get rid of the dust from sanding, rather than it just settling on EVERYTHING!
|Hello to fresh air.|
It weighs a healthy 2lbs 15.6oz with one grip. I didn’t make it for anyone in particular, just a good learning experience making a bat with a heavy cleft. I quite like the balance of the bat for something this heavy, but I can’t justify having three match bats…
…or can I?