That spine will be straight if it’s the last thing I do!
Interestingly enough, it usually is the last thing I do when shaping a cricket bat. Attempting to keep the spine perfectly straight or dead centre throughout the whole process would test anyone’s resolve. Spending the extra time to straighten a spine that you’ll probably have to remove eventually anyway is the kind of behaviour that keeps the men in white coats in business.
Sometimes you can trust your eyes, the spine looks straight and centred and it is. But for every occasion it’s dead on, there are 10 where the supposed straight line wiggles left and right like a wily old swing bowlers stock delivery. From the toe it can look straight, turn the bat around though and from the handle it’s a mess.
I’d thought about making a jig to mark a centre line and save all this heartache but hadn’t really given the design much consideration. However inspiration hit me and since it seems others have had the same problem I can hopefully share a simple solution.
Using a pencil to mark the centre seems sensible since scratching or slicing a line in would only leave more work later on. Three bits of random wood I found, cut to length and marked out. I honestly have no idea what it is… Cherry?
|Pencil lines turned into knife lines.|
|We’re cooking on gas now!|
You may be asking why there’s a gap in the piece on the left. All will be revealed.
|I’ve drilled a hole through the joints and added dowels, just for some extra security.|
|To stop the squeeze out I grabbed a handful of shavings and stuffed them below the joints. Saves having to clean the vice later.|
Getting there, the section that holds the pencil is complete and it will only need cleaning up and testing before we see the finished article. Will it work? Who knows at this point.