Homemade Bat System for Potters
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 nestling bat systems at this time.