Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Slicing a baseball bat down the middle - sure I can do that



*** If you're looking for split baseball bats - check out my Etsy store listing here. By popular demand, I've purchased some bats and split them, so they're ready for your next flag project!

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When I received a call about slicing a baseball bat in half, I thought I'd be cutting one or two of them. Imagine my surprise when a customer showed up with a box of bats! 


She'd seen a cool wall sculpture of an American flag, and pulled up the image on her phone to share it with me. I haven't been able to find the exact one she showed me, but it was WAY cool. Here are a few I found, but hers was awesome. 





Cutting them in half was a little trickier than I thought it might be. While I could have used my Laguna bandsaw to make this cut, I didn't want to take a chance of the blade wavering a bit, and making a curved cut. So I decided to use the table saw. 

Hell, I make 90% of my cuts on a table saw!


I rigged up a 2x6 after cutting a V-groove down the center. I was worried about the bat "rolling" while in the middle of a cut, so the V-groove would help hold it in place while cutting it. At least... that was the plan. 



 A line in the center gave me a visual reference, assuring that I was making a centered cut on the bat. The funny thing was - these weren't real baseball bats, but more like "craft quality" bats. I have no idea where she purchased them, but they were definitely not meant for hitting a baseball! The grip on them was pretty small, maybe 3/4 of an inch at its  narrowest point. When cutting that part of the bat, the vibration and chatter was pretty scary!


Honestly, I wouldn't try this at home, if you're not really skilled with a table saw  It was a dicey procedure, with almost no way to use a push stick effectively. 


I'm glad I can cross this job off my list - it's not very often that cutting something gives me the willies, but this cut was definitely a scary one. 


19 comments:

Julie @ followyourheartwoodworking said...

OMG Jamie! You are brave. I've wanted to cut some stair banisters in half but couldn't figure out how to do it safely. You are my hero.

Rachel Matteson said...

Wow! Such patriotism. I was really inspired by the thought but also more because of the design. It is so attractive and fitting since baseball is America's favorite past time. :)
- ToolCenter.com

Mallory said...

I'm really curious where she found these bats!! I'm doing a similar project. Do you think there's any way to ask where they came from? Thank you!!

Wood It Is! said...

I contacted the woman who brought in the bats for me to slice - here's what she said:

I found a lot of them on eBay, not as many as I needed, so I contacted the
seller and he went through all his bats and found as many as he could of similar size and made an individual listing for the lot of bats for me!

Apparently, he makes bats for a baseball company and these are all the "rejects" he sells in lots on eBay!

I think I just searched "unfinished baseball bats" online if I recall correctly and got lucky enough to stumble on the seller!

Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

What paint was used? and how did you hang it?

Wood It Is! said...

I didn't make this piece, I only cut the bats apart. I would imagine she used a good primer/paint made for wood.

As for hanging it - I think she used a french cleat mounted to one of the bats.

Emily Harrison said...

My dad and I are trying to do a similar project, would you be willing to give some helpful tips for splitting these bats?

Colin said...

I like wood. The information good for me. I like décor my home by wood. I have problem with cutting board 45 and 90 degree. Do you sharing tips? I want to décor crib for my daughter next week

Anonymous said...

I recently saw this American Flag made from baseball bats. I really want to make this for my son. He's 23 and just recently completed Basic Training and Tech School (Go Air Force and ALL branches) and he's had a love for baseball since he was .... born!! After reading your comment on how hard it was to cut these bats, I will definitely ask my carpenter for his help and expertise. My son has a long way to go in his career, so I have some time before I complete this "special" project for him. Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

Donald said...

That’s just amazing. I was looking for similar project, Thank you for your good contribution.

Donald said...

That’s just amazing. I was looking for similar project, Thank you for your good contribution.

Mike McClelland said...

Hi, this seems like a great project. I have done similar ripping as you did. May I suggest that to keep the bat from rolling you can lay the bat in the grove and hot melt glue some small blocks or short pieces of dowel to the sides of the bat where needed before cutting.. That will prevent the bat from turning and can be easily removed after cutting the bat.

The Bad Daughter said...

I used to help my father a lot with his woodworking projects, and he used foam wedges to fill the gaps and keep the wood from wiggling.

Charles Howell said...

Great piece of work there !

Lee Ann Gallegos said...

I just made one myself with eight bats. I am lucky to have 3 sons who play baseball so we have wood bats to use when they crack. My question is since I didn't see in the video, what would you suggest how to hang it on the wall? The best way for support?

Wood It Is! said...

Lee Ann - I didn't assemble this piece, I just cut the bats for the woman making it. But I am pretty sure she attached them to two vertical strips that ran from the top to bottom, so that you could see negative space between each baseball bat. It was a simple way to join everything, and made the piece easy to hang.

Good luck!

Benjamin Hernandez said...

are you selling these?

Wood It Is! said...

NO, I don't sell them, but I've had a few people mail me a case of bats and I've cut them and then shipped them back, so they can make their own flag. It's a cool project, I think.

Miranda said...

I actually have a set of baseball bats, now i know what to do with them! Great idea!