A Behind the Scenes Look at the Making of a Wood Baseball Bat by Phoenix Bats

For the last 10 years, we’ve been scoring big with amateurs and professionals alike with the production of our premium wood bats. From a garage, making old-fashioned bats for vintage baseball teams, we have grown into a leading custom wood bat manufacturer, literally “turning out” the market’s highest quality bats from our special Italian lathe. We’ve perfected the process and are excited to give you a sneak peek into the complete journey of a Phoenix bat.

Making the country’s best wood bats doesn’t start at the lathe, but in the dense forests of Pennsylvania and upstate New York, where ash trees are prized for their strength. A minimum of sixty years of growth are required to bring an ash tree to the preferred trunk diameter of ~36 inches, and each tree yields approximately 60 bats.

Step 1: Inspect and Sort

 

As soon as the premium woods arrive at our shop, they are hand inspected and sorted and every piece is weighed to establish its quality. In these beginning stages, we also measure the straightness of the grain from end to end, all of which determines what wood will be used for our vintage, youth, adult, game or trophy bats.

Step 2: Cut and Sand

 

After the initial grading process, the unformed wood goes into the second stage of production. Our precision Italian lathe, called a Locatelli lathe, is the most advanced model in the bat industry and we're the only manufacturer in the world to have it. Our lathe cuts the raw wood into a bat with exact dimensions and not only does it perform with amazing precision, it automatically sands as well, providing a one-of-a-kind feature. At Phoenix Bats, we use this sophisticated piece of machinery on every single bat that leaves our shop.

Once our bats come off the lathe, we remove the ends and, if needed, the bat is cupped. Not every bat is cupped, just those that need a little weight taken off. Because professional bats need to meet certain weight requirements, we scoop out a portion of the bat’s top. Our cup is narrower than most manufacturers, providing better stability to the wall surrounding the cup.

Step 3: Finishing Touches

 

After a bat is formed and meets with our stringent specifications, the finishing process begins. Bat handles are submerged into the finishing compound, which determines its color and the process is repeated with the bat’s barrel. Next, it’s coated with a clear sealant and finishing touches are added including a ring around the middle to hide the color transition between the handle and barrel. Then it's time to add our decal and personalized player engraving.

The next Phoenix bat is now out the door and, of course, we hope to see it on baseball diamonds everywhere. The real secret in making wood bats with the best feel and largest sweet spot is our love of the game and our attention to detail from start to finish.

Turning raw wood into great game bats makes all of us at Phoenix Bats feel like we are part of baseball’s rich history and exciting future. Manufacturing quality bats, doing what you love and giving players better tools to raise their game is truly the best possible gig.

Interested in booking a tour to see how a bat is made from start to finish? Tours are conducted by appointment and are $10 per person. This includes a custom engraved mini bat to commemorate your visit. To schedule a tour please contact tours@phoenixbats.com or call 877.598.2287 (614.873.7776 in the Columbus area).

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