How is a wood baseball bat made?
Here at Viper Bats we pride ourselves on our high quality wood bats and want to bring you behind the scenes on how they're made.
First, to get the best bat possible you have to start with the right piece of wood. We have multiple mills in the eastern halves of the United States and Canada that supply us with the highest quality ash, birch, and maple available. The trees are harvested and sent to the mill to be cut, doweled, dried, and graded. During this process, the logs are split into round dowels and dried in a VAC/Kiln to their respective moisture content levels. The drying process is important because it ensures the bats will yield weights suitable for making baseball bats while making sure they’re dense enough to make a solid bat that can survive several doubles off the outfield wall as well as the monstrous bombs you see people hit with Viper Bats. After they’re dried they are then sorted by straightness of their grain (straighter the better), weight, visible blemishes, and then shipped to us.
Once we receive the skids of wood they are individually unloaded, weighed, inspected for grain straightness, and stored into our wood library. Our library is broken down by not only weight but also by species. A detailed library is key in the bat making process because it allows us to select the correct billet for the customer specified bat model. Every model is unique in its weight distribution and in order to achieve the specified weight, you need the right starting weight in a billet.
After your billet is selected it then goes to the cutting process where it is put on one of our CNC lathes. On our CNC lathe it is cut to the exact profile of bat you ordered with extreme precision. After the bat is cut it is then inspected once again for the straightness of grain, blemishes – such as knots, and chatter marks. The bat is then sent to our sanding station where it goes through the next part of the bat creation process.
The sanding station is where you can visibly start to see the quality of our bats. Each bat goes through a vigorous sanding phase where it's sanded 6 times to get the wood as smooth as possible. After the 6th pass it is then "boned" to compress the grains for extra pop and longevity. The sanding phase is then completed with one final polish sand and inspection before it’s sent off to the chopping area.
At the chopping area, the ends are removed from the bat and you can almost see your completed product. If specified, the bat is then cupped; the ends are sanded, labeled, and sent to the finish room.
In the finish room the bat is stained to the customers specs (over 100 possible combinations!) where it can either be a solid stain or two-toned combination. Multiple clear coats are then sprayed on top of the stain to preserve and seal the color and grain as well as give it the show room shine you’re accustomed to seeing with the Viper Bat brand. After it has completely dried, the bat is trademarked and laser engraved with the option of having your custom personalization included. Finally your bat is sent to the shipping department, where it is inspected one final time for flaws before it is packaged and shipped out.
As you can see here at Viper Bats, quality is very important to us and we strive to make our bats to the highest standards for our customers.