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to bat or not to bat....

updated sat 23 oct 99


Jonathan Kaplan on thu 21 oct 99

With all the postings over bats and non bats methods and all the other
noise that surrounds this,
here's what we do. (BTW, I posted this same stuff when the bat issue
surfaced a few Clayart years ago)

I have used double Tempered masojite bats for the last 24 years of
throwing, and in fact, these are the original bats that my colleague Chuck
the Dog cut for me back then. We have 4" , 6" 8" 10" 12" and spome 15" and
20" diameters and they are all in good shape after these many years.

To adhere these to the wheel head sans pins, throw a flat, centered and
level ring the diameter of the bats to be used. Score the surface with a
serrated rib, and moisten slightly. Cut an air vent (a simple groove from
the inside to the outside and put the bat on the clay. A slight pouning
with your palm is all that is needed.

The caveat is not to overwet the clay ring. Keep it damp and scored. It
usually can last all day.

Beginners in my classes can't quite grasp this and spend so much energy
centering that they usually loosen the bat.

To remove the bats, make a simple tool from a piece of 1/4" round metal
stock and flatten and bend one end at a 90 degree angle. Just pry them off.
I use an old style bicycle tire iron for this.

This system has worked perfectly for me.


Jonathan Kaplan
Ceramic Design Group LTd/Production Services
PO Box 775112
Steamboat Springs, CO 80477
(970) 879-9139 voice and fax

UPS: 1280 13th St. Unit13
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

Bill Campbell on fri 22 oct 99

Jonathan-I really don~t like any system of bats that uses pins. I really like
the randall type plaster bat. I bought a system from Steve Jepson that allows
me to use those bats on my Brent and Soldner wheels. plaster is a really fine
material for bats. I like the Randall system because ti is so easy to return
the bat to the wheel and it is always centered. plaster will release the clay
without the need of it being cut off while it is wet. I never liked the thin
masonite bats because they can bend while you are moving them and it sets up
a warp that you don`t see until the pot is fired.
The folks that sell Randal wheels sell the molds to make the bats or Jepson
sells them made up for you.
This is not the cheapest solution to this issue but I believe it is the best.