search  current discussion  categories  tools & equipment - bats 

bat pins are still odoriferous

updated fri 19 oct 01


David Hendley on thu 18 oct 01

Need some small bats?
There's still no reason to have bat pins sticking up out of your
wheelhead, rendering it useless without a bat.

For small pieces that you don't want to throw off the hump,
make some 7" diameter bats. Perfect for mugs and things.
Just throw a 5" pancake of clay with concentric finger-mark
circles on your wheelhead and stick your little bats on.
The bats will hold tight, but give them a sharp bump to the
side when finished, and they will come right off.
If you have to mess with little dabs of clay to make bats stick
onto a wheelhead with bat pins, why would you want to have
bat pins to start with?
So you can have the pleasure of feeling around each time to fit
the pins in the holes?
Or so you can need to have a screwdriver handy to pry them off?

The best material for small bats is, well, I don't know what you
call it, but it is quarter-inch masonite that has a sealed, slick,
enameled-looking surface on one side.
It is 'poor-man's tile', that is used as an inexpensive alternative
to tile in low budget bathrooms.
Available everywhere. Plain white, as well as pretty patterns.
A 4-by-8 sheet will make almost 100 bats, and costs less than
Will last decades. No need to paint it with anything.
At a quarter-inch thick, a stack of 100 bats takes up an area of
about 7 inches by 14 inches by 14 inches.

Use a 45 RPM record as a guide to cut a 7" circle.
Of course, if you have a band saw, you've got it made-in-the-
shade. If you have a table saw, cut 7" square blanks, then
cut them round with a table saw jig.
Chris Stanley, the Law West of the Pecos, even has a video
that shows you how to do it. Are you there Chris? Give us
the URL again.

David Hendley
Maydelle, Texas

----- Original Message -----
From: "vince pitelka"
Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2001 1:07 AM
Subject: Re: Bat pins smell just fine

> > First, throw away the idiotic bat pins.
> > Now, you have a nice wheellhead for throwing small items,
> > throwing off the hump, and trimming.
> David's system of making bats using sink cutouts and cleats is wonderful
> the larger bats, but of course when you are throwing an extensive series
> forms, oversize bats take up an enormous amount of space in your studio.
> Bat pins work wonderfully if you have good bats, and if the pins are
> installed, or properly installed by you. We have bat pins on all our
> wheels, and we have plywood bats sealed with marine spar varnish, and
> unsealed Medex bats. All of our bats fit very well. The little dabs of
> clay I mentioned the other day, placed in a circle concentric with the bat
> pins, keep the bat from lifting off the wheel in a hard pull and
> guarantee a firm tight fit, and it is absolutely no problem to pop them
> the wheel with a screwdriver. We have plywood bats that have seen very
> heavy use for seven years, and they still work beautifully.
> David's system is great if you need larger bats, or if you do not mind
> larger bats, but the bat pin system is great when it is done properly, and
> the bats themselves are far less cumbersome.
> Best wishes -
> - Vince
> Vince Pitelka
> Appalachian Center for Crafts
> Tennessee Technological University
> 1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166
> Home -
> 615/597-5376
> Work -
> 615/597-6801 ext. 111, fax 615/597-6803