pdp1@EARTHLINK.NET on mon 27 oct 03
Just throw away whatever plastic Bats as have wallowed
holes, or, drill
new Holes in
them if possible, if there is a boss or thicker area
available to do so in, and...do so carefully. They should
Wheel Head's pins nice and
I have sometimes thought a staggered three-pin schedule
makes better sense than the two-pin arrangement, as it would
be forgiveing of other concentricity problems and be self
positioning when removed and replaced. It would only go on
one one way instead of two possible ways.
Or, one center pin and one peripheral pin...
But that is maybe not the usual problem here...
Keep the Pins and Wheel Head clean...keep the Bats clean
between uses...press a Bat down over the pins firmly yet
with sensitivity as to whether it is in fact lined up well,
forcing a Bat down as is not quite exactly aligned on the
pins ( as I have seen done with casual haste and disinterest
by many potters) will erode the holes and eventuate a poor
If needing to make do with wretched 'plastic' Bats whose
holes are wallowed, one could imaginably enlarge the holes
to accept a compatable bushing of some sort as might be
glued into the
plastic, and, drill the bushing to the accurate center
schedule. This seems like a lot of trouble though...
I do not feel plastic has been a very good material for
One notion I had entertained was to have Brass bushings set
into the Bat material I used to use when I was
manufactureing them, and have special pins as
well...possibly round top pins, for those Potters as cannot
acquire the knack of patience when setting the Bats over the
pins. It would take a much longer time that way to wear them
to a wallow...
Another notion would be to gently round the very tops of the
typical 1/4 - 20 Allen Cap Screws as are used in Wheel
Heads. Normally they have a sufficiently 'sharp' edge to
them to be implicated in the wear of the Bat's holes from
If the tops of the screw heads were to be gently rounded for
an eighth of an inch, it would lessen the wear on the Bat's
I think that if the screw heads were 3/8ths. of an inch tall
instead of 1/4, and, if the Bats were 3/8ths thick, there
would be generous room to both round the screw top, and, to
slightly bevel both sides of the Bat holes...this would
reduce the erosion of the holes from hasty placements ot
hitting them to get them over pins they were not quite
aligned with and so on...
----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve Slatin"
Sent: Sunday, October 26, 2003 5:19 PM
Subject: A really Bat question (for Holloween)
> I'm not accustomed to using bats. As a student, I usually
> made small stuff, and if I wanted to do something big I'd
> close out my throwing with one big item, and leave it on
> wheel head to "set up" while I cleaned my workspace, did
> glazing, etc. I'd pull it off at the end of class and it
> wouldn't deform too badly.
> I'm throwing more seriously now, and can't afford to leave
> my wheel for an hour to let the clay stiffen up a bit. I
> got a bunch of CI plastic bats, and they're fine as long
> I'm making small stuff (when I don't need them). What I
> is on the bigger pieces while centering the clay on the
> gesture and again if I pull straight back to open up a
> bottomed cylinder, I get a sort of chatter from the bat
> up a bit off center.
> After some tinkering, I was able to run the problem down
to the fit
> between the bat pins and the holes that accommodate the
> on the plastic bats. I tried putting a dab of fairly
> on the wheel head, 90 degrees away from the bat pins,
about as far
> out from the center as the pins, and it helped a bit, but
> I was thinking of making the fit tighter with a rubber
band or two
> draped over the bat pins before insertion of the bat, but
> to crack the plastic that fits over the pins.
> Has anyone else experienced this problem? How did you fix
> Thanks -- Steve S
> Send postings to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Chris Schafale on mon 27 oct 03
If you are using the CI bats I'm familiar with the, they
are especially prone to this problem, even when new,
because one of the two holes is oval and therefore
looser. The waffle pattern on the back of the bat also
makes it difficult to use clay to stick the bat in place,
unless you use a whole "cookie". I haven't tried the bat
grabber with them yet, but that might work. Mostly, I've
given up using them and am much happier with the
masonite ones I use now.
Light One Candle Pottery
Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, USA
(south of Raleigh)
Gail Dapogny on mon 27 oct 03
One last thing about all this....If you at some time do the drilling
solution either in bats or even in your wheelhead, I can tell you I did
the latter with complete success. I was very nervous, but had lots of
reassurance and good advice from people on this list.
One thing that made it feasible for me was the purchase of a portable
(very portable) small drill press which cost $30-something at our
Ace Hardware. I wanted that so as to be certain that the drill was
level. Those more experienced with tools wouldn't need it.
On Monday, October 27, 2003, at 01:36 PM, Steve Slatin wrote:
> Phil --
> As usual, many good ideas, and thanks for them. I'm having this
> problem with brand new bats, which I do find troubling. Gail D. told
> about something called a "bat grabber"; I guess I should look that up
> I do have a philosophical preference for a 3-pin solution -- but I
> really want to drill my brand-new, shiny wheel head. I'll try the
> low-impact fixes first, and if something really superior jumps out,
> post a comment to the list.
> I am somewhat regretting getting the plastic bats. Live and learn!
> -- Steve S