The Manufacturing Process
Every Chase bat is made using traditional craft methods which means each bat is treated individually. The willow has to be compressed to produce a hard surface to withstand the impact of the cricket ball; over-pressing the blade can be detrimental and produce a blade too hard which will not perform. The blade is pressed to between 1500 lbs and 2000 lbs per square inch with one to three passes.
After pressing, the splice is cut into the shoulder end of the blade to accept the handle.
The cleft is then expertly shaped using drawknives, spokeshaves and wooden block planes. A radial blockplane is used to shape the flanks on the finback. The handle is shaped using a rasp taking care to create that classic oval handle. The shoulders and blade are now sanded on inflatable sanding drums. Hand sanding with three grades of sandpaper achieves a very high finish. The edges of the bat are boned to make them more resilient to damage.
The unique toe insert is fitted to stop splitting, a sealant is applied to stop moisture damage in the toe area – adult bats only unless stated.
The bat is then held between centres whilst the handle is bound using high quality twine; applying PVA adhesive seals the twine and strengthens the handle. Burnishing the blade with Hampshire chalk and bees wax gives a high gloss finish. The bats are then carefully labelled. Bats are then fitted with a UK made latex grip which are far superior to imported grips in colour and feel. Finally, each bat is run through the knocking-in machine which covers the whole surface of the blade.
THE CHASE GUARANTEE
We give all our bats four hours worth of knocking-in to loosen and soften the compressed wood fibres on the surface to form a supple finish, increasing the performance of the bats recoil reaction.
Edges and corners are additionally strengthened by boning during the manufacturing process to form a layer of protection against damage.