Every cleft of willow has its own unique properties.
Using traditional methods every Chase bat is crafted individually.
The manufacturing process
The willow is compressed to produce a hard enough surface to withstand the impact of a cricket ball. Over-pressing the blade can be detrimental, producing a blade that is too hard. The blade is pressed up to three times between 1500 lbs and 2000 lbs per square inch.
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.
An acetone sealant is applied to stop moisture damage in the toe area. 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 beeswax gives a high gloss finish. The bats are then carefully labelled and fitted with a UK made latex grip.
Finally, each bat is run through the knocking-in machine to loosen and soften the compressed wood fibres across the whole surface of the blade.