Production's Blog: The process of sorting logs
You’ve ordered your custom-made B45 bat and are told to expect your bat within two weeks. But have you ever wondered what goes into the manufacturing of your bat? The process of choosing the right log to make a customized B45 bat is a long and fairly complicated process.
This process starts from the sorting out of the wood, i.e., the weighing a classification of the logs; to the selection of the particular wood to make the bat; to sanding, painting, engraving, and finishing of the bat. It’s a long process, so we’ll break it down by sections.
Today we’ll talk about the sorting out of the logs. Sorting of wood contains two very important elements — weighing and classifying of the wood.
B45 gets its wood from a manufacturing company in Canada. We typically order somewhere between 1,400 and 4,000 logs at one particular time. Each log is identical in size (37 inches long and 2.75 inches in diameter).
And each log has to be weighed due to the differences in the density of each log. You see, even though the logs have the exact shape, their weight can be drastically different.
It’s important to know the weight of the log because it is related to the size and shape of the customized bat being made.
For example, a B271 33-inch and 30-ounce bat will use a log weighing about 93 ounces, but a CarGo5 with the same length and weight will use around an 85 ounce log. Because bat models differ depending on their shapes, and customers can choose different sizes and length to weight ratio, it’s very important that each log is weighed correctly.
Something to note is the weight of logs could fluctuate with time, due to changes in storage temperature, so we have to make sure that the temperature in the storage area is regulated. However, small fluctuations in log density don’t typically change the outcome of the bat because 60-80 percent of the weight will have been removed in the process of turning a bat.
The second element in the sorting of wood is classification of the logs. Each log is classified according to the following criteria: could it make a baseball bat respecting to our high quality standards or not?
Fibres and grains must be straight on the handle end of the wood, with no knots. Knots on the handle end of the bats represent weak spots in the wood, where the wood is thinner and the knot is harder and therefore less flexible, thus making the bat weaker.
On the opposite side, our lowest grade logs will be set aside. We typically use these logs to make promotional and miniature bats because they contain knots and other blemishes on the handle end of the log that render them unfit for game play.
So, once the logs are properly sorted and stored in its proper place, it becomes a lot easier to find the log with the exact specifications to make your beloved B45 bat.
Goefrey Tomlinson is the Retail Operations Manager at B45. He played professionnal baseball for 13 seasons, including 4 seasons in the Kansas City organization. He reached the AAA level in 2000. He has 10+ years of experience as a bat maker.