The Birds and Bees Story (for Baseball Bats)

Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2010 03:07 am
For years, the mill also sold billets -- the cylinders of wood that are turned into bats -- to bat makers. But in the late 1990s, as BWP and other furniture makers lost ground to cheaper competitors from China, the company rethought its overall strategy and started making its own bats. The weight in ounces is written on one end of the billet: the heavier the billet, the denser the wood.
Photo: Jeff Swensen for The New York Times

A maple bat being cut from a billet. BWP specializes in maple bats and keeps measurements for about 250 models in its computerized lathe. Billets are locked into the lathe, a model is selected on the computer and in less than two minutes the billet is shaved according to specifications.
Photo: Jeff Swensen for The New York Times

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