Preparing and knocking in a cricket bat
This is a simple guide to help you get the most out of your new cricket bat. Willow is naturally a very soft timber and without pressing it wouldn't stand a chance against a new cricket ball. Whilst the pressing process undertaken on every cricket bat helps add performance and durability, it doesn't do everything and knocking in is the vital finishing touch. Think of it as the icing on a delicious cake.
Oiling You Bat
Before you can start gently smashing seven bells into your new pride and joy, you have to began the preparation process by oiling your cricket bat with Raw Linseed Oil. This softens the top layer of willow for knocking in, helps seal in natural moisture and provides a barrier against external moisture.
A cap full of Raw Linseed Oil represents 2 coats of oil, I would recommend applying 2 caps of Linseed Oil which is around 4 coats over a period of a couple of days. Apply the oil to the exposed timber, which can be done with your finger or as I prefer with a rubber glove on. Linseed oil can be quite smelly and messy so I'd recommend you go outside or undertake this process in a well ventilated area. Particular attention must be paid to the toe of the cricket bat as this is more often than not a vulnerable area of a bat.
Allow the bat to rest horizontally overnight and repeat this process with the second cap of Raw Linseed Oil. Any excess linseed oil that remains at the end of this process can be wiped off with a paper towel or cotton rag.
We're now ready to annoy your loved ones, wake the neighbours and find out who your real friends are.
Be Aware: DO NOT use Boiled Linseed Oil. It's not suitable for cricket bats and should never be used as an alternative. Suitable Linseed Oil can be purchased from Jason at Cricket Store Online via http://www.cricketstoreonline.com/categories/accessories/Bat-Linseed-Oil/
You've got to be a certain type of person to enjoy knocking in a cricket bat as it can be a tedious job. However it's necessary if you want performance and durability from your new run scoring tool of choice.
Using a specifically made mallet gently began hitting the cricket bat slowly increasing the force used. Do not hit the edges at 45º as you risk damaging them quite easily with a misplaced swing of the mallet. Instead knock the edges in by striking the edge with a rolling action from the face moving out over the edge. Often cradling the bat from behind instead of by the handle can help control the bat whilst you hammer away.
A good quality cricket mallet can be purchased from Jason at Cricket Store Online viahttp://www.cricketstoreonline.com/categories/accessories/Bat-Mallet/
Each bat is a unique piece of willow and as such your bat may need more knocking in than the next. A great method I often use to add a target and some element of fun is to find a cricket ball with a firm seam and use this to knock small seam marks in over the entire face. Don't go crazy, it’s only a way of indicating the progress you're making with the preparation. As you continue to knock in your cricket bat you should notice the marks disappear. You can therefore check areas that need more work and how close you are to regaining your hearing and the feeling in your arms.
Lastly, be patient and take your time. Take care of the bat that takes care of you.
Wishing you centuries of happiness with your new bat
Hammer cricket in partnership with David Wall
Any questions, I'm happy to help.
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