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Cricket Bat Willow ~ by catherine

Cricket Bat Willow

Everyone knows that cricket is the sound of “leather on willow”, but it’s not any old willow.  Cricket Bat Willow is a variety all of its own – Salix alba ‘Caerulea’.  This fast-growing and straight-stemmed variety of willow produces wood that is tough but lightweight and does not shatter easily - ideal for cricket bats.

 

It’s a skilled business choosing the best wood, and there is a market for good quality cricket bat willow timber.  Logs are split into “clefts” and shaped into the rough bat shape or “blade”.  The ends are then waxed to prevent the wood drying out and splitting. 

 

The wood is carefully air-dried over a period of 12 months to the correct moisture content and the blades are graded according to grain, colouring and any small blemishes.  From Grade 1, which is the very best, blemish-free wood, to Grade 4, which will play just as well but will have more blemishes.  The premium bat blades are the whitest with the closest grain.  “Blemishes” on the face of a bat will be variations in colour, inconsistencies of grain, and “specks” - tiny grains of grit taken up into the tree from the soil.  Tiny, “living” knots are confined to the edge of the blade, and larger, “dead” knots are cut out and filled and will only appear on the reverse of a blade.

 

The blades are then passed on to the cricket bat maker.  To make the wood able to withstand being hit by a cricket ball at high speed, it is pressed at a pressure of up to 2,000 lbs but it a matter of judgement for the bat maker.  Too little and the bat will break when used, too much and the wood will be unworkable.  A handle is spliced on and the blade is finally ready for shaping, done by hand with a drawknife, spoke shave, planes and a practiced eye.  A final sanding and coat of wax finishes the job. 

Posted in: Flora & Fauna, Practical Guides ~ On: 5 December, 2008

11 comments so far

Akash Agarwal
16 August, 2018

We wish to import english willow clefts
if anyone who is supplying kindly drop us a mail on [email protected]

Regards

bhanu das
24 June, 2018

we wish to import english clefts
if anyone who is supplying kindly drop us a mail on [email protected]

Regards

Mr M Runnacle
26 August, 2017

If anyone is interested and still monitoring this site, we now produce very high-end English Cricket Bat Willow Clefts in different grades.

The next full container will be ready at the end of October 2017. These clefts are waxed and and dried, prior to shipment.

Sample photos can be sent on request.

Should this be of any interest, email on the details below.

[email protected]

Sri
5 April, 2015

Sir

Mostly in what places the grown English willow trees are available?

SHIVANI
1 April, 2015

Requirement of English Willow Cleft. Please visit our website to know more about us.

Rohit Dogra
30 December, 2014

Sir I am looking for a English willow cleft supplier who can supply all grades of clefts in regular bases if you can do the same will be happy to start my work with you. Please send me your prices with grades if possible thanks and regards I need clefts in India

Rohit

Veronika Adaam
31 July, 2014

Nice info

Blogs
17 May, 2014

Woodlands.co.uk does not deal in willow clefts or other wooden products.

Nazneena
16 May, 2014

Hi I am interested to buy the willow clefts for making bats,pls let me know your contact details

Sachin Agarwal
4 May, 2014

Sir I am looking for a English willow cleft supplier who can supply all grades of clefts in regular bases if you can do the same will be happy to start my work with you. Please send me your prices with grades if possible thanks and regards I need clefts in India

sean & claire
9 December, 2008

We are envious of your work. Trying very hard to find similar green woodworking people in crocketford dumfries. every time woodland comes up for sale there never seems to be a supply of coppicing ,mostly pine or new plantations.
do you no of any contacts? postcode DG28RG.
07983001898 Sean.

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