One of the most popular areas in bat rolling is how to build a bat rolling machine.
There are several factors that go into building a bat roller. I will break this article out so that you can make an informed decision on whether you want to undertake such an effort.
Here are some questions that need to be answered before you start a project.
- How the machine works
- Parts and Materials
How the Machine Works:
Before any of these can be answered, you first need to decide what type of machine you are looking at.
- The bat is inserted 90 degrees into the rollers and can only roll 1 way.
- The bat is inserted from the sides along the plane of the rollers and the entire sweet spot can be rolled at once.
Most parallel machines can roll both ways, but only 1. perpendicular machine can roll too. A perpendicular machine will also leave flat spots in the bat and not roll the whole sweet spot.
We highly recommend a parallel machine.
The machines work by compressing the carbon fibers and laminating between rollers and then rolling the bat between the rollers. The sweet spot of the bats is mostly the part you target during the roll.
- The Shells
- Typically made of steel or aluminum
- Holds the gut of the machine
- Welded or screwed together
- Top Vehicle
- Holds the top rollers
- Move up and down
- Tolerances are tight
- Roller Bearings
- Thrust bearings
- Made of plastic, steel, wood, other
- Tolerances are very tight
- The middle hole through the roller must be fairly exact
- Rollers are machined on a metal lathe
The cost of building a machine can be huge … but you can figure out that the minimum will be $ 200 plus, depending on your bearings and roller materials. It will be more to the latest plastics used in the better bat rolling machines.
Building a machine will take some time as you will have to draw up the design and then cut and machine the parts and collect the bearings and so on.
This is a baseline that can be taken on if you are a do-it-yourself person with appropriate equipment and time and some design knowledge. A machining background or a friend who has one would help here.
Another viable option is to purchase a Bat Roll Machine directly from a reputable manufacturer. Here are a few things to look for when choosing that manufacturer.
- Good name
- What kind of machines is the proposal
- Do they have multiple models to suit your individual needs
- We recommend parallel machines as they give you the best of both worlds and are not restricted to partial break-in as are the perpendicular machines.
- What plastic do they use in their bat rollers?
You need to stay away from plastic called Acetal with Delrin’s trade name. It is very difficult and has no forgiveness.