Tag: pottery bat

A pottery bat is a pottery throwing accessory that enables freshly thrown work to be removed from the throwing wheel without the damage or warpage that can occur from touching the pot directly. Pottery bats also make it possible to return a piece to exact center to work on later.

Throwing bats can be made from most any rigid material, but wood, wood composites, plastics, and plaster are the most common. Except for plastic, these materials are all porous so pots will release from them easily as they absorb water from the clay. If the material is not porous (e.g., plastic) the pot must be wired off before it sets up too much, or it will crack as it shrinks.

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Some of the materials that pottery bats are made from include:

• Duron® (aka Masonite® or tempered hardboard), a resin impregnated hardboard that’s water resistant and smooth on both sides.
• Medex®, a fiber board material made with a formaldehyde-free adhesive that’s waterproof yet porous
• Plastics of several different types (nonporous and waterproof, so they require wiring off pots)
• Plywood (must be exterior- or marine-grade to avoid delaminating)
• Plaster, one of the traditional materials for bats and one of the best for porosity
• Hydro-Stone, a USG product containing cement and crystalline silica, is similar to plaster but 8 to 10 times stronger

Most wheel manufacturers pre-drill wheelheads with bat-pin holes that hold 3/8-inch (or 10-mm) bat pins on 10-inch centers. Most bat makers produce bats that fit this standard. While pottery bats can be stuck to the wheel head with clay or pottery slip, bat pins allow the user to quickly add and remove bats with ease.

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