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Bat Trees

Grow ash trees in the shape of baseball bats.
 
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In the course of American baseball games, many broken bats appear to split along the grain, resulting in sharp pointed pieces flying about. Why not grow flaring trees, one per bat, such that the growth rings are concentric and flaring so a split can only be from one end all the way to the other end?

As trees grow, if there is an obstacle such as a wire fence, the tree grows around it. Thus it should be possible to place a concave solid mold the shape of a baseball bat around a tree and get it to conform to the shape. Might need to keep moving the mold upwards each year. This could be turned over to the halfbakery research department, report due in ten years.

Would they cost more than regular bats? Probably, but might last longer. Consider that Christmas trees are grown one at a time, yet people do buy them.

In the same vein, it might be useful to mold large trees square to avoid the wasted slabs. Especially Black Walnut.
flypaper, Dec 03 2003

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       Having a product of this name will only cause confusion for people who commonly mispronounce the word "Batteries"
luecke, Dec 05 2003
  

       Oh. I was hoping this was something to do with encouraging fruit bats...
DrCurry, Dec 05 2003
  

       "Holy carnivore, Batman! There's a tiger chasing us!"
"To the Bat Tree, old chum!"
krelnik, Dec 05 2003
  

       "Mr. McGuire ... GET OUT OF THAT TREE! ... for Chris' sake, its been 4 DAYS! ..."
Letsbuildafort, Dec 05 2003
  

       //the tree grows around it//
...which is why this won't work. Prevent the living tissue (area just beneath the bark) from growing, and you kill the tree. The tree grows in width not only to support the new branches, but for the additional area required to carry water and nutrients upward. If you constrict the sapling as described, you may end up with a strange stump, but you won't have a decent bat.
Amos Kito, Dec 05 2003
  

       I posed question of whether this is possible, referencing the above halfbakery idea to Colorado Extension service and got following answer:   

       //start quote Response (Bob Sturtevant) - 12/08/2003 10:30 AM Joel:   

       I sent your question to a wood technology specialist and here's his answer:   

       Oddly enough, if you'd posed this question to me just 2 weeks ago, I would have said, "What?!?!?" However, a couple cohorts recently presented their findings from a study tour in Japan and one of the items of interest was the "wrapping" of Hinoki trees to produce a shaped column. As I understand it, they do something like wrap nylon strapping around the trees with PVC pipe oriented along the long axis of the tree so that the trees growth is constricted and the end shape in cross-section would be like a mechanical gear. Got a mental image?   

       I asked my coworkers to send me any information on the technique so that I can explore it further. I'll let you know what I hear.   

       Now using the process for baseball bats... that is half-baked. Given the size, that would be a small limb or a sapling, right? As far as strength goes, keeping the tree "in-the-round" and simply turning a bat from a limb would likely give the best strength properties. From what I've heard, there's quite a science behind bat design (http://www.slugger.com/TPX_BASEBALL/WOODBATS/TPXC271.HTML) and proper grain orientation to get a bat that doesn't break. I'd approach the Lousville Slugger company for research funding...   

       Scott //end quote   

       The www.slugger.com link shows bat made the usual way as far as I can see. Scott's suggestion of centering bat on small diameter goes part-way toward what I'm suggesting, but I'd like to see flare matching the bat shape.   

       Interesting that someone is shaping parallel indentations, so I would suppose square shaping is also possible.   

       If I hear any more I'll do update.
flypaper, Dec 08 2003
  

       Well that bit of research is worth a bun right there.
krelnik, Dec 08 2003
  
      
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