Ash baseball bats
Where to find the strongest ash for baseball bats. 1998.
by Professor Gene Wengert
I've heard that the best ash for baseball bats comes from Pennsylvania. Is this true, and if so, why?
Ash is called a ring porous hardwood because early in the growing season the tree makes large cells. Then later on the cells become much smaller and denser. The zone of large cells each year is actually the weakest part of the wood--large cells mean a lot of empty space and poor strength. (Oak is also a ring porous wood.) Well, if you grow the ash too slowly, then there will be a larger proportion of large vessels, which means the wood will be weaker; too fast means too heavy as there will be too many dense, small cells. So, it is important to find the correct growth rate that maximizes the properties of the wood. There is a band of good growth--just north of Louisville, KY, upper PA, etc. So, there is a lot of truth to the statement about PA and NY--ON THE AVERAGE, the ash there is the best for bats (strength). But for beauty, Louisiana has some of the best color! Okay?
Professor Gene Wengert is Extension Specialist in Wood Processing at the Department of Forestry, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Click on Wood Doctor Archives to peruse past answers.
If you would like to obtain a copy of "The Wood Doctor's Rx", visit the Wood Education and Resource Center Web site for more information.
Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?
Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
KnowledgeBase: Wood Engineering: Wood Properties
KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in
any manner without permission of the Editor.
Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.
The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices.
What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe
for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use
of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation,
and at their own risk.
335 Bedell Road
Montrose, PA 18801
Copyright © 1996-2013 - WOODWEB ® Inc.