North Star 13" Universal Bat System
Includes Universal bat and 9 - 5.5" inserts.
The universal bat system is designed to allow the potter to throw on a removable bat insert without removing the main body of the bat from the wheel head. This gives the potter the ability to produce multiple pieces in a shorter period of time. This system also saves storage space in the studio, when compared to space requirements for the same number of full sized bats. The heart of the system is a 13” Medex bat with a machined pocket cut into it. This pocket receives the 5 1/2” square inserts. The inserts are removed by lifting a corner of the insert. Two machined finger slots at opposite corners of the pocket allow for finger access.
Fitting the Inserts in the Pocket
The final fit of the inserts is determined by the users personal preference. The inserts are made from a material called Medex which absorbs moisture and changes the dimensions of the insert. The inserts are cut to fit the pocket with very little side to side play. This may be too tight for some users. If this is a concern, the insert may be downsized by simply sanding the insert on each of the sides. Too much side to side play may cause stability problems when you are throwing, so reduce the insert size slowly. Do occasional fit checks while you are sanding. Sand each side of the insert equally. It is suggested that a fit check be made with each insert before you start throwing. Check the fit again after using the insert several times.
The pocket in the bat is cut slightly deeper than the thickness of the bat insert, (1/32-1/16 of an inch deeper). This allows for expansion of the insert due to water absorption during the “settling in” period. In the mean time, you may raise the insert by placing several balls of clay in the pocket before you install the insert. Press down on the insert to level-off the insert with the bat body. Slight protrusions or recessions of the insert can be expected.
After using the bat system several times, the wood material will “settle in”, meaning that minimal change will occur with the dimensions of the inserts due to water absorption. Also, the insert thickness/pocket depth differences should have diminished.
Using the Universal Bat System
Place the main body of the bat on your wheel head. The bat pin holes have been drilled for the conventional center to center dimension of 10 inches. If you have difficulty mounting the U bat on your wheel head, please refer to our “ Throwing Bats” instruction sheet on our website for further instructions. Custom bats with different center to center dimensions for the bat pin holes may be ordered from North Star.
Place one of the fitted inserts in the pocket and throw as you would on any other bat. Remove your piece when finished, sponge any debris away from the pocket area and place another insert in the pocket.
Universal Bat Care
Warped inserts can usually be flattened by drying them in a stack with heavy weight on them.