Laver & Wood’s Cricket Bat Lore Ch 14. Importance of Pressing Cricket Bat Willow

The game of cricket involves a bat that is made of a soft material and a ball made of a hard material. The ball, although hard on the outside, is designed to change shape slightly on impact thus minimising any potential damage to the bat. The bat is designed to withstand the pressure of the hard surface of the new ball.

Pressing is important for two reasons. Without pressing the willow absorbs the velocity of the ball, rather than transference of the energy back to the ball. The hard surface created by pressing also protects the bat from damage. A key part of the batmakers’ craft is getting the right balance between pressing too softly and having a bat that lacks durability, and pressing too hard so its performance is killed.

Bats pressed and shoulders cut out.

Cricket bats have been pressed since the early 1800’s. Prior to shaping and balancing, the piece of willow was subjected to a huge amount of pressure by striking the surface of the willow with a heavy mallet. Pressing in this manner resulted in a very hard layer of compressed willow that made the bat very resilient to wear and tear. The only problem with this method was that the bat was very often too hard and did not perform.

To find out more about how Laver & Wood press cricket bat willow please purchase Laver & Wood’s Cricket Bat Lore Volume I from Amazon.

More Laver & Wood Cricket Bat Lore chapter introductions can be found below.

1. Salix alba var. Caerulea

2. Watermark Disease

3. Why English Willow

4. Grading Willow

5. Butterfly Willow

6. Grain Structure & Willow Colour

7. Testing a Cleft

8. Laver & Wood’s Guide to Cricket Bat Handles

9. Laver & Wood’s Handles

10. Handle Breakage

11. Revised Handle Laws

12. Handle Manufacture

13. The Coefficient of Restitution and Centre of Percussion – What are these?

14. The Importance of Pressing Cricket Bat Willow

15. Traditional Bat Making

16. Tools used in Traditional Batmaking I

17. Tools used in Traditional Batmaking II

18. Tools used in Traditional Batmaking III

19. Tools used in Traditional Batmaking IV

20. The Weather & Bat Making

21. Preseason Bat Check

22. Bat Repair and Maintenance

23. Knocking In

24. Oiling Bats

25. Moisture Damage

26. Batting in Wet Conditions

27. Making Bats Last Longer

28. Why Bats Break & How to Protect Them