Laver & Wood’s Cricket Bat Lore Ch 4 Grading Willow

Making a good bat begins with grading the willow. Grading willow is not an exact science. It is more a craft that is developed over time, where an intuitive feel for what a cleft can become is as important as any specific measurements.

At Laver & Wood we grade each piece of willow at least four times before it is turned into a bat. This is a time consuming process, but crucial to getting the best performance out of an individual cleft.

Willow graded and assigned to a particular range.

All Laver & Wood’s willow comes from JS Wright & Sons in Essex. Wrights are recognised as one of the top, if not the top, willow merchants in the world. Wrights send us a variety of grades, and make sure that all bat makers take a range of willow from several different grades. Wrights enforce very sensible purchasing rules making bat makers purchase a range of grades, rather than just the top of the line willow. 

To find out more about why Laver & Wood grades our 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