Saturday, May 18, 2013

Building a Softball Bat Rack from PVC Pipe

Our dugouts have been quite cluttered this year with bats hanging through the chain link fence and falling to the ground, or just laying on the ground in the first place.  I've seen bat holders made from PVC in other places but couldn't find a pattern or instructions to create one so I just figured it out on my own.  I thought I'd document it here so I could refer back to it and so others might be able to benefit.

I used 3" diameter PVC for my holder.  I had 1.5" at home but that seemed too small.  When I looked at it at the store, the 2" seemed too small also, but I think it might have worked.  Anyway, I cut a 30" length and was able to put slots for nine bats in it.  This is the pattern I created for each slot.
It should be about 4.25" tall when printed.  I found it worked best for tracing on the pipe when I printed it on card stock.  Cut along the outside edge of the black line and it will be about the right size.  I used a scrolling saw to cut each slot.  Getting it started was the hardest part but it only took me a couple of tries to get a good feel for how to do it.  And only one bent blade! :)

I left about 1" between the top parts (the wider part, for the knob of the bat) of each slot, and I cut one before I traced the next one in case my cut got a little away from me.  Make sure you line up the tops and bottoms of the slots so the bats all hang the same.

To attach them to the chain link fence, I used a hose clamp that fit up to a 4" pipe and put the clamp in between slots.  Maybe I'll add a picture of that later. Hang it so that the bottoms of the slots are along the bottom of the pipe so that the bats hang straight down.

It took about 90 minutes and about $15 to make two of these.  I just put them up today and our first game isn't until Tuesday.  I think the girls - and the others who use those fields - will be pleasantly surprised!

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