Making a baseball bat is fun. It's a relatively straightforward woodturning project. As little leaguers graduate from aluminum and composite bats, it's good for them to hone their skills with a classic wood bat.
Step 1: Tools and supplies
The tools and supplies needed are
36" wood bat blank
fine Japanese saw
Step 2: Choosing the wood
The first thing to do is to find a good blank of either hard maple or northern ash. The rough size should be approximately 3" round and 36" long. The straighter and tighter the grain, the less chance it will break when you use it. Material that's been graded for making bats is much better than what you find at the local hardwood store. You can find a number of good sources online.
If you can't find a round blank, you can start with a blank that's square in cross section. Then chamfer the long edges in order to make it octagonal in cross-section
The blank should be about 3" longer than the final length to allow for waste at both ends
Step 3: Marking the center
The next step is to mark the center of the cylinder on both sides. You can use a center finder, if you have one. If not, a good trick is to use a square to inscribe a right angle inside the circle. Draw a line where the legs of the square intersect the circumference. That line goes through the center. Do the same thing again after rotating the square 90 degrees and the intersection of those two lines is the center.
At the center, use an awl to make a hole that the centers will fit into.