Introduction: How to Cork an Aluminum Bat
To make things clear, using a corked aluminum bat at any level is extremely illegal in the sport of baseball. However, using a corked bat for things like home run derby's or screwing around with your friends can be rather fun. Corking a bat allows the ball to get more carry on it when hit. As mentioned earlier this is not to be used in competitive games, rather it is just for fun.
As you can see it is not the most difficult thing to do in the world nor is it the most useful thing ever. However, it is somewhat time consuming. It will take about 30-45 minutes to just get the cap off and balls in. Then another 24 hours for it to dry.
Lets all be honest, if you're a baseball player, who wouldn't want to hit bombs with a corked bat?
To cork a baseball bat you only need a few things:
- A flat head screwdriver and hammer
-A package of tennis balls
-Extra person (makes job much easier)
Step 1: Pop the Cap
Popping the cap is the first thing that must happen in order to access the hollow center of the bat. Now this may seem easy but at times it can be difficult. This is where both the flat head screwdriver and hammer come into place. I needed to wedge the screwdriver into the seam between the cap and the end of the bat. This can take time, I first had to pop the seam then there was an inner seam that also needed to be popped. So be patient, work around the entire seam until the cap simply pops off by itself. This will take about 20-30 minutes to complete.
When doing this it is imperative to not ruin the cap. The cap is needed in decent condition in order to glue back on later.
Step 2: Add Tennis Balls
This is as easy as it sounds. You will take your pack of 3 tennis balls and put them into the hollow part of the bat. Only 2 of these balls will actually fit depending on the bat. I had to lodge to first ball into the bat and hit it on the ground to provide enough force for the ball to move its way down the barrel (it is a tight fit). Then I used the technique demonstrated in the photo on the next step to move the ball as far down as possible to allow enough room for that second tennis ball to fit.
Once again this is a tight fit, so you must repeat all the steps in order to get enough room for the cap to be placed back on. It is not easy, just use as much force as possible.
Step 3: Use Wooden Rod to Push Tennis Balls Further In
This is the technique referred to in the step before. This is actually the most crucial thing. This allowed myself to get enough room for both balls to fit while having enough room for the cap to be glued back on securely. Simply take the wooden rod or even another bat head and hit the balls with as much force as possible until they will not move any further down the barrel.
Just as a heads up, this entire process will for sure make you break a sweat. But it is worth it I promise!
Step 4: Glue Cap Back On
So that cap I told you to keep in good condition earlier will now be needed here. Using the gorilla glue I will applied a layer onto the inside of the barrel of the bat and also a layer around the cap. Then you will simply place the cap back on. Sometimes it does not fit in all that easily so I needed to use the hammer to apply the pressure needed for it to fit in. A second layer of glue around the outer seam is highly recommended to help ensure it does not pop off when hitting the baseball. I used 3 layers, so after the first two dried I applied an extra one to ensure the cap did not pop off.
Step 5: Let Bat Sit Cap Side Down for 24 Hours So Glue Can Dry
Once the cap is popped back in, let the bat sit for 24 hours to allow for proper drying of the glue. This should ensure that the cap will not pop off when you start hitting with this bat. My method was I stood the bat on its cap so that it would help fuse the cap barrel back together effectively. It worked for me but an alternative method would be using a clamp to apply sufficient pressure. Both methods would be sufficient.
Step 6: HIT BOMBS
The most fun step of them all! Now that the bat is fused back together you have an extra advantage with the tennis balls in the barrel.
Now that the tennis balls are in the barrel the bat is much heavier and top heavy. AKA helps you hit bombs.