Boat Slicks and Baseball Bats

boat slicks

It’s probably no coincidence that one of my favorite tools is the ‘boat slick’, a huge chisel whose long wooden handle either resembles, or is made from a baseball bat. I first learned about the properties of wood playing baseball as a kid, carefully selecting the bat with the tightest grain before going to the plate, knowing to orient the bat’s quarter-sawn ash fibers towards the ball when swinging for optimal impact. Watching my hometown team battle it out with the Yankees in this World Series, I’m reminded how much I loved playing baseball, especially hitting. I get a similar satisfaction from working with wood, and credit baseball with instilling in me a visceral feel for the properties of wood, along with a work ethic that values teamwork, focus and skill.