DIY Baseball Bat Display Rack

Are you a baseball/softball parent who has lots of old equipment you no longer use?  Is this equipment cluttering your garage or shed and you don’t know what to do with it?  Sentimental value prevents you from placing these items in the trash & new technology advances in baseball equipment each year make it difficult to give it away.  Learn how to build a DIY baseball bat display rack to solve these problems.

 

 

 

 

Introduction

I have coached my kids in Baseball since they started T-Ball at a very young age.  My collection of old baseball equipment (bats, game balls, gloves) has increased year over year.  I do not like clutter and normally find a way to get rid of the stuff I don’t use or have a plan to use in the near future.

Each time I would see our old baseball equipment laying in a storage bin in our attic, I could not convince myself to get rid of it.  Each bat brought back memories of my son hitting the ball at a certain age.  Each glove reminded me of the long hours we spent on the practice field catching grounders and pop flies.  Each game ball represented a special game that I remember like it was yesterday.  Perhaps I am sentimental towards old baseball equipment because of my love for the game.  Or maybe it is the pure satisfaction I get watching my children play.  Either way, I decided to create a DIY Baseball Bat Display Rack.   The DIY Baseball Bat Display Rack not only provides a place to store old baseball equipment, but it also serves as a piece of art that preserves memories.

Materials & Tools

Materials

  • (L x W x Thickness)
  • Please note:  ANY lumber can be used, just as long as the same dimensions can be achieved.
  • 2 – 48″ x 6″ x 1″ of Cherry
  • 48″ x 6″ x 2″ of Walnut
  • 3/8″ maple dowel – 36″

Tools

 

 

Overview

Let me start off by stating it is not necessary to use walnut & cherry wood to build this DIY Baseball Bat Display Rack wall.  I had a few extra pieces of cherry and walnut laying around from a previous project and I thought they would look nice together.  Plywood, pine, or any other wood you have at your disposal would work just fine for this project.  Additionally, the tools I used for this project are also not necessary.  I listed an alternative tool below each tool most people don’t have at their disposal.

Milling Lumber

I started this project by milling my lumber.  Wood projects go much smoother when the lumber has 2 straight edges and 2 flat faces.  I used my straight board jig with 2 dovetail clamps to get one straight side.  I then put the straight side against the table saw fence, set my desired width and ran it through.

DIY Baseball Bat Display Rack

DIY Baseball Bat Display Rack – Straight Edge Jig

The piece of cherry was about 1.75″ thick and I used my bandsaw to resaw it so that I had about a 1″ piece.

DIY Baseball Bat Display Rack - Resaw Cherry

DIY Baseball Bat Display Rack – Resaw Cherry

I resawed the 1″ piece of cherry again so that I had 2 pieces ~1/2″ each.

Baseball Bat Display Rack Cherry Resaw

Cherry Resaw

I ran the 2 pieces of cherry through the planer 2 times on each side to remove the imperfections from the resaw.  I took roughly 1/32″ off on each pass.

Baseball Bat Display Rack Cherry Plane

DIY Baseball Bat Display Rack Cherry Plane

 

Template

Next, I began making the template to hold the baseball bats.

The most important measurements are the width of the barrel, the width of the grip above the knob, and the width of the knob.

The width of the barrel ensures the bats do not touch each other while hanging from the rack, the number of bats the Baseball Bat Display Rack could hold, & the distance the hole needs to be from the front.

The measurement of the grip and knob determine the width the hole needs to be in order to securely hold the bats in place.

Baseball Bat Display Rack Template

DIY Baseball Bat Display Rack Template

I used my combination square and double-sided pencil to draw a reference line horizontally across the piece of cherry.  This reference line marked the center of the hole I needed to drill.

Baseball Bat Display Rack Straight Line

DIY Baseball Bat Display Rack Straight Line

In order to complete the drill reference point, I used my combination square to draw vertical lines which intersected with the horizontal line I drew in the previous step.  This center of each cross is where the center of the hole needed to be.

Baseball Bat Display Rack Vertical Line

DIY Baseball Bat Display Rack Vertical Line

I determined I needed the width of the handle to be approximately 1.25″ wide because the actual width of the handle was 1″.

Baseball Bat Display Rack Handle Width

DIY Baseball Bat Display Rack Handle Width

I used my automatic center punch tool to punch a small indentation.  This will help stabilize the forstner bit.

Baseball Bat Display Rack Center Hole Punch

DIY Baseball Bat Display Rack Center Hole Punch

I took the piece of cherry to the drill press and drilled 15 evenly spaced holes with a 1.25″ forstner bit.

Then, I used a scrap piece of wood below the piece of cherry to reduce tear out.

Baseball Bat Display Rack Drill Press

DIY Baseball Bat Display Rack Drill Press

 

Back Piece

I resawed my piece of 1.75″ thick Walnut down to 1.25″ thick.

I did this because I needed a 1/2″ thick piece for another project.

Baseball Bat Display Rack Walnut Resaw

DIY Baseball Bat Display Rack Walnut Resaw

In order to get straight edges & faces on the piece of Walnut, I repeated the same process I explained earlier.  I ran it through the planer the same way as well.

I marked 2 horizontal lines on the piece of Walnut as the starting point for the dados.  One line was 1″ from the top and the next line was 1″ from the bottom.

Baseball Bat Display Rack Walnut Line

DIY Baseball Bat Display Rack Walnut Line

 

Cut Dados

The thickness of each piece of cherry was about 3/8″.  I set my table saw to cut 1″ high and aligned the fence to cut at 1″ (on the horizontal line I drew in the previous step).

Next, I made one slow pass at 1″ and 4 more passes after moving the fence 1/16″ after each pass.  I repeated this process for the other line.

Baseball Bat Display Rack Walnut Dados

DIY Baseball Bat Display Rack Walnut Dados

 

I tested each piece of cherry to make sure it fit securely.  I wanted the pieces of Cherry to barely fit in the dados; otherwise, it would not be secure.  Luckily, it fit the first time.

Baseball Bat Display Rack Walnut Dado Fit

DIY Baseball Bat Display Rack Walnut Dado Fit

The depth of the Dado was right at 1″.

Baseball Bat Display Rack Walnut Dado Depth

DIY Baseball Bat Display Rack Walnut Dado Depth

 

Roundover

I used my handheld router with a 1/4″ roundover bit on the 2 pieces of cherry and the piece of Walnut.

 

Cut Bat Template

In order to cut out the template I copied from the other piece of Cherry with the holes, I used my jig saw  and it did the job perfectly..  This piece of Cherry holds the bats & the other piece with the holes will hold Baseballs.

This piece of Cherry holds the bats & the other piece with the holes will hold Baseballs.

Baseball Bat Display Rack Jigsaw

Baseball Bat Display Rack Jigsaw

The jig saw blade I used was a little dull, so I spent extra time at the Oscillating Spindle Sander smoothing out the cuts.

Baseball Bat Display Rack Spindle Sander

Baseball Bat Display Rack Spindle Sander

 

Roundover Bat Holder

Next, I used my handheld router and 1/4″ roundover bit on the entire bat rack piece and then sanded 3 pieces of wood using my Orbital Sander with 220 grit sandpaper.

Attach Bat and Ball Holder

The special tip on my glue dispenser came in handy to make a fine bead of glue on the bottom and each side of the dados.

I placed each piece of cherry into the dados (bat rack on bottom and ball holder on top).

Next, I lightly clamped them down with F-Clamps while the glue set.

While gently tapping the pieces of cherry with a rubber mallet, my camera fell off the bench from the vibrations.

Yes, that was a stupid thing to do.  Luckily, the camera didn’t break.

Baseball Bat Display Rack Camera Falling

Baseball Bat Display Rack Camera Falling

Next, I removed the clamps and made sure the glue dried completely.

Baseball Bat Display Rack Clamps

Baseball Bat Display Rack Clamps

I noticed a few burn marks left by my router due to a slower than desired feed rate.  So, I fixed these burn marks with 220grit sandpaper and my dremel tool with a sanding head.

Mount Glove Dowel

I needed to figure out a way to hang 2 old gloves on this DIY Baseball Bat Display Rack.

Next, I decided to drill 2 – 3/8″ holes at a 45 degree angle on my drill press using my drill press table to hold 3/8″ dowels.

I inserted the maple dowels into the holes to test the fit and needed to widen the holes a bit, so I grabbed my drill with a 3/8″ bit.

Then, I put glue on the maple dowels, inserted them into the holes, and used my Japanese trim saw to cut off the excess from the back.

Attach Baseball to Dowel

I placed 2 baseballs in my bench vise and drilled a 3/8″ hole about half way into the baseball.

Next, I put the baseballs on the end of each dowel, but chose to not use any glue because the fit was really snug.  Plus, I may want to change this one day.

Apply Finish

To finish the Baseball Bat Display Rack, I used a mixture of 1/3 oil/urethane & 2/3 Linseed oil.  I used the oil/urethane because I didn’t have any poly.  It worked the same and I didn’t notice a difference.

I applied the finish with a lint free cloth and put on 2 thin coats.

Baseball Bat Display Rack Finish

Baseball Bat Display Rack Finish

 

Wall Mount System

I decided to use a french cleat system as a wall mount to hang the DIY Baseball Bat Display Rack on the wall.  French cleats are easy to move around and it can hold a significant amount of weight.

I also used 2 pieces for the french cleat design because I simply did not have enough plywood to use 1 piece for the back and 1 piece for the wall.

The french cleat is the exact same length/width of the Walnut minus 1/8th of an inch in length and width on all sides.  Additionally, this helps to hide the french cleat from view while standing in front of the Baseball Bat Display Rack