The Bat Table Process

Form, Function, and Technical Challenges

Ryan Howard and Matt Jackson

Ryan Howard with commissioner Matt Jackson

Why Bats Hang Upside Down

“Building this high top table entitled The Bat Table [Why Bats Hang Upside Down] defines the phrase ‘making it up as you go along.’
Every step of the fabrication process required more brain-storming than usual because of the form, its function and the technical challenges faced in order to make a dynamic structure strong enough to support a 200 Lb slab of glass resting nearly four feet off the floor.
It meant bending wood to the limits of its integrity, shaping dense billets of ash by hand into continuous surfaces and inventing jigs and patterns to cut precise, over sized mortice and tenon joints to merge curved radius horizontal elements [aprons and stretcher] with vertical sculpted baseball bat legs.
Strength of triangulation was critically important to insure the long term survival of this “Big Piece.”
Which, coincidentally, is also the nickname of Ryan Howard, former slugging 1st baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies and for whom along with his beautiful wife, Krystle, the Bat Table was created.
There he is standing next to my son, Matt Jackson, commissioner of this wedding gift given to his most excellent friends circa 2013.
And to the maker, The Bat Table embodies more than just a solution for hanging 36 baseball bats on polished bronze clips hand crafted by old friend, jeweler and fellow Johnny’s Dance Band co-founder, Christopher Darway. It is a symbol of adaptation, standing tall for the life we all must ‘make up as we go along’ and hang in there as best we can, although hopefully, not upside down.”

John C. Jackson