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About GB Batons

Grizzly Bay batons are not for the timid. img-3241.jpg

There is no mistaking a Grizzly Bay for anything else out there.

I'll never tell you that there's something wrong with a mainstream "eyedropper" baton, because there isn't. They work. Some are beautiful and crafted by great artisans. You may be perfectly content with these, and never want to try anything else; if so, you probably don't want a Grizzly Bay. That's okay, I'm not out to convert you.

A Grizzly Bay baton is different. It looks different. It feels different. This is deliberate.

I wanted to engineer batons that were unlike anything else out there. I wanted to craft new instruments that were exceptional, not conventional. 

Each grip begins as a blank of material in the Bay. I like to use locally sourced woods when possible, but exotics are often welcomed. Virtually all acrylics used are hand-mixed and poured by myself just feet from my lathe. Materials are cut, glued, and clamped to produce the slice(s) of color my "Plus" models are known for.

The blank is then hand-turned and tooled into the Signature shape that cements its identity as a Grizzly Bay baton. Two features of this shape stand out as unique to Grizzly Bay - The "knuckle" offers a variety of holding positions, all with a supremely confident grip. The angled hilt/cut where the grip meets the shaft gives the baton a sense of tactile orientation and, for some, further grip. Both features are strong stylistic cues as well, making bold statements while serving a function.

A shaft is carefully selected and mated to a single, specific grip. No artificial weighting is used. The chosen shaft is trimmed, tailored, and hand-tapered to achieve the desired balance point. This takes more time and work, but the result is a natural, effortless balance with no need for a button or glue-up on the base to hide weights or cover up damage from turning between centers on the lathe. 

img-4392.jpgQuarter inch (1/4") diameter shafts are the standard on my wooden-shaft batons. This, again, is unusual and somewhat unique to Grizzly Bay. After much experimentation early on, I decided I liked the feel and rigidity of the thicker baton over typical offerings on the market. It's a sense of presence and heft, but thanks to thoughtful material selection - they feel lighter than they look. Carbon/graphite is significantly more dense than my choice Oak shafts, for instance.

Natural, unpainted shafts are typically a grain-rich Oak for a striking appearance, great durability, and a snappy action. Pine or Poplar is typically used for painted shafts to ensure a smooth finish and perfectly flickable feel. Eighth inch (1/8") diameter Carbon fiber (graphite) is used on "Carbon" models for the ultimate in durability, cutting through the air with lightning speed and precision.

Finally, there's the bear walking down the shaft. No text necessary. It's a Grizzly Bay... as if the other features weren't distinct enough. 

Thank you for taking the time to look around (and read ALL of this). As I see it, there is not a wrong answer here - If you like the look, if you like the feel, it's right. If not, please do seek out and support that artisan who makes YOUR favorite baton. There's a craftsman for every taste. Support them and - most importantly - MAKE SOME GREAT MUSIC!