Take a ball or a wooden cricket bat mallet. If you are using a ball, take the oldest leather ball available to you.
This process takes patience so turn on your favourite music or watch a movie while your hands are busy knocking in your new blade. If you are using linseed oil, it can take as much as 6 hours depending upon the softness of the willow. However, if you are using extratec, then you will take approximately 4 hours.
To start with, hit the mallet or the ball firmly against the bat face, enough to make a small dent but not any harder. After two hours, you may gradually hit harder and harder. Remember to hit all portions of the bat uniformly. Continue the knocking in process uniformly by starting with the edges and moving up and down the central blade. The lower middle portion of a cricket bat (between 10 to 30 centimetres) is mostly used to hit balls. However, do remember, it is not sufficient to concentrate on this portion only. You will have to knock in the entire bat uniformly. Do not knock on the back or the side of the bat.
For the edges, don’t use the hitting end of the mallet. Use the handle to roll, harden and prepare the edges instead. You can also use a stump for this purpose. To roll the edges, start with an angle closest to the blade and then move on to the portion where the angle will become 90 degrees. Continue this technique during the entire knocking in process increasing the pressure each time.
If you are using oil, after the 2nd hour and the 5th hours, oil the bat once more before commencing the knocking in process again. However, before oiling, don’t forget to sandpaper the bat again. In case you are using extratec, you need to oil the bat only once, after 2 hours of knocking. After the application of extratec, don’t roll the edges.
During the entire process, press your fingernail lightly against the bat every once in a while. At the beginning, this will leave a slight indent on the surface of the bat. However, as the process goes on, the bat will become harder and it will become difficult to make these marks.