Recycled Bowling Lane as a Raw Material #2: "The Workbench"

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Blog entry by joeysjunk posted 04-03-2011 12:48 AM 6569 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: "Harvesting" Part 2 of Recycled Bowling Lane as a Raw Material series no next part

After seeing all of the amazing workbenches here on LJ, I finally got motivated. I had set aside a piece of bowling lane for the top, but the bowling lane is full of nails. So instead of a traditional bench with dog holes and tail vise and such, I decided to make a workbench/assembly table hybrid. I knew I wanted a large work surface but the 8 ft. by 42 inch piece of bowling lane was just a little too big. I trimmed it down to 7 ft by 32 inches and backed it with 3/4 inch plywood to keep it flat. The resulting slab is over 3 inches thick and nice and heavy.

I wanted the stand to be nice and sturdy, so I set out to find 6 by 6’s for the legs. I went to a local lumberyard and the guy there told me he had some glue laminated SYP beams and he would give me a 16 footer for 40 bucks. I cut them down to size, cut the mortises on my drill press and rounded over the edges.

For the stretchers, I took 2 by 8’s and ripped them down to 6 inches to have nice sharp corners. After a few practice cuts, I got the tenons right and cut all of the stretchers.

I glued them up and clamped with some big ratchet straps. My first attempt at mortise and tenon joinery was a success!

I decided to paint the base black to make the top the focal point. The top is attached with pocket screws and the bottom shelf is a second piece of bowling lane. Note the bolt on dollies I borrowed from my company to make this thing mobile while i work on it. It is heavy!

I painted a cheap face vise to match the base and added some trim around the top.

Now on to the shuffleboard table…

-- Joey

2 comments so far

View Jack_T's profile


623 posts in 3087 days

#1 posted 04-03-2011 12:56 AM

Very nice work table. Nice enough to be a piece of furniture.

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

View JL7's profile


8672 posts in 3020 days

#2 posted 04-03-2011 01:25 AM

Very nice – I am wondering though if your stretchers may shrink over time becasue they look SPF dimensional lumber. Wedges, cross dowels or stretcher bolts will help counteract that.

I like the black base! It really does show off the Maple top. What is the finish on the top?

I have a couple chunks of bowling lane leaning against the wall in the garage and will attempt this myself one of these days, so I appreciate seeing your bench.

Thanks for posting.


edit – so I just read your other post – I understand now the finish was already there and the material is Pine – that must have been quite an endeavor to remove all that lane!

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

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