LumberJocks

Bowling Alley table #3: PROGRESS ... well, sort of.

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by jsol posted 08-31-2011 04:55 PM 2685 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Picture this Part 3 of Bowling Alley table series no next part

from all the research i’ve done before starting this project, i’ve come to realize that the bowling lane sections that i received are actually quite exceptional, mostly because they are the pin setting ends. i’ve googled ‘bowling alley table’ and most of what i’ve found are tables made from the section of lane with the directional arrow inlays. and while i think these tables are still sweet looking, i’m very happy to have encountered such a unique and exceptional piece of material.

furthermore, as i’ve read ‘how to’s’ and blogs of others, i have confirmed that, in fact, these sections of lane are exceptional. most, if not all folks reassured me that there would be TONS of spiral nails, which would make dismantling the lane section less than easy. yes, very much correct.

others who have embarked on a similar project noted that there was no glue or adhesives, or screws or bolts, used to hold the boards together. i guess this is where my lane sections begin to boast their exceptional qualities.

as i’ve started disassembling the sections, i’ve come in to a few surprises. first, there are many, MANY nails. i expected a lot, but even the cross braces on the back of the sections were laden with bent and counter sunk spiral nails. so much so, that just to begin disassembly, i had to chisel out and remove about 30 nails from a single 2×4.

after that, i began to remove the outermost pieces, and to my surprise, i found …

... a bolt! that’s right, a 1/2 inch thick bolt that runs the width of the lane. i had to sacrifice one board to get at the nut, which came off easily. the nut on the other side, however, was rusted on, and halted my progress for a few days. enter the die grinder:


the 2 or 3 outer boards are definitely the hardest to remove. there are probably 12 – 15 nails per board, and, the boards are glued together. about two-thirds of the length of the boards have what appears to be standard wood glue. though it is brittle now, the folks who assembled this lane section clearly did NOT want it coming apart. they even glued the hole that the bolt went through. this photo shows some glue (yellowish globs) and areas where the glue was removed from (lighter patches of wood):

the last surprise came when i discovered that there are heavy duty screws driven in from the back ends of the boards. they are sunken in so deep that i didn’t even notice them until i tried to remove the boards. the screw is probably a 1/4” thick, with deep threads. give the amount of nails, glue and 40”+/- bolt, i’m not sure what purpose these screws serve. oh well, i guess i’ll have to chisel them out.

to date, i’ve gotten about 11 boards (of the 39 in the first lane section) removed. by prying the individual boards up slightly, and hammering the nails back into the wood—hitting on the point, not the head—and using a nail set when necessary, the boards are coming off much easier and quicker. at my best, i’ve been able to get about 3 boards removed in 1.5 hours. that doesn’t include removing the nails from the boards.

so, let me get this straight:
- lots and lots of brittle, spiral nails : CHECK
- the boards are glued together : CHECK
- 1/2 bolt running the width of the lane section : CHECK
- bonus heavy duty mystery screws : CHECK

yup, all these bonus obstacles seem to make these lane sections truly exceptional.

next blog entry will show more photos of as i near completion of dismantling the first lane section and move on to the next.

-- jsol



10 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3109 days


#1 posted 08-31-2011 05:47 PM

hold on… bringing the popcorn….
.
..
...
OK… let the fun begin :)

I think you tackled what’s there to tackle. from now on it’s just rinse and repeat and before you know it you’ll have great sturdy, dry and hard material for use.

recycling isn’t free – just have to pay with different means sometimes.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View jsol's profile

jsol

23 posts in 1943 days


#2 posted 08-31-2011 06:06 PM

oh, so true …

on a good note, i’ve contacted the folks at Brunswick, and told me where to order replacement pin setting inlays and dowel screws. ideally, i would like to reuse the original materials … and i still may, but as i am taking the boards apart, it seems that the inlays are becoming distorted and unusable.

good thing i wasn’t expecting this to be easy …

-- jsol

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3109 days


#3 posted 08-31-2011 07:39 PM

it’s a nice thought, but like I said earlier – it would probably be a good idea to remake those inlays once you have the boards cleaned up, milled straight and true, and realigned so that it can be done properly. it’s a project with many lessons in it – I say go for it

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View JL7's profile

JL7

8424 posts in 2425 days


#4 posted 09-01-2011 03:56 AM

Hey – it’s great to see your progress…..I haven’t dealt with the pinsetter material before, but I have encountered the heavy duty mystery screws. I have 2 types of Maple lane, the thick alley material, plus the thinner approach area, where you walk. Occasionally I have encountered some glue, but not much.

I suspect they pull out all the stops on the pinsetter end, as you are finding out…..

I just planed up another batch of lane tonight, and trust me, it is really beautiful when its done, but as PurpleLev pointed out – you have to pay for it…...Kind of makes the final product a little better I think.

Jeff

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View JL7's profile

JL7

8424 posts in 2425 days


#5 posted 09-01-2011 03:58 AM

Oh – and as Bertha pointed out in a previous post – make SURE you use a metal detector before machining this material….......lots of metal hiding in there….

Jeff

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View jsol's profile

jsol

23 posts in 1943 days


#6 posted 09-01-2011 04:26 AM

JL7 : you’re right, i think, that the trials and tribulations make the end result all the better. i hope the end result comes out somewhat close to my vision. i’m still a bit concerned how that is going to happen since i don’t have any of the tools that i’lll need … literally, none. perhaps that is part of the beauty of this whole process as well …

reading all of the wisdom, guidance and encouragement is inspiring me to get back to work. nearly half way through dismantling the first section. it’s a bear, but boy is it fun!

thanks folks! Cheers.

-- jsol

View JL7's profile

JL7

8424 posts in 2425 days


#7 posted 09-01-2011 04:30 AM

Just curious, once you get the boards apart, are you going to buy tools to finish or out-source?

Jeff

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View jsol's profile

jsol

23 posts in 1943 days


#8 posted 09-01-2011 03:23 PM

JL7 : that’s a good question, and i’ve been thinking a lot about this. my considerations are, that 1/ i’m not sure what tools, or what level of tools to get, 2/ not sure that if i buy the tools i will continue to use them (mostly a time issue), 3/ the money that i pay to outsource will certainly buy my tools, however, will i be able to achieve the same level result? (skill)

i’ve made connection with a good wood shop local to me, so i may take some of the material to them and see what they would recommend and charge. they run about $100 / hr, so i’d have to get all my material in tip-top shape before i brought it over there to be cost-effective.

if you, or anyone else, can recommend specific tools and equipment, i can price it out and know what i’m getting into.

-- jsol

View JL7's profile

JL7

8424 posts in 2425 days


#9 posted 09-01-2011 05:03 PM

I would estimate that someone with the correct experience should be able to clean this material up in 2 hours or so with the right equipment. Maybe you could find a hobbyist in your area that wouldn’t charge $100/hour? I would certainly charge less than that to help out someone with a special project, but who knows? Of course you still have to glue it up and get it flat!

To plane and size the boards, I use the following sequence:

1. With the power jointer, flatten the groove edge
2. With the power planer – flatten the opposing side (tongue edge) (approx. 3 passes)
3. With the power planer – make one final pass on the groove edge (I leave some of the groove intact to maximize the material thickness).
4. With power jointer – square up one face of each board
5. With the table saw – square up the opposing face

For glue-up – parallel clamps are prefered – but you could get by with pipe clamps.

I would recommend some form of breadboard ends, which will keep the panel flat and hide the “grooves” you left in the boards. For this operation, there is neat trick using a router and a straight bit.

Final flattening could be done with a hand plane (and some practice) or outsourced to someone with a large drum or belt sander.

Hope this helps!

Jeff

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View astallings's profile

astallings

1 post in 1043 days


#10 posted 02-10-2014 01:38 AM

jsol

Mind sharing your source on the pinsetter inlays?

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com