Bowling Alley Workbench

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Project by Passion4Wood posted 10-09-2009 12:40 PM 26663 views 9 times favorited 44 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was telling a friend of mine one day that my next project was going to be a workbench for my shop. He began to tell me about several pieces of old bowling alley that he had salvaged years ago from when he lived in Miami. I went over to his house and he allowed me to pick the one I wanted and even helped me load it in the truck. Well, many months and a lot of work later, here is the results. I had to replace several of the walnuit ball marker inlays and I used walnut to plug all the holes. I also trimmed it out in walnuit to match.
Next, lots of cabinets and storage to build…..

-- Passion4Wood, Augusta GA.

44 comments so far

View woodworm's profile


14462 posts in 3555 days

#1 posted 10-09-2009 12:44 PM

Very nice workbench.
Say thank you to your friend!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1229 posts in 3963 days

#2 posted 10-09-2009 01:04 PM

Wow, very interesting and certainly gorgeous bench. What did you make the legs out of?

I want one!

-- Bob A in NJ

View Passion4Wood's profile


15 posts in 3571 days

#3 posted 10-09-2009 01:35 PM

Bob A,
I laminated 4/4 Maple together, 3 pieces thick for the legs and 2 thick for the stringers.

-- Passion4Wood, Augusta GA.

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3522 days

#4 posted 10-09-2009 01:41 PM

Wow, Nice job. Where can I find some of that stuff…............LOL

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Indiana_Parrothead's profile


110 posts in 3119 days

#5 posted 10-09-2009 01:51 PM

Nice bench simple and uasable. But your shop is way to clean, you need some sawdust on the floor and tools laying around to make it look like you work in there, lol… Great job am am sure that it will serve you well.

-- We are the people our parents warned us about.

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3921 days

#6 posted 10-09-2009 02:01 PM

Dude, is that an operating suite, or a wood shop? Nice shop..I bet he just cleaned it up real pretty for the photo op! I love the workbench..I really like the way you left the alley marks in it! Nice work!


View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

499 posts in 3480 days

#7 posted 10-09-2009 02:11 PM

I made one out of “alley” stock too. Mine had unfortunately spent quite a few years in a leaky shed so it had to be “halved” (sorry, old Texas word or is that Texan?) to get rid of the rotted part. Still, I was really pleased with the outcome. Then I found another project for the maple so I replaced it with plywood.

I would post a pix but after seeing this shop, I would be “banned for life” from LJ. I could not have that! Beside, my wife will not let me out of the house with a camera.

Looks terrific.

-- jstegall

View ohwoodeye's profile


1976 posts in 3117 days

#8 posted 10-09-2009 02:39 PM

Very nice touch with the walnut trim. Very useful and a neat conversation piece. Now all you need to do is lathe out and paint some miniature bowling pins as bench dogs.

-- Directions are just the Manufacturer's opinion on how something should be assembled. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 3787 days

#9 posted 10-09-2009 03:16 PM

Kids might mistake it for a game table and do a little bowling. (a few plastic bottles and a nerf ball.) I love it and it’s such a cool design. Not your typical bench. Thanks for the post. These kind of projects inspire the junior woodworkers and draw them in.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3612 days

#10 posted 10-09-2009 03:21 PM

looks good. so you left the entire width of the bowling alley huh? how wide is the bench? ~48”?

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

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3147 days

#11 posted 10-09-2009 03:26 PM

Very nice. The trim and vice realy frame it well!

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View Passion4Wood's profile


15 posts in 3571 days

#12 posted 10-09-2009 03:56 PM

I cut about 4” from each side due to damage and I cut about 2’ off of the end due to water damage so it ended up about 7’ long X 40” wide. I found out quickly that a bowling alley has a ton of nails embedded.

-- Passion4Wood, Augusta GA.

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3612 days

#13 posted 10-09-2009 04:22 PM

yeah, lots of nails… been there done that, no fun unless you know how to tackle in properly. looks like you’ve got that nailed down though (pun intended! ;) ).

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

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 3383 days

#14 posted 10-09-2009 04:25 PM

That’s just gorgeous. Great job.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View Jim's profile


122 posts in 3254 days

#15 posted 10-09-2009 04:39 PM

Love the bench top. Very nice.


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