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Gauging the worth of reclaimed Bowling Alley Lanes (locally available for free)

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Forum topic by BRAVOGOLFTANGO posted 567 days ago 2869 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BRAVOGOLFTANGO

271 posts in 634 days


567 days ago

As the subject states, pretty much a local bowling alley is remodeling, tonds of the lanes are free to the public. Appear to be pine to me, just laminated together. Thought of building a mini-robou workbench from what.

If it were oak or maple I’d really be more anxious, but it appears as pine to me. Would anyone here know what the standard medium for bowling lanes is? Would it be worth loading up a section? They are huge, like 12’ long which I might need a lowboy.


16 replies so far

View Hugh_McAndrew's profile

Hugh_McAndrew

2 posts in 623 days


#1 posted 567 days ago

A quick internet search shows that
“The first 12 feet of all wooden lanes is made of maple, the next 46 feet is made of pine and the pin deck is made of maple.”

As to if it’s worth it, I guess that depends what you want to do with it. If you’ve got a use, free wood is free wood!

View CrazeeTxn's profile

CrazeeTxn

150 posts in 581 days


#2 posted 567 days ago

Not sure what a mini-robou workbench is, but a workbench sounds like a good idea no matter what the wood is. Course, if you want something that’s dead flat, good luck :) But a workbench for day to day ops sounds good…especially when it’s free!

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

886 posts in 741 days


#3 posted 567 days ago

Ping PurpLev…

I think he has experience in the reclaimed bowling alley realm.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

13298 posts in 1306 days


#4 posted 567 days ago

Fellow LJer, JL7 also has experience with reclaimed bowling alley lane. He has made some really nice projects with it!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

1678 posts in 934 days


#5 posted 566 days ago

Man, free is free! I would go for it provided you have a place to store it.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View SamuraiSaw's profile

SamuraiSaw

449 posts in 595 days


#6 posted 566 days ago

How thick is the material? It will certainly be stable wood, I’m presuming the bowling alley has been there for a while. I’m betting some nice projects can come from that wood.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas.... www.awwtx.com

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3735 posts in 2294 days


#7 posted 566 days ago

Depends on the age and manufacturer of the lanes. The ones I worked on back in the 60’s had hard maple pin decks and the first 12’ from the foul line, then soft maple for the remaining 46’. The approaches were also hard maple.

They were tongue and groove and loaded with ring-shank nails.

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3595 posts in 2365 days


#8 posted 566 days ago

It might be denty, unless you get a piece from beyond the lob line :-)

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View BRAVOGOLFTANGO's profile

BRAVOGOLFTANGO

271 posts in 634 days


#9 posted 566 days ago

Thanks for the tips guys, figures it’d rain today, regardless, I’m a bit anxious about getting some of this stuff. I have a generator, circ-saw, sawzall, whatever I need to cut it down for truckbed length, but just didn’t care to do all that just for pine. New kiln-dried pine is inexpensive enough.

- crzytexn – guess by mini-roubu I was just referring to a smaller than the norm version. I have a 2-car garage that’s a dedicated woodshop now. I also think it’d be cool to build my Grandon a mini-roubu from this bowling alley lane maybe, similar to the LJ mini-bench someone posted on here this week I think.

Wish I was better versed and experienced with identifying the wood mediums, I’m decent with some of it that I’ve worked with a lot, but the underside of these lanes are dripping with glue all over the place and 30 coats of old yellowed clear on the top, lol…tough to tell the grain.

This facility I’m guessing for the area was built in the 80s maybe.

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

10692 posts in 1637 days


#10 posted 566 days ago

I say greab a sawzall and some of Milwaukee’s Axe blades and go cut yourself up a good 8’ section. It would make an awesome bench. I dont think that i would ever try and pry them all apart for free reusable lumber. There’s just too many nails and other crap to deal with. Even if it is pine they usually stacked them with the edge grain up so it would be plenty tough enough for a bench.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

1839 posts in 1862 days


#11 posted 566 days ago

Last report I saw last night is it is all gone except for some 2×4s in the dumpster. Apparently the word got out and folks showed up yesterday morning and loaded up. Somehow I am always a day late and a dollar short! :-(

You are talking about the Clear Lake Lanes.?

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2279 days


#12 posted 566 days ago

the ends of the bowling alley lanes are hard maple, and is a nice material for certain uses as it is thick, hard, and straight (and dry).

that said, there is no free lunch – it takes some effort to clean those boards up and use them for projects. First you have those hardened nails every 4 inches or so that will destroy your saw blades, then you have the tar on the bottom that you’d have to clean off (and will tarnish your saw blades/hand planes/etc), and at the end you are left with material that is full of holes (nails)- so in essence isn’t really suitable for just any project. great for shop projects and workbenches or “reclaimed look” projects though.

don’t get me wrong – all the above is very doable, just don’t expect this material to magically transform into a project without some effort put into it.

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

View PASs's profile

PASs

561 posts in 1729 days


#13 posted 566 days ago

For future reference….
I got a few sections back in ‘88.
REALLY nice wood…but every 6 inches they were shot through with hardened ring shank nails.
Almost impossible to pry apart, and disaster to anything less than a metal cutting blade.
But it’s almost like pre-assembled workbench tops.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3735 posts in 2294 days


#14 posted 566 days ago

Among the things in life I will never forget is the time I hit one of those ring-shank nails with a plunge router and straight bit. I was routing out a dent to install a dutchman and went a little too deep. Definitely Charmin time!

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View BRAVOGOLFTANGO's profile

BRAVOGOLFTANGO

271 posts in 634 days


#15 posted 566 days ago

As MTstringer stated, it’s all gone, went buy lunchtime today and poof. Seems every local forum from fishing to knitting hand puppets knew this wood was sitting there..holy cow!

Meh, least I’ll know for next time what they’re made of, etc.

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