Bowling Alley Wood for Bench Top

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Forum topic by NyTxTrialAtty posted 01-06-2014 09:59 PM 1404 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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15 posts in 1979 days

01-06-2014 09:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: workbench european workbench

I am making a European style workbench. I have multiple lanes of old bowling alley that I procured from a local company (that was just sitting in their warehouse for decades) for just this reason. Now, initially, I was going to pry all the boards apart and take every nail out and do a glue-up. However, weeks into this tedious task, I discovered that most of the boards were much shorter than 72”, with a lot of them being shorter than 54”.

This created a dilemma for me. So I managed to cut a very clean 24” x 72” plank of bowling lane from one of the better lanes I had. After taking the metal brace off the bottom and hand planing the top and sanding it, I am at a cross roads here:

I am convinced I need something to brace this bench top as it does not have the support I think it needs. I am debating using some cross beams made from 2×4’s or similar material, but would welcome any input on this. I am thinking 4 cross beams underneath to give it more support.

Then the question of fastening: do I countersink screws in from the top and then cover these bores on top, or do I glue it underneath and fasten it with screws that will not protrude the top of the bench?



1 reply so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4929 posts in 3958 days

#1 posted 01-06-2014 10:10 PM

My bench has a bowling alley top. Cut, drilled for stops, reinforced with angle iron, and has been in a duty status for almost 20 years. I’d do it again.
I chose the angle iron rather than a wooden cross member system.
Ya gotta watch for the hardened nails, but I was able to work around ‘em.
Plenty deep enough for hold fasts, dogs, etc., and has been very stable.


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