Recycle Bowling Alley Lanes #1: Bowling Alley Material

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Blog entry by mmax posted 06-22-2014 01:01 PM 1783 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I have the opportunist to purchase Maple bowling alley 20 foot sections. I’m curious if anyone has used this material before and if so, for what. Obviously butcher block tops come to mind. $200/section.

-- Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else

7 comments so far

View waho6o9's profile


8919 posts in 3384 days

#1 posted 06-22-2014 01:06 PM

Workbench comes to mind.

View Don Broussard's profile (online now)

Don Broussard

3922 posts in 3059 days

#2 posted 06-22-2014 01:36 PM

You might want to review LJ JL7's projects. He got some bowling alley maple and built nice things with it/them.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View JL7's profile


8773 posts in 3772 days

#3 posted 06-22-2014 02:08 PM

Thanks for the shout out Don…. :)

In my opinion, the bowling alley is a love it or hate it thing. Of course the wood itself is beautiful. You won’t find many defects, they always use nice clear material. But, as you are probably aware, they use the nasty spiral nails to hold it all together. So you have to decide whether you use it as is, or tear it apart and remove the nails….

I remove the nails….so it’s a bit of work, and you need to re-surface the material, but it’s nice stuff….....

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 2769 days

#4 posted 06-22-2014 05:24 PM

There’s been a number of times this has been discussed on LJ. Try this blog or type bowling alley in the search box. I think the amount of work they require can be very high depending on how they were constructed.

View joeysjunk's profile


26 posts in 3623 days

#5 posted 06-22-2014 09:25 PM

I used some of the pine lanes for a couple of projects. I just left the nails…worked great. Just be ready to go through a few saw blades!

-- Joey

View robscastle's profile


7238 posts in 3011 days

#6 posted 06-22-2014 09:58 PM

A bowling Alley comes to mind!

Rip up the hallway and replace it front door to the back, that will ensure they wipe their feet!!.. or look out!!

You could always invite yor “doctor” over and use him as a skittle!!

-- Regards Rob

View Steve Kreins's profile

Steve Kreins

358 posts in 2438 days

#7 posted 07-20-2014 03:02 PM

I know a bit about then hard epoxy finish bowling lanes have. The pins also use the same chemicals to hard cure the coating. You can imagine how much abuse they take. Newer construction doesn’t allow these chemicals to be used, but a word of warning. The finish is about as toxic as my old friend Agent Orange. Part of the chemical structure is the same as dioxin. Be VERY careful when planing and sanding! I investigated a death of a women who got some lane planks and pins from an old bowling alley to use as firewood at home. It killed her after only two burns in a well ventilated system. The toxicity does not dissipate with age.Other than that, it’s great wood. ;) I wouldn’t hesitate to use it, but with great caution while removing the finish.

If it is less than 25 years old you shouldn’t have any issues.

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

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