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Author Topic: Hard Maple--Bowling Alleys  (Read 681 times)

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Offline Brian_Weekley

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Hard Maple--Bowling Alleys
« on: March 03, 2017, 01:08:35 pm »
I saw an ad for some bowling alleys for sale by the footóreported to be hard maple.  Some friends and I thought this would be a good way to get some hard maple to build some nice workbenches.  However, when I read about bowling alley construction, it seems the hard maple is often only used for the first 15 feet or last 5 feet of the lanes where the abuse occurs and pine might be used in between.  Any suggestions on how to identify it and check this before we cut it?
e aho laula

Offline BradMarks

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Re: Hard Maple--Bowling Alleys
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2017, 05:34:55 pm »
Being a bowler, and asking a PBA member of knowledge, the heads (beginning of the lane) and the pin deck (back end) are  maple. In between it is PINE.  He say's always has been, so it is not a "might be" but a fact. Keep in mind bowling lanes  are 60' long.  And then he showed me a pic of reused pindeck made into a bar top. It looked good!

Offline Brian_Weekley

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Re: Hard Maple--Bowling Alleys
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2017, 07:29:31 pm »
Thanks.  It will be interesting to see if any of the rock maple portions have already been taken and if we will be able to see where the transition between the maple to pine is.
e aho laula

Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Hard Maple--Bowling Alleys
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2017, 07:31:14 pm »
Not sure about the maple but the pine is nailed with hundreds if nails.
My friend used old pine sections for the floor of his camp.
Heavy but pretty and extremely durable
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Offline Brian_Weekley

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Re: Hard Maple--Bowling Alleys
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2017, 05:06:01 pm »
So we went to inspect the bowling alleys today and we ended up buying 3 x 7 foot sections to make work benches.  Believe it or not, these lanes were maple the entire length of the alley.  We told the owner we didn't believe that was the case, but when we inspected the sections cut, they were! 

The owner said these were original lanes that have been in place since the bowling alley closed in the 1950s.  A false floor had been built over the original lanes.  Since the bowling alley closed, the building had been used as a pharmacy, then a harware store over the years.  The original bowling alley lanes were recently revealed now that the building is being converted to a Midas muffler shop.  The sections are made up of 1x3 T&G boards that appear to be glued.  We saw no evidence of nails in the end grain of the sections we cut?  It will be interesting to see what we find when we eventually try to rip these to smaller widths...
e aho laula

Offline Weekend_Sawyer

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Re: Hard Maple--Bowling Alleys
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2017, 07:58:52 am »
The hardwood flooring in my house is made of maple bowling alley lanes.

In 1957 they were tearing down the old bowling alley and my father was allowed to go in and take up the lanes. He did our whole house and they were all maple. When I was growing up the flooring was covered in carpet and linoleum in the kitchen. I inherited the house in 03 and started taking up the carpet and linoleum and refinishing the floors. They are  a little rough and weren't quite put down correctly but they look wonderful.

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Offline limbwood

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Re: Hard Maple--Bowling Alleys
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2017, 09:09:14 am »
I helped a guy build a bar top out of a piece of alley a couple of years ago, when we ripped it we hit a nail every 8 inches staggered, the top nails were starting to be seen from refinishing so many times. The nails seemed pretty hard to, we ruined a blade to cut 8 ft. Good eye protection is a must. Be careful.