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Thread: bowling alley floor for TS extension and router table

  1. #1
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    bowling alley floor for TS extension and router table

    I have a chance to get a 42" wide piece of bowling ally floor. its almost 6 feet long and about 2 inches thick.

    Would any of you use that for a TS extension table that will have a router plate in it?

  2. #2
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    thats a nice piece of wood would make a great hand tool bench, but will work for your table saw extension as well.. i might even try to make it dual purpose and put a vice on it and some dog holes in it..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
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    Keith,
    That is going to be one Massive TS extension/table. Be advised however, when cutting through that chunk of lane you will likely wind up hitting fasteners. I made a kitchen island out of a piece of lane a couple years ago:
    Here's what will LIkely be lurking within:

    they rely on several fasteners to hold things together while the glue dries... and you will have NO idea where they are (unless you use a metal detector). SO use an old or cheap blade when you cut it up. I almost lost a router bit to that hunk of metal, as it was I just barely grazed it, and all was well. Could have been Much worse.
    -Ned

  4. #4
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    So... I had an adventure with bowling alley lanes... I would carefully check it over before comitting.

    I got a "really good deal" on some a couple of year back but found a few things out that made it less amusing.

    • Yes there are a LOT of nails
    • Not all of it is as nicely glued as what Ned found. The stuff I got isn't really glued at all (at least not usefully, there may be some glue residue still in there somewhere, it had been outside for a couple of years under a tarp so.. well yeah...); in order to use it I had to pull it all apart, scrape it and re-glue it. Did I mention there were a LOT of nails?
    • Not all of it is as clean edged as the stuff Ned got. Mine is T&G which means largish holes between the end of the T and the inside of the G. Not a problem for some uses but worth considering.
    • There are at least 2 and often 3 different "types" of lane. The run up is usually a thinner (1" or so) hardwood, the "landing zone" (sorry my bowling terminology is non-existent) which is usually a thicker (maybe 2") hardwood (often maple) - this is the sweet spot of the lane if you can get it and finally the runway which is often something softer (this is mostly what I got, it was old growth vertical grain fir but once you pulled it apart I'd have been better off spending my time digging ditches for spare change.. sooo many nails).


    I'm betting that at 2" thick its either landing zone (in which case its possibly worth something) or runway in which case I'd have to think pretty hard before dealing with it.

  5. #5
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    That's really good to know. They recently renovated an old bowling alley near me and are almost giving away the stuff. I haven't gone to look at it yet but they can't seem to get any takers

    In the picture it looks like the fastener is just random. It isn't even holding 2 pieces together
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ned Bulken View Post
    Keith,
    That is going to be one Massive TS extension/table. Be advised however, when cutting through that chunk of lane you will likely wind up hitting fasteners. I made a kitchen island out of a piece of lane a couple years ago:
    Here's what will LIkely be lurking within:

    they rely on several fasteners to hold things together while the glue dries... and you will have NO idea where they are (unless you use a metal detector). SO use an old or cheap blade when you cut it up. I almost lost a router bit to that hunk of metal, as it was I just barely grazed it, and all was well. Could have been Much worse.

    That is good to know. I didn't think of metal fasteners in it. I'll use an old blade if I go this route.

  7. #7
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    I am wondering If it will stay flat. I would use the 42" width but probably only use 50" of the length. I guess I could put a straight edge across it at a few different angles and if its still flat now it would probably stay that way fairly well.

    I think.

  8. #8
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    i would say that if its been in an alley this long and hasnt gotten wet its gonna be flat and straight.. bowlers wouldn't want a crooked floor to play on..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    i would say that if its been in an alley this long and hasnt gotten wet its gonna be flat and straight.. bowlers wouldn't want a crooked floor to play on..
    Thats what I was thinking but am worried what happens when its cut up and not on the bowling alley floor. I think I'm gonna try it out if its flat when I go look at it.

  10. #10
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    I went an looked at the bowling alley floor. It is relatively flat but none of the boards are actually bonded to one another. There is a very small tung and groove on each board but no glue as far as I can see. there are 2 1" angle iron across the back but they are not attached to each board.

    I am guessing the entire thing is held together with just the type of fasteners that Ned described but they must all be loose because I can wiggle and flex the entire thing. I doesn't look like it was ever glued.

    I said I would think about it but am kinda thinking against it at this point. I guess I had a vision of what I thought it was going to look like and was disappointed when I saw how loose it all was.

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