Bowling With Strings Attached: The People Are Split

There’s a bowling revolution in play, and not all bowlers are willing participants. In fact, a few are on strike, and it’s all because bowling alleys across America are getting rid of traditional pinsetting machines in favor of a string-based system.

In hindsight, it seems obvious to this American: attach strings to the tops of bowling pins so they can be yanked upward into holes that settle down the action so that the pins can be reset. In fact, European bowling “houses” have used string pinsetters for decades, instead of lumbering machinery that needs regular maintenance and costs several thousand dollars a month to maintain.

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Beautiful Table Made From A Bowling Alley


For a workbench, desk, or even a dining room table, there’s nothing quite like a massive piece of laminated maple put to use as the surface of a table. Whether in the form of butcher block, a shop class table, or in [Dillon]’s case, a reclaimed bowling lane, laminated maple provides one of the best possible table surfaces.

A while back, [Dillon] found someone on Craigslist willing to part with an eight foot section of a bowling alley for about $300. After trucking this two and a half inch thick, 250 pound monstrosity home, work began on converting it to a dining room table.

Bowling alleys are constructed by workers laying down maple strips and nailing them together one row at a time. This provides a stable surface when mounted on a concrete platform, but is completely insufficient for a table. To keep his bowling alley table from sagging, [Dillon] routed out three slots for aluminum bars going across the width of the lane. These bars were then screwed into each individual maple strip in the lane, resulting in a very sturdy surface.

The strengthened lane was then resurfaced with the help of a huge industrial belt sander and finished with a satin polyurethane. The legs of the table are made out of CNC’d 18mm Baltic birch plywood held together with metal fasteners.

The end result is a beautiful table ready to last 100 years. Considering [Dillon] spent less than $1000 on this table – and the price of eight feet of 2.5″ butcher block – we’re going to call this a win for [Dillon], his kids, and grandkids.