Good find or not - Router Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-17-2018, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Default Good find or not

Had a guy this week end contact me and wanted to know if I wanted what he had:

6 -- 2 1/2 x 4' x 16' and 2 -- 2 1/2 x 4' x 9' pieces that came out of an old bowling ally that was being torn down. He said he was going to make tables and stuff out of it but couldn't even cut it with a regular saw.

My question to you wood people ----- what kind of wood would these be made from (he said it was from TN), is it worth anything, and what would it be good for. He thought that it might be good for CNC carving. I have no idea.

If anybody wants his number - it is just north of Detroit, MI.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-18-2018, 05:55 AM
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John - I believe, if it is part of the "alley" that it would be maple - at that thickness, would make for a nice work bench top.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-18-2018, 07:45 AM
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As Vince opined, most likely Hard Maple. Excellent work surface.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-18-2018, 07:49 AM
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John,

Many years ago a local bowling was replacing all 10 lanes. I had the opportunity to help haul them away. The lanes are 60’ long. They were cut into approximately 10’ lengths by 2” thick. I cannot remember for sure how many people it took to haul them out, but there were several. I kept 4 10’ lengths. I made three work bench tops, one which is 4’x8’ mobile bench on casters. The last piece was used for a built in desk in my basement. It weighs approximately 100 pounds.

Each section is composed of laminated maple boards connected by nails. I used an old circular saw and old blades to cut. Very hard on blade and bearings on saw. Once cut I drilled through the 2” thick side to run all thread though and bolt together. I had a drill bit about 28” long made. Believe it or not all holes were drilled from both sides and I hit all of them! They make excellent bench tops once the threaded bolts were attached.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-18-2018, 09:51 AM
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John, Where north of Detroit? I'm in Troy.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-18-2018, 10:53 AM
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I agree 100% with Frank. If they're in good shape, they make outstanding benchtops. Just be sure to use a HD demolition blade when you cut it because the old maple is hard and the nails are unforgiving. Good luck with it!
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-18-2018, 12:08 PM
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Frank; why did you use "old" blades? Personally I'd have opted for a new, razor sharp, 24tooth thin-kerf Carbide...anything to reduce the friction! If the bearings were wonky, I wouldn't blame the Maple; the same basic saw design should be able to cut concrete with a diamond blade.
If anything would harm the bearings, forcing a dull blade through a dense material, creating heat, should do it.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-18-2018, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmercer_48083 View Post
John, Where north of Detroit? I'm in Troy.
Roseville, I believe. He saw me at the Polish Festival in Sterling Hts.

I'm in Shelby Twp.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-18-2018, 08:53 PM
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Hard maple and southern yellow pine make up a good portion of older lanes. Some even split the difference with HM for the first 10-15 feet then pine the rest of the way.

The hard maple demands a premium price.. SYP will fetch a pretty penny as well. If a solid bench top is what you want, you can't go wrong with old bowling alley's.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 07:45 AM
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Dan,

Because of the new number of nails, you would quickly make a new blade “old”. If I remember correctly I made several passes as the wood is @ 2” thick. I then added a border to cover the edges. I can post pictures if necessary.

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