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DIY custom bowling lane countertops — 13 Comments

  1. Hello,
    I'm about to start this same process and was wondering why you didn't get a heavy duty floor sander and sand the lane first?

    • I used a uni-directional belt sander because it is what I had, and I had rented a floor sander when I redid my floor. I really hated using it. If I do it again, I will do the hand-held belt sander the same as last time. Thank you for the question!

  2. Hello,
    I'm about to start this same process and was wondering why you didn't get a heavy duty floor sander and sand the lane first?

  3. Hi! you still reading this thread? We purchased a house with bowling lane countertops in the kitchen and unfortunately, they're showing some wear & tear (next to the sink, of course). I was hoping to get your take on refinishing and repairing them. There are a few spots where cracks are appearing between the panes. I don't even know where to begin. (I'm a novice at home repair)

    • Sarah, I am so sorry I didn’t see this comment until now!! If the lanes can be removed and sanded down, I’d recommend doing that, but if not, you could get by with a hand sander. Then do several thin coats of a urethane to make it shiny and water-proof again. One of the other benefits to removing the lane and refinishing would be that you could get some glue in the cracks and clamp it together again, and it would be much stronger.

      Thank you for the comment!

    • I wouldn’t use a polyurethane finish as it will be difficult to repair as it begins to wear down. I was finishing my own countertop and found that Tongue oil has very interesting advantages. I use a product called Waterlox. It behaves very differently in that becomes infused into the wood and is also food grade and comes in both a satin and a gloss finish. The best part of this product is that it can be tinted and unlike polyurethane, if it gets scuffed up or develop cut marks you simply sand the area in question and re-apply more waterlox. The new coat chemically bonds with the older application. You don’t have to resurface the entire surface!

  4. Poly Breaks down quite easy Varnish is what I use. Have done multiple bowling lane countertops and I route Chanel’s in the underside of lane and attach 2 inch wide steel by 1/4 in thick steel 237/8 long this keeps them stable and you won’t gain thickness by using a substrate 3 coats of varnish and sand in between each coat The toughest thing I have had to deal with is they do not stain evenly.

  5. Hi there. Curious what you attached the lanes to the plywood with and then what you used to attach those to the cabinets? Screws? Glue?

    • Robin, The plywood was attached with brackets placed in the cabinets while it was open. PL brand construction adhesive and a few screws through the bottom of the plywood held the final counters on. Be sure to pre-drill, as the lanes are old hard maple and will split or even break your screws otherwise!

  6. I just got some pieces to do my countertop. Will the “lane” hold together once the brackets are removed?
    And why the plywood substrate?
    Thank you!

    • In my case, when the brackets were removed it didn’t hold together. With years more experience under my belt, I’d have done a glue up on it and made sure it was stable instead of the plywood I used back then. Hope this helps, and would love to see photos of your process when it’s done!

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