Original finishes were maintained re-purposing the old wood for commercial and residential projects.
Original foul line markers and arrows that guided bowlers in placing their feet and aiming balls were carefully maintained during reclamation for re-use in custom projects.
Jered Slusser, wood expert at Pioneer Millworks, incorporated a few of the lanes into his kitchen as countertops, applying the final finish, a natural oil.
“Talk about durable – 2 1/4″ of solid hard maple finished with a butcher block oil – the countertops will hold up for generations, and only get better with age,” he says. “It is fun to share the history of the tops, especially once folks recognize the foul markers.”
Bowling lanes are fabricated one strip at a time, placed on edge to create a strong, durable surface. While they are often made of hard maple, the lower part of the lane, closer to the pins, was also commonly crafted of yellow pine. Pioneer Millworks has reclaimed over 200 yellow pine lanes at 10’ long and 50 maple lanes at 5’ long.
“This year we re-purposed the lanes into new tables for restaurants, in one case featuring the underside of the lanes which offered more character and color than the tops,” continues Slusser. “Not only are they a talking point, but they often evoke childhood memories of time spent with friends and family at the lanes. They are pieces of history and we’re excited to give them new life.”
On average Pioneer Millworks processes 1,062,000 board feet of reclaimed wood, including the bowling lanes, yearly. After 20+ years in business they have salvaged over 21 million board feet that would otherwise end up in landfills, grinders, and unclean wood burners, or simply rot away. Pioneer Millworks is FSC certified and Green America approved. All of their products are LEED point eligible.
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