Butcher Block Co. Loves Hard Maple, Also Used To Make Bowling Lanes and Pins!

Butcher Block Co. Loves Hard Maple, Also Used To Make Bowling Lanes and Pins!

National Bowling Day is celebrated this week, with most activities held on the second Saturday of August, which is August 12th this year.

If you’re in the know, you likely know that we all owe a debt of gratitude to the Egyptians alive circa 3200 BC for inventing the pastime. They employed “balls” made of the husks of grains bound together with strands of various ancient plants, and later balls made of porcelain.

Fast forward to the 1880s. That’s when Brunswick Corporation began making bowling balls, pins, and wooden lanes and selling them to local tavern owners seeking ways to entice patrons to spend more time onsite. But it wasn’t until the 1950s that the Golden Age of Ten-Pin Bowling hit full stride and professional bowlers earned incomes rivaling those of other sports professionals.

Bowling Lanes Are Made of Soft Pine and Hard Maple

Why, you might wonder, does any of this interest Butcher Block Co. and its loyal followers? Here’s why. Not only are bowling lanes constructed of hard rock maple – one of our favorite North American hardwoods and the most popular of them all – so too are bowling pins.

Think about it: bowling lanes are subjected to repeated physical abuse, day in and day out. Consider the fact that the typical bowling ball – made of polyurethane and an outer layer of resin that reduces bounce and allows the ball to roll smoothly – weighs as much as 16 pounds and is hurtled through the air and onto the lane from heights as high as five feet. It’s only natural to wonder, what type of material can possibly endure such abuse?

While some bowling alleys are made of synthetic materials, authentic lanes are comprised of wood – typically pine and maple. Pine, a softwood, is used for much of the lane – the section between the ball landing zone and the pin deck. The approach, landing zone and pin deck are made of maple, however. Maple is used at the front and back of the bowling lanes simply because it’s so durable (hard and dense). Maple is better able to withstand the force of heavy balls dropped on it, as well as the stress on the far end from heavy wooden pins being flung against it.

Bowling Pins Are Made of Hard Maple, Too!

See bowling pins as well, are crafted out of rugged maple blocks that are turned on lathes to be transformed into the classic, iconic bowling-pin shape before being coated with plastic and finished with a high-gloss lacquer paint.

So What Should You Do to Celebrate National Bowling Day?

Obviously, get out and bowl a game or two, preferably with others, since some among us look askance at solo bowlers, sometimes disparagingly called “sowlers.” Better yet, get the whole gang together and try some “rock and roll” bowling or midnight bowling. There’s no better way to honor the sport and friends at the same time. If you have not bowled lately, you will be amazed at what a modern bowling alley has to offer…large screen TVs everywhere, music videos, sports channels, colorful lights, automated scoring, and more!

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