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Wood approaches with no finish! How hard is to to do them myself?


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  • Wood approaches with no finish! How hard is to to do them myself?

    A little background. I had the wood lanes and approaches sanded and refinished about four years ago. The lanes are looking pretty rough. The finish is cracking in between the boards and we are getting some oil penetrating the wood. The approaches seem to be in better shape, but we are getting sticky spots. When I use approach cleaner on them, they seem to just soak up everything.

    I am thinking we are basically running bare wood at this point on the approaches. I have a big floor buffer, but have no idea how to refinish the approaches. Do you guys think it would be worth doing them now, or just let them be until this next summer when I get everything refinished?


  • #2
    Have no idea what of the time frame your looking at. But, anyone with a little common sense, some work ethic and some basic tools can prep and coat timber approaches. It's no harder than doing a timber deck around home. Of course, best results are achieved by the professionals, but it comes at a cost!


    • #3
      It does seem pretty logical. Is there a good guide online somewhere?


      • #4
        theres a lot more to it. to do it correctly you need more then a good rotary buffer. You will need A rotary sander [There is a difference] also a good edger sander heavy duty. The proceedure to resurface approaches is.Repair any boards that need to be replaced. Drum sand the approaches removing all the finish and take down some of the ski slope in the none slide area. Repair any boards the drumming my take out. edge sand off all the finish around foul lights and ball returns. Rotory sand the approaches with the correct screen. sweep and towel off. Tack cloth the bare wood. then you can mix and put down the approach finish with a applicator. This is basically how to resurface a wood approach.

        Now to do a screen and recoat you have other issues to deal with. You rotary screen the approaches and edge around the foul lights and returns. You are not removing all the finish. So that is where you can get into issues. Generally speaking when you pull a new "top" coat of approach finish onto an old coat it doubles the slide agent. What you end up with is an approach that is glass and you stop about a foot into the lane. So resurfacers will decrease the slid agent to give you a good slide, hopefully, once we had to damp towel the approach every day for a month.

        I would strongly suggest you hold off until you do the lanes.
        What I recommend is to use Brunswicks slide agent. I am not sure of the name of it, I have not worked on wood for 3 years. I will look it up it was something like sure slide?
        But what it is is a fine saw dust the consistency of flour. You shake it like salt onto a floor duster and sweep the approaches with it. Be careful a little goes a long way. If you do put out too much you can towel off the approaches with a slightly damp towel,

        Just my 2 pennies.
        Later Chief


        • #5
          If you're going to resurface the whole house at a later date just clean up the slide area with an orbital sander and use a lint free cloth and approach finish to seal the timber.

          For the record i have used a floor polisher with weight added to it in the form of exercise weights to recoat approaches. The only difference between a floor polisher and a floor sander is the weight of the machine.

          Don't be fooled, top coating the approaches is a simple job. On the other hand, Resurfacing is best left to the professionals.


          • #6
            If you're having doubts about how easy it is to top coat. Have a go at a small section away from the bowlers area. The section in front of your side aisle is ideal. Sand the timber, clean up all dust and apply a coat of's not rocket science.

            Good luck


            • #7
              Originally posted by Headpin View Post
              If you're having doubts about how easy it is to top coat. Have a go at a small section away from the bowlers area. The section in front of your side aisle is ideal. Sand the timber, clean up all dust and apply a coat of's not rocket science.

              Good luck

              I bought this center about 4 years ago and the wood lanes and approaches were pretty neglected. I had them resurfaced then, and they are beginning to show their age.


              • #8
                The Brunswick name for approach conditioner is " Approach Dry Slide" part # 62-860210-600.
                PS there is also a difference in RPM on a floor sander and a floor polisher.
                Good luck!
                Later Chief


                • #9
                  There does seem a little difference between the RPM's on the buffer and the sander but the key factor is weight. Don't allow either machine to remain motionless in one spot. Again, i speak from experience, a floor buffer will suffice when top coating both lanes and approaches. Done it many times, may not be as quick and efficent as the professionals but is definitely doable for a savvy owner.


                  • #10
                    I'm with HP, you can use a buffer to sand your approaches. You can rent a sanding attachment from your local rental store that will hold the sand paper to the buffer. I would use this procedure during the "recoat" year when I had wood lanes and approaches (we would resurface every other year). The paper would remove the old finish from the approach, giving me fresh, clean wood to apply my finish. When it comes to applying the approach finish, it takes a bit of touch, but with practice it gets easier. Like anything else, cleanup and prep are the keys to a successful finish.


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