View Full Version : Century 100 Oil Pattern

04-18-2011, 10:20 PM
I took over my parent's center almost 2 years ago. I have an ancient Century 100B machine. I know, everyone is going to say "Buy a new machine" and I would love to, but there is no way that's going to happen within the next couple of years, so I have to do with what I have. I also have a Century Stripper for cleaning the lanes.

My Dad had the machine set to oil to 35' and buff to 44', no calibration shims and duct tape wrapped around the buffer tube at each end about 7 boards from the gutter to "block" the lanes. It was a completely brutal condition. So since I took over, I have been trying to get this thing to put down a decent condition, but I don't think what I've been doing has been helping. Given that I'm working with manuals from 1978, I doubt the methods described are adequate for "today's" aggressive balls and demanding customers. I'm also working with an incomplete set of shims which I'm going to soon fix.

The book says to set the machine to oil for 15' and buff to about 44', but I don't think that 15' will be enough oil. The calibration guide suggests to shim the oil tank "black, yellow, white, coral, coral, white, yellow, black" but I think that will put way too much oil on the outside of the pattern.

I'm thinking that I should oil to 20' and buff to about 42-44'. I like the idea of heavy oil on the interior of the pattern, but lighter on the outside. I'm thinking something like "no shim, black, yellow, coral, coral, yellow, black, no shim". I'm also considering re-wiring the 100B to be like a 100C and "double oil" the first 20' to get additional oil build-up in the center of the lanes. I'd also like to get some sort of tank heater if I can find an economical option.

I have read about people using multiple oil tanks and multiple buffers to create a "better" condition, but I really don't want to get into a situation where oiling takes hours to complete. We oil the lanes in between our 6:30pm and 9:00pm shifts, and so it has to be done quickly. I'd also like the oiling to be able to be done by the "average" employee, lol, so it can't be too complicated.

I'd appreciate any suggestions on how I can put down a playable condition with this machine or at least what a good scoring condition "looks" like so that I can try to set the machine up to replicate it. Thanks!

PS I personally average 205 on the "current" condition of oil to 16', buff to 44' with a calibration of "blue, brown, brown, blue" in the center area. (Those are the only shims that I have, lol). I replaced the wick and buffer tube this past September, and I'm using Kegel Offense LV... BUT I get a lot of complaints from customers who claim to bowl "a lot" better at other houses in the area. I guess that growing up on these lanes doesn't hurt either http://www.bowltech.com/forums/import/graemlinspre2012/smile.gif

04-19-2011, 01:11 AM
If you are limited in the area of technology when it comes to your lane machine you may be fighting a never ending battle. Other centers around you may have newer machines where they can really fine tune the oil pattern. What kind of lanes do you have> wood/synthetic? You said you are unable to purchase a "new:machine at this time...Is there any opportunity for you to purchaser a "new""er" machine? Of course a nice Kegel machine would be wonderful but you can put out a consistent very playable shot with something like a Summitt lane machine. It would be a lot more affordable for you. Also before you play around with your oil pattern to much you need to ensure that your machine is cleaning the lanes properly. If your machine is doing a poor job cleaning the lanes you will never get any consistentcy to your bowlers. Typically the bowlers are just looking for consistentcy. If you can find a way to be consistent, you will be able to fine tune your shot. It all comes back to clean lanes and a properly functioning machine.

04-19-2011, 01:24 AM
Or maybe you can lease a machine? It will be a reduced monthly cost vs buying even a used machine. At least this way you should be able to build up your bowler base. More bowlers means more $$$ and more opportunity to possibly purchase a machine out right in time.

04-19-2011, 02:46 AM
I have wood lanes... and as I mentioned, I have a Century Stripper so cleaning the lanes isn't really the big issue, albeit as old as the Century Oiling machine...

I appreciate what you are saying about increasing business, but I have a TON of other things that are far more important to improve than lane conditions. Leasing or buying a used machine is simply out of the question when I have 10 year old rental shoes, old carpet, bathrooms that need updating, a leaky roof, a 50 year old boiler, etc, etc... not to mention that I haven't taken a paycheck since I took over http://www.bowltech.com/forums/import/graemlinspre2012/smile.gif I simply have no other option than to put out the best condition that I can using this particular machine. I believe that we are putting a "consistent" shot out from night to night, but if possible, I'd like to improve it...

I understand that the answer on this forum might be "no one uses that machine anymore so yer on yer own" and that's cool. I have a decent idea of what I'd like the condition to "look like", I was just hoping that someone else could short-circuit the learning curve and point me straight to the best solution. http://www.bowltech.com/forums/import/graemlinspre2012/cool.gif

04-19-2011, 03:40 AM
I'm sure somebody on here will be able to help you out. There are plenty of very good mechanics on here who also know lane conditions very well.

If I were in your place my next move would really be to find equipment (maybe your local USBC association office can help you) and pull tapes on your lanes and actually get yourself a picture on a graph of the amount of oil you have across the lane and down the lane. It's very easy to get lost in making blind or opinionated adjustments without actually stepping back and seeing a picture of it. Without pulling tapes there are just so many variables that play role in how playable your lanes are. At least with a graph, you can shape your shot appropriately and be able to develop a base program and make your fine tuning adjustments from there. If you pull tapes you can probably post your numbers on here and somebody will be able to give yuo really sound advice on where to make changes to create that base pattern to work off of.

Kanga (James)
04-19-2011, 04:46 AM
The condition of your wood will play a big part.

We use to have two tanks. One with a full wick, one with a cut wick around 7 boards in. We used two different shims in the tanks. The long wick had a thin steel (full length) shim approximately the same thickness as the coral shims. The short wick used a slightly thicker shim (full length).

We would full wash 2 days a week and double oil straight after in the mornings only with the long wick. Every double oil in the afternoons was with the short wick only. The wash days were on low average bowler nights to get the carry down.

I THINK from memory we were oiling to 23-26', buff to 33-36'.

We had the System 2000 Brunswick Armor Plate synthetics and were the highest scoring lanes for some time with that old classic.

04-19-2011, 02:40 PM
I haven't had experience with a 100 but I have set up patterns with an AMF express which is pretty much a 100 that strips and what I did with them is my 1st "pass" strip/oil I would run the full wick in and oil somewhere between 10 - 15ft and only buff to 32 - 35ft then I ran a second "pass" with plastic "cards" in the outsides of the tank to block the outsides which let me be able to keep the tank on longer to get some volume in the middle, I think it was around 30ft with the tank and I buffed out to 45ft on the wood and on HPL I buffed to 44ft. I seemed to have a lot more control with what I had in the front/mid lane without taking too much to the end of the pattern, if I needed more in the midlane or heads I could add it without taking more down the pattern. I also ran an old silver bullet gemini on wood that way...pretty much another 100 that stripped. For the non full strip days I would suggest cleaning the backs probly last 15ft or so and run the blocked tank but you need a full tank run on your full strip days you got to have oil across the lane for good ball motion, block the tank not the brush. I wish you luck I've been there but its more then possible to make it work http://www.bowltech.com/forums/import/graemlinspre2012/smile.gif

04-19-2011, 07:00 PM
1st pass oil 12ft gutter to gutter , down and back ,second pass place a shim from the 7 board to the gutter each side blocking out the wick from the transfer roller and oil down 32 ft and buff to 41,and return the same, you have now tapered the outsides and added midlane oil to help the inside players and have plenty to play down and in.worked for me.

04-19-2011, 11:47 PM
Thanks for the advice so far guys, good stuff. I'll be refinishing the lanes and approaches this summer, so going into the fall I should have a nice finish. That's one of the main reasons I want to get the condition right so that my league bowlers come into a newly refinished set of lanes with a good scoring condition. I'd be interested in hearing suggestions on what product to use, right now I am leaning toward the Polychem 200-1 Uralane Base Coat and 309 Uralane Top Coat with the Deck Hold 10 in the pits, but there seem to be a lot of options out there.

My next move was to get tape to read the oil so as said above I wouldn't be working blind. I've read about people using a "manual" tape? I have no experience with lane oil tape, so where's a good place to get it and how much does it cost?

04-20-2011, 07:55 AM
Your local bowling association will pull and read tapes for you. If you can't invest in a lane machine I'm quite sure you're not gonna be able spend $2000 on a pick up devise and reader. If you would like I can give you the # of the resurfacers that do my place, they go all over the east coast and they're good.

04-20-2011, 11:01 AM
Just my experience here. We bought our center back in '01 and had a century 100 then. We used to take a lambswool bonnet (like whats used to refinish hardwood floors) that was 8" wide and took a condiment squeeze bottle and hand applied from the arrows back to the line from 11-11 and then run the machine over it. This helped get more in the middle of the lane without double running the machine. We used a high flow wool wick for the whole tank and took card stock to semi block out the outside. You would only get outside whatever bled thru the card stock. As for shims we had no shims just the card stock about to 7 and yellow shims 7-7 and then the orange colored shims on top of the yellow for the inner 12-12. We were running like 20'-22' buffed out to 40'. Hand strip backends daily, hand strip full lane once a week. I always felt the shot got better as the week went on cause you got the build up in the center from not stripping.
It sounds like you've got a lot of options listed in this thread and obviously its gonna all be trial and error.

04-21-2011, 12:51 AM
Tonight for the league that I'm on, I tried a little experiment. I made two passes with the machine, the first oil to 15' and buff to 30', and the second was oil to 17' and buff to 44'. The guys really liked it, and one of them shot a 738. I hadn't thought about running the machine down the lane twice with different settings, but it made an immediate difference. So at least I'm on the right track now http://www.bowltech.com/forums/import/graemlinspre2012/smile.gif

04-21-2011, 06:20 AM
Have your resurfacer check and see if your heads should be injected. This will hold the oil much better.

Good luck,


04-21-2011, 11:58 AM
We had the lanes epoxy injected about 10+ years ago. Right now they are in decent condition except for two lanes that have some water damage from the leaking roof and a handful of boards that need to be replaced. Fixing the lanes roof was my project last summer, so thankfully that situation is under control, this summer includes a new roof for our bar http://www.bowltech.com/forums/import/graemlinspre2012/smile.gif

I'll be doing the resurfacing myself; no worries, tons of experience with that. Most of the difficult work is in the pits, they have been neglected for a long time. New kickback plates, new flat gutters and leveling the decks are the highlights, lol.

04-21-2011, 12:15 PM
i feel your pain. Last center i had we ude a summit. Now in this center we have a century 100. My problem is trying not to put to much oil since we have kickers. we run two tank gutter to gutter and 10-10. No one likes the shot but have to guard against ball calls.

04-21-2011, 02:48 PM
ringing 7 how often do you strip the full lane? The reason I ask is because you can still put enough volume on the lane to make bowlers happy even with kickers, the key is not having too much volume at the end of the pattern.

04-21-2011, 04:12 PM
once a week and oil once a week. we only have 1 league on tuesday.

04-21-2011, 10:39 PM
have you ever thought of stripping 2 or 3 days before your league and running a head pass each day til league then just strip the last 25 - 30ft before you oil for league...you'd have a nice build up to create hold and longevity to your pattern. Just a thought to try and help...?

04-22-2011, 12:39 AM
Fortunately with the Humpbacks and Light Ball Clutch by Lifelong I don't have any ball return issues, lol, perhaps the only problem I don't have... today I realized that there's a bird nesting above the dropped ceiling, I guess there must be a hole somewhere http://www.bowltech.com/forums/import/graemlinspre2012/cool.gif

04-22-2011, 11:19 AM
When I had a C100, what I ran was this. Actually, I also had a C300, 2 machines. I would strip on Mondays, not open. Tuesday, I ran C100, short wick, 10 to 10, then run C300 over that. C100 was oiling double, 20', buff to 40', C300 was 15, buff to 43'. Wednsdays, run C100, thursdays run C300, Fridays run C100, Sundays run C300. I had a good shot, although backends got a bit sloppy by Sunday, not very many issues with my kickers.
If you can't get a second machine, at least get a high flow wick. Todays high friction balls eat the oil off of the lanes, and you must protect the finish.

05-24-2011, 09:10 AM
Shim tank blue brown pink white white pink brown blue. Replace buffer tube and run your set distance.

05-24-2011, 09:14 AM
If you can afford another tank run PM run with cut felt 1 to 7. Shim tank coral coral coral coral.

05-24-2011, 09:17 AM
If you can get another tank for PM run cut felt 1 to 7 and shim 4 corals.

05-26-2011, 03:56 PM
I had some nice scoring when I had my Century 100. I cleaned back ends 3 times a week, Mon,Tues,Fri....but to keep any build up I would dry towel every day. Kept things easier day to day with your runs and double runs of your machine.

05-27-2011, 11:15 PM
May i suggest a Hudson Bug Sprayer if things get too bad