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  • Synthetic heads and wood backends

    Just a few questions for anybody who has the experience. Have you ever worked in a center with synthetic heads and wood backends? If so, did you ever need to sand the backends? How often? I did a job in Altoona, PA and stopped in a nearby center that had this combination. Didn't get a chance to talk with the mechanic but the averages, high series and high game numbers were out of sight. The manager and a local pro were having a contest over who would end up with the most 300's. I was told one had 17 and the other had 16. So, I'm curious about the pros and cons of this type lanebed. If anyone knows anything, I'd appreciate hearing about it. Thanks.

    Bruce DeWeber
    Capiset Consulting

  • #2
    Re: Synthetic heads and wood backends

    Bruce, I had that combo inPhilly @ Erie lane's. HPL head's and some real good pine in the BE's. The year I went in there I blew the scores out the roof!!!!!!!!!! Out of poss. 30 names on the high score board for the winter season you needed a 300 to get on it in mid season!!!!!!!!!! We started bumping the first one's off. [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif[/img] To top it off, I was useing an old beat up 100!!!! I think you couyld dam near spit on the lane and put out a PHAT condition!!! We were going to do this at Plaza, but the draw back was the extra cost in the maintance. After a few screnning's, you have to lift the end pannel and cut the pine's. (or at least this is what I was told) The person I work for now did'nt want to go that route! [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/frown.gif[/img]

    My opinion.....useless [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif[/img]

    Do it that way!!!! Natrual BE(that is if you pine has good reaction) and a head you cant dry out!!!!

    Good Luck

    Ed
    Please buy MADE IN USA!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Synthetic heads and wood backends

      Here's what I've got. If you don't want to read all this now, wait till you're schwilly, then read it.
      I have worked at one for six + years and seen one other. "Noolio" is the head mechanic at the other. Both have wood (don't know what kind) apps, HPL heads, pine backs and maple decks.
      Mine was one of the first HPL installations in an existing center. They turned up the wood, dropped the framework (by saw or otherwise, I don't know), set the wood back down and put the HPL heads on top.
      There are two problems that have appeared.
      1. Shifting of the wood. Because they sawed through the planks at the foul line and 25' down, it left the wood unstable. The HPL's have cracked and busted at the foul line something terrible on most of the lanes. They have not cracked at the other seam, but the wood has splintered there.
      2. Screening/resurfacing the wood. Obviously, the surface of the wood drops, but the HPL's remain the same. The resurfacers (Frank Chik & Co.) did their best to compensate for this, but their best efforts didn't do much good. After 2 resurfacings, there is a definite drop at the foul line and at the seam on the lane. Because they were careful not to sand too much near the seams, the surface coat there has come apart, leaving bare wood for the Silver Bullet to get wet and destroy. I am only telling you this because you don't bowl there. We try to keep it a secret otherwise.

      Nonetheless, scores are better than area wood houses and AnviLane houses with the Silicon Joint problem. No where near new AnviLane houses and HPL houses. We've had 2 300's this season, and a mess of 297-8-9's. Recent tinkering with the Silver Bullet by a real pro has helped immensely.

      AMF refuses to replace them, though they are still under warranty. The best they will do is replace the busted panels, but that only help aesthetics and would hurt the rest.
      Because of this and a recent purchase of the nearest center by AMF, the owner refuses to buy any OEM equipment unless he absolutely has to, a boycott if you will. Consequently, we are using MAX pins, pulling broken ones every day. The glow surface coating has come off most of the bellys, making Moonlight look just disgusting. Sucks.

      Recently replacing some deck edging, we discovered "Aug '55" written on the inside. That can't help anything either.

      Things will be different when I own the dump.

      I understand that AMF has refined their installation technique subsequent to faulty installations at ours and other centers. Don't know for sure.

      Hope this helps you. Go for Mo Pinnell's stuff instead. He seems like a cool cat.

      Yer Pal,
      Chad Q.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Synthetic heads and wood backends

        Tri, Ed, Capiset: Our sister hpuse has that combo. The installation was a disaster. All old wood lanes have a "dished" head, where extra sanding was done. After lifting the 24' section of head they cut out, and removing the isolator pads to compensate for the thickness of the HPL panel, they set the head back down with a 2x4 under the foul line edge of the old head to hold it up while they sanded down the edge. That's all they did, then just dropped it down onto shims under the middle of the dished area.
        The slapping noise created by the air gap between the old lane and the new panel was terrible. After 4 months, every first (foul line) panel was cracked. AMF replaced all 40 of them. No difference, still going bad.
        AMF now replaces the first 12' of the head with a new medex panel (I think 2" thick) on all lane overlay jobs. This also eliminates the appearance of the old wider lane edge sticking out at the gutters.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Synthetic heads and wood backends

          More on that last post about the 40 laner. Since the install, we needed to do a sand on the pine. They decided then to lay Guardian over it, so I had to assemble a crew to lift the last panels, and reset them with shims after the sand.
          That's right...
          WOOD Appproach
          HPL Head
          GUARDIAN Pine
          SYNTHETIC Deck

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Synthetic heads and wood backends

            Quote:]Originally posted by BowlEquip:
            More on that last post about the 40 laner. Since the install, we needed to do a sand on the pine. They decided then to lay Guardian over it, so I had to assemble a crew to lift the last panels, and reset them with shims after the sand.
            That's right...
            WOOD Appproach
            HPL Head
            GUARDIAN Pine
            SYNTHETIC Deck
            [/QUOTE]

            How are the scores there,is there a lot of lineage? 2-3 shift's back to back?

            Ed
            Please buy MADE IN USA!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Synthetic heads and wood backends

              Ed:
              I'm not there, but here's what I hear. Scores are up; honor score couple times a month; one shift of leagues per night, with nominal open play. Kids in the morning (school groups); cozmic bowling (weird group) after leagues 3 or 4 nights.
              Not sure about the oiling pattern..I think our head mech there puts out a fairly standard shot (heavy heads, dry outside, taper & buff 40').

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Synthetic heads and wood backends

                Hi Guys,
                Thanks for the responses. I'm "reactivating" this topic for 2 reasons:
                First, two weeks ago I met a guy in New Hampshire who had worked in a center in New London or South London, Connecticut, and they had this lane combination. He said scoring was great. Is there anybody on Bowltech who is familiar with a center like this in the South London area?
                Second, since the last post here, Bowltech now has somewhere around 200 new members. I'm hoping some of them may also have some experience with synthetic heads and wood back ends.
                Thanks for your patience.

                Bruce DeWeber
                Capiset Consulting

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Synthetic heads and wood backends

                  the splitting of the HPL panels at the foul line is simply caused by the bowlers which dump/drop the ball on the foul line...as for the 24'joint, remove the
                  last three stes of screws ...and remove the paper shims beneath the panels...they are placed there for that reason. there should be a .003 sheet which extends back about 3-4 ft from the joint....then a .002 which extends til about 2 ft....and then decreasing thick ness till the end.

                  be sure to have an ABC level for when screwing the panels back in....and silicon the 24" joint.

                  when recoating the pine....just have two kids hold a flat edge on the end on the synthetics to prevent the drum from touchin the panels.....and when coating tape the freezer paperright at the panel joint.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Synthetic heads and wood backends

                    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Ed Fox:
                    . The year I went in there I blew the scores out the roof!!!!!!!!!! [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif[/img] To top it off, I was useing an old beat up 100!!!!


                    HOLY HORN TOOTING BATMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!:rolleyes!!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Synthetic heads and wood backends

                      Having spent many years, "losing hair", searching for the perfect pattern on the perfect surface (rrriiiggghhhttt, obviously sniffed way too much "Golden" in my younger days. For you young'ins, that would be the wax you put on the lanes), that Head/BE combo, if laid properly, will require you to reinforce your centers front doors as they will be BLOWN OFF the hinges if you don't!! Beautifully consistent BE/ball reaction will be your result.

                      Still Woozy

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Synthetic heads and wood backends

                        With my wood lanes nearing the end of their useful life, probably in the next five years be faced with a decision in going to synthetics. This thread has caught my attention primarily due to (1)scoring and (2)I'm assuming less costly.

                        Two Questions...(1)What kind of appearance does this have..I would think that it would look not as nice as either all wood or all synthetic and (2)what would be the estimated cost savings per lane in going this route?

                        Tony P.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Synthetic heads and wood backends

                          Tony,
                          One drawback that I've already considered is the effect it would have on Cosmic bowling. If your heads are the synthetic glow-lane type, they will really react to the black light. Then the B/E's being wood, won't glow at all unless you use the glow additive in your lane oil. Still, they won't match the reaction on the synthetic glow-lane panels. I've seen wood lanes that were resurfaced using a glow additive and after 3 years or so, they react very little to the black light. Maybe some of the guys out there with wood lanes will offer a few suggestions for getting the best "glow" off a wood lane.

                          Bruce DeWeber
                          Capiset Consulting

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Synthetic heads and wood backends

                            The reason the glow seems to fade out is the owners or whom ever tries to save money by recoating with finish that dosnt have the glow additive. They figure the top coats are clear so it will filter through and that is exactly what it does. FILTER THROUGH! You need to recoat each time with glow finish and that will keep the lanes glowing at full strength.

                            Charlie [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif[/img]
                            Please buy MADE IN USA!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Synthetic heads and wood backends

                              Bruce,
                              The one center I know of in CT with this type of setup is South Windsor Tenpin in South Windsor. They don't have AMF or Brunswick synthetics, it might be Heddon, but I am not sure.

                              The center in New London might be Holiday Lanes, they have AMF HPL's, but when I was there, I thought they had a full synthetic install. There is also a center on the Groton sub-base which may have this type of install, not sure of the name though.

                              Jon

                              Comment

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