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Clear Capping


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  • Clear Capping

    We're needing to replace some of the capping at our center. For a while, I've been wanting to clean up the ball return track area under the capping and get a clear capping so that you can see the balls coming back. However, it doesn't seem like anyone makes this, so I was thinking about getting plexiglass and making a frame and doing a custom capping. Does anyone know if this would cause a problem with certification or can think of any other problem with something like this? Anything that I should consider? We're working on getting the center certified for the first time in about 8 years, so I don't want to do anything that would cause a conflict with this. I would greatly appreciate any comments, positive or negative. If I do this, I'll post pictures afterwards.

  • #2
    What a great idea! Can you just imagine how cool that would look during glow bowl? I really can't think of any reason there would be a cert conflict. Make sure you get thick enough plex that it can be walked on.
    Necessity IS NOT the mother of invention. Laziness IS the mother of invention.


    • #3
      You will need to get plexi glass that is quite thick. That could get expensive depending on how many lanes you have.


      • #4
        You don't want plexiglass! Get Lexan (polycarbonate). It is what they make bullet proof glass out of. You can cut and drill lexan but plexiglass is very brittle and breaks much easier. Make sure you get it thick enough. Where ever you buy it from (maybe your local glass company), tell them what you are going to use it for. It needs to be strong enough to walk on. It may be expensive, but if done right, you will end up with a durable capping, unlike SOME of the crap the bowling industry puts out!
        (Psalm 37:29) The righteous themselves will possess the earth, And they will reside forever upon it.


        • #5
          I appreciate the replies. I just got a confirmation from the local USBC guys who told me that they didn't have any problem with it. I would like to do it with polycarbonate, however, I'll have to see; it's several times more expensive than plexiglass. I do have some experience with this and I also know a structural engineer that I've consulted with before. There is a local plastic company that can cut each sheet for me and place any holes in it that I might need. With this, the plexiglass (or whatever material I end up using) will be all ready to be placed into the frame when I pick it up. Plexiglass is softer than polycarbonate and is more susceptible to scratches. If I can get a good price on polycarbonate, then I'll definitely go with that.

          It's a little off-topic, but this is my previous experience with plexiglass. It was for our indoor miniature golf course that we remodeled for Halloween last year. It uses 2" thick plexiglass and spans about 2.5'x6.5'. I can jump up and come down as hard as I can right at the center and the ball barley moves.


          • #6
            There is a capping for the ball return that has removable strips for rope lighting. That part of it you wouldn't need, but the entire center section - probably around 6" wide - is removable. This is where you could put the lexan in. You would probably need only 20-30 feet like this as the lumber across the return would prohibit seeing the balls much further down the lane.
            I think Classic has this capping. I know I put some in for USBowling, but I'm pretty sure it came from Classic. I'd check with whomever is closer to you.
            This post is not an unpaid promotion of my business.


            • #7
              Mike, remenber all the ball hits 15-16 # from 10-12 ft. high. I have some wood ones cracked all over.


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