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How it’s made – Bowling Pins

Ten pin bowling is popular worldwide. An estimated 95 million people take part in the sport and amazingly archaeologists have found evidence of bowling type games from as long as 5,000 years ago. However the factory weather maid is most definitely up to date.

The sports international governing body dictates very strict and precise specifications for pin manufacturing to ensure pins worldwide react uniformly to the ball. As dictated this bowling pin factory uses hard maple wood with a moisture level within regulation range. Workers weigh the slabs and calculate which ones they’ll group together to produce a regulation weight pin. Three slabs are glued together to form a starting block for a single pin. Then they stack several blocks in a vise and pump them tightly until the glue dries about 15 minutes. A few light taps with the rubber mallet will separate any stuck together blocks.

A custom-designed machine then drills three holes in each rock hollowing out what will be the center of a bowling pin. This also removes some weight and leave space for the wood to expand and contract with humidity levels.

They lay the block in a carousel vise and glue a small slab of wood to each side. After 12 to 15 minutes under pressure the glue sets giving a wider block. They transfer it to another carousel which runs it through a planer. This removes globs of dried excess glue and levels the top and bottom surfaces. The process is repeated and wood slabs are glued to the two remaining sites. After the glue fully cures for 24 hours, those sides also go through the planer. The block is now ready for the bowling pin shape. Workers mount the block on a lathe via the hole in the bottom of the base ring. As the lathe spins cutters gradually shave away wood and the pin shape forms.

This whole operation takes about 45 seconds.

Excess wood is removed top and bottom and the machine cuts and drills those surfaces smooth. A nylon ring goes into the hole in the pins base. Next up an injection molding machine. It coats the entire pin surface in liquefied nail. Then quickly cools the night and solid this protects the wooden pin with a hard and durable covering. Now its way to make sure it falls within regulation range between 1.5 and 1.6 kilograms. Finally a printing machine spins the pin under an ink pad to apply decorative stripes. Then it’s the manufacturers logo. The ink dries to the touch in just five minutes and fully cures in 24 hours. Bowling pins crafted from wood slabs in just 40 minutes plus in curing time. That’s impressive, you could say we’re bowled over.