CANDLE-PIN & DUCK-PIN BOWLING ALLEY

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Introduction: CANDLE-PIN & DUCK-PIN BOWLING ALLEY

A Basement Bowling Alley is simple and very quick to build if you have @ 35’ of available space.

This is a pictorial presentation on how to make a ½ length standard Bowling Alley for Candlepins and Duckpins in your basement for use by both adults and children of all ages. It can also be used for a number of other bowling pins and ball sizes and types, such as tennis ball baby pins for small children. Various bowling configurations can be used in addition to the traditional 10-pin triangle, like stacking Candlepins 2 high, and attempting to knock the bottom pin out and have the top pin hit the alley and remain standing (I have done that).

Features & Rules for Candlepins and Duckpins is presented below, along with a comparison to standard Tenpin and each other.

Supplies

MATERIALS NEEDED :

(3) CandlePin Balls (10) Candle Pins

(3) DuckPin Balls (10) Duckpins

(3) 6” x 10’ PVC Pipes ... (3) 6” PVC Pipe Connectors ... (1) 6” 90° Angle PVC Pipe

(1) 5 lb. box 3” Wood Screws ... (1) 1 lb. cox 2+ ½” Wood Screws ... (1) 3” Hinge

(1) Roll Plastic : 5’ x 30’ ... (1) 2” Styrofoam Board ... (1) Tube Wood Glue

(60) 2x4x8’ boards (8) 1x4x8’ boards

(4) ¾” x 4 x 8 hardwood plywood (birch, maple, oak) … not Pine, for it will dent easier from the balls

(1) ½” x 4 x 8 hardwood plywood (birch, maple, oak) … (for ball racks & front side barrier)

(1) ¼” x 4 x 8 hardwood plywood (birch, maple, oak) … (for gutters)

(7) Pints of different color paints (semi-gloss)

TOOLS NEEDED :

Hammer ... Drill ... Drill Bits : miscellaneous sizes

Ruler : tape measure ..... Ruler : Straight Edge ..... Ruler : Square

Pipe Clamps ..... Paint Brush : 2” ..... Paint Brush : small ..... Paint Brush : very small

Jig Saw ..... Router ..... Sander --- (with 80, then 120 grit sandpaper)

Table Saw or Circular Saw ..... Miter Saw

Step 1:

Note the size difference between 1 Candlepin and its ball (Left) and a Duckpin and its ball (right).


DIMENSION COMPARISONS :

CANDLEPIN :

Pin Height 15+ ¾“ ... Pin Diameter 3" ... Pin Weight 2 lb 8 oz ...

Ball Diameter 4.5" ... Ball Weight 2 lb 7 oz ... Finger Holes None ...

Lane Size 41" W x 60' L ... # Pins 10 ... # Frames 10 ... Balls Per Frame 3

DUCKPIN :

Pin Height 9+ ½“ ... Pin Diameter 1+ ⅜” at base, 4+ ⅛” at belly ... Pin Weight 1 lb 8 oz

Ball Diameter 4+ ¾“ to 5” ... Ball Weight 3 lb 6oz to 3 lb 12 oz ... Finger Holes None

Lane Size 41" W x 60' L ... # Pins 10 ... # Frames 10 ... Balls Per Frame 3

TENPIN :

Pin Height 15“ ... Pin Diameter 4+ ¾” ... Pin Weight 3 lb 6 oz ...

Ball Diameter 8.6" maximum ... Ball Weight up to 16 lb ... Finger Holes 3

Lane Size 41" W x 60' L ... # Pins 10 ... # Frames 10 ... Balls Per Frame 2

Step 2: ABOUT CANDLEPIN :

C A N D L E P I N :

Candlepin Bowling is mostly a New England and Canadian bowling sport, with lane length and width requirements nearly identical to that of Duckpin and standard Tenpin that everyone is familiar with.

Household alleys should be approx.. 50% of the standard 60’ length, or 30’, at a minimum to be effective.

Candlepin is similar to full-size 10-pin, where scoring, the lanes, gutter (only 1 required), and markets are nearly the same.

The ball is only 2 lb. and 7 oz., which makes it the smallest bowling ball in North America.

The pin weight is nearly identical at 2 lb. 8 oz., and very slender at only 3” in diameter.

The nearly identical weight of the ball, when compared to that of just one slender Candlepin, causes balls to deflect when impacting either standing or downed pins, making it harder to knock down all the pins; therefore 3 balls are used in Candlepin to help make up for this deflection issue.

One unique feature of the Candlepin sport is that fallen pins are not removed from the pin deck area between balls, unlike either the Tenpin or Duckpin bowling sports, which makes it a help or obstacle in knocking down the remaining pins.

Scoring is nearly identical to Tenpin, with strikes and spares, except in Candlepin, if all pins are downed by 1 ball, it’s a strike; by 2 balls, it’s a Spare; by 3 balls, it’s counted as a plain 10 with no extra points awarded.

Ball and Pin ordering source : search the internet ... prices vary

Step 3: ABOUT DUCKPIN :

D U C K P I N :

Duckpins is a small game bowling sport that looks like a smaller version of Tenpin, where children as well as adults can hold the much smaller balls than in Tenpin.

The sport of Duckpins was born at the old Diamond Alleys on Howard Street in Baltimore, Maryland. Diamond Alleys was owned by a couple of members of the old Baltimore Orioles minor league club. When the owners Robinson and McGraw (whose other hobby was duck hunting) saw the pins fly as the ball plowed into them, they remarked that the pins looked like a “flock of flying ducks.” Bill Clarke, a sportswriter for the Baltimore Morning Sun, took this remark and wrote a story on the fascinating new game and christened them “duckpins.”

Duckpins became so popular that during the 1920′s duckpin bowling spread along the east coast, from New England to Georgia, particularly since the larger Tenpin lanes generally shut down in the Summer months at the time.

Like Candlepin, Duckpin Bowling has lane length and width requirements identical to that of Candlepin and standard Tenpin that everyone is familiar with, with the exception that Duckpin uses 2 gutters like Tenpin, where Candlepin uses only 1 gutter.

Household alleys should be approx.. 50% of the standard 60’ length, or 30’, at a minimum to be effective.

Duckpin is similar to Candlepin, where scoring, the lanes, gutter (2 required), and markets are the same.

The ball is heavier than Candlepin by about 1 pound, weighing about 3+ ½ lbs.

The pins are about 60% the height of both Candlepin pins and Tenpin pins, but almost the same width as Tenpin pins and look like small versions of them. Squattier, they are about 60% of the weight of Tenpin pins, and about 1 pound lighter than Candlepin pins, which makes them quite buoyant at times, flying around like ‘ducks’ when their light weights are hit by their balls which are approx. 1 pound heavier than Candlepin balls.

More difficult to knock down like Candlepin pins, Duckpin also uses 3 balls to help make up for this deflection issue.

Unlike the Candlepin sport where fallen pins are not removed from the pin deck area between balls, in both Duckpin and Tenpin fallen pins are removed from the pin deck between balls.

Scoring is identical to Candlepin, with strikes and spares. Like Candlepin, if all pins are downed by 1 ball, it’s a strike; by 2 balls, it’s a Spare; by 3 balls, it’s counted as a plain 10 with no extra points awarded.

Ball and Pin ordering source : search the internet ... prices vary.

Step 4: BUILDING THE ALLEY - THE ALLEY FRAME :

8' 2x4’s laid on edge at right and left sides of alley to frame the lane width of 41” + 2 gutters at 6” each = 53” wide, and 3+ ½ “ high.

50" 2x4's laid on edge every 12" for the horizontal supports (going down the alley).

Five (5) 2x4’s are then laid flat to cover the center 41” for the lane itself … this leaves a drop on both sides of 1+ ½ “ for the 6” gutters.

Note the plastic underneath to control humidity and warping.

Step 5:

4’ 2x4’s inserted in middle of 8’ joints where plywood will lay to give extra support for the plywood when they meet.

Braces added in middle of the 50" horizontal supports to prevent warping and buckling.

Step 6: The Alley Surface :

Hardwood ¾” x 41“W x 8'L plywood (absorbs ball dents easier) laid on main alley, with ¼ “ plywood in gutters … note the total 2” drop into the gutters.

Each 4x8 secured with only 6 recessed screws at every 4’ perimeter to prevent warping.

Step 7: The Alley Gutters :

1”x6”x8’ side boards added along both sides of gutters to keep wild balls in the bowling lanes.

My lane ended up being 28’ … three 4x8’s + one 4x4 sheets of hardwood plywood … + an 18” ball & pin catch at the end of the alley.

Step 8: The Ball Return :

6” diameter ball return pipe installed alongside Bowling Alley.

Since this is an all-manual game, running up for the balls after each frame is tiresome and simply a pain.

So I put three 10’ sections of a 6” diameter pipe along the length of the entire bowling alley, with a Ball Return 90° elbow. Carpet was placed on the 90° elbow to cushion balls dropping in, and to keep foreign objects out, like tennis balls that don’t roll well with the pipe gravity grade..

The pipe was pitched slightly to allow for gravity to roll the balls back in the pipe when players manually put the balls in the pipe. A 4’ box at the lane beginning was added to catch the returning balls.

Note 2” Styrofoam used as a ball cushion at lane end to keep ball from being damaged against concrete wall, and also to prevent damage to the concrete.

A side panel (on left) is installed to keep balls from jumping out of the alley. Heavy-duty plastic pane installed above white pipe to protect house water-line.

Bowling Ball storage rack and ball catch box were placed at the beginning of the alley.

Note that there are other type balls that can be used on this alley with other types of pins ... even Tennis balls !

(when balls are returned to the front of the Alley by dropping them into the pipe at the end of the Alley, the balls make a lot of noise rolling through the pipe ... the kids get a big kick out of this, and they like to be the noisy pipe ball returner, and they agree to do pin set-up in return !)

This is a blast and a half ! The kids love it !

Step 9: Guide Markers :

Note the Guide Markers : Dots and Arrows

DOT MARKERS :

(the 1st marker settings)

These markers are at the beginning of the bowling lane.

There are all sorts of configurations (single dots, double dots, etc.), but I chose single dots.

These dimensions starting from either lane edge are the same as the Arrow Markers below :

2+ ½” … 8+ ½” … 14+ ½“ … 20+ ½” … 26+ ½“ … 32+ ½” … 38+½ “… which leaves the last 2+ ½“ to the edge

ARROW MARKERS :

(the 2nd marker settings)

The Arrow Markers (the 2nd set of guide markers) should be 7+ ½ ft. from the Dot Markers.

The universal bowling arrow markers total 7, and are 6” apart.

These dimensions starting from either lane edge are as follows :

2+ ½” … 8+ ½” … 14+ ½“ … 20+ ½” … 26+ ½“ … 32+ ½” … 38+½ “… which leaves the last 2+ ½“ to the edge

Step 10: Pin Markers :

The universal bowling requirement is : the closest any 2 pins should be to each other is 12” center to center”.

The standard Triangle configuration is used.

The 41” lane WIDTH dimensions of the 10 pins, reading from either lane edge, is centered as follows :

Row 1 : Back 4 pins : 2+ ½” … 14+ ½“ … 26+ ½“ … 38+½ “ … leaving the last 2+ ½“ to the edge

Row 2 : Next 3 pins : 8+ ½“ … 20+ ½“ … 32+ ½“

Row 3 : Next 2 pins : 14+ ½“ … 26+ ½“

Row 4 : Head pin : 20+ ½“

The distance the 4 ROWS of pins should be from each other, is 10+ ½“ ... with the staggering of the pins indicated above, this will assure any pin is 12" from any other pin :

Row 1 : Back 4 pins : Place these pins from lane end wherever you wish : (I started 3+ ¼” from the edge )

Row 2 : Next 3 pins : 10+ ½” to center from row 4 center line : i.e. 10+ ½“ from row 1 center line

Row 3 : Next 2 pins : 21” to center from row 4 center line : i.e. 10+ ½” from row 2 center line

Row 4 : Head pin : 31+ ½“ to center from row 4 center line : i.e. 10+ ½” from row 3 center line

Step 11: Sealing the Alley :

The entire Bowling Alley sealed with wood floor polyurethane.

Finished Bowling Alley --- Pipe, walls and floor painted.

Step 12: Pin Storage :

New Pin Storage Rack allows for quick pin selection and set-up.

Width is determined by the width of all 10 Duckpins side-by-side. Leave a couple inches extra room above pins to pull them out of the rack. Horizontal boards were added to keep pins from falling out of the rack (bottom horizontal boards should be low enough to prevent pins from falling out if they fall over in the rack).

Note that there are a number of other pin types that can be used on this alley ... wood pins, baby pins, anything else that can be knocked over with a ball.

Step 13: Finishing Touch :

The finishing touch …

a large-screen TV hanging over the middle of the Bowling Alley … kids can now watch-n-play … it has a large heavy-duty sheet of plastic to protect the screen from wild Bowling Balls and other things small kids like to fly thru the air.

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    4 Comments

    0
    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    1 year ago

    Really nice job on this! Love the colors a lot too :)

    Did you make that skeeball game too?

    0
    excelkeenan
    excelkeenan

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yes ...
    The Skeeball was a challenge, as I did not go by anyone else's plans ... it sorta just all fell into place.
    The real trick is the ball return under the alley ... this logic I had engineered myself with my Pipe Ball game (also on Instructables) ... then my Skee Ball (also on Instructables), then on my giant Pin Ball game (also on Instructables).
    Of them all, I like the Bowling Alley best because it is drawn to 1/2 specs of a real Candlepin/Duckpin alley, and uses real Candlepins , Duckpins, and their special balls. Plus, the alley can be used for a multitude of other things as well.
    Colors : the colors are the key for kids ... they love it ... makes it more fun ... and it really looks nice ...
    I don't have a man-cave anymore ... I have a kid-cave ! (and I'm the biggest kid !)

    0
    excelkeenan
    excelkeenan

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yes ... that is one of the games I will be submitting.
    Thanks