Introduction: How-to: Peel a Bowling Pin...
So a buddy of mine is an avid bowler. He even has a part time job doing maintenance at a local alley... He brought me a dozen pins the other day and I'm not exactly sure what to do with them, but I'm a wood turner and I loves me some free wood!!!
Upon my first close examination of these, I realized they are coated in plastic. Very thick and SHARP plastic...
The first thing I did was try to "turn the coating off with my lathe. no way that is happening... do not attempt this.. The plastic is too soft and flexible.. The tools dig right into it and stall the machine (if your lucky)....
I did however find a way to get it done... Note also: this will potentially scratch and gouge the wood. so be careful...
take time for safety: you are working with sharp tools and sharp plastic along with hammers. wear your proper safety equipment and do not attempt this without safety glasses at the very least. also keep in mind the sharp point of your chisel. do not point it toward you or anybody else.
Step 1: Gather Your Tools...
Tools I used are as follows
screwdriver (not pictured)
Step 2: Start by Cutting the Plastic Coating
Start by inspecting the pin to find a cracked spot. If you have a newer pin without cracks I don't think I would ruin the pin... I would probably re-purpose it another way... A lamp perhaps? But in this case all of my pins are cracked somewhere, and none of them have a decent enough coating to re-purpose as an original bowling pin.
So, the plastic is coming off!
Clamp the pin in your vice I started at the bottom and worked my way to the head of the pin...
Using your skew chisel and hammer drive the chisel through the plastic all the way down the pin... I had to follow with a relief cut to allow the thickness of my chisel to stay on track. but its not important... Be careful not to go into the wood, you will know when you are hitting wood instead of just plastic. The hits from the hammer are much more solid.
Step 3: Pry and Peel the Coating As You Go
As you cut, using the screwdriver or chisel, "pry and peel" the plastic away from the wood. this will make it easier to get all the way to the small end (head) of the pin.
Step 4: Finish the Cut and Peel It Out of the Plastic Shell
Well, ten minutes later what you have is a very naked, splintry, rough looking bowling pin.
after I got the coating off I mounted it to the lathe and rough cut it to remove all the splintery material and to see how good the wood underneath looks. Its laminated Hard Rock Maple. still not sure what I can do with it, but Ill think of something...
Thanks for looking...