Turned Bowling Ball Bowl

Pretty cool use of an old bowling ball. Not sure I’d encourage this in our Woodshop looking at the mess of resin shavings it makes.

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My very first lathe project in High School was turning a bowling pin into a lamp. I still have the lamp.

They make quite a mess with all of the acrylic on them, but the wood inside is hard ash and they make a beautiful lamp.

Be very careful turning a bowling ball. Some have off center weights (by design) that can cause nasty vibration. The mixed media also lends to catching if you’re not careful.


Actually ALL of them (even the free to use ones at the bowling alley) have a weight indifference, and it makes it very hard to find the axis of rotation. The weight imbalance is what makes a bowling ball hook. Bowling balls are made of 2-3 different densities of material, and some of them even have finely ground glass in the outer layer, and resins that slowly leach out of the surface.


I’ve been out of the bowling scene for a while – I seem to remember there also being a neutral marking on the ball that could probably be used to alleviate some of our concerns.

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It’s usually defined by a dot that lets the pro shop know where to drill for maximum results that the particular bowler wants.

Correct, but once it is drilled the balance point changes.