A couple of weeks have passed so I thought I'd better get this post out while I can about the miniature bowling alley for kids that I am working on. No real major setbacks have occurred so progress is still moving right along on the project.
Here once again is the computer image of the design. I am not certain that I will paint the toy as you see here yet but that is a simple thing concerning this project so far.
Lots of work have already gone into the project as you can see by this photo and others to follow. The wording for the "Little League Bowling" alley I created using my Tooli plotter what has a low powered laser attachment. It was perfect for this job and only took around 13 minutes to do one side of the alley shown above. The lettering will stand out even more once I put a few coats of varnish on it.
I did my homework on the computer to get the pins for the alley spaced out correctly with markings on the alley. The pins will be painted white with the usual red ring around the neck.
I even have lane markers on the front of the lane like a real bowling alley. Again the laser engraver work perfectly for this.
Here you can see the bowling alley laid out just to get an idea as to how big it is once you are playing with it. It is four feet long and a little over 11 inches wide. I am glad that I decided to make it foldable as the alley being this large will be fun to play with but not so much fun to store when it is not being used.
Here the 3D printed double hinge that makes up the folding mechanism for the alley is mount into it unfolded position. All looked good at this point and went together as planned.
Here I was checking the double hinge in it's folded position. I had not yet assembled the sides of the bowling alley at this point but I was still able to do some testing with the new hinge just the same.
To help set up the pins in their correct locations I laser engraved circles on the alley deck to make things a lot easier when it comes time to reset everything for the next player.
Here the alley is really starting to take shape. I used pocket holes and screws to hold the framework on to the alley lane and screws, nuts and bolts to hold the double hinge in place. All of the assembly lined up very well so I am happy with how things are going at this point. I will plug the holes for the pocket screws and then get into sanding everything smooth for the final push on the project.
After working with the double hinge a bit I inspected it to make sure everything was ok. The center section of the hinge that you see in the photo is a wooden replacement part that was needed to beef up the assembly due to cracks that had developed in the 3D printed part I originally had made for the alley. To remake a new 3D printed part would have taken five and a half hours to print. I decided to make the new part out of wood which I think will do just as well if not better and only took be around 20 minutes to make in the workshop.
With the bowling alley folded up it now can hold the ball and pins when not it use and is only two feet long and seven and a half inches tall. A much easier package to stow away when not being used. I still have to get the pins painted and stripped and sand the alley down nice and smooth and figure out what kind of paint scheme I want to do on it yet. At least I am nearing the end of this project and look forward to handing it over to my grandson some time in the future. I'll put out another post once I put the finishing touches on this project.