Glue on old bowling bowls

Help Support

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Established Member
13 Dec 2013
Reaction score
I am getting ready to turn a mallet from old lignum bowling ball and I would like to save the old marking on it. It appears to be a bone ot ivory. Anyone knows what glue was used on these and how to de-glue it (Heat, solvents, etc.)? Thank you
There will a bit of delay on it as I went to do it and oops where I thought it was stored was just everything but the ball. But I am getting my magnifying glass and Sherlock's hat on and fingers srossed ...
Ok found it. Have to say heated the ball that it was sweating but glue would not give at all. Tried to scratch around the plug with needle and scalpel to loosen it but still no go. As my future design allows it I carved the wood away around the plug rigt to the top of the decorative part about 5mm. Then sweat it up again and still nothing. Back again scratching groove around and heated it up. I tried to lever it out carefully with an old chisel still not knowing how deep the plug was (hoped not full thickness- imagine that language) and getting ready to ask here again those who had this experience. BUT it marginally moved. Continued fidling and heating and scratching and voila it came out.
The good thing is that it appeared to be patially predrilled with small diameter drill wch with a bit of luck could coincide with the other side. This could help to center the ball for turning I will try to post pictures as soon as I learn how to do it.
Now the other side is waiting.
The second plug is out. Used the same method as before. There was a bit od the glue on the bottom of the plug where the small drill hole is. It is definately no hide glue. When I tried to clean it off it was not completely hard and britle. I am thinking more some of the glues leatherworkers used in past.


  • 20240216_181747.jpg
    2 MB · Views: 0
  • 20240216_182136.jpg
    1.9 MB · Views: 0
  • 20240216_182139.jpg
    1.9 MB · Views: 0
  • 20240217_111746.jpg
    1.8 MB · Views: 0
Give the inside socket a really good clean out with meths prior to gluing. This will remove some of the surface resins.
Not just a cursory wipe, really scrub at it.
It is just over 1100 grams. It was purposefully made that way for my friend who is chainsaw carver and uses traditional carving for those tricky bits where the chainsaw or grinder would be no good. As I got hold of another ball yesterday which was already partially cut, I will make smaller brother to this oneonce i have my new lathe set up and running.

Latest posts