I'm making a coffee table out of an old bowling alley lane and it's 4'x18". I wish I knew exactly what it weighed but it is heavy. It's too heavy for me to move without dragging it - although I'm not very strong. My partner can move it down the stairs with a lot of effort.

So my question is that I wanted to use tube legs or hairpin legs but it would leave the entire centre of the table open - and it is heavy. Should I have additional legs in the middle? Or should I trust the wood?

I do of course have horizontal bars to keep the wood from sagging towards the middle horizontally (?) but I'm worried it will sag towards the middle length-wise.

1 Answer 1


Sure it's heavy, but it's also stiff, unless it's in terrible condition. You say 4' x 18" - if a typical bowling alley lane (even a "used up" one) it's also 2-1/2" - 4" thick - isn't it? Solid maple, nailed and/or glued up from 3/4" x 4" strips on edge, typically; then sanded down for resurfacing until it's too thin or the business goes out of business.

In short, if the legs will hold the load, 4 is quite adequate - you can probably both stand on the middle of the table, too (again, assuming the legs are up to the task) without appreciable deflection. I would not advise that, but only because the legs and attachment of the legs may not be up to the task - the slab/top should be fine with it.

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