Are you frustrated by the sight of your beloved bowling ball, which was once perfect and gleaming, now cracked?
Don’t throw it out just yet!
The good news is that a cracked bowling ball can usually be repaired if you know how to go about it.
In this blog post, we’ll walk through everything you need to consider before fixing a damaged ball – from deciding whether or not a repair is possible, to learning what materials will work best for the job.
Ready to put on your DIY hat and get crackin’?
Let’s dive in!
Can a cracked bowling ball be fixed?
Yes, it’s possible to fix a cracked bowling ball, depending on the size and depth of the crack.
If it’s a minor surface chip, scrape, or crack, then you may be able to repair it yourself in your garage with the proper equipment and materials.
However, if the bowling ball has a deep or large crack, it is usually best to replace it rather than attempt a fix.
Additionally, only resin or urethane bowling balls can be repaired – plastic balls won’t yield even results.
Before doing any repairs yourself, make sure to check if your ball is still under warranty – many manufacturers will provide either free replacements or repairs for their products.
Fixing insignificant surface scratches
Fixing insignificant surface scratches in your bowling ball is an easy process that can be done with a few simple steps.
To begin, you’ll need to start by lightly sanding down the area around the crack to make sure it’s even and smooth.
Once that’s done, use an epoxy glue or a polyester resin adhesive to fill in the crack.
Make sure that it is spread evenly throughout the damaged area for optimal repair.
After the glue has been applied, let it dry overnight before continuing with the next step.
When it’s completely dry, lightly sand down the patched area using higher grit sandpaper to ensure it’s flush with the surrounding surface of your ball.
Once you’re satisfied with how it looks, use a polishing compound and buff out any rough edges that might have been created during the sanding process.
Finally, apply some wax to give your ball back its natural shine and help protect its surface from further wear and tear.
How to fix small cracks that affect how the ball performs
To repair this type of crack, you’ll need a bowling ball repair kit with a sealer and accelerator.
First, mix the sealer and accelerator according to the directions given in the kit.
Then, carefully fill the crack with the sealant.
Make sure to completely fill the crack for a successful repair.
Let it dry completely before proceeding to the next step.
Once your sealant is completely dry, you’ll need to sand down the ball.
This will help smooth out any rough patches or ridges that may have formed around the area of damage.
When sanding, be sure to keep your ball wet – this will help avoid any issues like accidentally sanding through the sealant or reopening the crack.
Choose appropriate grit sandpaper and cross-sand it in order to achieve a consistent finish over all areas of the ball’s surface.
Finally, after your sanding is complete, you can move on to polishing.
This can be done with either a spinner or by hand – just make sure not to apply too much pressure as you move around the area where your crack was fixed as this could reopen or damage it again.
By polishing it after repairing it with a sealant and accelerator kit, you can restore its performance back to normal and enjoy continued use of your beloved game piece.
Reasons why your bowling balls crack
There are several reasons why your bowling balls may crack, including wrongfully storing them, leaving them exposed to air, not rotating them while stored, getting hit by heavy objects, using an incorrect drilling process, and not following the cleaning instructions.
Wrongfully storing the ball can cause it to crack, due to improper temperature or humidity levels.
If you store the ball at temperatures that are too high or too low for extended periods of time, cracks can form in the shell of the ball due to expansion and contraction.
Additionally, if you leave it exposed to air for extended periods of time then moisture can enter and cause it to break down and eventually crack.
Not rotating your stored bowling ball can also lead to cracking as the weight of the ball sitting in one spot will create stress points that may cause the material of the ball to weaken and eventually crack.
Getting hit by heavy objects can also have a similar effect as these sharp impacts can put undue stress on specific areas causing hairline fractures which over time will become deeper and wider until they eventually become visible cracks.
Using an incorrect drilling process or tools when you customize your favorite bowling ball can be particularly unsafe as any defects or incorrect angles during this process will increase the likelihood of cracks forming.
Additionally, not following the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions can dry out the surface leading to cracks once again due to sudden temperature changes when exposed to heat whilst playing at a tournament or league night.
How to know if a bowling ball crack is beyond repairable?
To help you identify whether the crack is beyond repairable, look for signs such as how deep and wide the crack is.
If the crack extends up to 3/4th of an inch wide and 1/4th of an inch deep, then it may be difficult or impossible to repair.
Also, take into consideration where the cracks are located on the ball; cracks that are near or around finger holes may be more difficult to fix than ones near the ball’s surface.
Furthermore, look out for jagged edges along the crack which can indicate that further structural damage has been done beyond what can be repaired.
In addition, check if any chips or parts are missing from your bowling ball as a result of its cracking; if pieces are missing, this could make repairing it more challenging or impossible.
Can you use a cracked bowling ball to play?
No, you cannot use a cracked ball to play during a USBC-certified competition.
The USBC has strict regulations and standards for equipment used in bowling competitions.
This includes the condition of the ball, which must be free from any cracks or damage.
If any track area on the ball is cracked, then it is not permitted for use and must be replaced with an undamaged ball before competing.
Additionally, if a bowler does choose to use a cracked ball, they will not be eligible for awards should they win the competition.
How to prevent bowling balls from cracking in the future?
If you want to prevent your ball from cracking in the future, it’s important that you take good care of them.
Don’t expose it to extreme temperatures – hot or cold.
It’s best if you keep the ball at room temperature, as sudden changes in temperature can cause it to crack and become unusable.
Whenever you’re done bowling for the day, make sure to bring your ball inside rather than leaving it in the car.
The temperature inside a car can swing dramatically depending on external conditions and can damage your ball over time if left there for too long.
If you don’t have the option of bringing it inside, try keeping it in a well-ventilated space that’s away from direct sunlight or any sources of heat like a radiator or heater.
It also helps to store your balls out of their bags when they’re not being used – this allows air to circulate around them, preventing moisture buildup which could cause them to crack as well.
Additionally, when transporting multiple balls at once, try using different bags so that they don’t bump into each other and potentially become damaged.
What to do with a cracked bowling ball that is unrepairable?
If you have an unrepairable cracked bowling ball that you don’t want to throw away, there are a few creative things you can do with it.
For example, one idea is to turn it into a tool holder by finishing off the split so it is all the way through the ball.
Then, smooth out the flat part of one or both sides and drill holes into the hemispheres to fit whatever tools (like screwdrivers, chisels, or pencils) you would like to store.
If you have some extra skill, you could even remove the core material, insert a clock mechanism, and make yourself a beautiful wall clock.
Alternatively, if you have access to equipment such as a lathe, another option is to craft bowls and lamps out of the ball.
With some imagination and creativity, your damaged bowling ball can be transformed into something unique and interesting!
You now have the know-how to confidently tackle repair jobs on your bowling ball.
There are a few different methods you can use, depending on the severity of the damage and the condition of the ball.
Whether it’s something as simple as applying a sealant and accelerator kit or something more involved like patching or resurfacing, don’t be afraid to take matters into your own hands!
Just remember that attention to detail is key here – sanding and polishing thoroughly will ensure a lasting fix.
With these tips in mind, you can soon be back out on the lanes with minimal hiccups.
Jerry Coleman is a professional bowler and experienced bowling blogger. He founded and owns the voelkersbowling.net website, which provides news and information about the sport of bowling. Jerry has competed in numerous tournaments over the years and has won several awards for his bowling skills.