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#112721 - 01/07/10 11:34 PM Resurface, or buy a new ball?
trekguy Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 11/28/08
Posts: 783
A/S/L: 56/M/Mn
I've had the Playmaker for about a year, 200 games or so, and it's just not doing it anymore. I've heard and read about reactive balls going dead, but wondered if it was a real thing, or just a sale's pitch to sell balls. I believe it now. My plan was to do a resurface, I've already purchased some Abralon pads, and am looking at a spinner, but before I take that step, I would like some opinions on resurfacing from those who have done it. Does it react like it should? How long will it last? I've read that with each time you resurface, you get less games with the result. ?? If I can double the life of the ball while maintaining effective reaction, I think that would justify resurfacing. If I can't extend the lifespan by at least 100%, or if the reaction isn't there, I think a new ball would make more sense.

Another question regarding coverstock... if I understand correctly, an OOB coverstock is a textured finish, with raised bits... peaks and valleys, as I read somewhere. Now, when you resurface, abrasive pads are used. You can't create a raised bit with an abrasive pad. You can make cuts in the material, which relatively would create some sort of high/low texture on the surface... does that really work to make it do what it is supposed to??

Random note: A conversation with a guy... he said that polished balls should never need resurfacing... that the polish protects the "raised bits", and that cleaning and re-polishing should be enough. ????? That didn't make sense to me... confused.



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#112730 - 01/08/10 01:33 AM Re: Resurface, or buy a new ball? [Re: trekguy]
JackZ Offline
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Registered: 09/23/09
Posts: 744
A/S/L: 59/M/Cleveland, Ohio
I've seen polished balls go dead too.
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#112733 - 01/08/10 02:40 AM Re: Resurface, or buy a new ball? [Re: JackZ]
ecub Offline
High Roller

Registered: 10/23/09
Posts: 342
A/S/L: 44/m/usa (IL)
Polished balls will need resurfacing too. I used to have a Hammer Razyr, which is @4000 grit polished. I have my own ball spinner and usually polish the Razyr. My friend has a Storm Virtual Energy, which is also polished and he usually has me resurface his ball after about 20 games or so or when it starts to die.
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#112734 - 01/08/10 03:02 AM Re: Resurface, or buy a new ball? [Re: ecub]
Jay R. Offline
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Registered: 05/03/08
Posts: 1300
A/S/L: 21/M/Tacoma, WA
OOB is factory finish. The more coarse the grit is, the more surface/texture there is. Don't know anything about raised bits. Peaks and valleys, yes, with more surface. You smooth them out with finer grits.

There's a huge possibility that after resurfacing, the ball won't react the same. But you don't have to resurface a ball so often unless you bowl on old wood or some other surface that scratches the heck out of your ball. What is most likely key to maintaining your ball's reaction is refreshing the surface evey so often, you don't have to resurface to do that. Just take the back back down to a lower grit and back up to your desired finish. And clean the ball after every set. Considering you haven't taken care of this ball, it may or may not be too late to bring it back, but you wouldn't know unless you try.

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#112741 - 01/08/10 07:07 AM Re: Resurface, or buy a new ball? [Re: Jay R.]
Dennis Michael Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 9735
A/S/L: M/Barrington, Ill
I'd suggest getting the oil off the surface first. Your ball may seem totally smooth. But, if you look very closely, it has small indentations and grooves. This increases the surface area of the ball to work through oil. These indentations, with use, clog with oil and no longer allow the ball to react as it should.

Do a rough sanding first. Then either do a hot water bath or heat treatment to get the oil out. Once that has been done, then you can resurface the ball to OOB.

I've done this on a few balls. What I have found is that the ball comes back to original performance, but it just didn't last as long as the first time. Each resurface came quicker and quicker in the ball life.
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#112745 - 01/08/10 08:20 AM Re: Resurface, or buy a new ball? [Re: Dennis Michael]
Tim Gerard Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 2314
A/S/L: m/ Michigan
I would do the same thing Dennis suggests first.
I have done this to my balls with very good success. The ball will once again react as it once did, but you will need to do regular routine maintenance on the ball to extend its life. Eventually they will roll out, but extracting the oil and resurfacing is much cheaper than buying a new ball every couple hundred games.
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#112766 - 01/08/10 01:42 PM Re: Resurface, or buy a new ball? [Re: Dennis Michael]
trekguy Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 11/28/08
Posts: 783
A/S/L: 56/M/Mn
Originally Posted By: Dennis Michael
I'd suggest getting the oil off the surface first. Your ball may seem totally smooth. But, if you look very closely, it has small indentations and grooves. This increases the surface area of the ball to work through oil. These indentations, with use, clog with oil and no longer allow the ball to react as it should.

Do a rough sanding first. Then either do a hot water bath or heat treatment to get the oil out. Once that has been done, then you can resurface the ball to OOB.

I've done this on a few balls. What I have found is that the ball comes back to original performance, but it just didn't last as long as the first time. Each resurface came quicker and quicker in the ball life.


I should say that I have spray/wiped it after each use, and have extracted the oil out of it 4 or 5 times. I put it in my oven at 140 degrees and just keep wiping it off as long as oil keeps coming out. Then, I wash it with hot water and a little Dawn dish soap.

So, about how many games can I expect after resurfacing?? The center I bowl at has the Brunswick Anvilanes, and are fairly slick on league night. I would say that I have a bit more than average revs.

I'm leaning towards getting the spinner... that way, even if I do get another ball, or two, I can still keep them all in usable condition.
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#112768 - 01/08/10 02:09 PM Re: Resurface, or buy a new ball? [Re: trekguy]
Leopard11 Offline
Bracket Donor

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 148
A/S/L: 35/M/MD/USA
I have heard ovens can crack a ball. Me personally I have a big steamer pot.. typically used to steam crabs/shrimp other shellfish. Its got a raised grate you put on the bottom and its about 4 inches high or so. I fill the steam pot with about 2-3 inches of steaming hot water from the faucet, not sure what temp it is but its scolding, I would guess its around 130 degrees. I put the ball face up on the grate so its above the water line, put the cover on and put a towell over the cover. Give it about 10-15 mins take the ball out and wipes it down with a dry absorbant towell until ive got the whole ball dry. Drain water, refill it again and repeat with ball face down. This has worked very well in drawing the oil out for me. I would say temp inside the steamer is about 115 degrees so plenty of heat that is not direct heat so it been very safe for me.
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#112773 - 01/08/10 02:21 PM Re: Resurface, or buy a new ball? [Re: Leopard11]
trekguy Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 11/28/08
Posts: 783
A/S/L: 56/M/Mn
I'm very careful with the oven. I preheat it to 130-140, then when I put the ball in, I turn the temp way down so it won't call for heat and start up the element. When I take it out to wipes it, I turn it up again for a minute or two, then back down. This way, the element is never heating when the ball is in there. I think what happens to some is that they may have the oven set to a fairly low temp, but forget that when they open the door and let some heat out, it will then energize the heating element... even if it is only to heat it up to 150 or so... when that element is glowing, it's way too hot for the ball .. even for that short time.
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#112817 - 01/08/10 06:28 PM Re: Resurface, or buy a new ball? [Re: trekguy]
trekguy Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 11/28/08
Posts: 783
A/S/L: 56/M/Mn
Anybody here snag the Innovative ball spinner on Ebay today??
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