In Hoboken, N.J., it isn’t uncommon to reveal interesting history as layers of a building are peeled away, but this secret basement bowling alley was a new one for wood flooring pro Brendan Gillespie of Gillespie Hardwood Floors. Construction firm Hoboken Custom Craft discovered it, likely original to the 120-year-old building, as they were doing demo to build out an ophthalmologist’s location. Initially it was “pretty scary looking,” Gillespie says: A sleeper system and floor had been built over the alleys, but the structures of the alleys, complete with leather bags to catch the balls, were still there. He proposed removing the gutters and filling in the negative space with walnut to accentuate the lanes. “Getting it to the point where we could sand it, that was the challenging part,” Gillespie says. “When it came to sanding, that was like pure joy, pure fun.” With a shellac sealer coat and three coats of semi-gloss poly, the once-hidden lanes at this ophthalmologist’s office are exposed for all to clearly see.
SUPPLIERS: Abrasives: Norton Red Heat, Blue Mesh | Adhesive: Bostik’s Best | Buffer, Dust Containment, Edger: American Sanders Epoch HD, Avac-12p, B-2, Hydrasand | Filler: Bona Pacific | Poly: DuraSeal Oil-Modified | Nailer: Bostitch | Sander (big machine): Lägler Hummel | Sander (palm): Festool RO-150, RO-125 | Saws: DeWalt | Sealer: Zinsser SealCoat | Vacuum: ProTeam ProVac | Walnut flooring: Shaw