According to Ball Talk, The Ball Doctors article “Friction is not Fiction” from Bowling This Month in March, 1997 “Everyday we have someone come in asking to have a ball plugged and redrilled for a different layout TO CREATE MORE HOOK. This is simply not possible. We as pro shop professionals do not create hook. We only maximize or minimize the bowler’s potential to create hook, and we can do this with a simple change in surface preparation better than through redrilling.
THERE IS TOO MUCH EMPHASIS put ON the internal DYNAMICS of the ball. It is the surface of the ball - in every aspect from the type to the preparation - that provides the major way to bring dynamics to life. Why do you think we see all of these “recycled” weightblocks? These are balls with the same core but simply have a new SURFACE (AKA Coverstock).”
Pat Rice’s article in the July, 1999 “Shop Talk” from Anchorman Sales covers the promotion of ball resurfacing as well as the techniques:
“Ball resurfacing should be promoted with each and every reactive ball sale. It should be explained that while today’s coverstocks are high performance, they are also high maintenance. The surface is very porous and will absorb up all kinds of oil and dirt that are not visible to the naked eye and depending on the usage of the new ball, it will probably require some maintenance to maintain its high performance characteristics. The track area will become worn and lose its smooth surface. A smooth track area is vital for power and consistency!! Times have changed a little, it used to be that a ball wasn’t good until a track was developed - now it’s the opposite!!”
“Depending on the heads in your house - worn & bumpy or new & smooth, you can advise your customer of a ballpark number of games when a track may become severely worn and require pro shop assistance. Use a little caution here, though. If the heads in your house are like stucco the customer may become agitated if they don’t understand that higher track wear is bound to occur in your house. In this situation, you may want to advise maintaining at least some degree of polish to help protect the finish. If the bowler is looking for some surface, you can always sand with lower grits and lightly polish over it. It’s important to keep customers happy!!”
“When customers bring balls to you to analyze and its your opinion that it is time to resurface, tell them to rub their hand along the track area and explain to them that they are feeling track wear that robs the ball of energy as it travels down the lane. Advise them that your resurfacing process maintains roundness so their will still be some marks (deep scars from the machines are totally normal). The most important thing is that the track area becomes smooth again, removing every mark can cause flat spots and is not necessary.
“A ball can pretty much be resurfaced until the label begins to disappear (deeper labels). 3-4 resurfaces are max for a ball. Diameter cannot be less than 8.5”. Removing deep marks can affect the life span of the ball!”
“The keys to successful ball resurfacing is to use lots of water and always dunk the sandpaper into a tub before using and to always spray the resurfacing area with a spray bottle while sanding to drain the particles that can leave scratch marks later! Start with 180 to 220 range paper, priming the track area first with uniform pressure. Use a count system in your head to achieve consistency to maintain roundness. After track priming, go to 220 to 320 paper. Address all six sides of the ball (label, opposite label, top of label side, bottom of label side, right side of label and left side of label) Always rotate ball in same sequence to avoid repeating the same area. Repeat the process until you achieve the surface needed for the bowler”
In the Bowling This Month article mentioned above, they covered the “Standards” of sanding and resurfacing a ball. We have reprinted their instructions and have included their illustrations:
“The more water, the better. Water washes the loosened particles clear from the space between the sand paper and the ball, making a more consistent sanding. Plus, it’s easier to breathe. Use a “continuous flow” system that allows a constant water supply. A spray bottle works but is very messy and not as effective as dipping the paper and your hand into the water and letting the water flow from your hand to keep the ball wet.”
“When attempting to raise the final grit of the surface try not to use a grit more than 1.5 times as smooth for each stage of sanding. When taking a ball from 320 grit to 600, use 400 first then use the 600. When sanding up to the higher grit, it may require several steps to reach the final stage. Example: From 200 to 1000, you would be required to start with 320 then 400, 600 and finally 1000. Since there really isn’t 900 grit, we usually go directly to 1000.”
“When sanding to a lower grit, you may sand with the final grit immediately. Always use a fresh paper when trying to create a reaction. If you sand with used paper, there is no way to know whether the grit is still at the grit it started. (Save those older but still useful pieces of sandpaper for the in-between steps when lowering the grit or shining.)”
“You can do more to create a reaction or target a reaction than just sand the ball. There are different ways to sand that will create more or less length, earlier or later hook, and more or less hook."