Why bowling balls crack frequently between the fingers. Often you hear people say, that their reasoning is because one thing or another happened. It is odd that the most common spot is between or around one of the finger holes. I wanted to you what I found out about why bowling balls crack.
Well, the most common theory is always, because the ball is weakened with two holes drilled close together like the fingers. That does make sense, but then why do others say that more bowling balls crack that have finger inserts in them?
Could this be the culprit? When you have a ball drilled for finger inserts, the holes are drilled bigger to allow for the insert. This in turn places the holes closer together, and removes more structural strength from the ball.
Why Bowling Balls Crack
I have heard that the drilling causes the ball to crack. Is seems they are trying to say is that when the ball is drilled in the shop, the holes get angled towards each other. This theory is because of the round nature of the ball.
When using a drill press and jig that a slight reverse angle of drilling is required. This keeps the finger holes from pointing in towards each other and reducing the strength of the ball by a wrong angle. Then, the holes will be closer together deep inside the ball, and a crack would develop down deep and work out.
Now to me, that theory sounds pretty darn reasonable, if in fact that is true. Then this goes hand in hand with inserts again, because once again the bigger hole would magnify the problem.
Combine a bigger size hole along with an angle of drilling, putting the bottom of the holes even closer together. I do remember some finger holes that were drilled to close together and didn’t have inserts that did crack between the fingers. It was very obvious and you could see they were too close together within 1/8″ and are normally no closer than 1/4″.
Bowling Balls Crack Because of Quick Curing of the Core
The bowling balls today are comprised of several different layers. A cover stock which is the outer most covering, a composite material inner core, and a block weight.
The block weight in the center helps compensate for the drilling of the holes in the ball, and controls the hook of the ball. Because of the different materials used, the curing process is different for each material. In order to compensate for this, the inner parts or core and block are allowed to cure before the cover stock is applied. In the process today, heat is used to speed up the process and is one possible cause of bowling balls crack. Why?
It is believed by some that because the core has not cured completely. It continues to cure and shrink, and eventually separates and results in a cracking of the cover stock, or bowling ball cracking. And I have actually witnessed a brand new ball thrown 2 games on the alley right beside me, and the bowling ball crack appeared the whole way around the ball. Now that would tend to lean toward the core situation, don’t you think?
Bowling Balls Crack From Cleaning with too Much Heat
A time honored method from years past was to put the bowling ball into the stove oven and heat the ball to remove oil. This had to be a controlled situation, because at temperatures above 150º f the ball will start to melt. What is melting is the plasticizers that the ball is constructed from. Removing a small amount of plasticizer would likely not hurt, and in fact brings fresh plasticizer up. But, any amount of time say longer than 20 mins above 150º would do more damage than good. It is also possible for bowling balls to crack from extreme temperatures. A hot water bath is the safest way to deep clean the ball to remove oil.
Here Is Chris Barnes Giving His Quick Temperature Change Reason – So, what about the balls just sitting in a warm house and cracking?
Why Bowling Balls Crack – They Are Continually Curing!
I believe Curing is the reason based upon the composition of the balls. The core is softer than the cover. The cover is more brittle, so after time any ball might just crack. They shrink at different rates. If you leave a new ball sit unused for any period of time, it may crack from the curing effect. This tends to make sense. If you used the ball and hit pins, you are actually relieving some of the internal stress buildup. That’s what I think. I have also heard stories of balls sitting in the pro shop on the shelf never even drilled, cracking! No temperature change there!
Whatever the reason, I sure hope they get it figured out. Because today’s bowling balls cost from $100 to $300 and are not what you would consider cheap. And with the newer cover stocks the durability has also come into question. These balls are losing their hooking ability after fewer and fewer games, but that is another discussion for another time. And, they make money selling us new balls!
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