Back yard skating rink

Old 11-30-12, 08:52 AM
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Back yard skating rink

I didn't notice this last year when we first moved to this small town, but have now noticed, there are no outdoor hockey rinks. There is an arena which is easy to access (public skating,etc) but no outdoor skating rink I can just go with my boys or bang a hockey puck around (Must be a Northern Canadian thing).
Anyway... the wife is leaning on me to make a back yard rink. Nothing huge, just a patch of ice my oldest can skate on (he's 3).

Any suggestions, tips, tricks or ideas how to make a small ice surface on a (mostly flat) grass?
I should mention I'll be using the backup well to flood the ice, which is unfiltered and high iron.

Based on what I have heard others do, a I'm looking at laying plastic down (couple sheets, taped together) and pin down the ends with 2x4s or similar.
Once that is down, a good cold day, start the hose and start flooding.

Old 11-30-12, 02:34 PM
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My brother does this every year for his son. They are in western New York State. First you need to look really close at the lay of the land. Close to level won't cut it. You will need to get 3 to 4 inches of ice. He builds a frame out of 2x10's with a plywood backdrop on one side. He lays 6 mil poly down and overlaps the frame. Floods and waits. You need to make sure you build in an area that does not have a lot of trees as the twigs, pine needles etc. will compromise the ice. I believe he builds the ice in layers over progressive nights. There is no handbook, he learned from trial and error. Fortunately for you, you will have more favorable conditions to work with than he did.
Old 11-30-12, 03:56 PM
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I'd find a roll of 20' wide poly if you can, and make it as close to 20' as you can. That's the smallest that I'd think is practical. Even as a kid I remember what a drag it was to just get going after 6 ft... glide for about 2 ft, then have to start braking before you got to the other side. If you'll be using it every year, a long roll would be smart. I'd also suggest going with at least a 2x6 if, like czizzi says, your ground isn't perfectly level. 2x6 would give you a few inches of play one way or the other and still have 2 or 3" of ice in the shallow end.
Old 11-30-12, 04:23 PM
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Don't ask for details, I was only six, but I remember the Chicago Parks department building them in a playground by building a brim of dirt about 6"-8" high. Can't say if they used plastic but doubt it being the early fifties. My guess is they got the dirt they piled up wet enough to freeze solid then filled it with water.
Old 11-30-12, 07:20 PM
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Use this as a guide.......just a little weekend project.

Don't be discouraged.....the mini Zamboni is optional......

Old 11-30-12, 09:32 PM
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I just did a Google using build outdoor skating rink as the search criteria. Lots of hits and even some YouTube.
Old 12-01-12, 07:08 AM
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Haha, that would be nice, and I have the yard to do it, just not the wallet.
I did a google search after I posted this and found info pretty much as I described in the original post, just with more detail.
I think this year may be a lose cause or a really small rink to start. My backyard is mostly flat, but not enough to go big.
Old 12-01-12, 07:24 AM
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If you want curved ends...I'd use bender board (used for curved forms in concrete) and metal landscape stakes. You'd probably be able to re-use them for a couple of years at least.
Old 12-01-12, 08:34 AM
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From the looks of that one they could sell tickets or ice time to help pay for it .


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