Help with backyard rink.
So I searched the forums and didn't find anything glaringly obviously on a how to for backyard rink building, which stinks...cause I need one lol.
So a little background. I would like to build a backyard rink, unknown size but it will be a minimum of 20' wide and an unknown length. Basically I need advice. My yard itself is very uneven and is where my headache pretty much starts. I do not have the money to fill it or dig it, and I honestly don't have the want to do it either. I have just found out that a store just down the street from me will provide multiple amounts of pallets for me to use as boarding. Which cuts on the cost a bunch.
Now what I need is how to level the area with just the boarding? As well as how to either make plastic lining waterproof. I did some research and found that Home Depot sells painters plastic lining in ridiculous length but the width is only 6' or so. Now I could use this and just layer it on top each other but how to I make the seams waterproof?
Overall, a step by step guide on the cheapest most efficient way to build a rink is all I need. I have time to acrue all this stuff so I'm not worried.
Maybe it's not what you're after, especially if you want a step-by-step, but if you do a search on "yard" and "rink", there should be plenty of threads on the topic in this forum.
Many focus on other forum members' experiences, so should give you some ideas on what has worked, and some challenges they faced.
I've not built one myself, but know friends that have, and it seems it's more of an art than science anyway, as you have to factor in the condition, slope, and any anomalies of the yard. There does seem to be some 'best practices' in terms of building up the ice so that it's smooth so check them out.
I love the fact that you're starting early (way early lol) to research this. I'm envious because my yard is too narrow, and landscaped so impossible to ever build any ice on.
I know it's not what you want to hear, but I think you should try to make the ground as level as possible and that will involve filling or digging/raking. You only need to do it once but it will save you a lot of headaches in the future. Do what people in my area do - put out a sign that says "free fill wanted" :) or if there is construction/excavating going on nearby you could always check to see if they would truck some dirt to you.
If that's not an option, I guess you could try to rake up the ground so that the pallets are in the ground as opposed to just on top of it in the areas where there are low spots, (I'd move some of the boards so they're all on one side, and be careful of protruding nails), but I'm not sure how well that would work for you. If you rake it so that you are making a depression for your liner to lay in and be held in place with the pallet boards removed and on edge, then perhaps the excess dirt from one area will be enough to fill the holes in other areas and level it. If you get lots of snow you can go back to basics and use the snow as your fill and then use the pallet boards removed and on edge to frame up the rink.
Those plastic painters liners are pretty thin and you wouldn't be able to seal them IMO. I'd try a tarp - you can get some pretty big ones for a reasonable price at hardware or building supply places - at Home Depot a 20x30 one is around $50, a 30x50 one is around $100. You'd want one a bit wider than the rink dimensions so you can frame it and wrap the tarp around the wood.
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