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11-27-2011, 07:06 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Huntsville, Ontario
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How to build a backyard hockey rink

I thought that it would be nice to have a go-to guide for building a backyard rink. Joe from was nice enough to write a detailed post about building a rink from scratch. I posted the article on my site along with a few of the best videos on youtube I could find. Here is Joe's top ten list, the full article is linked below

MEASURE YOUR SLOPE FIRST! People who say ďmy yard is pretty flat, I donít need to measureĒ are the same ones who end up with water gushing over the boards in their deep end while their liner flaps in the wind at the other end. Check your slope and know for sure where your water line will be when you fill. This is the single most important step to building a rink

When planning the location of my customerís rinks, these are the four things I look for: a flat spot near the house, near an outdoor water source, not over the septic or leach field, and a place with adequate outdoor lighting (or the ability to add it).

Donít skimp on your bracing. Iíve seen pictures of thousands of rinks. Iíve never once said ďwow, they really could have saved $50 by using less bracingĒ. Brace your rink to withstand nuclear fallout and never worry about a catastrophic failure.

Donít put your liner down until youíre about to fill, and donít fill until youíre staring at below-freezing daytime temps (colder at night) for the next week. If you put your liner down and fill too early, you risk punctures from tree limbs and adventurous animals bathing themselves in your pond.

Fill all at once, and use a water delivery service if you can spare the couple hundred bucks. Donít try to fill in layers because you could jeopardize your liner. If you put down one inch of ice first, then try to fill again, the new water will bore a hole in your ice and fill from the bottom up. This will push up that first layer of ice, which could damage your liner. Avoid this by filling all at once.

If you notice a hole while filling, hurry up and patch it. Acoustic sealant, roofing tar, and Nicerink patch tape work best. If youíve planned it right and itís cold as hell out, the top layer will freeze quickly. Get your patching material in there before it does, or else youíll have to punch through the ice to get down to the liner.

To get the best ice surface, think like a Zamboni. The Zamboni sweeps and collects the snow first ó youíll do this with a shovel, snowblower, broom, or squeegee. Then the Zamboni lays down a layer of hot water. For your rink, use a homemade homeboni (like this one) or the NiceIce resurfacer from Nicerink. Hot water is best, but cold water works great too. Unlike your initial fill, your goal when resurfacing is several thin layers. And donít forget to bring your hose and resurfacer inside after youíre done.

Make sure you have adequate lighting around the rink. You may not think youíre going to skate much at night (particularly if your kids are young), but youíll need the light to do your rink maintenance. Itís colder at night, making it the best time to resurface.

Snowstorms are inevitable. Do your best to keep the rink clear. Waiting until the storm is over is ok, but get to the rink quickly. The snow acts as an insulator and actually bonds to the ice. This can ruin your surface if left along long enough. You can get it back with several floods, but itís a pain. Best to shovel early and often.

You wonít damage your grass if you get your liner up early. As soon as the ice melts in the spring, drain it using either a submersible pump or a simple siphon. Once itís empty, cut the liner up into strips and dispose of it. Then get a new one the following year and start all over again!

Full article here - how to build a backyard hockey rink

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