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kinda OT: outdoor rink help.

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Old
12-07-2009, 04:46 PM
  #1
gojacketsgo61
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kinda OT: outdoor rink help.

Dunno if this would be allowed here but anyways.

This is my first year making a rink, I've always used neighbours/friends but they stopped doing it so I decided to try and make one.

I think this might work, I know to try and freeze it by the way when the low reaches the teens and the high never reaches zero.

1. layer of packed snow
2. Set up boards, snow if there's enough or plywood.
3. Tarp over snow
4. small layer of ice, wait for it to freeze
5. thicker layer of ice, wait for it to freeze
6. see if it's good for skating.
7. If enough snow, ice the snow over/adjust the boards if necessary
8. set up nets etc.

Was wondering for those who have made a rink if this is a decent strategy?

BTW, If I used a hose would it cause to pipes to burst to it being frozen?

Sorry if this doesn't belong here though, just it snowed today and I just made the outline (live in the GTA area, Burlington, 10 mins away from Hamilton.)

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12-07-2009, 05:22 PM
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WithOutPaperss
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I've never done it any other way but how my rink was always made was we would put down plastic on the ground across the whole rink. Then you water the rink and wait for it to freeze...easy as that.

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12-07-2009, 05:44 PM
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collapsethelung
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Never done it before myself, but you could always go to Canadian Tire and grab one of those Jiffy Rink things, though you'll likely need a lot more than one kit...

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12-07-2009, 06:18 PM
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madmutter
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When I did a rink a couple years ago I happened to have several 4"x6" fenceposts laying around but 2"x6"'s would work fine. So I laid out a tarp, laid the posts around the outside with about 6"-8" of tarp left to fold up the sides of the posts and then just packed snow up against the sides to keep the tarp in place. Filled it with water and let it freeze. If you need to level the boards a little just put some scrap lumber or whatever underneath them. You will quickly find out how level your yard isn't when you start making a rink. As for the hose it wont freeze as long as the water is running. I flooded mine when it was -30c outside. The trick is to take the hose inside right after you flood 'cause if it does freeze up you're screwed, you will need to flood several times. The rink I did was only 24'x24', perfect for my at the time 3 and 5 Year olds to learn on but this method should work fine with the biggest tarp you can find. I suppose you could do it with plywood too, you would just need to brace it some. Hope that helps, good luck!

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12-07-2009, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by collapsethelung View Post
Never done it before myself, but you could always go to Canadian Tire and grab one of those Jiffy Rink things, though you'll likely need a lot more than one kit...
A buddy of mine tried the Jiffy rink last year and the results were less than stellar.

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12-07-2009, 06:20 PM
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I was an icemaker/caretaker at an outdoor rink last winter. I wasn't there when they first made the ice, but as far as I know after you lay down the big thick layer you'll want to do multiple thin layers to get a good smooth surface. Its also very important to never flood over snow, always remove every last bit of it. As soon as you turn the hose on snow it'll turn to lumpy slush which will completely ruin your surface.

The colder it is, the thinner you layer your floods. My understanding is that -15 is the sweet spot when you can lay down the best flood. When I was flooding at 2am when it was -40 out the water was freezing so fast I had to keep it super thin...just sort of an even misting of water.

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12-07-2009, 06:46 PM
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gojacketsgo61
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thanks for the help. I'm putting the tarp over the snow, the reason for the snow is to level it out a bit. I really just need to hope for good winter weather now.

Also to build a ice resurfacer don't i just need like PVC tubing and hot water or something like that?

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12-07-2009, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gojacketsgo61 View Post
thanks for the help. I'm putting the tarp over the snow, the reason for the snow is to level it out a bit. I really just need to hope for good winter weather now.

Also to build a ice resurfacer don't i just need like PVC tubing and hot water or something like that?
And a mop.

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12-07-2009, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gojacketsgo61 View Post
thanks for the help. I'm putting the tarp over the snow, the reason for the snow is to level it out a bit. I really just need to hope for good winter weather now.

Also to build a ice resurfacer don't i just need like PVC tubing and hot water or something like that?
If you plan on plastic on packed snow the ground moves all winter with heaving and it may cause some ice cracks or hollow spots where a skates will go through.

If you can get the ice thick enough you won't have that issue.

I have made a rink in my backyard for a few years but did not last year and i am not this year. there are a few places to play around here so it is easier just to go there i suppose.

I would resurface the old fashioned way, shovel it off if used heavily then sweep it with a push broom clean. Most of the time sitting in the sun all day resurfaced it by itself or I would spray a very fine mist coating in a cone shape with a garden hose nozzle. Not those plastic crap ones but the old fashioned brass hose nozzle.

basically though I place plastic right on the bare grass lawn and then flooded it. Water is self levelling obviously unless your ground you are using is very uneven I would scratch the packed snow idea.

Also you should plan on having at least one hole in your plastic, or I just had bad luck for 5 years straight.

Also I used two sets of outdoor worklights for playing at night.

Anyhew good luck .... here is what mine looked like.








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12-07-2009, 08:02 PM
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you shouldn't freeze it in sections, fill it with water the whole day and hope that your area fills with up to 5 inches of water, then you should be set. if your area is pretty level then you should be set, if not you'll have some issues

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12-07-2009, 08:08 PM
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Yeah, probably gonna do that mist layer thing. I'm building the rink on the only evenly surfaced part of my backyard. My whole backyard if it was even would be at least NHL sized.

Kinda gonna suck cause next week where I live it's supposed to be PERFECT weather for icerink making, I'm in mexico.. not that is bad though at all . Getting my neighbour who has made a few rinks to try and make some of it and when I get back I'll take over.

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12-07-2009, 09:01 PM
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MatthewT
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IMO your doing a few unnecessary steps.

When I make mine I just shovel down to the grass and start watering. Obviously filling in holes and whatnot with slush/snow.

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12-07-2009, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gojacketsgo61 View Post
thanks for the help. I'm putting the tarp over the snow, the reason for the snow is to level it out a bit. I really just need to hope for good winter weather now.

Also to build a ice resurfacer don't i just need like PVC tubing and hot water or something like that?
Quote:
Originally Posted by madmutter View Post
And a mop.
I built a PVC resurfacer last year and it works great. It's just a "T", maybe 4.5 feet tall and each of the upper arms about 1.5 feet from the junction. Drill holes just through one side of the T arms, about an inch apart. Instead of a mop, I used an old towel (I cut it to about 8" wide) and some zip ties to keep it attached. I drilled the holes at the very end of each T arm through both sides, and threaded the zip tie through, so it would not bunch up (if you just go around the T arms, the ties will tend to slide towards the middle).

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12-07-2009, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewT View Post
IMO your doing a few unnecessary steps.

When I make mine I just shovel down to the grass and start watering. Obviously filling in holes and whatnot with slush/snow.
Yep that is exactly what I do as well as the other rink makers around paid by the cities around here.

You just need that solid base or else you will have problems, packed snow is not the way to go seriously for the original poster making his rink.

One local rink that actually has a hard time has a hard time because of the black asphault under the ice absorbing the sun and melting the ice which makes what I call frozen gurgle spots where the water cooks up from underneath and makes a big lump.

No troubles when made on grass or light colored concrete though.

The other tip I would give is not make the rink near a tree that has a seed pod helicopter type things that fly around. They melt into the ice from the sun's heat because they are dark and make holes that constantly need repair. It isn't hard to repiar them once you dig out the dark leaf piece or seed pod thingie.


Last edited by Hockeyfan68: 12-08-2009 at 01:09 PM.
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12-08-2009, 08:21 AM
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Definitely right about the asphalt. That rink I looked after last winter had the asphalt ripped out the previous summer which did, in fact, make a big difference on how the ice help up once the weather started to warm.

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12-09-2009, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madmutter View Post
A buddy of mine tried the Jiffy rink last year and the results were less than stellar.
Yeah, I've never seen a Jiffy rink that has been playing quality. Cracks in ice, not completely frozen etc.

You guys are lucky I live in Vancouver I haven't gotten to be a true Canadian yet. I tried last year (coldest winter in years, that I can remember, anyways) and still couldn't get it going.

Maybe this year...

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12-10-2009, 09:56 AM
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You're biggest issue will be whether the rink is level or not.

I've made one 3 winters in a row and each year I learn something new or find a new challenge.

My first year was a disaster because I didn't check how level it was. Water just ran off the back end and it was a disaster.

Doing the whole fill, freeze, fill some more, freeze, etc. is how you're supposed to do it. But it only really works in super cold areas like Alberta, Winnipeg or North Bay.

If you live in an area like I do (southern most part of Ontario), you have no choice but fill it up and pray to God that the weather freezes enough to provide strong ice.

My brother in Winnipeg made a rink one year by simply waiting for a huge snowfall and then taking a piece of plywood and stamping down a small rink. Then he lightly sprayed the whole are freezing the snow, basically making a solid frame.
Because it's -1000 degrees in Winnipeg the frame was frozen solid in about an hour. He then went out and filled it up. Bingo, instant rink in less than 24 hours.

For me, I bought wooden planks, used wooden stakes to anchor the frame, then applied the plastic, leaving lots of slack so it wouldn't tear and then filled it up.
I kept some extra 2x4's around in case one corner wasn't completely level and I could raise up the plastic on those ends to cover the deeper spots.

Once you've done it once, it gets super easy.
I also highly recommend getting a rink rake or building one on your own.
It makes a HUGE difference. Especially when using hot water.
My first winter I would simply spray the surface after a skate and it worked okay but got bumpy and had weak spots.
After using a rink rake with hot water it was like skating on glass.

Good luck!

P.S. Keep an eye out for sales on flood lights in the spring and summer. They're usually 50% off and work amazing to keep that beautiful rink lit.

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12-10-2009, 11:13 AM
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alright well i got a question as well. This is my second year building a rink but last year i just did like pack down snow and spray and freeze idea

But this year i made boards and plan on using the tarp method as soon as this weekend, but the gradient from the high point to the low point is about 12 inches, and since we just got a bunch of snow here i was wondering if i could pack down snow in the low part to build it up, then lay down the tarp so im not flooding as much in one end.

also i was planing on doing the flooding in layers and slowly building it up, but from reading above i get thats not the best idea.

Keep im mind my rink is about 28' x 55' so its going to take alot of water.

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12-10-2009, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmarc031 View Post
alright well i got a question as well. This is my second year building a rink but last year i just did like pack down snow and spray and freeze idea

But this year i made boards and plan on using the tarp method as soon as this weekend, but the gradient from the high point to the low point is about 12 inches, and since we just got a bunch of snow here i was wondering if i could pack down snow in the low part to build it up, then lay down the tarp so im not flooding as much in one end.

also i was planing on doing the flooding in layers and slowly building it up, but from reading above i get thats not the best idea.

Keep im mind my rink is about 28' x 55' so its going to take alot of water.
Well since you are dealing with a one foot difference from the high point to low point packing snow is the way to go because you have to. The plastic put on top is absolutely needed but expect that you may have issues with the ice cracking unless you get it very thick over the packed snow.

If you are not compacting it with a heavy roller type heavy equipment whatchamahoozie and are just packing it with tampers or something you may not get a good enough base.

I mean it's worth a try, the worst that happens is you only have half a rink to play on.

My outdoor rink had about 10inches to a foot difference and I could not get it to work right with snow under it as I could never get it packed hard enough to support ice on top. I flooded from the low point to the high point in several light floodings and eventually it covered the whole thing. it took a while though.

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12-10-2009, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Hockeyfan68 View Post
Well since you are dealing with a one foot difference from the high point to low point packing snow is the way to go because you have to. The plastic put on top is absolutely needed but expect that you may have issues with the ice cracking unless you get it very thick over the packed snow.

If you are not compacting it with a heavy roller type heavy equipment whatchamahoozie and are just packing it with tampers or something you may not get a good enough base.

I mean it's worth a try, the worst that happens is you only have half a rink to play on.

My outdoor rink had about 10inches to a foot difference and I could not get it to work right with snow under it as I could never get it packed hard enough to support ice on top. I flooded from the low point to the high point in several light floodings and eventually it covered the whole thing. it took a while though.
thanks so much,
i was planning on going with manual compaction so i guess it wont work based on what you say?

I dont mind flooding it in layers but what is a while? Like if i were to start flooding this weekend (assuming its below freezing from here on in) would it be ready for new years if i worked on it everyday? Also should I make sure the tarp is rolled up in the non flooded areas such that if it snows (between start of flooding to completion) i do not have to shovel the snow out of the tarp and risk wrecking it? Thanks

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12-11-2009, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
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thanks so much,
i was planning on going with manual compaction so i guess it wont work based on what you say?

I dont mind flooding it in layers but what is a while? Like if i were to start flooding this weekend (assuming its below freezing from here on in) would it be ready for new years if i worked on it everyday? Also should I make sure the tarp is rolled up in the non flooded areas such that if it snows (between start of flooding to completion) i do not have to shovel the snow out of the tarp and risk wrecking it? Thanks
I got the best results flooding the lower portion first as full as I could fill it up flooding it at one time with just plastic on top of the grass lawn using snow bankings to dam the water with plastic over the snow obviously. After that was done i did it in layers with several coatings rather than actual flooding. i never had more than an 1/8 inch of water at a time.

You want to avoid slush sag from over watering (flooding) .... gravity will not be your friend if your rink is not level. Obviously water flows downhill ... so don't drown your rink because slush also flows downhill and make sags that then freeze and ruin what you are trying to do.

I would build it up in a week or so watering (I said watering, not flooding) 4 times an evening. basically you go out and get each section wet until it is completely covered with a fresh watering .... then you coil up the hose and bring it in and let that freeze.

You just cannot stand out there super soaking your ice because it is one common mistake people make and the end result is a crappy ice surface.

If it is cold enough you do not need to wait long in between waterings, if it is warmer out like over 20 degrees Fahrenheit it takes longer.

The best flooding temps I had were about 0 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit.

The water made steam as it hit the ice and froze almost immediately in a thin spraying technique.

All I can say is if one has no petieince and wants a rink in one day they should not even bother making one. It is constant maintence even after it is made and then throw in the weather situations that can involve a day or two of warmer weather with rain (a rink's worst enemy) and you can end up being more frustrated than anything else.

I live in Maine and for the most part the weather is cold but sometimes warmer weather with highs of 38 come around with some rain and it ruins rinks. This forces you to take another week or so remaking it properly.

I had one good winter in 3 it seemed for outdoor ice here. Some people are lucky enough to have a nice flat even backyard but most people do not. Those people it matters not and you can just flood the damned thing easily.

If I had a fire hose and a hydrant it would make things easier at the beginning but with a garden hose ... it is easier to drive to a rink somewhere else.

Fortunately some kids up the street clear off a dammed up resevoir and they actually auger the ice and draw water to reflood it.

If you have consistently cold temps all winter for your geographical area you should be just fine.

If you can get the snow packed well enough you may get away with that but I think the plastic on bare ground using a snowbank will serve you better.

I'm no expert on the matter, I just know what worked for me here with my specific yard issue which may differ from yours. My yard had ONE low corner out of 4 so it wasn't a big deal.


Last edited by Hockeyfan68: 12-11-2009 at 07:38 PM.
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