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Have you ever wanted to play hockey or just do some skating, but didn't feel like packing up all the gear to go to the local rink or that pond out in the woods where you have to be part mountain lion to get to? Well I use to have that problem, but not any more. I decided to put a rink in my backyard. After a season of having my very own backyard rink I found a Yahoo Group dedicated to just such a thing. I decided to build this site to keep track of my journey and see if I can inspire others and help them on their journey as well.
BackyardRink.net is dedicated to all those crazy fanatics out there that go through the time and effort to build a rink in their backyards every year. This site will highlight some of the trials and tribulations, tips and tricks and share some pictures of my rink and rinks that others have done. This site is intended to be a resource for those just starting and a place to get new ideas for those already seasoned vetrans.
As one of those crazy fanatics I can say it is a labor of love that we do this. My wife thinks I am 100% off my rocker, especially when I go out to resurface the rink @ 11:30 pm, but the kids love it. Winter 2013 - 2014 will be season 9! I wonder what this season will bring?
Asking "How to build a rink" is kinda like asking "how to make meatloaf." Everyone has their own recipe and they all work. It is a matter of what works for you. If you have an unlimited budget and are not as handy you can buy all the stuff you need from places like NiceRink. If you live somewhere REAL cold all you have to do is flood your yard and watch it freeze. This article is for those in the middle of the two extremes, those that are handy enough to do it themselves, but know when a good quality product is a good idea as well.
Read more: Build a Backyard Rink in Six Easy Steps
Last season the guys @ Iron Sleek sent me some of their brackets to test out and review. Well this year I got enough to frame the rink exclusively with them, so I guess that means I like them. They are real easy to install, can be installed before the frame goes up OR AFTER when you realize you need more bracing in the deep end. My 30x47 rink got some new corners this year due to the true round corners all rotted beyond repair. As of today (November 20, 2013) the frame is up, level and just waiting for the temps to drop so I can drop in the liner and fill.
Read more: Winter 2013 - 2014
You know you need a minimum of 3.5 inches of water when you fill your rink and you know that a couple kids can go out on the ice when you have 2.5 inches of ice. The question is how to measure these depths easily. I have made two tools for just such a thing and here they are...
Read more: Measuring Water and Ice Depth
I know I have stated that I started out by using 2x2 stakes to hold my frame and they worked "fine" for the first couple years. I then moved to 1/2" rebar and again they served me well. Now "well" is a relative term here. By that I mean that I never had a blowout because they didn't hold up to the pressure of holding back a little under 6,000 gallons of water. I did however have the frame lean from the pressure.
Read more: Brackets
Are your boards standing above the surface of the rink? Are they shorter than four feet? You may want to pad them with something in the event someone falls on or near the boards.
Read more: Bumper Caps
Protecting the liner from skates, pucks, shovels and so on has become a pretty important thing for me.As I reuse my liner for at least a second season it is important to keep it hole free (well as much as I can anyway)....
Read more: Kickplates
We have all seen the machine at the local rink or at a Hockey game that cleans the ice (at companies request their name has been removed from this article as to "protect" their brand name). We all know what it does (to a certain extent). A homemade version will do some of the same ...
Read more: Ice Resurfacer
Sooner or later someone is going to try and walk out onto your rink when they really shouldn't have. The result will be a mess that may seem impossible to recover from. Someone did that to me and I got lucky and things warmed up before the rink froze again and things worked themselves out. If you are not so lucky, here is what you can do to speed up the repair.
Read more: Repairing a large hole in the ice
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