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The nineth season has begun!

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. 

Here are some pics of the new corners and brackets...

2x12 cut to 18" lengths with 11.25 degree angle cuts on each end.  This makes a 3 foot radius corner.

Top view of the new corner.

Rear view of the assembled corner.  Simpson Strong Ties opened to a 22.5 degree angles to hold it all together. 
Also you can see the new Iron Sleek brackets.

My deep edge with a total of 8 "sleeks" spaced at roughly 3' intervals.

My deep edge is up against my horseshoe pit for the initial 10 feet of it.  So, there is only about 30 feet that I need to stake off.  This means my stakes are roughly 3.5 - 3.75 feet apart in this section and they are holding back close to 12 inches of water/ice.

Filled the rink on December 12, which is early for us on the South Shore.  Started to get some good ice and then we got 4 inches of slush thrown at us.  Not a huge deal as it is supposed to be cold for the next week or so.  I will just wait until I can get on the rink and break out the resurfacer and get things smooth (er).  Getting new bumper caps from Iron Sleek this week, so things really have come together well this year.  Can't wait for the first skate of the season!

Here is a shot of the rink with the new Iron Sleek "Toppers"...


Christmas Day 2013:  After the complete melt of the rink from temps in the 50's (F) the rink started to freeze again on Christmas Eve.  We had my wife's family over Christmas day for dinner and I made sure to tell the kids to stay away from the rink.  I clearly was talking to the wrong age group as my sister-in-law's boyfriend (50+ years of age) decided that he was going to take a quick run across the rink.  The less than 1" of ice didn't quite hold him and he fell through.  He is lucky he didn't damage the liner or I may have been in jail for Christmas.

The damage is done!
(this is a small area of the damage done, but you can see the ridges between the chunks of ice now refrozen into the rink)

 For the first time in 9 years I have to figure out how to get the 15x15 area he screwed up back to smooth.  Some of the chunks slid under the existing ice and the rest are now frozen with ridges around them.  Of course this area is now thinner than the rest of the rink and is now my weak spot.  Oh, did I mention that this is the area we use to get on the rink as it is the closest to the house?  I guess I can try to slowly fill the uneven spots with a 5-gallon bucket.  I will also be making a sign "Thin Ice!  Keep Off!" for future times when the ADULTS need to be told what they already should know (for what it is worth, not a single kid went anywhere near the rink).

February 10:
We have had a lot of ups and downs with the temps.  The rink has frozen to 7 inches thick and melted completely twice already this season.  Snow seems to be plentiful this year as well.  I have drained the excess off the rink twice this season (during a thaw) and probably have removed enough water to fill the rink twice, but this is what you get putting a rink outdoors.  As of now my 2x12 frame is TOTALLY full thanks to three snow storms that all made slush.  Nothing a couple coats of water can smooth out, but I have never had this much inside the frame before.

Speaking of never having so much inside the frame before, I have to give a HUGE shout out to Iron Sleek for their incredible products!  Their bracket system is currently holding 18 inches of ice/slush/water in my deep end.  The frame is still not bowing out, leaning out or even showing signs of being over stressed.  I am 100% positive that if I had used the rebar or the 2x2 stakes I would be telling you all of the blowout this season, so my hat is off to Iron Sleek for making a product that can handle my unique situation.

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