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My 2002 Backyard Rink Journal

  • Nov 24, 2001 - Built the frame today. Went a couple of feet longer this year and used 1 foot high plywood boards down the side opposite my fence. Also got pipe wraps for the top of the plywood. This is for safety and works like a charm.
  • Dec 15, 2001 - Made my liner and stored inside to get a good seal with the duck tape.
  • Dec 31, 2001 - Beautiful day so I decided to put down my liner and flood.  Took me an hour and a half to lay the liner and I turned the water on 3pm.  Turned it off at 10pm. Left a minimum of two inches of liner for future floods.
  • Jan 2, 2002 - Still waiting for the ice to freeze thick enough to skate on. Our temps have been no colder than -4 during the day and -8 at night so it's taking a while. The forecast is good (i.e. COLD) so with any luck we will be skating on the weekend.
  • Jan 3, 2002 - My patience is running out. Walked on it today and cracked it. Nothing

  • serious, but it isn't ready. That's 3 nights at an average of -5 and it still isn't ready.

  • Jan 4, 2002 - Finally it's OK for me to walk on.  Now I can start resurfacing as we had some light snow during the initial flood and the surface if very rough. I got two floods done tonight.  It took 2 hours to freeze at -11 C (-22 C windchill).  Ice is looking good.  Probably 90% "glass".  Skating tomorrow for sure.


  • Jan 5, 2002 - Skating on our rink for about 4 hours during Hockey Day in Canada. It was a beautiful day and fun was had by all. The ice is good with only minor rough spots. It wasn't completely frozen down to the bottom, so there was some water seeping up from under the ice in a couple of places because of all the kids on it. Didn't spoil the game though :o).


  • Jan 7, 2002 - The rain is coming down...in buckets. Temp is 7 degrees Celsius and the forecast for tomorrow is the same. Cools off after that. This is the reason I use a liner. I will have a shallow pool by the end of tomorrow, hopefully skating by the weekend. Mother nature is testing my patience, yet again.


  • Jan 9, 2002 - When the rain stopped yesterday we checked out the rink and it was surprisingly good. We skated for an hour yesterday and for 2 hours tonight. It's getting thin in some places though. Lost about an inch and a half of thickness so far. Plus the forecast is not really in my favor.


  • Jan 14, 2002 - Skated tonight again for about an hour and a half. We had about a foot of snow and it was the moist sticky kind, so even after I cleared the rink, it wasn't the best. Brad had a tournament this weekend and our team got to the final game, so it was pretty time consuming. They won the silver medal in the end and fun was had by all. More rain tomorrow :o(


  • Jan 17, 2002 - Well it has finally happened...there is a leak in my liner!! I knew this day would happen someday but it is really not a good year for this to happen as we are getting a lot of mild weather. I have lost a few inches off my overall depth and with the leak and the mild temps I am unable to get it back. The one bright spot is that the forecast is cold...but can I really depend on the forecast? Not this year so far. (-10C tonight)


  • Jan 21, 2002 - Finally, I think I have the leak under control and the rink is starting to come around. The temps are cooperating and I am starting to build up the "low" corner somewhat. Brad (my son) and I have been able to use the rink during the last 2 nights, but we can only use certain areas. It isn't ready for more than a light skate yet. Note: I used a slush "paste" in the low corner to stop the leak. Walked on it, added more snow, walked on it some more and applied a light spray to make an ice coating. Applied heavier layer of water after that. (-10C tonight too!!)


  • Jan 22, 2002 - The slush paste worked!! But it needed some pretty cold temps (-10C) to make the seal. Otherwise the water I applied would just seep through. We had about 30cm of snow today and when I cleaned it off the corner where the leak was is now like glass. I can now start to build up my thickness if the snow will stop long enough for me to flood. We are supposed to get 10-15cm of snow again tonight. (-2C tonight)


  • Jan 25, 2002 - Skating again tonight. Ice is pretty good but not perfect. If there is one thing I have learned this year it's that I shouldn't wait for the ice to be perfect. Just go ahead and use it the way it is. We are finally getting a cold snap. Although not as cold as previous years. The last 3 nights have been at least -10 and the next few days forecast is for more of the same. (-10C tonight)


  • Jan 28, 2002 - Skating again tonight. I did 5 floods on Saturday the 26th (-12C) and the ice is now basically perfect. We didn't get any snow that day or night so I could flood every couple of hours. I flooded the low spots by themselves first and then the whole rink. As a result, my leak damage and drop off areas are fixed so the whole thing is level and smooth as glass. Sunday was too cold and windy to skate. Forecast is good so the rink should last for a few days anyway. (-7C tonight)


  • Jan 30, 2002 - Tonight I started to pass on the tradition by showing my son Brad, who is almost 9, how to flood the ice properly. After his hour and a half skate we cleaned the ice and he applied his first light flooding. He did a great job too. We are in the middle of a real cold snap. This makes the ice hard and allows for multiple floodings during a night. Ice is like glass and super flat. Probably the best rink I have had. It's the biggest by a couple of feet and the ice quality is really good. Whether it's the best or not depends on how long it lasts. 4 weeks so far. Forecast is cold. (-15C tonight)


  • Feb 3, 2002 - Boy the weather has really been severe lately. Really low windchill's, high winds and the fact that both children are brewing colds have kept us off our rink for the last 4 nights. The ice is perfect so we are hoping for the winds to die down and the colds to take a hike. (-10C tonight)


  • Feb 4, 2002 - Finally a beautiful night. Brad and Stephanie are both feeling 100% and couldn't wait to get out on the ice, so we went out for about an hour and a half. A storm is on the way so probably no skating tomorrow night. (-5C tonight)


  • Feb 12, 2002 - My first entry in a week. We have done a lot of skating and shoveling since my last entry. There was even a heavy rain storm yesterday, which turned into a snow storm. This has left my rink very rough, but still flat. Nothing that a couple of floods can't fix. (-5C tonight)


  • Feb 21, 2002 - The weather has turned on me. It has been raining during the day since Sat(16th). We have had only one skate (14th) since my last entry on the 12th. Brad, Stephanie and I went out for about an hour that night. The ice was perfect. That weekend was dominated by Brad's second tournament (got another Silver) and the temp has not been below -5 since. However this weekend's temps are supposed to be low...so stay tuned. (-2C tonight)


  • Mar 3, 2002 - While I remain in a state of denial ... I think it is over. Our weather has not been consistently cold for over 2 weeks now. We get a couple of nights at -5 and then more rain. While I may have been able to skate on 75% of my rink for the 1st week of the "meltdown", the timing simply wasn't right for using it. Brad's hockey games and school work take priority. Currently, about 40% of my rink is melted down to the plastic and the rest is poor quality ice. The forecast is for 8 degrees Celsius and rain tomorrow and then we are supposed to get a couple of nights of -10 C and -14 C. Hmmm, I wonder ... (0C tonight)


  • Mar 17, 2002 - I will definitely be getting a stronger liner next year. We have had some cold spells over the last couple of weeks, and if my liner had not leaked, we would probably still be skating. That would have been an extra 4 weeks of skating. Tonight we are having our first real snowstorm in over a month. After all it is St. Patricks Day. You can set your calendar by it in Newfoundland. ( -1 C tonight )


  • Apr 14, 2002 - I have finally found out what caused my liner to leak. At the end of my rink that is bounded by the fence, I always attach a board (horizontally) to the fence to act as a "bumper" board for bouncing pucks off. Well, this board had a crack in it and when the pressure of the water pushed the plastic up against this board, it sliced the plastic and put about a 2 inch gash in it. Like every year, I always learn something new with every rink I build. That's my lesson for this year...don't use damaged boards.

 
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