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Steve Kloos' Backyard Rink 2002/03
Chanhassen, Minnesota  USA

January 2003

Ice Re-Surfacer

Steve writes:

"This is our fifth year of building a rink.  The first year we started small, 10'x20' made with 6-mil plastic and snow for the borders.  The next year I tried to duct tape two plastic sections together to make a larger rink, but it leaked 1500 gallons out (which ended up flooding the lower end of my neighbor's driveway) - we ripped up the seam and made two small rinks.

The next year we went to 16'x36', using a heavy-duty, seamless 20'x40' plastic liner and a snow border.  Last year our rink was 32'x44', and used a single 40'x60' tarp with 2' high boards all around.  Our yard has a little bit of a slope, and our deepest end last year was 13", and we had a problem with the boards bulging like shown in Tim McLaughlin's 2002 rink. ( I think the cause of the problem is water expansion as the ice freezes, causing an outward force on the boards.)

This year, I took some inspiration from Ken Ingersolls' 2002 rink, and made our end boards out of 4'x8' sheets of plywood, with 2"x4" reinforcements. My wife Sue painted all the boards before they went up.  The sections are bolted together, and are heavily reinforced with braces (note both the long braces as well as the stubs at the bottom of the boards).  I used only 2' high sections for the long sides, in part to discourage checking.  

The rink measures 32'x52', and has an elevation drop of 13".  The shallowest areas are 5" deep, and the deepest spot is 18".  The rink was flooded for 7.5 hours, using both my hose and my neighbor's (Steve Storo) hose - 10,000 gallons total.  A tarp held the water in place until it froze, after which the excess was removed.  Painted 2x2's are used for the goals.  Two 500 watt lights perched 16 feet above ground, along with our two 120 watt flood lights, provide all the light we need.  Our kids (Kaitlyn 9, Kelsie 7, Wyatt 5) took their first skate on Thanksgiving morning (28 Nov 02).

My neighbor Steve had a great idea for an ice resurfacer, and we built one last year using 1" PVC pipe and a special cloth material called permeate carrier.  We hook it up to a hose, and apply warm or cold water from our laundry room tub sink.  It works great - it provides a far better finished surface that is possible using a hose alone."

Great job. Thanks for the pics Steve.



Last Updated on May 14, 2003