My Rink History
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Tom Arduini's Backyard Rink 2004/05
Wallingford, CT  USA

January 2005
32' x 88'

Tom writes: 

"This is my third year building a rink. Improvements this season have included painting the boards white, raising the lights, hanging netting in the shooting end and building a re-surfacing tool. I also purchased a new net and liner.

I used top rail for chain link fencing as posts for the lights and to offer support for the netting which is eight feet high and runs the entire width of the rink. I cut the rails in half and drove them three feet into the ground which was difficult to do without damaging the ends of the pipe. I wound up dedicating a couple of driving posts to break the ground before installing the actual pieces to be used. Each pipe has a male end so assembly with other pieces was easy and only required one bolt for support. The netting is hung on 1/8" cable which connects to the middle and end posts using and "s" and eye hooks. Guide wires and tent stakes keep everything taught.

I constructed the re-surfacing tool using 1" PVC pipe and fittings which allowed connection to a garden hose. The re-surfacer drags a rubber mat to help spread water more evenly. I connected the hose to the hot water supply for the washing machine and ran it out a window. Hot water really made a difference to the ice surface, especially in reducing imperfections. After a few floods, however, the garden hose sprang a leak inside the house and, needless to say, made a mess. For $30 I purchased a commercial hot water hose which has worked very well.

Over the summer, I leveled the yard somewhat by grading down the highest point and spreading top soil in the low areas, but 6 yards proved to be not enough. Just as last year, the deep end of the rink did not freeze completely and water found it's way to the surface making snow removal difficult. One storm in particular gave me trouble when the wet snow froze before I had a chance to remove it. This resulted in a bumpy ridge that covered nearly half the rink. It took quite a few hot water floods to achieve an acceptable surface. I discovered by accident that a small amount of slush which froze along the boards actually helped by acting as a dam, keeping water from further spreading across the rink surface.

The biggest problem I have had to contend with this year has been the weather. Due to an unusually warm start to the month of January, the rink was unskateable until the third week of the month. After two weeks of cold weather, the temperature again rose and early February has seen sunny days in the 40's and 50's. Things are supposed to cool down so we'll see what happens.

Next season's improvements will include more land grading, higher boards on all sides of the rink, an outdoor hot water spigot and possibly more lighting. I am also considering a heavy duty white liner which can be repaired yearly rather than replaced."

Nice job Tom. Thanks for the pic.



Last Updated on Dec 30, 2005