Backyard Ice Rinks are fun!

Construction Plans

Backyard Ice Rink Construction Plans

Finally you're ready to start construction. Here are the step-by-step plans.

1. Mitered Corners Using a mitre box or setting your circular saw to a 45o bevel, cut two of your 8' boards in half. These boards will be used at the "corners" of your rink. The first year I created my rink I used 90o corners. This didn't work so well, as the corners were always a problem. The ice was poor because these areas where generally the high spots and low spots in the ground where I placed my rink. Using 1/2 length boards at a 45o angle, I've found, works much better. Also, it more closely resembles a real skating rink.
2. Mitered Corners With the 4 1/2 length boards you created in step one, cut the non-beveled end to a 45o bevel. This will allow you to connect both ends of these boards flush with the ends of boards that will run down the length and width of your ice rink.
3. Flat Ground
This next step is crucial. Choose the flatest 20' x 40' spot you can find to place your rink. I just eyeballed mine, but my reading on the web has lead me to believe that this isn't such a good idea and that using a line level or water level ensures greater success. If you end up with a lot of slope where you place your rink, you will find that one end of your rink won't be think enough to support the weight of your skaters. There are a number of solutions available if you don't have a flat area for your rink. Check out my tips page for uneven ground.
4. WholeRink.JPG Lay out the boards. Put 1 corner piece at each corner of your rink. Then put 2 full boards at the ends of the rink and 4 full boards for each side.
5. MendingPlate2.JPG Secure the boards together using the mending plates on the straight joints with the 1 1/4 inch screws. At the corners, use the longer screws and screw into the wood directly (If you've got a little extra money, a 45 degree mending plate will make a better joint and the wood will last longer.)
6. RebarSupport.JPG Once the boards are all together you need to support them. This is because water weighs a lot. Once the rink is full, there will be a lot of outward pressure exerted on the boards. Drive a piece of rebar into the ground with a sledge hammer at each joint on your rink.
7. RebarSupport2.JPG You're ready to rock 'n' roll now.
8. WholeRink.JPG Move on to installing the liner!

Let's Install the Rink Liner
Backyard Ice Rinks are cool!