Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Backyard Rink Chronicles Pt. 1


I'm doing it.

I'm going to attempt to fulfill a lifelong dream and build a backyard skating rink.

I researched on the web, and the kits look nice and easy, but expensive. They also would entail waiting for delivery and I'm all about instant gratification (and I've got the rest of the week off) so, F that.

So I went to Home Depot (and I'm one of those guys who isn't the most handy, so I can never really put on the air of confidence that garners the respect of the dudes working there, but the guys I talked to were all super helpful and didn't snicker at my naivete very much at all) and wound up buying (what I hope is) everything I need for less than a kit would have been.

I had wanted to do a 20' x 30' sheet. But the tarps they had available in the store dictated that I go 15' x 25'.

For the frame, I'm using 2" x 8" boards, cut into 5' lengths, held together with an extra piece of wood behind them, into which I'm screwing deck screws. I'm planning on ~2" of ice, so ~6" of extra space above it creating the kick plate. If I need additional "boards" (particularly end boards) I can always add them later.

My plan is to build and lay the frame, flatten the snow inside it, lay the tarp, fill with water and let mother nature do her thing. Okay, we're getting the same 40+ degree weather this weekend that is currently threatening the Winter Classic in Pittsburgh, but I've never been accused of having great timing.

Last night, I made the two 15' end sections and a 15' and a 10' side section for each side.

Today I'm going to connect the side sections and finish the frame. Then I get to use my new tamper to flatten what little snow we currently have. I was advised to let the frame sit for a bit to settle before laying the tarp, but we'll see about that.

A) with the warmer weather coming in, I'd like to try to get a couple layers of ice down first
B) instant gratification

I'll update more later.

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