The process and enjoyment (or non enjoyment) of our first ever front-yard Ice Rink

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Well, there's not much left now but to drain the bugger and pack it up. 60° and sunny is no place for an outdoor rink.






Friday, March 12, 2004

The temps were down to about zero F last night. Perfect for making ice, right? Well...not this time. It simply welded all the ice chunks the kids had been fishing out of our little pond to the rest of the ice. Tons of debris everywhere and bumby city. All that open water is at a safe thickness now, but just not skateable. Too bad.











Sunday, March 07, 2004

I wanted to wait until the ice all melted before I emptied...but today may have hastened that idea. Evie decided to walk around the broken up part of the rink. Nice.


Friday, March 05, 2004

Well, today marked the end of all efforts and hopes for any more skating days this year. We got dumped with six inches of heavy wet snow, which weighted the big ice cube down into the rink pool and created several inches of slush on top...so there is no bloody way I'm going to shovel that stuff off in hopes of a cold snap later on...so that seems to be the end. I won't empty the rink until most of the ice has melted though...because you never know about March in Minnesota. There could still be a quick cold snap for a couple days to freeze a couple inches of ice.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

OK...Yesterday the rink was leaking badly. I stapled up the liner and last night I refilled the rink to the top. The big iceberg (remnants of the old ice) lifted nicely back into place. The temps were in the upper 20s and there was a thin 1/2 to 1/3 inch layer of new ice around the berg. If we get a couple more nights around 20 degrees I think we can get another couple skates out of it.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

The warm weather keeps on coming. Much of the snow surrounding the rink has melted and the rink itself is getting really thin. It's already totally melted on the shallow end of the rink. The bad news is that the weight of the melted water pushed part of the liner under the boards, which pulled the liner down the sides of the boards. A hole created by a skate or puck during the winter went below the water line and the water started to drain out. THis morning the remaining ice was three inches lower than yesterday. I found the problem and lifted the liner back up to stop the leak. Now I'll refill the rink back to normal level and hope for some colder weather so we can get a couple more skating days out of it before it's all done.

The weather is looking like it may not happen with highs in the 30s with sun and lows in the teens. It may freeze up again. At least if we crash through the ice, I think ther's little chace of any drownings.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Things are not too good now. The weather was very cold and snowy for the first half of February, and now they're just plain old too warm. The ice is holding up well with not too much melting...besides just a bit around the edges.

Highs started climbing into the 30s last week and softened the ice a lot. The night time temps have not dropped below about 26 or 27 for over a week now so I cant really flood and make a new surface. The forecast is not too good either with highs in the mid to upper 30s with low 40s on tap for the upcoming weekend. Night time lows are not going to drop below 25 any time in the next week it looks like. I guess we'll have to wait it out and hope for a spell of colder weather come next week. Such is life...us against the elements...and we all know who wins that battle every single time.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

About 1/2 inch of snow fell this morning and I didn't have a chance to clean it off yet. THe forcast calls for about an inch of new snow tonight, the really cold...perhaps minus 6*F tomorrow night. Yikes. I think this thing in finally frozen all the way through, but I've not been able to see the botom for about a week now, but no worries about further disasters. Just need to get everyone out there again soon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

I was out there late tonight and had to snap a few pictures for the scrapbook.



Yesterday we had a blast out there with the family. Deb even got out with the boots and gave it a whirl. The guys had a heckuva time scoring on her.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Here are a couple nice pics of the ice which was removed a couple weeks ago to make way for the new rink...



It's actually quite lovely when the sun shines on it...but it's not that fun to think about removing it all and choveling it to a different place from which it layed.

Here are a couple nice shots of the rink this morning.





Sunday, January 11, 2004

Having some great rink time with the boys. Trip had one of his team friends over after practice this afternoon and they skated for a good hour and a half extra.



Henry is skating much better...not bad!

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

I gave up totally on trying to patch this silly rink and decided to live with a slanted rink. Well...that was until the big melt which eroded at least an inch off the top of the ice. Well, this exposed the plastic near the shallow end and it was getting tricky to do anything. I've decided to tear out the old rink and start over from scratch. Yesterday I went and bought a new liner at 6 mil rather than the 4 I used before. I'll bust out the ice tomorrow which should not take too long and lay down the new liner, use boards for the gap under the lumber and fill 'er up again. Should be getting colder later in the week so I'll hope to have it done just efore it gets cold again.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

OK...I've been futally trying the fix the leaks with plastic, tape, snow, slush, clips...just about anything. The effort has been a dedicated one but a truly worthless one. The only good thing that came out of the effort to fix a leaky ice rink is that it's pretty much impossible to fix. Ive decided to give up after probably 10 hours over five days of trying different things. The kids can just skate on the slanted rink all winter! Kind of a bummer but it's not bad. The rink is a little hacked up in the deep end where the leaks are...but too bad.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Well, we're having some trouble. The rink is sinking!

Critical error number one. If you're using a plastic liner, do not use snow for any part of the rink/water support.

I had the perimeter of the rink top done with 2x lumber with 2x12 on the deep end and 2x8 on the shallow end. The shallow end was laying on the ground and the deep end of the perimeter wood frame was sitting on bricks. It snowed and I pushed the snow around the perimeter to fill in the gaps underneath the lumber frame.

I laid out the plastic liner and filled it using two hoses for about 6 hours. The water pooled nicely in the liner which was laying on the ground and snow and the wood frame. The air temperatures were about 5 degrees at night and 15 during the day and within 36 hours we had skatable ice.

Well...I did not notice that the heat of the water, which was about 40 degrees or so coming out of the spout melted all the snow which is came in contact with and eroded the support for the water. The bag then slipped underneath the gap below the wood frame. The pressure against the bricks under the frame made small tears in the liner and water started slowly leaking out. This make the ice sink and the whole thing deflated after about four days. We were left with a slanted skating rink.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

This is 36 hours after filling the rink. Everything is great! The ice is probably 1.5 inches thick. This thing is great and the kids are loving it. You can see the seam of the plastic liner through the ice. The rinks is about 1.5 inches thick at the shallow end and about 16 inches deep in the deep end...and here I though it was a flat front yard. It's amazing how water brings a whole new meaning to the word flat!!!


Saturday, December 06, 2003

Now this is what the rink looked like the day after I built it. Notice the gaps at the far side under the boards...this is where trouble lurks.

Friday, December 05, 2003

This is the first entry for this Ice Rink. We'll see how it goes. THis is just a test entry and I'll do another one too.

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