This idea stemmed from years of growing up near a creek. There was a run off of water that was only inches deep and made a pretty good size skating area for the neighborhood kids to play without the worry of breaking ice dangers. Although you can now purchase kits to build your own rink, this is not only more cost effective but also gives the opportunity for the family to work together on the project.
We built our rink 24′ by 24′ which proved to be plenty of room to get around, but did not take up the whole yard. You may choose to go larger or smaller depending on your needs. The first step will be purchasing the materials and getting together the tools we will need to put this idea together. My material list will include a trip to the local lumber yard for 8 2x6x12, treated a 36×36 sheet of heavy plastic (you can find reinforced plastic as well), 4 1x1x12’s treated, and 1 ½”aluminum nails. The tools we need include a staple gun with ½” staples, I prefer my Bosch Miter Saw and Bosch Miter Saw Stand, hammer and mallet, and a square, and your garden hose. Again this can be downsized or made larger per your family’s needs.
Make sure the spot you have picked out to build this backyard entertainment center is level and free of rocks with preferably a nice bed of grass. The tools needed are minimal so I set up my Bosch Miter Saw Stand and my Bosch saw and begin cutting my 1×1’s into 12 1′ sections. These 1′ sections are then angled 90 degree on one side on what will be the bottom of our support stakes. After our cuts are made and stakes are finished we simply lay the 12′ 2×6’s down one at a time and nail the stakes on the outside making level with top of 2×6 and placing every two feet, the angled end will be going into the ground so the flat top of stake should be level.
When you’re done with all of the side boards with the attached stakes, you’re now going to need a couple more hands for the next step so gather up some more family members and let’s go. With three of you holding the board you will start on one end of the first board and set in on the ground in your designated location and hammer the stakes into the ground until all stakes are 6″ into the ground and your 2×6 is exposed. You will then repeat the process butting the second board up against the first and putting your square in the corner just to make sure we end up with a square and not a diamond rink, although that would probably be an interesting design. Hammering the stakes into the ground and repeating the last step again on the other 2×6 forming your square. Our next step with be to lay our plastic out over our square with inches also hanging over. With help from the family go around and even up the plastic every side should have 6″ to cover inside 2×6 and 6″ for the outside of the 2×6. Once this is complete you will use your Bosch staple gun to attach the plastic to the 2×6 on the outside only and make sure the staples are sunk and not sticking up for they could cause injury.
Your final step in this process is to get your garden hose out of storage and fill you ice rink with 4 inches of water leaving a 2 inch space to the top of the 2×6. Make sure you put your hose away as to ruin it and then give your project a couple of days to freeze if needed, depending on where you live. When frozen put on the ice skates and have fun.
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