Step 1: Materials and Layout
A drill, saw, razor knife
Small box of 1.5 inch wood screws
Small box of 2.5 inch wood screws
Ten 8 foot 2x4 studs
Ten 8 foot 1x2 pine strips (4 cut in half)
20x25 foot piece of 6 mil plastic
This will build a 24 foot by 16 foot rink. Not huge, but fun for some 1/2 court hockey! It has been a great spot to teach my kids how to skate.
Unroll the plastic in the most level area of the yard
Layout the 2x4 studs three on the sides and 2 on the ends
Step 2: Screw Together
Step 3: Wrap and Secure
Don't pull the plastic too tight... a little bit of slack (2 inches or so) on the bottom will help raise the rink to level it in the next step.
Start in the corner with the 4 foot piece first to stagger the seams to give it some more strength.
Step 4: Fill and Level
Fill with water. If there is a slope you will notice it beginning to fill up quicker on one side faster than the other. Place scrap lumber under the plastic under the perimeter stud every 2 feet or so to raise the perimeter up to allow the rink to be level. Keep raising it as it fills. Mine was at least 10 inches thick in one of the corners. I filled it to be at least 2-3 inches thick at the low end.
The Perimeter begins to act like one of those inflatable 10 foot kids pools where the top ring rises, as it fills. I was very surprised how strong it was.
I watched the weather and built it on a day that was 40 degrees with the weather turning to 20 that night and lasting for a week. This made it comfortable to build outside, and I only had to wait 2 days for the ice to harden.
It has thawed and frozen twice this season, and each time I add a thin layer of water when it is a little above freezing to smooth the surface.
The rink can be made bigger if your yard allows. Just buy a couple more studs and a bigger piece of plastic.
Step 5: Recycle
We purchased a bunch of skates at the play-it-again sports store for $15-$30 each. Have fun!