Outdoor Hockey Rink With End Boards

I decided to improve my outdoor rink by adding end boards behind where the nets will go. Will save me from searching for pucks in the woods. The rink itself is just a big water resistant tarp on a level surface. The small side board are plywood sheets cut into 6" strips and screwed to 16" long 2x2 sharpened stakes hammered into the ground. You just need enough height to hold the edges of the tarp up as you build up your ice and leave a couple of inches to keep your puck in the rink. As winter progresses clearing your rink of snow will build up a natural bank all the way around. Eventually I might make 2' high side boards but that's another adventure.

The overall construction is relatively simple and we'll see how well they survive the winter this year.

Step 1: Construct Board Layers

The end boards are made up of 2 layers secured to a pair of 2x4s. The top 2x4 is laid flat. The bottom 2x4 is on it's side and spaced from the bottom edge using a 2x4 piece. You need this space in order to secure the board brace in the next step.

You can make a single 4x8 board for each end or more as you want. I made 2 for each end as my grand kids are still learning to shoot. :)

Step 2: Create Board Braces

Attach a 2' piece of 2x4 to the bottom 2x4 rail. The piece should easily slide under the bottom rail. Secure with 3" construction screws. I used 3 for each board section leaving a bit of a gap from the end where the two boards will meet. If you are only making 1 board for each end then secure your braces tight to the end with one in the middle.

Cut your 2' long 2x4 brace supports at a 45 degree angle on each end the screw onto the bottom brace using 3" construction screws. Be careful when securing the top end to the board back as you don't want to go through all the layers and leave a sharp screw end sticking out of your boards. I also put a screw from the white side into the top of the brace for a bit more security.

Step 3: Position Your Boards and Secure in Place

The last step is to drag your boards out to your rink and secure them. I used the same 16" long 2x2 sharpened stake to secure the board. I secured the centre brace of each end board and then screwed a 2x4 piece under the top rail and over the bottom rail to hold them together. Make sure there is enough slack in your tarp to lift up and attach to the end board a few inches from the bottom. I used 1 1/4" screws and hung the tarp grommet on each screw. Not the prettiest method but should hold enough to get some water in and start creating ice.

Some advice on ice making, unless you have a really awesome waterproof tarp that can hold all the water you need then you will need to build up your ice in stages. Filling your rink with water generally leads to all the water running out a crack, a small hole or a low edge you didn't notice. I've run into all these scenarios. You will need about a week of below freezing temperatures to build up enough ice to survive a few days above freezing. Once you have an inch or so of base ice you can flood more freely. I've also made a mini zamboni attachment for my hose that I will post an intractable for. For those that can't wait it's basically PVC pipe in a rectangle shape with holes drilled into it with a mop head wrapped around it. Works very well once you have a nice thick base of ice.

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