What size wood do I use?

We recommend 2" x ? The question mark is because all back yard rink sites/yards are different and your wood width will depend on your site level or non-level. If you are confident in your site being a gentle slope of up to 6" then just get 2" x 8" 's If by chance your water ends up coming close to the top of the frame at one end or the other then your solution is easy. Just get another 2 x 8" and add a second tier. Pull out your J-Brace and re fasten at the next level and bind then together with your J-Brace. Now your back yard rink frame is strong and secure and ready for more water. p.s. You may need more Braces every 5-6' as your water is deeper and heavier. You also may need a support 45.

Can I use boards that are 1" in thickness?

There is nothing stopping you from using 1"x ?. Having said this consider the following a.) There is a potential for a large amount of water weight from within your back yard rink perimeter depending on how level your site is a 1" thick board solution is, in our opinion, inadequate. Water weighs approximately 10 lbs per gallon and this would do a poor job of containing your water. Having said this if you were feeling inclined to stake your back yard rink boards every 2 feet you may have enough support to hold your water within the perimeter.

Should I paint lines on my back yard rink or liner?

Lines sound great!! We have received many e mail pictures from back yard rink rink building friends across the U.S. and Canada with rinks with lines however consider the following. The darkness of the  color of the fallen leaf attracts heat from the sun and quickly melts a hole through your ice and often several inches deep in a given day. This most often happens when the sun is shining any time in the season and especially as you are trying to prolong your quality surface in the spring. The same thing would happen with dark lines on the surface as they would attract heat and cause a softening and melting effect . Secondly if you were to paint lines on your liner then the possibility of snow falling (this happens in many areas)as it freezes and coloring your back yard rink ice white and obscuring those lines would be great too! Its your choice and many have had success in the shaded areas..

What happens if I have checked and my site is not very level?

Having an back yard rink unlevel site is not the end of your ice rink dream however having an unlevel site is your biggest challenge. The way to accommodate an unlevel site is to place your widest boards on the lowest sides of your site. REMEMBER if you do wish to level your backyard rink site you only have to do it once in all the years you will build rinks. We think its worth while however you will be the judge in your own yard based on your own time and effort. This can be done in the summer months by adding some top soil or other fillers to your back yard rink low area and topping it with fresh soil and seeding the fresh earth area. Do this early in the spring/summer and give your new grass in that area a chance to mature. We have encountered a spring die off only when there is immature grass plantings from the previous year. Generally it is somewhat temporary and does fill in as the summer progresses.

Should I paint my back yard rink boards white?

Inevitably the sun will shine on your back yard rink and there will be at least one side or two that the wood will absorb the suns rays and warm up the area next to the boards causing what we call a burn off. There is a product called puck board that is a permanent solution to keeping your back yard rink framing white. Other than that painting your boards white to reflect the suns rays is a good idea. Remember the discussion earlier about the leaf and the painted lines. This same phenomenon of absorbing the warmth of the sun will happen with your back yard rink framing too!


Why is checking your back yard rink level of your property important?

ANSWER #6       

Would you like to get started with the best chance for success. If you were to ASSUME  your back yard rink site is level and make the mistake of confusing the words flat and level the likely scenario would be..............You assemble your frame and lay your back yard rink liner and your boards are carefully selected as 2" x 8" 's. You start to fill your rink with water and several hours later one end/side  is collecting all the water and eventually the water is pouring over the frame in that area. You can't push or pull or force the ice or water up hill. It just doesn't work that way.  Now picture a wider frame that will contain the water and as the water fills the lowest area it starts to spread out across the rink bottom  gradually filling in the rest of bare liner area. We think you  should CHECK YOUR LEVEL!!! 


When should I build my back yard rink?

ANSWER #7     

Here are some general tips on when you could start to build.1.) frost on the grass in the A.M. 2.) you have had a light snow but it has melted . 3.)there is frost on your car windows in the morning. 4.) the leaves have fallen off the trees.  These are all indications of a time to start to check your rink sizing and your site. CHECKING to see how level your site is can be done sooner but if this important step hasn't been done DO IT. Do not omit this step from your plans. See  QUESTION #6 or #1


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