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Sure, tons of ice and snow falling on your town can mean lost services and difficult travel. But there’s lemonade in those lemons — especially if you’re a hockey fan. More than a few enterprising people have turned this winter’s abundance into home-made hockey rinks!

The kid-sized rink pictured above, for example, was built by this man out of basic lumber, decking screws, some vapor barrier, and a garden hose. Admittedly, he purchased a RinkRake — an ice-grooming tool that (like a Zamboni on big rinks) helps smooth out the ice. But other than that, it’s pretty much a local big-box special.

And he’s not alone. A recent article in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle notes that spending $500 or so to build even a 55′ x 38′ backyard rink compares favorably to the $250 or more it costs to rent a local rink for an hour. Factor in another $300 for lessons, and the idea of a DIY rink and teaching your own kids sounds pretty thrifty.

Though this isn’t the first year I’ve seen this picture floating around the wasting-time-at-work pic sites, I always assumed it was Photoshop genius. Now I’m not so sure.

So where do you start? If you’re looking to take on the task entirely DIY, you’ll definitely want to check out the plans and photos link below where a veteran builder shows step-by-step pictures of the whole process. And if you’ve got a little extra cash, you might swing by Rink Rake’s site, which offers not just the grooming tool mentioned above, but also pretty much everything you need to build a high-quality rink of your own.

Just don’t forget to send Toolmonger some pics when you’re done!

DIY Backyard Ice Rink [myfamilylovesit.com]
DIY Backyard Ice Rink Plans/Photos
Young Players Sharpen Their Skills on Backyard Rinks [democratandchronicle.com]


7 Responses to Covered In Ice? Build Your Own Hockey Rink!

  1. Adam R. says:

    One of the weathermen in Columbus OH builds a rink in his yard every year.

  2. olderthanyou says:

    The father of one of my best friends did this for us punks in the winter of 1964-1965. It kept us punks of the streets.

  3. olderthanyou says:

    The father of one of my best friends did this for us in the winter of 1964-1965. It kept us punks of the streets.

  4. Ted says:

    My 11 year old son and I knocked together a DIY rink in our side yard this year, bunch of scrap 2x4s and some 6mil poly. Tried piecing strips of plastic together with red tape, didn’t work, got a large (25’x50′) sheet and it went great. Tucked it in and tacked it to the frame with a staple gun. We had a fairly level surface which was a bonus. You need to flood it every few days as you’ll lose ice through sublimation, it also helps keep things smooth and level. I’m told hot water is best for flooding, I may run a hot-water hose bib out for next season, went with cold this year. You need to be pretty fastidious about keeping it clear of snow and leaves. If you have a big farm supply store local to you “silage cover” is supposed to be the hot ticket for plastic, inexpensive, tough, tear, puncture and UV resistant — I couldn’t find a good local source so went with poly which looks to be a use-it-once deal.


  5. Stackclimber says:

    This is one of my greatest childhood memories. growing up in the northeast I had a few friends that would flood their yards. I can not counthow many times the final seconds of the Stanley Cup was played and the winning shot scored. I was luckey enough to live a few hundred feet from a large shallow pond that would freeze early in the season. Many hours shoveling it off and playing puck.

  6. shopmonger says:

    Some of the schools did this with their parking lots, fun fun for all….. Make sure when ground thaws you get that up though, can kill grass as soon as it comes out of its dormant period.

  7. jeff says:

    My brothers (3 of them) and I all played puck on our backyard rink growing up. My dad would put it in the garden so that it didn’t kill the grass when it melted. I’m lucky now that I only live a block from an outdoor rink. Pond hockey is still my favorite form of exercise. Playing all day isn’t work, it’s just fun.

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