Build an Ice Skating Rink in your Frozen Backyard
Learn how to construct an ice skating rink in your backyard. Here's a brief but comprehensive summary of the best way to construct a hockey rink outdoors on frozen property.
Painter's drop sheets - thin plastic sheets that are used by painters to protect furniture and floors on job sites are the very best filaments to lay down on snowy grass to hold the water. They don't cost much and you will need two - ply minimum, and we use three- ply drop sheets (we use the thinnest sheets available at our construction supply store) and triple it up - one ply under the boards and two ply up and taped / stapled the boards.
Buy 4 x 8 sheets of plywood - choose thin (inexpensive as possible) plywood or even chipboard sheets. Take them home and 'rip' them or cut them into 1-foot wide strips. So you get four one-foot tall sidewalls per sheet. Each sheet will cover 24 linear feet of the diameter of your rink. Four sheets is 96 linear feet.
Stakes - use whatever wood you have lying around - stakes should be tall or really short or cut and bent down as people will fall into the boards and if they fall on the stakes it could be harmful. So we make the stakes real large so people fall into them and not on top of them. The stakes in the picture were actually used for a handrail system around an earlier version of the rink.
Lay down the plastic sheets and arrange the wood strips on top. Make 'the boards' and outline the ice skating rink. Make the stakes that hold the boards perfectly safe for falling humans of all sizes* Do this by making them waist high or by making them smaller than the boards or by adding buttresses on top to angle the supports. Lay a second layer pr plastic down and tape the plastic to the boards and staple to the wood.
Add water to the ice rink. How much water will you need? Length x width x depth x 7.5 = volume (in gallons). Length times width gives the surface area of the pool. Multiplying that by the depth gives the volume in cubic feet. Since there are 7.5 gallons in each cubic foot, multiply the cubic feet of the pool by 7.5 to arrive at the volume of the pool, expressed in gallons.