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First Time Building a Backyard Ice Rink – Day 5 Skating Time

AllThumbsDIY - Outdoor Backyard Ice Rink Day 5

It looks like my kids will not be able to skate with today’s daytime temperature expected to rise around 32 degrees.

I’ve broken up my DIY Backyard Ice Rink project into multiple posts: Day 1 – Initial Planning, Day 2 – Construction, Day 3 – Filling with Water, Day 4 – Second Layer of Ice, Day 5 (you are here) and Day 6 – Finally Ready..


We had a light dusting overnight so I got my wide broom stick to clear the snow. I thought it was all good to go when I had no trouble walking on the deep section.

allthumbsdiy-day-5-skating-surface-break-flUnfortunately, when I walked on it the second time with my backpack leafblower to clear more powdered snow that had fallen, the ice near the fringe of the deep section snapped in multiple pieces and I had to quickly jump off (see the red fault lines).

My best guesstimate is that this deep section only had about 2-3″ inch thick ice so it probably could not support my 195 lb weight plus the backpack blower. Man, I was pissed but at least the break happened with me, not with my kids.

I ended up leaving for about 3 hours hoping the broken piece will float back up, but nope. It got stuck approximately 3/8″ inch below the existing surface, so I had to add more water to even it out. Complicating the matter was that a small leak developed, slowly draining water out from this deep section. I am hoping we will get some additional deep freeze to stop this leak!

I plan on buying a 6 MIL plastic sheeting with additional reinforcements (i.e. ripstop or scrim – string reinforced)

While I wait another day to see if the deep end will freeze, I am going to try to resurface the shallow end with a bucket of hot water and some towels (don’t have time to make “homeboni” nor do I want to pay $180 for the commercially available homeboni – when I make one, I will write a post about it).

NEXT POST: Day 6 – Waiting for the ice to freeze (TBD)