You will need: Ask for four 2 x 10-in. pieces of lumber (the total length should equal the perimeter of the rink), bolts (to fasten the boards) and a tarp that’s large enough to cover the area, with a little overhang. You can also buy a plastic rink liner at sports stores as an alternative to a tarp.
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1. Lay the lumber down in the desired shape of the rink, then bolt the wood together. You can reinforce it with extra pieces of wood for support.
2. Next, lay the tarp over the wooden outline and press on it so the tarp is resting on the ground and the extra length extends past the wood.
3. Tuck the extra length under the wood, creating a seal so water won’t escape when you fill the rink. (You can also use a stapler and attach your tarp to the wood.)
4. Using a hose, fill the entire surface with water about 2 cm (1 in.) at a time (this prevents bubbles from forming). Let it freeze solid, then repeat until the ice is just about level with the wood. After a few days of temperatures around -10°C, your rink should be fully frozen and ready for fun.
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A version of this article appeared in our December 2014 issue with the headline “How to build a backyard rink,” p. 40.