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#50421 11/06/04 10:11 AM
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For those of you that live in the north; when you skate on your pond how do you make the Ice smooth for skating? This is my first year of being a pond owner and I am getting excited to play a little hockey in the backyard! Any help would be great!


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Just did a search and found some info. Probably should of done that first :rolleyes: But from what I saw you guys were flooding the ice with a pump. Any other things that have worked better, or is this the way to go? Thanks again.


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Why not clear an area with a snowblower? I do this anyway with my ponds to allow light to penetrate to allow the aquatic macrophytes and phytoplankton to produce oxygen.


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SilverT - Surface texture of the ice at first freeze will vary based on weather conditons when pond froze. If the night is calm and cold ice will be smooth as glass. But if wind, snow, sleet occurs during first freeze up, ice surface will be slighty bumpy to rough. Wet snow that freezes fast to the ice makes for a grainy surface once the snow is removed. Since you are fairly far north I think that most of the time your ice will freeze relatively smooth at first ice. In your location then your main problem will be keeping the snow off the surface for skateing. Smooth or grainy ice can get polished to a slick surface with a day or two of wind blown snow. If you have rough ice and want smooth ice about your only option as I see it is to flood the surface with about 1/4"-1/2" of water on a calm night.


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With tongue in cheek, how thick does the ice have to be before you can drive a Zamboni machine on a pond?


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I don't know. How much does the machine weigh including the weight of the driver? \:D


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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My granddad once drove his fully loaded semi on a pond. He was turning around on what the thought was a parkinglot to get to a resturant to eat breakfast. Folks in the resturant were glued to the windows watching! Said he had nightmares later!


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Minimum 4" of good ice to walk on. 12" for vehicles. I use my 3/4 ton with 8ft plow to clean the pond. Keep in mind that is in the far north where ice conditions do not change rapidly.

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Wood,

Yeah we know! You're probably already icefishing right? \:\)


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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Cecil, over 4" of ice on my pond. But we have already moved. I'll have to scout out some local lakes to ice fish now. In the meantime, we have not sold our property so I might make some weekend trips down south to see how the trout are doing.

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Tarpon:

My advise FWIW is to get a gasoline powered or electric pump. We have tried for a couple years without success to maintain a smooth skating surface. Tried a high volume hand pump but couldn't pump enough water to flood a 75' x 40' area without having a heart attack. Ice is fairly permeable and the water doesn't spread out as far as we thought it would. Unfortunately we are only 10 miles east of Lake Michigan and the lake effect snow seems to pile up 6-10 inches a day in January and February. You shouldn't have to work as hard in Mt. Pleasant, good luck.

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Hey Wood....how's the north north?????? Are you gonna dab into artic char in your new environment? Still lucky here, no snow or freeze up yet but its coming!

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If I can make a couple of suggestions:

1) Start small... I always get carried away and end up with far too much surface area to maintain then is practical.

2) Try to flood with water that isn't being taken from under the ice you want to smooth out. (i.e. from a source other then the pond itself)

3) Remove new snowfall as soon as you can... or it either becomes too much to move or insulates the ice underneath enough to cause slush to form or otherwise roughen the ice surface.

4) Don't start flooding unless you are sure it isn't going to snow during or immediatly after your efforts.

Ok, that was more like a 'few' suggestions...
Good luck.


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I am not sure if this link will work, but last year I built a hand held zamboni that I use to flood my pond. It is made out of 3/4" copper and connects to a garden hose. It takes me about 45 minutes to do 1/3 acre. It does scare the crap out of me though cause when you are putting water on a frozen surface boy do you get some very loud cracking noises! Anyhow here is the link. Ice Flooding Tool


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Its how well you look doing it!

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Thanks for the link to the zamboni. I think I might just head out to the HomeDepot and try putting one together. Thanks again!


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fozzybear,
I'd like to see a photo of that hand held you built. I've been thinking of making one that can attached to my ATV. I already use the ATV to plow the snow off the pond and would like to spray a think layer of water over the surface to make it nice and smooth.

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 Quote:
Originally posted by silvertarpon:
For those of you that live in the north; when you skate on your pond how do you make the Ice smooth for skating? This is my first year of being a pond owner and I am getting excited to play a little hockey in the backyard! Any help would be great!


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Tuzz, Go to the original link and look at the pictures in the folder. I took them last night. Don't laugh at the soldering job, I am not the neatest. Ice Flooding Tool


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Its how well you look doing it!

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Last night I finally finished clearing the small pond of all the snow we got in last weekends storm. Perfect night for skating, no wind, and temps in the high teens. Even had a coyote let loose with a couple of barks. Life is good.

Russ


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