The build is now 95 percent complete, and I'll have no problem finishing well in advance of a self-imposed Dec. 20 deadline.
I've added a night photo to the gallery (on NHL page), however a few more lighting features still need to be installed.
Aside from "beautifying" the evening experience, the corners will be reinforced to prevent Mrs. Dreger from running me through the end boards.
Like me, she's from Saskatchewan and hates to lose.
I'm happy to report that the subfloor constructed in one end is working flawlessly and has allowed me to add an additional 10 feet of ice to the length of the pad.
The concrete footings and the 2 x 12's that sit squarely into the footings appear to be easily handling the weight.
It was well worth the extra time and money.
For the protective netting, I simply used plastic fencing and attached the metal poles that came with the fencing to 2 x 4's, which were then screwed to the boards in both ends. The fencing hangs on hooks on the poles, providing a total of 9 feet (boards included) of protection. (Neighbors will be happy).
I'm guessing I have another couple of hours of tinkering to complete the task which will bring the total man hours invested from start to finish, to about 30 hours.
From this point on, the work shifts to maintenance - shovelling, flooding and dealing with the damage of predictable warm spells. All in all, it's been a great experience and each year I seem to enjoy it more than the last.
There isn't much to update from this point, so I'll post the final picture on Christmas Eve to officially announce the job as done.
The feedback has been outstanding.
Current NHL GMs, coaches, players and former greats have all shown interest in this project, reaffirming it's the basics of the game that fuel the fire.
Thanks to all amateur ice-makers from across North America who have taken time to send in pictures of their work.
Keep them coming and we'll find a place in our ever growing online gallery.
Here's to a cold, but not too cold winter!
Have a safe and happy holiday everyone.
Boom! (I don't even know what that means, lol).