Ice Rink2016-12-31 00:00:00
Experiment 2: FenceAn update to this post is available here
By putting a fence around the ice rink, blowing snow and more importantly leaves will be kept from the ice, resulting in less maintenance.
Fencing in the entire rink may actually cause more debris to fall on to the rink rather than less. Leaves can blow off of an open rink but would be trapped in a fenced rink. Also, it's possible for a calm area to develop as the fence resists the wind and this would allow debris to drop onto the ice. (See Bernoulli Principle.)
3/4" EMT tubing* was cut to approximately 56 inches. This was secured to the rink boards using two-hole EMT clamps, two per tube. Insulating bushings were installed on the top of the EMT to keep the cut edges from catching on the fencing as it was installed. The fencing is a temporary plastic fence with approximately 1/4" weave. The fencing is not attached at the bottom, so it's a simple matter to lift it slightly and shovel the snow off the rink.
The fencing extends from 2-4" below the height of the rink boards. This is not only to keep debris from blowing under the fence, but to minimize lost pucks when they inevitably skip over the end.
*Any of you "tautology" guys want to argue? Yes, it's Electrical Metallic Tubing tubing.
One unintended consequence is that pucks sometimes hit the fence and come back rather quickly. One has to watch for this and get out of the way as the puck will often be in the air.
At this point in time, it's difficult to say for certain if the fence is having an effect on preventing drifting and debris. Initial observations look like it's working, but it's hard to tell.
The fence does present additional challenges during snow removal. It has intentionally been kept loose at the bottom, so it can be lifted to remove snow when shoveling. However, clearing snow using a blower has not been tested at the time.
The fence is not intended as puck control, but more drift and debris control. However, it will keep pucks either on the ice or near to the rink so they're easy to pick up later.