Backyard Zamboni keeps the best diy ice rink in town


We’ve known people to put down a small ice rink in their back yard during the winter. But a machine to resurface these diy rinks is unheard of until now. The big name in rink resurfacing is Zamboni, the person who invented this method of keeping the ice pristine.

This has almost everything you would find on a commercial model. The tires are studded with stainless steel screws for traction. The riding lawnmower has had its grass cutting blades replaced with a single steel blade that skims the surface of the ice. There’s even a tank of water which is distributed by a copper pipe with many holes and a squeegee which drags behind the machine. The only thing this is missing is a collection system for the slush which is generated by that skimmer blade. But as you can see in the clip after the break, it does just fine without it.


  1. ka1axy says:

    ” The only thing this is missing is a collection system for the slush which is generated by that skimmer blade.”

    Hey, gotta leave something for version 3, right? I need to show this to the guy in our neighborhood with the refrigerated backyard rink. Yup, he’s got tubing and a refrigeration system.

  2. Gizmos says:

    Fantastic! That is a serious commitment to backyard ice!

  3. ino says:

    that’s awesome !
    A good thing would be to have some kind of snow heater (from the engine) to recycle snow. It’s a pity to use tap water for this.

  4. Luke says:

    Studded tires aren’t good for the ice. Soft rubber tires give perfectly adequate traction at low speeds.

  5. Hirudinea says:

    Man this is cool (0C at least) and with the NHL strike it comes at the perfect time!

  6. John P says:

    in the early 2000’s I remember a John Deere ice resurfacing attachment. It was marketed to Canadian small rink operators. It was actually really damn cool!

  7. Zimbo says:

    Love it!

    With nice ice like that, it needs some logos and writing under the top surface.

    I’ve always wanted to get a part time job driving a zamboni at the local rink… I always figured it would help with my off-season race driving skills.

    And I do hear that the drivers compete to see who can clear the ice the fastest, without missing a spot. The zamboni time is easily timd by the score board.

  8. Jason says:

    Actually, I find the linked video of making the ice rink itself almost neater than the Zamboni project.

  9. Galane says:

    Better than Red Green’s homemade Zamboni. ;)

  10. Vaewyn says:

    This is Bigelow Brook Farm… they also have an awesome geodesic dome build.

  11. lwatcdr says:

    Heat the blade so that it melts the slush into a film of water to smooth the ice out.

    • varg says:

      I like this idea, but it would be hard to implement with a motor that small. It’s air-cooled so you can’t route hot coolant through it, and the exhaust doesn’t carry enough heat to do such a job well.

  12. Trav says:

    Not to get legalistic, ’cause I really don’t care that much, but. It’s officially called an “Ice re-surfacer” Zamboni is a brand name. I was looking into them before, and got from their website that they want them called Zamboni Ice refinishers (or something like that). They don’t want Zamboni to become a common name like Kleenex that is so over used that they lose control of the trademark. I think it may be a little late for that. Just my 2 cents. Nice project though.

  13. Brian says:

    Hey how about a really small one — the size of one of those roomba vacuums — that would operate without a rider?

  14. julio savarino says:

    julo says
    great job i just mad a 40×80 pad with a 5 inch lip i love the job on the ice re sufacer on of the best i have found on the net home made
    just woundering what was your total cost of parts and tractor (your labour was all for the love of the sport) have you made more then one

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