Some friends came back from Sweden last winter raving about the Ice Hotel
they had stayed in.
http://www.scantours.com/ice_hotel.htm They would like to try the same thing
(on a much smaller scale, of course) at their winter place in Idaho.
Naturally they came to me for guidance, but I have to admit this is a new
one, so I can use all the help I can get.
I've arranged for a supply of #1 Select pond ice to be delivered to the site
in standard 4' x 8' x ¾' sheets. There are also standard 4" x 4 " x 16'
sills and the appropriate number of 2 x 4s, 2 x 6s, etc.
The foundations will be poured in place just ahead of the season's first big
freeze, and I'd like to have as much of the ice trimmed and prefabricated to
save time, as the Eskimo carpenters are quite expensive. So here are my
What sort of blade should I use on the table and chop saws?
How much do you allow for melt with each cut?
Is there a way of laying out cuts on the ice? Nothing seems to make a
They're looking at a shingle-style design. Is there a special tool for
splitting ice shingles? Should the ice be prepared in a special way? How do
you determine the grain direction?
Fasteners seem to be the major problem. I'm not sure what they use in
Sweden, but your standard 10d common nail will *not*
work. (I've been
experimenting with ice cubes.) Someone suggested using a red-hot nail to
bore through the ice. Will this work? How about with the ice shingles?
I'm assuming that the ice window "glass" will be shipped in standard size
panes. Is there a source for ice mullions, or should I deal with a local
iceworking shop? What about putty? Is food coloring the best way to produce
stained glass for the entranceway?
For the interior I was planning to use standard icewall sheets held in place
with hot screws. What do you use to cover the joins? I've looked in the
Thomas Register for ice spackle without any luck. Should I use an adhesive,
and if so, what kind?
Flooring is also a problem. I cannot locate a source of laminate ice
planking (the people at Armstrong and Pergo were positively rude when I
inquired about the availability of quartersawn white oak). And how do you
deal with traction problems?
Finally, I am at a complete loss as to how to heat the completed structure.
The owners insist on fireplaces in each room. Is this possible? And... what