DIY Block Ice Molds - Mountain Buzz

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Old 02-28-2017   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 332
DIY Block Ice Molds

DIY Block Ice Molds

I’m considering buying commercial block ice molds used by shaved ice businesses and ice sculptures to make their own block ice to save money from purchasing from block ice venders. Looking online, there are a variety of options on the market from plastic, rubber, metal, and varies sizes/shapes of molds.

Has anyone used a large block ice mold to DIY their own ice? If so what did you buy? Thanks!

DIY Block Ice Molds

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Old 02-28-2017   #2
Colo Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 712
I made my own with scrap 1/4" plywood. L shaped metal fasteners screwed on around the form hold it together. I put 2 pieces of plastic sheeting (6 mil thick) into the form to hold the water in as it freezes. It works perfectly and gives me the exact shape of ice I need for my cooler.
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Old 02-28-2017   #3
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 130
I went to lowes and bought cheap square-ish organization containers.
Similiar to this.

I got some that would fit in the cooler we were using.

For longer trips, I will freeze late trip meals vacuum sealed into each one, and separated the blocks in the cooler with cheap cutting boards.

Now I've got ice blocks below with food inside them, and ice blocks above that are purely ice.

And after all that I still like freezing gallon jugs better, they don't make a mess when they melt.
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Old 02-28-2017   #4
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 129
hunting freezers

I've been going to the local hunting processor. They've charged me like $20.

I fill the bottom of the cooler with about 2" of water and put it in their freezer over night. Rock solid the next day and lasts . . .
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Old 02-28-2017   #5
Flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 3
I have a food sealer so I buy the uncut rolls of bags, cut bags to the length of my coolers,fill them up, squeeze out as much air and seal them so I get a long flat block that fits the bottom of the cooler well. They hold up well, are reusable and don't leak.
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Old 02-28-2017   #6
Great Falls, Montana
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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What ever you use be careful to seal the blocks if you want drinking water. The ice will absorb smells and flavors of what ever else stored in the frig/freezer.

Last fall there was a Buzzard talking about using gallon SunnyD bottles because their squarish shape. I'm looking forword to trying that this year by filling them with Distilled water and freezing them. Then by keeping them in containers I will have drinking water.
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Old 02-28-2017   #7's Avatar
lafayette or Grand Lake, Depends on mood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1961
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,136
I use these as molds, freezes well, no leaks and fit in my cooler very well. Four gives me a lot (6 liters) of ice and very cold drinking water after a week or so of melting.
I also make my own ice cubes in these cube trays. These make bigger cubes that last much longer than little cubes. I then pack the cubes in gallon zip lock freezer bags to keep cubes clean and any melt water from the food.

Got a freezer full of ice made, ready to hit a river
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Old 02-28-2017   #8
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 141
3 Gallon Bucket

I use a 3 gallon rectangular bucket. I've cut a couple inches off the top with a table saw so that they fit in the cooler. It takes a couple days to freeze them though. I've found it is best to add a couple of inches of water at a time or the bottom of the buckets eventually split. I also keep the bucket in the cooler too. That way there is not too much water sloshing around as they melt. Two of those in the 150 qt cooler will last for 7 or 8 days of desert rafting.
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Old 02-28-2017   #9
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2015
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 5
I've been using the disposable containers that lettuce comes in. They are food safe, lidded, and going in the recycle bin otherwise.
They only last a few times before they get too flimsy, but I should be eating more salad anyway.
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Old 02-28-2017   #10
Walterville, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Mar 2009
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I used containers to make ice, but they often broke from the expansion. So I bought a chest freezer off of Craigslist for $50. I marked the inside of my cooler in one inch increments otherwise I tend to make too much ice. About a week before a trip I start adding water 1/2 inch or so at a time.
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