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How To Construct Your Own Home Climbing Wall


Submitted by no_limit on 2004-05-14 | Last Modified on 2010-02-25

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How much do you really need it? This is a question you will hear if you have a wife or mom. Before you bring this up to your family, you will have to assess your need of a wall at home.

Design

Here are some things to think about

- are you spending inexplicable amounts of money at the gym each month

- is there no gym or crag near your home

- do you have enough room

- do you have enough money

- would you really use it

- do you have enough time

These are all things you must ask yourself before even considering building a wall.

Now that you have assessed your needs and decided you will really use your own home wall you can begin thinking about what it will look like. You will probably want different angles of wall, from overhang to vertical, but it may be impossible, due to your budget. It took me approximately 2 weeks to finally come upon the perfect plans. I had made up 8 different designs and finally picked the best one. The design I chose has 4 sides, one is an almost horizontal overhang with a 2 foot piece above it so I can get out, the next wall has a bottom half that is vertical and a top half that is at 45 degrees, and the other 2 sides are vertical. These sides are all arranged in a sort of 4 sided triangle shape. Your budget or room available may not hold a wall quite this big so you will have to think of a different design than mine.

If your budget or space will not allow for a huge, exspensive, 4 sided wall then maybe you will only buy 2 sheets of plywood and screw them to the side of your shed, thats okay. Anything that will help you train is great. You may also want to try an adjustable wall, which is a regular wall where chains and hinges are used so the angle can be adjusted. There are so many designs you could think of, but they all depend on the criteria you set out for youself in the first chapter of this article.

Construction

The next big step towards your own home wall is construction. Construction is probably easier than deciding on a plan but more difficult to carry out. On your first day of construction you will probably only get your basic frame up. I used a large tree in my yard as the main brace, and worked around that.

Frame

-First, I built the framework. I did this just like if I were building a house, I hammered in a 2X4 every 12inches along a 2X6 and then nailed in a 2X4 along the top for support. I made 2 of these. T

-Then I put them up beside the tree and tied them in with rope just to see what it would look like once they were permanently secured.

-I then took some huge screws and screwed some 2X4's to the tree, which I cut down to 4 feet in length, every 18 inches up the tree until I reached 8 feet.

-I then bolted the framework I had made earlier to the 2X4's which are across the tree

-Once the main frame is bolted to the tree I had to put in cross beams across the top. I did this by bolting 2X4's between each corresponding 2X4 on each frame.

-Once the outer frame was complete I had to do the inner frame, for the overhang

-The inner frame was done by laying 2X4's from the cross beam at the front to the 2nd from the bottom back cross beam, which is attached to the tree.

Plywood

-Once the frame was complete, I was finally able to work on the plywood.

-First, I stacked all the plywood up until each pile was as thick as my 7/16ths drill bit.

-Then, I drilled a hole every foot or so in a random pattern.

-After I had drilled the holes I sanded the outer side down and pounded the t-nuts into the other side with a rubbery malley.

Painting

-Then came the process of painting.

-If you have acsess to rollers USE THEM. I used a brush and it took me forever.

-Before the paint dries sprinkle cheap sandbox sand over it for texture.

-The plywood is now ready to attach to the wall.

- I used long screws (3 inches) with washers for the main support around the edge of the plywood, at every stud, don't cheat and screw every other one, eventually you will lose out. - Then I used the same screws without the washers for the inner screws which I put at every stud every foot down from the top.

Sketchs

These are some rough, not to scale, diagrams of what the framework looked like.

Holds
Finally after a week or eight, depending on how fast you work and how many mistakes you make, you are finished. Now you have to blow more money on the right holds. What I did, as I was on a strict no frills budget, was I e-mailed as many hold manufacturers as I could asking for seconds or discounts. Most companies sent back good responses, like we have a discount barrel in the back and I will be glad to put together a cheap package depending on how much you want to spend. While, others wrote back with "NO", or some don't even return your messages. If you go this route in your search for holds, don't say you are the head of a multimillion making engineering corporation or something. Tell the companies that you are a climber who wnats to better themselves to pursue your dreams of climbing 5.14, but doesn't have alot of money or something similar.

I hope you had and will have fun building and using your own home made wall. If you have any questions please e-mail or PM me.

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