Friday, 18 January 2008 – Kris Koonar
Its not very difficult to build a Home climbing wall, but proper planning and materials are needed to ensure that you get it right on one go and do not have to remove or replace ply or bolts to get it right.
The first step is to locate the ideal place where you want to mount your wall. You could fabricate it indoors and bolt it to an existing wall and part of your ceiling or you could mount it outside. Make a rough sketch and make a list of all the materials needed for your construction. Get the correct tools such as power drills and the right drilling bits. You will also need brackets, nails, self-tapping screws, long nut/bolts and T-nuts and of course your foot holds. All of these should be galvanized.
Your plywood should be 1/4″ or 5/8″ in thickness and if you are planning to install your wall outside your home then marine ply is better since it can handle rain without getting damaged. Take out an estimate first of your costs so that you can decide which type of material and design is affordable on your pocket. You could make your wall at a permanent angle at the top or you could even make an adjustable angled wall. The adjustment could be made by various slots on your horizontal beam which when sliding it along a fixed vertical beam. However, this arrangement has to be very sturdy or you could have the wall collapsing on you during full load.
Your climbing wall should also be well anchored to the floor or ceiling or both so that it does not collapse on one side due to extra weight. Use large oversize O.D. washers so that the nut/bolts do not tear into the wood when you tighten it fully or when there is a load on the wood. When you start construction you will have to construct the frame first. This should be of thick square ply. Then you will have to skin your frame with your plywood sheets. Using long self-threading screws, you can attach these sheets to your frame. Once you have skinned the frame, then you will have to paint the surface. Sand the entire structure first and apply a coat of primer to it. This will ensure that your paint sticks properly to the wood and does not form bubbles.
The next step is to attach your holds. These come in various sizes, shapes and colors and their prices also vary. If your wall size is big then you could divide it into various sections and arrange the holds in such a way as to make it easy, medium and difficult. For a small wall you could still make it interesting by attaching the holds in an abstract pattern. You can also change the position of your holds by drilling extra holes and fixing a T nut from behind, so that all you have to do is just remove the bolt from the hold and shift it. You will also need a thick mattress, which can be placed at the foot of the wall to prevent broken bones if you lose your grip.
So, building a home climbing wall is not very difficult, but the key word is safety and sturdiness. So, go ahead with these tips and build one for yourself.
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