Ever wanted your own home climbing wall? I built one for my self and my two girls. They absolutely love it, and I can practise and train at home as well. Here are the steps and a few tips.
Step 1 – Sketch your home climbing wall
I started putting all my thoughts to paper on a rough sketch for my own home climbing wall. Originally I wanted to go with an overhanging wall, but as I began being creative I also realised that if I ever had to succeed – and also not spend rest of the year – then I had to go for something easy. So I ended up with a simple 90 degrees wall.
Step 2 – Blueprint
Next up is the blueprint. Do a more thorough detailed of what you would like to achieve. Also consider how you would like to built your home climbing wall. I decided to go with the following design: 4700 mm wide x 3200 mm on the highest point. The ceilling of my apartment is angled, so I had to counter for this. I also wanted to go with a chalkboard coating, so the girls can draw awesome stuff on the wall.
After my design conditions I drew up the frame is holding the climbing wall to the actual wall. I went with 55 mm x 45 mm hardwood for the frame and 18 mm plywood as wall.
Step 3 – Produce all the pieces
Now cut up everything into pieces that make up the wall. I have a quite narrow staircase up the second floor or my apartment, so without chopping up the plywood into 4700 mm x 400 mm pieces I could not get the plywood up to the second floor. Anyway, you might need to work out something different.
When I was done with my pieces I drilled out 12 mm holes with a distance of 250 mm between in a diamond shape to make up, where I would put in the sockets for the climbing holds. I must admit that for a wall this small 250 mm is a bit too long. Looking back, I should probably have gone with 150 mm or 200 mm to add some more flexibility. Even though that I have chosen a diamond shape, the climbing holds still seem to be too much aligned to eachother.
Step 4 – Paint job
When all the plywood was prepared I started painting them with chalkboard paint. I had to to it twice, brushing with sandpaper in between, for the paint too really cover the wall.
Step 5 – Assembly line
I must admit, I did not do this alone! My girlfriend helped out and I could really not have done this as a solo DIY project! Especially the ‘Assemble Phase’, where you out everything together. Holding long pieces of plywood while trying to screw everything together would have been a pain. So my main recommendation for this part – make an alliance with your better-half or a good friend, to get this done.
Step 6 – Build routes and problems
Finally the wall is built and now the fun parts begin. Screwing in all of the climbing holds to conclude about a weekend work of making an awesome homemade DIY climbing wall. When choosing my climbing holds I was in a “decorative” mood, so I went for light green, dark green and grey colored holds in various shapes and sizes. As the wall is for the kids as well as me I choice mainly small and medium sized jugs, some crimps and edges, and a couple of slopers. I purchased my climbing holds from a Danish manufacturer called Gubbies.com, where I could check out the holds and swiftly return them if I for some reason wanted to go for something else. There are tons of other climbing holds shops out there on the internet, so you can probably easily find some in your own area.
Step 7 – Climb!
And yeah, the most important step of them all. I hope the pictures speaks for themselves. Enjoy building your own climbing wall.
To help you out making your own climbing wall, here is a list of ingredients:
- 18 mm thick plywood for the climbing wall
- 55 mm x 45 mm hardwood beams for the frame
- 100 x 12 mm sockets (for 10 mm bolts)
- 10 mm bolts to fetch the climbing holds to the climbing wall
- Assorted climbing holds according to you own wishes
- loads of screws. I justed 120 mm length to screw the frame into the brick wall holding the climbing wall, and 50 mm to screw the plywood onto the frame, but you can go with whatever you feel fits best
Any experiences, thoughts or good advice for future home climbing wall builders? Leave it as a comment below.