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What does your Woody look like??? 2.0

aenima bunny · · St. Louis, MO · Joined Jan 2019 · Points: 0
this was my old climbing wall measuring 8’ tall and 11’ wide. Wall is at a 30 degree angle. It is mainly built with 2x6s, 3/4” plywood, standard screws for the plywood, and Simpson structural-connector screws connecting the 2x6s. It is freestanding and was always stable when I climbed it. T-nuts every 4”. I sourced climbing holds from Atomik and the seconds from various hold companies. Trango hangboard on the top left.

I think I planned and built it over a 6 month period. I put way more money into it than I got out of it when I had to sell it due to downsizing, but it was a fun wood project to work on and I got to buy new tools.

If you’re on the fence about screw-in or hammer-in t-nuts, get the screw-in. They’re more expensive, but they will save you a lot of time and I think there will be less spinners. I tried to be as thorough as possible when hammering and gluing mine in, but a number of them still started to spin. To be more precise, I didn’t even hammer mine in. I recall making some 2x4 squares, drilling a hole the size of the bolt that goes into the t-nut through all of them. I then put a bolt that fits the t-nut through the wood after adding a washer to the bolt. I then used a number of those to drive the hammer-in nuts into the wood by using a socket on an impact driver and tightening the bolt on the hold(aka front) side of the climbing wall. This drove them in further and positioned the t-nuts in a more correct manner than I was able to get with a 3 pound hammer.
Monty · · Golden, CO · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 3,305
Greg Koeppen wrote: For people concerned about flex or sway with a hoist and chains, I have not had any issues with my board.  In fact the local climbing gym wall flexes way more during climbing than does my board.

I'll second this! At 20* there is a little sway in our board, but you don't notice it at all when you are climbing. The steeper you go the less sway.  We primarily climb at 20* and it hasn't been a problem at all.

Tom Rangitsch · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 1,654

Nice to know about the hoist and chains.  With the limited angle change that I was able to set up, I felt like the jacks were the way to go for me, cheaper than a hoist at least.  Maybe if I was able to set up a 20-50 degree variable wall that would be the ticket.

Nkane 1 · · Berkeley, CA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 109

I wonder if the tongue jacks would reduce wind motion for an outdoor installation...

Seth Bleazard · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2018 · Points: 354
Monty wrote: Here’s another Tension Board for the thread. Mine is fully adjustable from 20* to 50*. We got our pads from Asana which are 12” thick. Much like Greg Koeppen’s adjustable setup, I used a 2100 lb hoist but mounted it to the ground and used a pulley to adjust the board. Once adjusted, the board rests on chains. We contemplated climbing on the hoist, but I was always a bit uneasy about that.  The room I built the board in has concrete under the carpet so I bolted the hoist to the ground with 1/2” by 7” expansion bolts. The ladders allow you to adjust the length of the chains. For one person to adjust the board’s angle from 20-45* takes about 2 minutes.  

My build is way overkill, but I’m a mathematician and prefer to over do everything :)

Here’s the final product:

Drilling the holes: you can stack all three panels and use a drill guide to drill 90% of the holds. Just make note of the subtle differences between the three panels. This makes drilling all the holes a lot easier/quicker.


The support for the board:


Loads? My neighbor was nice enough to throw my design into solid works. He found that with a 200 lb climber and 450 lb wall there would only be 475 lbs of force on the chains at 45*. 


The hoist mounted in the kicker:
Getting the expansion bolts lined up was tricky but it worked like a charm!

6’ piano hinge and the finished kicker:
From here, we flipped the wall portion and used the hoist to line up the hinge and he wall. Then simply hoisted it into the air.


She’s up!


Climbing before the pads arrived:


Merry Christmas!


We’ve been really psyched with the board and the holds but like Eric K said, the ratings in the app are a bit misleading. I typically climb v7/8  in a few tries but have only sent one v6 and that took a lot of work. Not a big deal, just something to be aware of.  The LED kit works great and wasn’t too terrible to install either aside from the threading that Owen referred to.  I agree that the LEDs are mandatory.

 It took me about 7 hours to put all of the holds on the wall. With that being said though, the folks at Tension did a great job labeling all of the holds and the install was very straight forward — just tedious. We typically adjust our board once every session. We like to warm up at 20* the  dependending on what we are feeling, we will adjust it from there. I really like climbing the problems at 20*, but that could be because I’m more of a route climber than a boulderer. The workouts I’ve had so far have left me sore for days!

Specialty items:
- Hoist
- Hinge (free shipping)

What’s the minimum strength you could use for a hoist?

Greg Koeppen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 15

With a moonboard I do not feel that the leds are necessary, but they could be on the higher hold density boards.  It is pretty easy to memorize the climb on a moonboard after some exposure to it.

Now I am wondering if i should switch my chains to be adjusted at the wall instead of the top of the board. Great Looking build!

Monty · · Golden, CO · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 3,305

Thanks Greg.  I've been in contact with a gal who recently did a similar build but they made it so the chains adjust at the base of the kicker.  It was a pretty slick build and completely alleviates the need for the ladders.  

Seth Bleazard wrote:
What’s the minimum strength you could use for a hoist?
You could probably get away with a 800lb hoist, but the cost difference between an 800lb hoist and a 1300lb hoist is pretty minimal.  I always error on the side of over doing things, but that is just me.
Zachary Bright · · Escondido CA · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 33
Here’s our mini temporary wall. We had a large mostly vertical wall in our stairwell with an overhang above the steps at our last place but we moved. So I canabailzed that wall to build this.  The right side is just an easy ladder to get to our lofted bed and for our 4 year old to climb for fun. The middle is a crack cause I suck at crack climbing and it doubles as a rappel/anchor building training wall. The over hang is maybe 16° I actually forget, just whatever the small space allowed. In the process of finishing the rest of our garage space behind where the picture wasn’t taken then I will move the over hang and crack into there and build a large 45° overhang next to the 16° a couple more crack sizes and a slab wall on the side. I’ll also move all the crack spacers to the outsides when I move it and build more so it won’t have any spacers. Should be rad if I ever get it done:)
Optimistic · · New Paltz · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 319

Are people using 24oc or 16oc framing for their boards? 24oc too flexy with 3/4" plywood?

Zachary Bright · · Escondido CA · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 33
Optimistic wrote: Are people using 24oc or 16oc framing for their boards? 24oc too flexy with 3/4" plywood?

I usually do 16 because I match the wall behind what I’m building and screw into the studs. My builds were both very dependent on the preexisting structure and shape where I built. The first one was in a stairwell so there was a lot of weird angles and I over did my bracing and anchoring a bit. I never had any problems and everything was very rigid. 

Zachary Bright · · Escondido CA · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 33

This was out previous wall. It was mostly vertical to avoid blocking the stairs. Was originally going to make the upper section vertical but realized I had room to make the overhang and could avoid high falls by following the angle of the stairway roughly. So I ended up building the braces for the overhang kind of weird. And I left a gap so I could continue the vertical wall straight up and build a tight chimney on that side. I was also going to continue the diagonal/vertical section of the wall up two more pannels to give more length to the wall over all. But we moved so this is as far as I got. 


The rafters above the over hang didn’t seems super sturdy so I made an L shaped beam there to help make them a little more rigid. Was kind of an after thought though so it was a little ghetto and I just screwed stuff together with mending plates and angle brackets. But it worked, it held us up no problem and didn’t have any flex. The spacing of the studs ended up a little haphazard because I matched the wall behind them but then had to adjust the outer ones for my wall’s dimensions. So I ended up with a lot of weird spacing..
Optimistic · · New Paltz · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 319

Wow that looks like it could make for some exciting landings! Good looking wall though!

I'm thinking 16oc as well, just trying to work out overlaying the Tension board's 20cm grid onto that, as their instructions appear to land some of the holds right on the studs. Looking like it can be made to work by sliding the grid sideways a bit. Apparently I'll need to locate a metric tape measure too!

Im Sorry · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 20

Slightly to the left, hbu?

Optimistic · · New Paltz · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 319
Im Sorry wrote: Slightly to the left, hbu?

Yep, that's what I was thinking. Did you already do that, and if so, what shift did you use? I was thinking of having the first holds 15cm from the edge instead of 20cm

Optimistic · · New Paltz · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 319

Also, I saw a cool setup of a Tension board (but could be used for any adjustable board) at Central Rock Gym in Cambridge. The pics might be a little hard to interpret, but the board is right against the wall so I couldn't get everything in one picture.

Hoist on floor behind board, with rigging plate to attach 2 lines, leading to pulleys above. I think the line might be some kind of polypropylene?


Left hand line leads to top left corner of board, right hand line leads to pulley at right end of the top anchor beam, and from there to top right corner of the board

Right anchor pulley. I think that loop of line might be in case of hoist failure, or just to help rigging the board. Note doubled 2x12 (I think) strut from beam to floor. 

Beefy plates anchoring the lines near each top corner

Pretty awesome setup, could be adjusted from 20-40 degrees in about 5 seconds. 
Zachary Bright · · Escondido CA · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 33
Optimistic wrote: Wow that looks like it could make for some exciting landings! Good looking wall though!

I'm thinking 16oc as well, just trying to work out overlaying the Tension board's 20cm grid onto that, as their instructions appear to land some of the holds right on the studs. Looking like it can be made to work by sliding the grid sideways a bit. Apparently I'll need to locate a metric tape measure too!

Yeah the landing was awesome. My wife and I both have a set of crashpads that perfectly lined the stairs. So if you fell off you hit the crashpads like a slide and slid back to the beginning to try again. It was super fun!  


And some of my T-nuts ended up hitting on the studs or stiffiners I put between them, so after I was done I figured out the biggest drillbit I could fit into the t nuts and just boared out a little pocket behind the t-nut for the bolts to live in. That worked fine and I didn’t have to do any extra math or thinking lol. Took the easy way out, but hey if it works it’s not stupid right? 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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