Monday, November 2, 2009
Do It Yourself: The UB Hangboard
When I first got into real climbing (has it really been 15 years), I almost immediately came up with a simple and inexpensive hangboard I could use to train at home. Back then, I was a poor college student with little to no money, but I wanted to build my base level of hanging skills and work on my arms and core without always having to pay $10-$15 to go to the local climbing gym. With little thought, I came up with a very simple design for a cheap way for me to train at home...the Modular Hangboard. Luckily, in the house I was living in at the time, there was an extra wide, double door width, "door way" connecting my living room and kitchen. So, I made an extra long Modular Hangboard that I could attach climbing holds to and also attach a Metolius Simulator Hangboard to the center. Below is a simple sketch of how it looked, the blue area is where the Simulator was mounted and the black dots represent places to attach holds...
This was made from a 4 foot piece of 2x10 and was mounted to the studs above the doorway by some scrap pieces of 2x4. All together, including t-nuts, this cost me in the range of $10, and all of the parts I picked up at the local Lowe's. I was lucky to have such a wide area to mount it, so I could get more out of my hanging exercises. I also was able to loop a couple of scrap pieces of webbing around the 2x4 supports and create a spot that I could hang Rock Rings from. This was my own little home gym and gave me a good enough area to train, to be able to climb better every time I went to the gym. From this experience, I have since built several other versions of the hangboard and now a larger outside climbing wall. Here is a basic version of the hangboard that can be put together for around $5-$10.
THE UB HANGBOARD
-2' piece of 1"x10" (or 2"x10" for a more sturdy board)
-2 8"-10" pieces of 2"x4"
-~30-50 2"-3" screws (2" if you are using 1x10 and 3" if you are using 2x10)
-~30-50 t-nuts (cheaper if you order them through Homegrown Holds)
-Tools: Screwdriver, Drill, Hammer, and a Stud finder will be useful
-You will also need some climbing holds (be on the look out for Homegrown Holds Training set that is designed to provide all of the major grips when used with the UB Hangboard design)
What to do:
1) Find the studs, behind the drywall, above the doorway. Usually there are at least 2 above most doorways. Take the 2x4 pieces and with 5-10 screws in each piece, screw them to the studs, through the drywall. Now you have 2 8-10" pieces of 2x4 screwed in above the doorway.
2) Take the 2' board to be used as the main hangboard, and hold it up against the 2x4's. Mark on the back side of the hangboard where the 2 2x4 pieces will attach to the hangboard. You obviously don't want to put any t-nuts and holes in this area, since it will be connected to the 2x4's.
3) After marking where not to put holes and t-nuts, take a drill, with a drill bit slightly larger than the t-nut, and drill any holes you want to use to attach climbing holds. Start the drilling on the side that will face out, because many times the wood will splinter slightly when the drill bit exits. If you want to attach an actual hangboard to this set up, I advise bolting it to the middle area of the 2' board after the next step, and then have a few t-nut holes off to the side to add a few extra holds. After drilling the holes, attach the t-nuts to the back of each hole by hammering them into place. Now you have a board with t-nuts in it, ready to be screwed to the 2x4's.
4) Take the prepared 2' board, match it up against the 2x4's over your doorway and add 5-10 screws, attaching the board to each 2x4. Make sure to stagger the screws and have one every couple of inches or so. If you are attaching a pre-made hangboard from one of the climbing hold companies, now is the time to do it. Once the 2'board is up and screwed in place, put the hangboard in place and screw it into place also.
5) Add your own variety of climbing holds and start pulling. As mentioned, I like to add a pair of Rock Rings hanging below the 2x4 supports to add another dimension of training. I also like to buy some big, positive, screw on climbing holds to fill in the gaps on the board that don't have t-nuts, especially over the 2x4 areas. This will add a different training tool to your board without much cost.
I hope that this turns out to be as easy and productive as it was for me. To this day, I still have a hangboard and set of Rock Rings in my house/bedroom along with my wall outside...there's nothing like being able to train in the comfort of your own home, at your own pace, on your own time. Be on the look out for a new post detailing training regimens for the hangboard and the Training Set that Homegrown Holds will soon be producing (don't forget to mention Upstate Bouldering and get 10% off your order from Homegrown). Enjoy!