Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mass produce home-made holds

Crude illustration shows profile of hold; 12 ft sections; 
and series of three sets of pre-drilled holes.

Home bouldering walls always need more holds.   One solution is to mass produce some basic shapes, and then introduce slight variations to them while you create.   Here is a great design for medium size edges or "finger buckets".  I make extensive use of versions of this hold on our 60 degree and 30 degree walls.   The idea here is to make two to three dozen holds at once.

Example of mass produced "finger bucket"

  1. One 12 foot section of oval hand rail, like that pictured in the hand rail jug photos.
  2. One 12 foot section of narrow rectangular oak molding (as narrow as the flat bottom of the rail.)
  3. Wood glue
  4. Drywall screws, small washers
  1. Large table clamp or "Work Mate" type work table.
  2. Small clamps or weights to press the sections together
  3. Electric drill, with bits sized for hole and countersink
  4. Sanding disc for drill (coarse grade)
  5. Circular saw
  6. Protective eye wear

Set up and Glue: 
The oval hand rail should have a flattened bottom side.   Line this side up with the molding, and make sure that you think about which side will be the "functional" side of the hold.   These are meant to be generic downward pulling edges, so, line up the two pieces of wood so that it will make a lip that will be comfortable to use on your wall surface.  The molding acts as a spacer that provides room for your fingers to grasp the edge of the handrail.   I chose to vary overhang from one end that is nearly flush with the edge of the moulding to about a centimeter of the flat base exposed at the other end.  

Spread glue along the length, wipe it smooth, and clamp or press the two boards together along their length.   Let the glue set overnight or at least several hours.  

Mark and drill:
With a pencil, mark your cut points.  I varied the sections from 3 to 6 inches in length.  Mark the short sections with three screw holes (two on the functional side one on the other).   I use 4 screws on the 6 inch matching edges.   Make sure all of your holes will pass through both pieces of wood.  I missed with several, and had to re-drill.

Clamp the beam of wood in your table clamp. After you have marked all of your drill holes, attach your drill bit for the counter sink hole, which should a flat spade type bit that is slightly wider than your small washers.   Drill all of the counter sink holes, then all of the actual holes, BEFORE your cut the glued beam into sections.    Inspect your drilled holes to make sure they come through the base on the back, they are fully drilled.  Always  chose a hole width greater than the width of the screws so you can just slide the screws into the holds.  

Cut and sand:
Put a card board box under the end of the beam.  Saw the hold sections off into the box, adjusting the beam in the clamp so that a bit overhangs the edge of the table as you go.  

Put the sanding disc on your electric drill (corded) and clamp it in the table clamp-- basically a cheap version of a table disk sander.  Take the holds one at a time and (using the section of the disc that rotates away from your body) sand off any sharp edges that might be touched during use.  Modify the usable edge of the hold as you see fit.   

1 comment:

  1. Glad your blog popped up on the Facespace today. These DIY holds were just what I was looking for to flesh out my wall and keep the costs down. Cheers!