Decided that it was best to just get started on building something as
soon as possible with this project. If I was to keep planning some of
the details, I would not get anything done. So, I went ahead and figured
out the minimum amount of wood I would need to buy for the first of the
15 degree walls and picked it up at the local wood store. Unfortunately,
in my rush to get this built, I didn't really document much. Phase 2
will be another 15 degree wall, so I will document the process there in
a clearer manner. For now I have a single panel wall up and usable, and
I'm happy with that start.
Step 1: Roof Strapping
Because I did not want to cut into the walls and connect directly to the
existing roof trusses, I added 2x4 strapping to the ceiling and drove
screws into the roof beams to hold them up. The spacing is such that the
vertical 2x6 pieces will fit right next to them when installed.
Step 2: Support Cross Beam
Originally planned to be a single 4x4, I could not find a plain pine
one, so I just attached a pair of 2x4 boards together. This piece goes
across the ceiling strapping and is what the main support lean against
so they don't shift. It is parallel to the rafters, but not lined up
under one. The distance from the wall was figured out from the cad
Step 3: Cutting the Vertical Wall Supports
At the base of my wall is a small ledge of cinder blocks that the whole
garage sits on top of. This lip was used as the bottom support for my
climbing wall. There already is a 2x4 board attached solidly to cap this
ledge, and so I will be able to directly attache the wall to that piece.
A notch needs to cut from both the top and bottom of the 2x6 boards on a
15 degree angle. I went online and found a set of values for rise over
run and the angle it represents. Using that I was able to measure from
the bottom corner of the 2x6 and define the proper angle. Using some
straight edges I moved it so that the peak of the cut was relatively
centered and cut it out. I found the point was a bit too long and
chopped off about 1 inch to make it fit better.
I measured the distance from point to point: from the peak of the bottom
lip to the corner of the support beam. Using that on the 2x6 I found my
length and defined that at the peak of my top notch. I used the scrap
piece from the bottom, which was already at 15 degrees angle, as a
template and marked out my upper cut. It ended being a bit high, but the
distance between the cuts was perfect. Another trim from the end and I
could slot the 2x6 into place. I did not measure the angle, but it looks
right and fits well.
Before permanently attaching the first one, I used it as a template on
the next two to ensure they fit, some quick cuts later and I had 3 x 2x6
beams that all fit perfectly into place.
Step 4: Attach Support
Using screws, I attached each board at the top and bottom as best I
could. This was not a challenge, but I probably over did it. I'm bad for
making sure things don't move that I don't want to move.
Step 5: Install Plywood
Using a square I marked the height of the ledge off the ground onto the
2x6 boards. I wanted the 3/4" plywood to be mounted starting at the
height. With the help of some scrap to hold it up, and my ladder to keep
if from falling down due to the angle of over hand, I was able to get a
couple of screws in place. I removed the supports and locked it on with
a bunch more screws.
Step 6: Mount Hardware
I was missing my 1/2" hole bit from my set, so I faked a few with a
slightly smaller drill bit. I was able to install the rear nuts with the
help of a hammer in these no problem and mounted some initial holds. The
next day I picked up the right bit and had a much easier time setting up
more mounting points on the wall. I didn't use them all in order to
allow me the option of adding some where I find a need.
Once the nuts were mounted I was able to setup the holds. This is a
tonne of work, but easy to do. You can plan it, or just go ad hoc and
update things where you find problems. I went somewhere in the middle.
The hold kit I got had a welded pair of allen keys for the two types of
bolts it used, and this made it simple to mount the hardware wherever I
wanted. A couple of hours work later and I was happy with those. Other
hold just screw on, and they can be mounted in odd spots like the sides
and on corners. I even mounted one on my support beam at the ceiling for
a final hold when I wanted to go further up. Just to make my life simple
I use a pair of screws to create a mount on the back to hold the allen
keys for later use.
Step 7: Test
Grab your climbing shoes and start testing. Move and change holds
wherever you feel it is needed and find some routes. You can use
something like coloured gaffer tape to mark routes, but with this
smaller wall I have not done that yet. Probably once this is larger I
will mark routes.
Have fun with it, this is exercise, but it's also fun. Get an old
mattress to fall on, and if you have kids, put a pair of anchors near
the roof to allow them to climb in a harness.