Home Climbing Wall Construction

What You'll Need
2x4-inch studs
3/4 inch Plywood
Drill bit
Plastic bottle
Bondo resin
Lag bolts, washers, and nuts
Adjustable wrench
Latex paint or deck coating
Pillow slips
Foam rubber scraps

Rock climbing for many outdoor enthusiasts can now become a reality by simply building a home climbing wall in your back yard. Without leaving your yard or traveling to the mountains, you can enjoy your own private climbing wall, day or night. But first, you will need to know how to build it and which tools and materials you'll need.

Step 1 – Planning

Begin your climbing wall construction by first planning your wall. You'll avoid making unnecessary mistakes and wasted material, and you'll find that your wall is much more to your liking if you begin with a plan. First, decide your location. Next decide whether you want a wall that is freestanding, whether it will be attached to an existing wall or structure, and how big you want it to be.

Step 2 – Building Your Frame

Cut 2x4 studs to the size that will fit your plan. Lay out the studs for your outer frame on the floor or ground. Connect these pieces by marking where your screws will be placed. Use a drill and bit to make screw holes. Then, use screws to connect these pieces together. Next, attach your support studs, using the same process. Finally, connect your header board to the frame, using lag bolts and washers. If you're planning to attach your climbing wall to an existing wall, raise your frame and position it against the wall you'll be attaching it to. Drill holes through both walls, then connect the two walls by using lag bolts placed through holes you've drilled.

Step 3 – Attaching Plywood Sheets

Create your wall surface out of 6 sheets of 3/4 inch plywood. Lay your sheets back-to-back. Use a drill with a long bit to drill holes about 12 to 15 inches apart and through the plywood. Then insert lag bolts through these holes, raise the connected piece of plywood, and finish connecting the sheets by placing washers and nuts on the lag bolts and tightening the nuts. Place this piece against your frame, drill lag bolt holes through the plywood and frame, insert your lag bolts through the plywood face and the frame, add washer, nuts, and tighten the nuts.

Step 4 – Making and Attaching Your Holds

Cut 2½ inches off the bottom of two-liter plastic bottles. Mix together enough concrete, water, bondo resin, and sand to fill these bottles. Fill the bottles with this mixture. Run a wood dowel through the concrete to make a hole for a bolt, and allow the concrete holds to set, then remove the plastic from the holds. Drill holes in the plywood wall for bolts that will secure the hold to the wall. When the concrete holds are set, attach them to the wall with lag bolts.

Step 5 – Finishing the Wall

Apply texture by applying a primer to your wall. When dry, apply mixture of sand and latex paint. Place on the ground or floor beneath your wall a old mattress or pieces of foam rubber stuffed into pillow slips that are stitched together.