How to Make Climbing Grips

What You'll Need
20 pounds of clay
1 gallon of polyester resin
50 pounds of sand
3/8 inch Masonry bit
Dishwashing brush
Rocks the size of holds

Having your own climbing wall can be a lot of fun and adding some good climbing grips only makes it that much more fun. Building a climbing wall to have at home will help you to develop your skills and once you have added some slopes and ledges you can have a lot of fun making up new routes and fine tuning your skills. You can use store bought climbing grips, or you can make your own. It is easy to do with some basic skill and a little patience.

Step 1 – Create a Cast

Start by choosing a rock that is the size you want to use for a new climbing grip. Cut a piece of clay that is just a little bit bigger than the rock you have chosen. Create a cast by pushing the rock down into the clay. Remove the rock. Next, use the bristles of the dishwashing brush to create texture on the inside of the clay form. Spray a heavy coat of WD-40 on the inside of the form to help release the grip from the mold after it has hardened. The clay that you use does not have to be a high quality like what you might choose for pottery because you will not be baking it.

Step 2 – Make the Resin Mixture

Find an area that has proper ventilation and combine the resin and fixer according to the directions. Stir in some sand until you have a 60/40 mix. You want the ratio to be about 60 percent sand and 40 percent resin. Working in a well ventilated area is highly recommended. The polyester resin may release fumes that are highly toxic.

Step 3 – Create the Grip

Next you will pour the resin mixture into your clay mold. Stir it to remove the air bubbles. Allow it to dry for several hours. Once it has dried completely, remove the resin hold that you just created from the clay form and allow it to cure. Trim off any irregularities. For best results, the finished grip should be allowed a minimum of 24 hours to cure. It is recommended that you plan to make several grips at one time to help reduce the amount of the resin mixture that you will have leftover.

Step 4 – Drill the Holes

Using your drill and your 3/8 inch masonry drill bit, drill holes into the back of the grips. These holes will be necessary when the time comes to add the grips to your climbing wall.

Extra Tip

Instead of using a rock to create the mold, you can use a commercial grip. By pressing a commercial grip into the clay instead of a rock, your mold will also include a peg where the bolt hole is in the commercial form. If you place a washer on the top of this peg it will hold it in place while you put the resin mixture into the mold. Drilling will be easier at the end.