Garage Woody


Show us your Garage Woody! Series #1

The first series of the “What’s in your back pack is “Show us your woody.”

So for those unfamiliar with the term, a woody has another meaning in the climbing community. It is a bouldering or climbing wall built out of plywood and 2X4’s or 2X6’s of varying angles with T-nuts drilled in the wall to hold climbing holds onto.  Around the world climbers are building these in their garage, basement, home or backyard so that they can train whenever and however they want. To be able to set routes and train your weaknesses is one of the best reasons to build one of your own. In Kansas, since our climbing access is pretty low, many have researched on the internet the proper way to build one and are constructing them in growing numbers. Space limitations, cost, and structural support somewhat pre-defines what can be built but as long as you have enough space and varying types of holds or volumes you can get a lot out of a little. This series is about a few local climbers that have constructed their own wall and what specifically they were trying to achieve by building it. Also we will briefly touch on  some of the technical  issues and obstacles concerned with building a structure like this in a house and making sure it is strong enough to support climbing. How to put together a proper supply list, the right tools and where to find climbing holds is important to getting  started and on the way to making your own private climbing wall.  This group of climbers and myself are happy to share some pearls of wisdom with those interested in building one of their own.

*There are many sites that give instruction on the actual step by step construction so I will let you do your due diligence and research those aspects of proper building practices.  Each person should thoroughly research and discuss with a contractor any questions regarding structural support.

Climbing Wall Supplies

  1. 4X8 sheets of 3/4 inch Plywood (don’t skimp here)
  2. T-nuts 3/8 inch. Buy in bulk. (Fastenal)
  3. 2X4, 2X6, 2X8 for frame/headers/joists
  4. Sand paper/Palm sander
  5. 1/2 Drill bits or paddle bits. Buy several because a dull one will destroy the wood making the T nut not as secure/Drill bit sharpener/you want to always be working with a sharp drill bit
  6. Power or battery operated drill
  7. Circular saw/Jig Saw
  8. Level
  9. Deck screws with hex head for less stripping. Otherwise buy replacement Phillips head bits. Make sure to get a length that will go through plywood and and into board by an inch.
  10. Tape measure/chalk line
  11. Paint/Sand/ Texture paint/You can always get discounted paint at a local hardware store that was not made correctly, etc.
  12. Gloves/Ear protection/ Eye Protection

Things to take into consideration.

  1. Building Codes
  2. Releases for those climbing in your garage
  3. Structural support
  4. What you can do or can’t do in the space provided
  5. Proper thickness of plywood
  6. Painting it or keeping it smooth (both have their place)
  7. Designs
  8. Volumes to add dimension
  9. Roofs
  10. Building features
  11. Adjustable wall
  12. Moon board adaptable
  13. A place to set up pullups/hangboard/campus board
  14. Proper padding/crashpads/foam: open and close cell foam
  15. Heating and cooling the garage
  16. How will you mark routes/tape or monochromatic holds
  17. Chalk dust: chalk ball/liquid chalk/
  18. Ventilation

Series #2 will explore some  of the local Garage Woodies……..