UKC

/ Building a Moonboard

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Chops - on 10 Jan 2018
I've just finished building a Moonboard in the back garden and thought I'd put up a few photos/lessons learned in case anyone would find it of use.

Photos of the build https://imgur.com/a/kNXJp

Materials/Cost
Moonboard Holds (School Holds, Set A and Set B) £460
Moonboard LED Kit £500
Marine Ply (3 x 12mm sheets 2.4 x 1.2m) £180
Treated Timber (Posts and Framing) £225
Screw-in T-Nuts and Bolts £120
Fixings £50
Concrete £80
Corrugated roof sheets £75
Paint £110
Crash Mats (awaiting delivery) £600

The Build
1. I started by excavating holes for the posts that formed the base of the wall and the full height vertical posts, I bought a trench shovel which saved a lot of work – highly recommended if you’re digging into a flint bed! I then cut the base posts to size (with 40 degree angled tops so the base of the main frame could be fixed) and treated all cut ends and collars with bitumen paint.

2. Next up I used postcrete to set all of the posts in place – holes were 18” – 24” deep so it took between 2 and 3 bags per hole.

3. Built the frame with 4” x 2” treated timbers made up of 4 vertical pieces (3.6m) fixed to head and sole plates and noggins in between at 1.2m spacing so the plywood panels could be fixed. Once to the correct angle I used M12 exterior coach bolts to fix to the posts and screwed fixings into the base posts.

[Measure twice cut once] - My head plate ended up being right where my top row of T-Nuts were so I've had to move the top row up by about 30mm. At least it gives me an excuse when I keep dropping the last move!

4. After drilling 400 holes and fixing 200 screw-in T-Nuts into the plywood panels, they were prepared and painted with primer/undercoat/satin. I then fixed them to the frame, first two went in ok but my steps collapsed as I was trying to get the top board in place and I nearly lost a finger! I ended up drafting in some help from my other half and used an old rope to make a pulley to get it in to place.

5. Next up was a final paint job then the painstaking task of fitting the LEDs. They're all daisy chained so make sure to be careful when fitting. I wasn’t. I got to the end with a couple spare and realised I’d missed a bulb from A4 so had to take 196 LEDs out and start again!

6. Then came the fun part (marginally less tedious than fitting the LEDs) of installing the holds – I found a few of the T-Nuts to be threaded so I had to replace them. I’m glad I decided to do this stage before putting the roof sheets on.

7. Final step was to install the corrugated roof sheets and ridge pieces – a month on and it all appears to still be water tight which I’m relieved about. I’ve ordered 2 crash mats (2.4 x 1.4m x 300mm) which I’m waiting on delivery – the mattress and old sofa pads have been ok to start with but are a broken ankle waiting to happen.

I knew the grades were stiff but my fingers are slowly getting used to it, I’ve been using it 3 or 4 times a week for the past few weeks and can already feel areas that I’m improving. I’ve added some warm up jugs and once the mats arrive I can see me getting plenty of use out of it and hopefully seeing some longer term improvement.

Overall, I really enjoyed the build and am enjoying the board even more than I thought I would. The App and LEDs add an extra level of interest, being able to set problems for others and working through the benchmark problems will hopefully keep the training interesting. Highly recommend a home build and although not cheap it’s definitely more viable than the £8k for the freestanding board from Moonboard.
gilesf - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Chops:

That looks impressive, just be careful how many mates you tell, they'll all be round wanting a go. Good effort!

mutt - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Chops:

Impressive effort, but £2400 for a sort bit of bouldering wall! 

I offer-up from my garden  20 vertical feet of campus board readily dismantled composed of 

2 x 9mm Ply sheets £50

60 linear feet 1 inch batten £20

Screws and Glue £10

10 Hooks £25

2 slings, 2 Screw gates and static rope borrowed from trad climbing gear. £0

phenomenal for drytooling training, as a supplement to bouldering for strength and technique training.

Matt

mutt - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Chops:

http://gordmcarthurclimbing.com/the-backyard/ 

Perhaps I have underspec'd my dry tooling training rig!

Durbs on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Chops:

Great stuff. I'm planning to do similar in March, though skipping the LED's and official Moon holds (for now). Also adding a side panel as it'll be against a fence anyway.

Encouragingly, if I strip out the bits I'm not considering:

Materials/Cost 
Marine Ply (3 x 12mm sheets 2.4 x 1.2m) £180
Treated Timber (Posts and Framing) £225
Screw-in T-Nuts and Bolts £120
Fixings £50
Concrete £80
Corrugated roof sheets £75

Gets it in the £400-500 range which is what I was budgeting. 

The only variance I was thinking was using ground-screw fixings rather than concreting in the posts. How sturdy is yours?
 

Chops - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Durbs:

It feels pretty bomber - there's no noticeable flex when climb on it and we lost 2 fence panels in the storm a couple of weeks ago but it didn't budge. I probably over designed it but it acts as a bit of a sail so I was a bit worried about coming home to find a panel in next doors' garden with one of their kids underneath it.

I'd say marine ply, treated timber and stainless fixings are a must but you could save quite a bit elsewhere.

Timber - check out saw mills rather than builders merchants and order all at once to save on delivery

Concrete - I used postcrete which was easy but making your own mix would save half the cost (ground screws could work - I'd probably want the 2 main vertical posts to be in concrete though). 

Roof Sheets - Polycarbonate would have been cheaper than bitumen sheets. Even a well fixed PVC backed sheet could work.

Holds - I felt the moonboard holds were a must but if I did it again I'd just get Set A and B and skip the original school holds for now.

LEDs - Easy to miss out and saves you the hassle of fitting them!

Mats - Plenty of options like using old mattresses or ringing round local schools/gyms to see if any old crash mats are due to be skipped anytime soon. 

Paint - I ended up spending more than I expected on paint but probably could have done it cheaper.

Whitters - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Chops:

Looks amazing.

Do the LEDs denote the holds to be used?!

 

Steve Perry - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to mutt:

A great drytooling venue if that's your thing but.....

My backyard is my fortress of solitude.  It’s where I go to refine, re-group, and practice the skills needed to take on my dreams that lay ahead.

.....that is utter horseshit.

 

Chops - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Whitters:

Yeah, you select a problem from the app (connected via bluetooth) and it lights the LEDs, green for starting hold(s), red for finishing hold and blue for the rest. 

It's really easy to set new problems and add them to the app for others to climb.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoJjkDyVJQ4

 

Whitters - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Chops:

Wow, cool [insert jaw drop emoji]

cwarby - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Chops:

Impressive, but a note of caution. Those vertical uprights would scare me. I use a moonboard at a wall and swinging sideways with a leg or missing a hold and coming off could send you into the post. Perhaps pad them??

Good training.

Chris

Durbs on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Chops:

Cool. I've already built a vertical wall attached to the side of the house (https://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.php?id=288335) and have a few bits left over from that (t-nuts etc.)  This gets tarp'ed when not it use. but was thinking of corrugated plastic for the back of the Moonboard.

Bought  a job-lot of holds ages back including loads of jugs (or jugs on a slab anyway), so no rush for official Moon ones yet - currently very weak thanks to new children detracting from climbing, so think official MB problems would be depressing at first :D

I just use my bouldering mats when climbing. 

Wasn't going to both painting really - no friction (unlike the vert wall), so would just be for looks - possibly just primer and/or decking paint. 

Post edited at 16:27
Knut R. - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Chops:

Nice work!!!! That looks really solid, and you're going to have a blast on that.

SteWok - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Chops:

Brilliant! Thanks for sharing, the finish is excellent.

A Longleat Boulderer - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Chops:

Nice work. I built mine in 2006. Still going strong. You won't regret it!


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