/ My First Woody (Seeking advice and tips)

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alexdulac 20 Mar 2020

As my local gym is shut (COVID) I think its time to build my first woody.


Ive made a model in Sketchup, but not sure how to go about it. (Mainly how to support it all)

How thick do my supports need to be? can I drill the wood and the supports straight into the concrete in my garage? 

Any advice would be amazing.


Planning on using 18mm Plywood. 

Plans:
https://imgur.com/uaLxvRD

Post edited at 22:49
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Presley Whippet 21 Mar 2020
In reply to alexdulac:

Whilst I admire your keen attitude. I fear that if you are asking such basic questions that you are an accident waiting to happen. Please postpone your project until the dust has settled on this. Then others will be more willing to help out with the work and a and e will be less busy and less of a risk. 

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alexdulac 21 Mar 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Without asking basic questions how can I learn?

Yes my woodworking and masonry are basic, I've constructed van beds and done some basic DIY. But I have a masters in engineering and understand forces, trigonometry and loads. 

Just after some help, this isn't rocket science and I'm aware of the dangers. Researching online but cant find anyone who's done anything similar in a garage. 

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olddirtydoggy 21 Mar 2020
In reply to alexdulac:

When you say drill into the concrete if you mean the floor then yes but if you mean prefabricated wall panels then no.

I've never built one but 4x2 timber for the frame screwed together with 100mm screws, 2 per joint should hold a frame together. I'd read up on 'timber stud walls' to get an idea of what kind of spacing you will need between timbers.

Make sure your cuts are accurate as badly cut ends don't fix well. An electric chop saw is great.

Make sure your structure isn't so top heavy that it tips over and lands on you.

Ply comes in different grades and density, 18mm ply is great but OSB is rubbish.

Get the material from a timber merchant, they are much cheaper than crappy B&Q.

Take a material list and price it up, this won't be cheap.

60mm screws should hold your ply to the frame well.

Glue will make it stronger but will not take apart without destroying it.

Hope that helps and good luck.

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alexdulac 21 Mar 2020
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

Awesome thankyou! 

Yeh I meant the floor. 


Will price up, aware this is going to be a few hundred if I want it done correctly. 

Will post some photos once I've started

 

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In reply to alexdulac:

The usual place to start is this....

https://www.metoliusclimbing.com/pdf/How-to-Build-a-Home-Bouldering-Wall.pdf

After that, YouTube rather than a UKC is the best resource. Search ‘how to build a home bouldering wall’

Then have a look at holds. I’ve one 35 degree wall which is all screw on holds, and a steeper one which is bolt on. If it’s screw on holds you’ll use, then you don’t need to drill the boards and fit t-nuts.

https://www.ukclimbing.com/photos/dbpage.php?id=337914

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In reply to alexdulac:

Ps think about what angle you can gain the most out of. Somewhere between 20 to 40 degrees works for most people. This then dictates the sizes of holds. Hopefully you’ve used a woody at the climbing wall and know what you can usefully train on.

Then you’ve got to populate it with holds. When I first started, I bought cheap campus rungs of various sizes and chopped them up to make loads of crimps. You can do the same with timber offcuts but you’ll have to put a lot of effort into profiling them.

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olddirtydoggy 21 Mar 2020
In reply to alexdulac:

If you pull this off please return and dump some pics.

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JIMBO 21 Mar 2020
In reply to alexdulac:

For me the plans look too unnecessarily complicated. You may regret not just having one large continuous angle. I've had home woodies in every house I've lived in and the best was just one angle. When I've had multiple angles and corners in the past I very quickly find myself just using the one steeper angle for training and ignoring the rest... and then it all gets rebuilt as one angle.

As luck would have it I've just built a moon board this winter 😁

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misterb 21 Mar 2020
In reply to JIMBO:

I'm with you there ,one Angle seems best unless you want to train finding sneaky rests ha ha

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cpowell 21 Mar 2020
In reply to alexdulac:

Your plans are bold for a first wall, with multiple surfaces, angles etc and bits of wall supporting other bits.  If you want to while away COVID-19 building this is a great project.
 

If you want something to climb on, I suggest a single flat face, angled appropriately for your grade and style, e.g. 20-40degrees overhanging with a small kicker. I don't know how much space you have, but you may just want to do one half first, leaving the second half if you want to expand.

Building wise, alot depends on the structure you can tap into. For example if you can attach to the floor joists above, or roof rafters (providing they are strong enough) it will be much easier to support. Otherwise you will have to have a big right angled triangle, upended, with strong attachment to the walls (again assuming they are strong enough) where the right angle is.

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In reply to alexdulac:

Sorry, didn’t look at the plan

agree with posts above. One single flat surface, pref a full board 8 feet wide, then 2 to three full panels high depending on the height of the ceiling at, say 30 degrees. You’ll get far more benefit out of training on a flat board than pretending you’re doing routes. 

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AJM79 21 Mar 2020
In reply to alexdulac:

If you're drilling into the floor be careful how deep you drill. Your concrete base, if it's at all modern, will have a DPC (this should be about  75 - 100mm down but is often less especially in older garages). If you puncture this it's not going to affect structural integrity but will allow water ingress into the slab, this may range from a slightly annoying problem to a fairly costly one depending upon what is on the floor or if it's linked to your house without any further damp proofing measures. Also if it's old or poorly built then there's a chance the concrete won't be able to support the weight leading to an unstable wall.

As an engineer you should be better qualified than me (former builder) to assess which concrete is sound enough to fix to, but be wary of fixing anything with that much leverage to single skin walls, if possible use the return to provide lateral strength and prop at the front of the overhang (it looks like you intend to do this but there is no spec or detail on the plan). Also, unless you have proper joists in the ceiling I would avoid fixing upwards (you could add new joists but make sure to use building reg specs on bearing size and strength if doing this). Like others have said if you're not sure it's better to get someone around to advise where to fix and what fixings to use. There's a lot that could go wrong with a project like this and it could end up costing much more than you anticipated. Saying that, good luck with it.

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timparkin 21 Mar 2020
In reply to alexdulac:

Having just built a wall myself and planning lots of interest angles, I finally took peoples advice and made it a simple 15 on one side and an adjustable 25-40 on the other (moonboard in my case) and I'm very glad I did. I can make volumes later easily enough to create extra interest. 

https://i.ibb.co/Fz3VJQv/ex.jpg

A simple design is to lock one end of your 2x4s into the bottom of a wall and at the ceiling end, run a bit 2x4 or 2x6 across the whole roof to spread the load across multiple joists. The kicker can just be attached to the floor as it won't take any big load and all it takes will push against the wall

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Planeandsimple 21 Mar 2020
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

I highly recommend paying a bit more for 18mm birch ply, the ply itself is stronger and more weather/damp resistant. You also need 18mm for the M10 tee nuts to fit in.

I suggest you have a go, it will cost more than you thought, it will take more time, it will be worthwhile if you use it.

My only concern with your design is that you have fixed panels directly to the walls and ceiling, I personally would recommend a series of goal post timber structures tied together to prevent them splaying apart when loaded. If you're smart about this you can make it entirely self supporting, no floor fixings, no screws into existing structure. Use 4x2 or 6x2 (longer spans) PSE timber from a good timber merchant (NOT WICKES).

Remember that to get the most strength out of a beam the long side should be perpendicular to the panel. Dudes versus gravity built one a while ago on instagram, the pictures of the build show how to do it well, otherwise look at timber framing.

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SDM 21 Mar 2020
In reply to Planeandsimple:

I have no idea why everyone is always so eager to tie their board in to the structure of their building.

A free standing board:

- Is simpler to design

- Is much easier to reconfigure if you don't get it right first time or your needs change

- Can be easily moved to a new venue if you move house, without having to worry about the dimensions of your new space being slightly different

- Should still be completely rigid

- And, most importantly for those who don't know what they are doing: it won't damage your house if you get it wrong

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alexdulac 21 Mar 2020

Soooo much great advice here!!


Thanks everyone!! 


Im gonna have a play around with some models and actually model a frame with 2x4 and 18mm birch so I can see what the size would be like.

I see you point about just having one surface, ill weight it up over the next few days. I liked the idea of routes but tbh with such a small space one surface might work easier and would be alot better.

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timparkin 22 Mar 2020
In reply to alexdulac:

You can still make routes with volumes and have a lot more flexibility

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