/ Portable home training wall design – any ideas or improvements?

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Tom F Harding on 29 Jun 2013
Life circumstances are making going climbing very difficult so it’s time to build a home training wall. I’m going for the standard 45 deg’ woody with a bit of a twist. One of the main requirements is to make it easily portable for moving houses.

My idea was the build it out of smaller individual smaller sections (170cmW x 60cmH) that bolt together. It was obvious you could set each section a different angle and make them adjustable using a carefully drilled board on the side.

This is the plan so far…!132&authkey=!AOczdFkKpy8_waM

Orange sections of wood are 47x100mm and the green ones 47 x 75mm. All the ply is 15mm with the drilled boards on the side being doubled up and resin’ed together to make them 30mm. You get 90deg’ of adjustment, up to 45deg’ up and down with an option for no change in angle and a 22.5deg’ change. Static rope is used to support the wall allowing adjustment (black lines in the photos).

It’s all a bit complicated but I think it will work. Before I set to work through any advice or ideas would be much appreciated,

Sean_J - on 29 Jun 2013
In reply to The_flying_climber: A very nice idea, but I think that it'll feel very wobbly in use, especially the top panels. Static rope is only semi-static after all, plus knots will tighten over time with use. Solid support bars might be better but i'd be worried about the forces placed on that rear 4" x 2" upright. It might need to be beefed up to 6" x 2", or even two 6" x 2" bolted together.

Some kind of 'A' frame arrangement would stiffen it up a lot, at the expense of having struts at each side of the wall's climbing side - a thick strut running from the top panel down to the free end of the orange base strut. Base strut might need to be longer to allow a decent angle to be achieved with the new support strut. I did the same on my own wall, I used two 6"x2" struts screwed and glued to make an 'L' shape for the support struts. It was solid as a rock!
Tom F Harding on 29 Jun 2013
In reply to Sean_J:

Cheers Sean, I had thought some of the same things. A support strut is the way to go then, I will build the base and see if I can get away with a short one that doesn't interfere with the climbing area too much.

The plan is too make the panels themselves really rigid with lots of long wood screws and glue. The mounting boards at the sides are also 30mm ply with plenty of connecting bolts, so should take a lot of the weight.
JSA - on 29 Jun 2013
In reply to The_flying_climber:

You could do away with two of the noggins on the panels(the one either side of the centre one). Also, don't start with any fancy joints (as simple as they may be) as it effectively reduces the strength of the timber. On the drawing you have housed the noggins in to the 4x2 by what looks like about 1 1/2 inches, that leaves you the effective strength of 2" x 2 1/2", also don't half lap the corners, and do away with the mitre on the frame, it could slip! Simple butt joints will be more than adequate. Another thing that Sean pointed out, you will need a diagonal brace for the frame to eliminate the cantilever effect on the supporting frame. Do away with the noggins on the kicker also, they are not needed.

If you need anymore advice, info, you can PM me and I'll be happy to help out.

(I've been a joiner over 20 years and designed and built a lot of concrete formwork, one of which held over 300 tons of concrete in a single pour!)
Tom F Harding on 01 Jul 2013
In reply to JSA:

Thanks JSA

Noggins, mitre and half-laps removed. The idea originally was to make it cantilever, with angle adjustment similar to this;

But with a wooden frame rather than wall mounting. How about making the 45deg' support strut twice as long, reinforcing the back strut and replacing static rope with chain. Alternatively I could replace all of them with scaffolding poles?

I found this interesting idea while searching UKC

Mike00010 - on 01 Jul 2013
In reply to The_flying_climber:

I'd be really worried about the integrity of the ropes your using and the joints to the wood as your going to put a lot of force through those. You'd need to be incredibly careful about checking them before use for any damage as if one breaks your going to end up with a large weight of wood landing on top of you.
Tom F Harding on 01 Jul 2013
In reply to Mike00010:

Lots of changes made - here are the Mk2 plans.!140&authkey=!AExnoq8p09QxJYA

I think it will need little support boards at the bottom of the 45deg' support as well. I have kept the corner mitre, there are are loads of bolts keeping it in place.
Fraser on 01 Jul 2013
In reply to The_flying_climber:

It's going to be very wobbly with those size of members and effectively zero lateral bracing. I'd also strongly recommend using chain rather than rope for tensioning. Rope will be way too stretchy for what will be a very heavy piece of kit.

I remember reading somewhere - possibly UKB - that most folk who build adjustable woodies never actually adjust them. Maybe reconsider if it's worth all that extra constructional hassle lot for what may be very little gain.
jkarran - on 01 Jul 2013
In reply to The_flying_climber:

The vertical and horizontal 2x4 will be very (probably too) highly stressed and if it collapses you'll be hurt. At the very least they need to be solidly built triangles with very little left cantilevered out at the vertices and big enough to maintain stability even if you make dynamic movements near the top. The legs on the floor are in your landing area so need padding.

The hole plates serve no purpose, the tension members are all you need to adjust the angle, chain backed up by rope works well as would ratchet straps or a little hand winch. A friend of mine has this exact design (on chain, no plates and installed in a shed rather than supported by 2x4 triangles). In a few configurations it needs a stick wedging in behind it to reduce the wobble but generally it's stabilised by its/your weight. On his the top of the top panel runs in garage door style runners across the ceiling so it can't fully collapse on you but it's not absolutely necessary for stability.

Personally I'd keep it simple, flat boards pivoted at the floor and supported cheaply with a disposable/adjustable frame in compression (can use lighter, cheaper timber) that wedges into whatever garage/room you have available.

Lightly frame the panels to keep weight down, a little flex will be no problem. Spacing the frame off a couple of inches to make better use of structure rather than mass of material will dramatically improve the stiffness to weight ratio for very little extra work.

Ultimately, if you're handy enough to draw and build that you'll figure out the problems and solutions as you go. Good luck


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