Instructables

Freestanding Climbing Wall & Loft Bed

Picture of Freestanding Climbing Wall & Loft Bed
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This inspiration for this project came from this instructable <http://www.instructables.com/id/Freestanding-Indoor-Rock-Climbing-Wall-For-150/> And if you don't need the lofted bed and are looking for a less expensive project check that one out, it's great! 

This bouldering wall was designed to go into my dorm room at college and thus needed to maximise space and be able to be transported the three hours to school. The general design is comprised of three sections that make up the main frame. Each frame is a 4x8 shape which is the general size of the bed of most pickup trucks and (for me!) mini vans. The three sections are held together by two eight foot 2x10's and an eight foot 2x4" which also supports the bed. Plywood climbing sections are then bolted onto the frame and all are small enough to fit into the specified transportation. As far as the design goes, the bed is located behind the top section and storage can be added behind the angled climbing section. It was a super fun (if at times a little frustrating haha) build, and the climb is surprisingly challenging and robust for the 8x4x8' foot print of the structure. 
 
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Step 1: Materials

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This project was not as inexpensive as I was originally hoping, but I think the end result was definitely worth it. I tried to use stock sizes as often as possible as I hate wasting materials as scraps. But with that in mind, bring a tape measurer when you go to buy the wood because a few of our boards came up a couple inches short or long and there is nothing more frustrating than figuring that out AFTER you've finished shopping. ** NOTE the picture is not all of the materials, many subsequent trips to the local hardware store were made

WOOD
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* 132 ft of 2x4" boards. (I recommend buying in 8ft lengths to minimize cutting, and if you do you'll need 19 boards.)
* 16 ft of 2x10" boards. (At 8ft lengths you'll need 2 boards.)
* 96 sqft of cabinet grade 3/4" thick plywood (This comes in 8x4 sheets, you'll need three)
 
I know I know, this is quite a chunk of plywood. But it makes for a very stable wall, I promise! Also I strongly strongly recommend not being stingy on the ply wood! The cabinet grade is much sturdier and is key for stabilizing this design. Also it looks nice and will keep a lot of splinters out of your hands and feet when climbing. 


FASTENERS
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* large box of 2" wood screws (~150)
* medium box of 1.25" wood screw (~50)
* small box of 3" wood screws (~20)
* [10] right angle brackets for 2x4's
* [22] 3/8"-16 x 5-1/2" carriage bolts (3/8in thickness, 5.5in length)
* [16] 3/8" x 3" carriage bolts 
* [76] 3/8" washers
* [38] 3/8" hex nuts

Be sure to check the picture of the right angle bracket. I hope I counted this all right haha... buy a little extra and don't be mad if I didn't!


OTHER
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* [~50] climbing holds with bolts and T nuts

I used the link from the other freestanding climbing wall's instructable. <http://rockymountainclimbinggear.com/id71.html> I also highly recommend these holds. The shipping was fast the holds are great and were the lowest price I could find. Also peep some other instructables on how to make your own if you've got the chutzpah for that too. If you have some that are better/cheaper/magical post a link in the comments for me! 

In the end the holds I first went with proved to be some very difficult climbing for some of my less experienced friends (and myself!) so I went a ahead and got one of the megapacks by Metolius. I got the 50 hold pack and it's a great amount of holds for this wall and is by far the best value of the mega pack sizes (most jugs/macros and least footholds for your $). These holds made it fun for everyone to jump on the wall and climb which definitely made it worth the extra money, also the colors really helped to brighten up my room! Here's a link if you have a little extra cash and want to go that route! <http://www.metoliusclimbing.com/mega_packs.html>

In my shopping around I also found some other good companies, including a personal favorite The Detroit Rock Climbing Company. I have yet to get my hands on their holds but it looks like they have some really good quality stuff along with a variety pack similar to the metolius one above. I'll update this instructable once I can get some for my wall, but I'm from Detroit and love to support that city so if you like this instructable, go with DRCC! <http://www.thedrcc.com/catalog/>

TOOLS
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The tools are pretty generic. A good drill with lots of extra batteries is a must. A circular saw is great, you'd fry your arms trying to hand saw all this stuff. A good t-square and straight edge are key and you will use them a ton! Socket wrench with a tall 3/8" socket. 3/8" drill bits and whatever you need to pilot them. A crowbar and hammer will be your best friend when you get some bolts jammed too. 


aball7751 month ago

This is awesome!!! May I ask about how much did this cost?

epicfail!1 year ago
WOOWWW!!! i want one of these!! oh mah gaaawwwd!! i love climbing...and sleeping and this would be awesome...im only 15 though so ill have to wait :( GREAT 'ible though :)
rebalumni1 year ago
Nice! Do you see any reason not to position the plywood horizontally (8' long instead of 4' long)? I'm just thinking that it would eliminate the vertical seam in the middle (that you must line up perfectly), and instead create a horizontal seam that would be easier to work with. It should also eliminate the need for 2 bolts right next to each other on a single 2x4.
kschroeter (author)  rebalumni1 year ago
Heck yeah! That sounds like a great idea and would make this project, especially the assembly significantly easier! One reason I did it this way was to add more panels at different angles in the future (kind of like how 'volumes' work on commercial walls). But as of now I still haven't gotten around to it and it would definitely still be possible with a horizontal panel design. Appreciate the thought!