Introduction: Hangboard and Chin-up Bar

About: I'm an engineer and biologist in LA. I'm pretty chill.

This project consisted of two major tasks: attaching holds to a board and hanging the board. Although it was hung using geometry that is specific to my house, the general approach can be easily adapted.

A board (12"x36"x3/4")
2x4 (~ 10')
Right-angle brackets (x2)
A steel pipe (36" x 1")
1" flanges (x2)
Screws (lots, various sizes)

drill bits

Step 1: Planning and Design

When I started, I wasn't sure what belonged on a hangboard. I had a few ideas, but I'm glad that I looked at some commercial hangboards. The one in the picture is the Metolius Simulator 3D. You can see more on the Metolius website ( You can also find some workout routines, which give a good idea of what you might want to do with a good hangboard.

I decided that I didn't need a lot of redundant holds, and I didn't want a cluttered design, so I laid out an arrangement which provided some spaced jugs low down, some narrow jugs high up, and finger boards of three sizes. I also laid out space for round and flat slopers, although in the end I only added flat slopers. I also thought to add some cutouts.

The installation space I chose is a passageway between my bedroom and the bathroom. Most designs suggest finding studs and then attaching the board to them. This is fine, except I rent and wanted to avoid drilling holes into wall beams (or using a stud finder), so I picked a place where I could rest the weight on doorframes. Note that the board is not resting on molding, which cannot support the weight.

Step 2: Cutting the Backboard

I used 3/4 " wood. It was about $7 at Home Depot, I think. There was a 1" thick piece which was about $23. If you aren't on a tight budget, I highly recommend the thicker wood. Besides being extra solid, it would have been easier when attaching holds if I didn't need to be as careful arranging screws so that they went more than half an inch into the wood without going all the way through.

Step 3: Making Holds

Holds were relatively straightforward. If you're interested in making custom holds, check here:

In the third picture, you can see a 2x4 which I cut corners out of and sanded down. This was a change to the original design because the wood was bowing during early testing. Again, consider 1" wood if possible. Overall, the 2x4 came out much better than the original design, although it required the use of a band saw, which I didn't own.

Step 4: Putting Together the Hangboard

During this step, I made a set of pockets because I saw that there was space for them. I went out of my way to make sure that none of the fingerboards got in the way of each other when my hands were laid flat.

If you wanted to, you could do a lot with just cutouts.

Step 5: Installing the Hangboard

The board rests on the door frames of closets on each side of the passway. I have 2x4s on each side securing the board and distributing weight. I used these 2x4s to attach a chin-up bar which had the added benefit of making the whole structure more solid.

You can buy a chin-up bar easily. I used the pipe because with the flanges, it was about $18, and it saved me a trip to Target or a sports store.

Step 6: Test It Out

The finished product came out just how I'd hoped. It feels solid, and its fun to hang or move from hold to hold. I planned to move the light, but it hasn't gotten in the way, so I've left it.