My shop/gym has a reasonably large climbing wall along two sides. This wall is still under construction and I need to install the next section. The current section has two sections with a 15 degree lean into the room, both of which are 4 by 8 feet(the size of a piece of plywood) and 4 feet from the corner. There is another section that is vertical, and this one has removable bolts that allow it to fold down in order to access the back and add more bolts for holds. Now to fill in the corner with a 30 degree section.
The first step for my climbing wall is to model the section of the garage that I will be installing this into. For this you can use any software you like, for me I found that I was able to make good use of FreeCAD. This software is free and open source, and while it is rough around the edges, there is good information out there for people to learn how to use it. Since most of what I’m working with are dimensional lumber, I am able to just use boxes for most of my work.
I use metric in FreeCAD, mostly because I find the decimal system easier to work with. I have a spreadsheet with the dimensions of the pieces of wood in metric so that I can accurately model their positions. In the software I have modeled a 4.2m by 2.7m section of the garage. I included the ceiling and the locations of the studs as best I could tell. The hardest part was getting the angle of the ceiling, because I did not have the proper tools at the time to measure it. I had to use the rise over run measurements to calculate it.
Once that was done I could lay out the wall. I created a few 4 x 8 plywood models to arrange on the wall and lay things out. In this case I wanted to work with the corner and have a section leaning out at about 30 degrees. This has the advantage of perfectly dividing a piece of plywood along the diagonal, so only one is needed to cover both sides. I didn’t bother cutting the object in the CAD software, it was more work then it was worth to just see how it would look.
From there I modeled in the 2 x 6 studs that will support this. Since there are already walls on either side, I can use them for support and make this into a free standing structure. With these in place I now know the amount of materials that I will need and can move onto buying the materials to make this a reality.
From this plan I have create the following list of materials that I need to purchase:
- 4 x 2x6x10′ for the main angles
- 2 x 2x6x8′ for the smaller pieces
- 1 x 4’x8’x3/4″ plywood, both sides with a good surface
Beyond that I already have the screws and bolts I need from assembling the previous sections.
Next time: buying materials, fasteners and some angle calculations.