This week’s HWOW was built in a barn after Covid-19 struck. Owner Josh LeRay knew he needed a place to climb with the shut down, and fortunately his grandparents had space in their barn. Check out past HWOW here.
When did you build your wall?
I built my wall the week of May 18th.
What did your workdays look like when you were building? Highlights/lowlights of the process?
The workdays were nonstop for 2 days. I built a frame that was 8×8 feet because I had seen a lot of similar builds on Youtube. Highlight of that design was that I had enough 2×4 pieces but I could not fit the frame in the doorway of the barn stable! Humorous now, not so much then. I should have measured – I had to take the frame apart and build it again back in the stable. The days were super rainy and dreary, I was out of work for those two days and since I built my wall in my grandparents’ barn I was able to stay out of the rain.
How long did it take you to build?
It took me about 2 days to build.
Not including holds and padding, how much did it cost you to build?
The plywood and the 2x4s that were used to make it a 45-degree angle was about $100.
Can you tell me a little bit more about your cost structure? Did you do any budgeting beforehand? What was the most/least expensive part? Were any costs of materials particularly surprising to you?
I had no budget for the wood that I got. I only bought two 4×8 pieces of plywood which was about 50 dollars and the 2×4’s were around the same. My goal was to build a 2×8 kickboard and the rest of the wall be 45 degrees. Since I was cramped for space I figured I would make it 45 degrees – it makes for intense training sessions. T-nuts were around $20 per 100 count bag and since I had planned to build volumes, I knew I did not have to make my wall super dense with t-nuts. Although my wall is sheltered, it is not climate controlled. For my bolts, I started out buying normal indoor commercial wall bolts but they ended up rusting with the change in moisture in the atmosphere. I decided on stainless steel after the third bulk set of holds I ordered. Though stainless steel is more expensive it was definitely worth it.
Did anything in particular inspire your wall design?
Since I was cramped for space I knew if I wanted longer routes I needed to make it inverted. I decided on the 45 because I was able to miter the studs to make it a perfect 45-degree angle. I definitely do not regret doing it. It makes for some really nice routes. I also wanted to be able to walk behind my wall in case I needed to replace any t-nuts. With this design I was able to do just that.
Had you thought about building a wall prior to the virus? Any particular builds you saw online that helped you DIY?
Since my semester at NC State was cut short because of Covid-19, I not only had to go home but also had to leave all of the commercial gyms behind and any outdoor local boulders. I had no idea how constricted I would feel from not being able to climb on a regular basis. As a result, I went for it. There were not that many simple DIY builds on Youtube since Covid had become a reality. I found REI’s guide for home walls to be a great reference for my build. I definitely would have done a lot of things differently if I had a large budget, but with $500 to work with, I knew the design that I completed would work.
What was the most difficult aspect of the design and build? What would you do differently?
Making a plan of what you want in your home wall is really important. There was a point where I had to go back to Lowe’s because I either measured wrong or didn’t have enough resources. Plan!
What is your favorite aspect?
I made my kick board 8×2 feet. I like having a bigger kick board because it makes for more starting variations with feet. It definitely has helped my foot technique.
How often do you guys use the wall? Do you think you’ll still use it as much when all of the gyms open back up?
I’m the only one who climbs in the family. I am often called spider man because the rest of my folks do not understand the concept behind bouldering. 🙂
Any words of wisdom to aspiring homewallers?
Home walls are awesome. Being able to climb during a pandemic at home has been a game changer. Any aspiring homewallers, go for it!
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