HWOW 60 – Dueling All-Wood Woodies

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CBJ Homewall of the Week

This pair of “woodies” takes the word to the next level, with all handmade wood holds and unique uprights and structure. Owner Scott Baker built this in his Calgary, AB, garage, but designed it to fit wherever he needs to put it up later.  Check out past HWOW here.

CBJ Homewall of the Week

When did you build your wall? Was it a COVID baby?

Yes, a COVID baby. Started in September 2020, completed in January 2021.

How long did it take you to build and what did that time look like?

A solid 4.5 months. We had built a simpler wooden wall in April 2020, but this one took much more work, because it was freestanding, and had more holds. Some materials had to be transported back and forth to my workplace to be cut, or to have the big 3″ holes drilled for the aluminum bar. This wall was also more complex, as it is meant to be easily taken apart and moved, and the top angle can be adjusted for an apartment with a slightly lower ceiling. We made all of the wooden holds, although the dome shaped ones were purchased from Fischer Climbing, based in Ontario- we modified them into ‘no-shadow’ style domes with a bandsaw. The 20 volumes were also homemade.

Not including holds and padding, how much did it cost you to build? Any surprises there? Most/Least expensive part?

Not too much of a surprise: about $1500 CAD. The two live edge, black walnut legs were about $400 each, the aluminum bar about $120. Then just plywood, 2x8s.

What are you doing for padding?

Doubled up mattresses!

What was your primary Incentive for the wall? Did anything in particular inspire your wall design?

The gyms were closed, and that spurred the first simple wall. I liked the home wall so much that I wanted one that I could take with me over the years and put up in any apartment: hence the freestanding design, and adjustable height. I also wanted it to look good in any space, and so I went with all-natural earth tones for the wood.

CBJ Homewall of the Week

What was the most difficult aspect of the design and build?

Drilling the big 3″ holes for the aluminum pipe; big drill press, big forstner bit, big pieces of wood to try to hold while drilling. And the legs are actually drilled at a 10 degree angle…

What would you do differently?

Everything worked out as planned. But it was taught to put in the roughly 200hrs that went into this, while working full time, in the dead of a dark, covid, Alberta winter. I would rather do this in the summer when I could open up the garage doors for light and fresh air 🙂

Did you make any mistakes along the way or choose to re-do any aspects? If so, what?

I would drill 3.25″ holes, not 3″, which was size-on-size with the aluminum pipe, making it almost impossible to install. I widened all the holes with sanding spindle to make the assembly easy.

What is your favorite aspect?

The legs. That live edge walnut looks amazing; I initially planned to use standard rectangular black walnut boards… but had a moment of inspiration when I saw the live edge at the lumber yard.

How often do you use the wall? Do you think you’ll still use it as much when all of the gyms open back up?

I was using it 2 times a week, from the moment the first batch of holds was on it. I like the options for a quick workout that it offers, so I expect I would still use it 1-2 times a week even when the gyms come back open (someday…)

CBJ Homewall of the Week

Any words of wisdom to aspiring homewallers?

Making your own wooden holds does take time, but it’s pretty easy, and it’s AMAZING to climb on for your skin. You just need a compound mitre saw, a course grit belt sander, and good dust collection.

Do you have any connection to climbing brands or gyms?

Nope! But I climbed at the CCC in Calgary, and now the Hive in Vancouver. The rounded, dome-shaped holds were bought from Fischer Climbing in Ontario, and modified using a bandsaw.


Want us to consider your woody for a future Homewall of the Week? Submit your homewall here to be considered. Winners get a $100 giftcard to Atomik to pick out some goodies for their homewall. Thanks Kenny!

CBJ Homewall of the Week