the whole point of this blog is to help others with all the questions they have about setting up a similar home climbing gym, and ramble about a variety of climbing related subjects.
There is a variety of subjects... most involving rock climbing, written about on this blog. MAKING VOLUMES OR CLIMBING HOLDS, is probably one of the more popular subjects. just check the labels links or search bar to find your fancy.
of course if you want to go back and start from the beggining, please do! to that end, if there are any question let me know ... i encourage you to add comments for others to read or if you want to get me directly you can email me at treadwallproject@hotmail.com
IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME, READ THE MUST READ LIST.... oh!, ...and you have to fight!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Volume Craft

well here is my latest volume creation. i call it the widget volume, for lack of a better descriptive name (a widget is a non-specific hypothetical object...i thought it made sense). its a little one but it will give you a good idea of how i build these. obviously your gonna need to use a little of your own creativity. but lets get started i what ive done.

first off, my intent was to make a hold that is a little free-form, given that i chose also to make it small. its been my experience that when you want to experiment start simple and start small. well ive done simple, so here is small. the first two pictures are of my starting frame. to do this i used a miter saw and and 2x2's for the frame. i cut some pieces somewhat randomly just to start puzzling it together and see what i get. if you look i made it so there are two low angles and two overhanging angles. the cross beam is there so i can later make the hold a bolt-on piece. take a look...

so as i was putting it together i used a belt sander to make the pieces fit more flush. i have found this very helpful to make a clean final product. i know the legs arent match well but ill correct for it as i go. to make the A-frame legs i initially drilled a pilot hole then glued the to legs together securing them with a temporary screw. this was later removed so that it would conflict with T-nut placements or later framing. but it holds the legs together while the glue sets up. i used gorilla glue and it is a good fast drying strong compound. after a couple minutes i pulled the screw and sanded the seam. thats why they look uniform! the cross beam got to keep it's screws.

next i sanded the sides down to make a flat surface to mount the first side panel. i like to use a jig saw for cutting these panels but a skill saw will do in a pinch. again pre-drill the screw holes then i get liberal with the glue. if you thread the screws into the panels so a little of the point sticks out the back end you can line up easier with your pilot holes and ensure you get the panel on right. in the second pic below you can see the back edge isnt quite flush... but thats okay as long as it has a good 1/4"in of flush surface. trust me it will work out.

next i went and sanded down the other side include the top edge of the panel i just added. and if you look at legs i did a little work flattening them out so the piece can be set up right. keep in mind that the inner legs dont need to be perfect because the sides themselves when done will provide plenty of flat mounting surface. i just need them flat enough to work with.

so in the second shot you can see i mounted the second panel. notice how they dont come together symmetrically. thats okay, youll never know after i do my finish work. also notice after i had the second panel in place i sand the last to side so everything is flush.

so here you see what i was talking about before. sanded flush, i made pilot holes then put in the screws, and use plenty of glue. i want the glue to really add to the overall strength of the hold. have a paper towel or rag handy to clean up any excess as you mount the panel. here you can also see the legs how i flattened them a little. also note the panels stick out a little beyond the legs. when i mount the final panel i will run the whole thing over the sander making the hold sit flush when put on the wall. okay, in the second picture we see the hold pretty close to finished. all the hard stuff is done. now its all finish work. first i lightly roll the sharp edges over the sander and make sure everything is flush. then i switch out my 50grit belt for a 150grit. the 150 is less aggressive and lets you be more delicate. then i do a final bit with sand paper in my hand. leaving me with the final product in my video.

So that's it the hold is all but done. i know what your thinking... "where do i put the T-nuts, and how does it mount to my boulder wall?" well thats up to you. i didnt have time for that yet. you can either mount your hold with a bunch of screws...or you can set it up to have a bolt like your commercial holds. ill show you all of that in my next blog on volumes. i have three different volume holds to do and T-nuts in all of them so, be patient! ....gosh! oh, and let me know if you have any questions.

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