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shapp

building a home all, good source for holds?

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Moving down to Forest Grove, went and baught a house down there last weekend (subject to inspection :)

 

There is a great full finshed out basement, and the boss has given preliminary permit approval to build a climbing wall. It is a huge space and I could easily get 26' long x 8+' high wall in there. I have build walls before (a long time ago) and won't have any problem building what I want structurally. My question is, where is a good source to buy new holds (besides craigslist) at a good price. Probably looking to get 150 to 200 holds and hardware.

Thanks for any suggestions

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I have made all the hold on walls I have built by collecting rocks from various areas and using a roto hammer to install 1/4" expansion bolts. Of course this requires access to the back of the wall for install and tightening.

I have real rock from basalt to lava and everything in between.

I find climbing on real stone provides actual hold shapes and textures found in nature and they look way better.

Pretty cheap too.

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I made an imprint of elcap and working on freeing the nose.

 

Also made a imprint of justin bieber and using it as a punching bag.

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My house came equipped with a 7 foot high L-shaped stone wall in my back yard that has about 200 square feet of climbing. If I climb it 450 times in less than 24 hours, that's equivalent to climbing and down climbing the Nose in a day.

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I used real rocks on a climbing structure a long time ago, just find ones with a flatish side, sand/grind a bit flatter depending on hardness, drill and countersink a hole, bolt to the wall. Worked great for about half of my holds, buy your jug/pocket holds from one of the many other online folks.

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For my small crimps and jibs I have used pieces that broke of some of the larger holds as I was drilling. I used a smaller bit and drilled two holes and attached to the wall with coarse thread screws. Do not be afraid of fairly round rocks as these can often make for jugs if the clearance toward the wall is adequate.

I have also used expansion bolts that fit into the standard t-nuts and screwed holds in from the front using some creative strapping to apply enough leverage while tightening. Think oil filter wrench. Obviously these holds were most subject to loosening and required maintenance.

I have used these techniques on vertical, overhanging and horizontal roofs with great success.

 

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I used real rocks on a climbing structure a long time ago, just find ones with a flatish side, sand/grind a bit flatter depending on hardness, drill and countersink a hole, bolt to the wall. Worked great for about half of my holds, buy your jug/pocket holds from one of the many other online folks.

 

I've drilled through rocks too, it works great but don't try it unless you have a rotohammer. I've tried a half inch drill with masonry bits but without a lot of success.

 

I also have a bunch of real rock holds that I epoxied to thin plywood and then screw to the 3/4" plywood climbing wall. That way you can move things around a bit. A good epoxy is PC-8. You can buy it at almost any hardware store, home despot or wally world.

 

I've used river rocks for slopers, paving stones for crimpers and edges, granite counter top chips, sand stone, granite from the front yard, rocks off the beach, etc...You name it and I've used it.

 

 

I have also made "cracks" by taking real rock paving stones (2-3 inches thick), fracturing across the plane and using epoxy (PC8) to mount to plywood substrate and the screw it to the wall.

 

I've only had one hold fail and that is was the result of the plywood mounting board delaminating.

 

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It was several years ago but for my holds I used a drill press and a drill press vice. It took a while with a masonry bit and my dad dribbling water over it to cool the bit, but it worked and made for cleaner holes than a hand drill (which I didn't own at the time anyways). Softer rocks like sandstone worked best. Normal t-nuts/hex bolts after that made moving them easy.

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So OMB did you use machine threaded bolts then countersunk into the face of the holds?

 

We did quite a few that way but used lag bolts into 3/4" ply.

 

Wow a drill press huh? Always just used a standard corded rotohammer and held the holds with my feet and drilled standing over them.

 

In my first build we ended up drilling over 400 holds.

 

Likewise to the post a few above, my rocks were from everywhere I used some dryvit slag from a job site for some holds by gluing them in place.

 

I think at one point there was also a golf ball, tennis ball and the butt end of an axe handle used as holds.

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Two more options:

 

1) Make your own -surf around online, Dave Burdick/Alpine Dave(?) has a fine "how to" on his site, or at least did years ago...

 

2) Climbing gyms will sometimes cycle through their incredible surplus, allowing you purchase of the old and dirty for cheap. I've known two (local) gyms to do this.

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