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How to Make a Climbing Pegboard for Only $29.05

Updated on April 19, 2014

How to Make a Climbing Pegboard

Climbing pegboards are fantastic exercises for building forearm strength and hand grip. They're the perfect workout for rock climbing and bouldering, or really any sport that requires upper body strength. Gyms don't often feature climbing peg boards anymore and prefab pegboards that you can buy are ridiculously expensive, and so I decided to take it upon myself to try to make one.

The Final Result

You can make a climbing pegboard with just a few tools and practically no carpentry experience, and you can do it all for less than $30!

Here's what we're going to make:

Environmentally Friendly Pegboards

What I really wanted to do with this project was make the pegboard so that it didn't have to screw into something. I rent my house, so I can't put holes in the walls and I don't want to kill any more nature than I have to, so I came up with a rope system for hanging the homemade pegboard.

If you have no trouble securely mounting your climbing peg board to either a tree or a wall, then you can substitute the last few steps with a couple of mounting brackets.

Materials for the Climbing Pegboard

-Two 5' lengths of 2x4

-One 4' length of 2x10

-100' of 1/4” twisted sisal rope

-1 ¼'' dowel rod

-1 ¼'' drill bit

-28 nails

-Power drill


-Measuring tape

Only $29.05!!

Note: I already had the nails, measuring tape, saw, and drills, so the grand total at the store came to $29.05. Not bad! I bought an 8' length of 2x10 but you only need 4', so I got an extra 4' to play around with if I screwed up or ever need another pegboard.

Step 1

The main pegboard is made from the 4' length of 2x10. Measure 1 ¾'' towards the middle from each side (the long sides). Use a pen to mark a line that runs up the entire length of the board, and do this on each side. This line is for the drill holes, and with the 1 ¼'' drill bit you put the edge of each hole about 1'' away from the sides.

Step 2

Choose one line and measure 3'' from the bottom of the board. Mark the spot with a pen. Now measure up 8'' and mark another spot, continuing all the way up the line. Then measure 7'' up on the other line (start on the same edge of the board). Mark 7'', then measure 8'' and continue up the board. This gives you staggered holes every 4''.

Step 3

Make a small pilot hole with the drill at each hole. Then, take the 1 ¼'' drill bit to widen them to their final size. Slide the drill up and down in the holes a few times to get smooth edges, then test to ensure that the dowel rod will slide in smoothly.

Step 4

Here you could start using a mounting bracket, but if you follow the plans I used, find a thick, straight tree. Figure out how high you would like the climbing pegboard to be, then temporarily hold the 2x4s up to that spot. Use the diagram above to get an idea of what the placement looks like.

As you can see, the 2x4s are flush with the tree, not the pegboard itself. This gives you a tighter hold for the rope. Hammer a nail in slightly at both the top and bottom of each 2x4 to hold them in place for now.

Step 5

Now, with the twisted sisal rope, start wrapping around the lower 6'' of the 2x4s now mounted to the tree. Wrap it tight at least 15 times or so, because it is what holds the whole sucker in place. I weigh 155 and 15 loops is very secure. If you weigh more you may want to double that, for safety.

Tie off the bottom loop, then do the same thing on the tops of the 2x4s.

Step 6

Now that the 2x4s are securely mounted you can take out the temporary nails. Hold up the pegboard against the 2x4 supports to estimate where their inner corners touch the back of the board. Draw a rough line to get an idea of where the nails will go when you mount it. Now, drill pilot holes using a drill bit slightly smaller than the nails.

Step 7

Line the climbing pegboard up with the brackets and begin nailing through the pilot holes. Put weight on slowly at first to make sure it'll hold you. The whole setup will probably shift down about 6 inches before the ropes pull completely tight, so be prepared!

How to Make the Pegboard Pegs

Push one end of the 1 ¼'' dowel rod through one of the holes in the pegboard. Wrap your hand around it close to the hole and figure out how long you want each peg to be. Measure it off, then saw two lengths, one for each hand.

And that's the way to make a climbing pegboard!

All Done!

Did You Make It? Let Me Know!

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    • profile image

      msg 3 years ago


    • profile image

      Will 3 years ago

      Please, find a different place to mount your peg board. Your instructions are an instant death sentence for whatever tree this is affixed to.

    • profile image

      icarlos 3 years ago

      Why use a 4 footer instead of 8'? no lumberyard (or Home depot) will sell you 4 feet of lumber. Longer is better!

      I'll make mine with 3 layer of 3/4" plywood. I figure dougfir will develop cracks with time.

      Of course most plywood needs to be protected from weather, marine plywood or sign plywood will work but they are pricy.

      One sheet of plywood will give easy three 16" by 96" boards, glue and screws, and you will end-up with a hefty 2.25 inches by 4 feet by 8 feet.

      Now you can be creative about what pattern you use and may be add some rock climbing grabs.

      Will it be better to make holes 1/8 of an inch larger?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Just made this with my son after we saw one at an indoor climbing center. Works great! Thanks for the instructions.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Maple is a good hardwood to use

    • Legenden profile image

      Legenden 4 years ago

      Nice lens. I will try this! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      yeap, my son and I made it. Thanks mate, it's a brilliant suggestion. and it works great..

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      What type of wood would you suggest

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Pretty Cool.

      Thanks for the Help!