In the second part of this series, we'll look at preparing the climbing surface. If you've completed the steps in part one, then you've already assembled a frame and fastened it to the wall studs and ceiling joists.
Planning your routes
If you arbitrarily place your holds you will probably find climbing is either too difficult or too easy. For this reason, you should plan your routes across the bouldering wall.
There are two main types of holds - screw on and bolt on. Bolt on holds can be easily moved around to other locations, provided you have used your electric drill to create multiple mounting points.
You'll recall from the previous part in this series that we recommended allowing access to the rear face of the wall once mounted. This is so you can alter the position of bolt on holds. Being able to move these around means that you can remove them easily for cleaning, and you can also change the course. This way, you always have a fresh challenge.
Assemble your course
With your frame in place, next is the plywood surface. You can secure this with normal decking screws. Make sure you have someone to help you put these up as they can be heavy - especially if they are on a lean towards you.
After you have secured them, you can coat them with some polyurethane or DIY painting. While being indoors means the wood doesn't need much protection, you can always make it look nicer. Plus, a quick sand and paint will help prevent splinters.
Once you have your walls mounted, it's time to drill holes for your holds. If you are using the bolt-on variety, you may as well do a grid of holes that allows you to move the holds around as you desire. Another way you can add variety to your routes is to have a few different ones in different colours.
You could have the easiest ones in green, for example. Orange could be a tougher route and red could be the near impossible. It's up to you!
Safety is the primary concern with a project like this, so make sure that your construction is safe and sound. You should also ensure that the climbing area is free of hard objects and sharp edges - because there will be falls off the wall. To this end, providing gym mats or cheap foam mattresses to cover the floor is a good idea.