Build An Easy Home Climbing Wall Volume

January 22, 2015 — 5 Comments

home climbing wall volume

Nine times out of ten if someone asks how they can make their home climbing wall better the answer is “volumes.” The other one time out of ten is “steeper,” but we’ll cover that later. Just this past weekend I completed my third home climbing wall and after the first steep section was up I immediately realized that a lot of my favorite holds that performed great at 0-30 degree angles, now at 40-60 degree angles had similar grip potential to that wet watermelon seed you were trying to pick up off the floor at grandma’s house. A quick message to this wall builder, whose worth-your-time-checking-out wall I covered here, and I learned that every good wall deserves a volume. He was right that this would fix my hold-problem and it also enhanced the wall in a bunch of other ways.

Why you should build volumes for your home climbing wall

  • They become massive, challenging holds in themselves, with or without texture and with or without holds on them. Try buying a hold this big: $$$. Try making one: probably free.
  • They are the easiest way to add variety and interest to a flat wall. With little effort you get a completely new experience that could only be rivaled by a difficult wall remodel.
  • They add multiple new climbing surfaces to your wall and all at different angles. This means your favorite sloper that is practically useless on your wall’s steep section or even roof, now becomes a doable challenge on one of the faces of an added volume.
  • They are a great use of home climbing wall lumber scraps and make your wall look pro.

Home Rock Climbing Walls SubscribeWhile building my latest home wall I took a stab at building a volume and filmed the video below. As volumes go it is fairly basic, but I thought worth sharing because this design takes no time at all, requires only basic carpentry skills, only uses 90 and 45 degree cuts, and I didn’t even touch a tape measure during the process. If you have built volumes before, you’ll probably want to pass, but if you are working on your first, please check it out.

Seasoned pros, share your tips in the comments below, paste a link to your own vid or pic to help others. Also, special thanks to this guy, Brian, who shared this climbing wall volume image gallery of some simple volume builds that don’t take a lot of time or complex cuts.

5 responses to Build An Easy Home Climbing Wall Volume

  1. My son and I are building a home wall. I loved the how to build the volume vid, but here is where I show some inexperience. How are you fastening the volume to the wall? You you just using self taping screws and screwing it to your wall?

    Thank you and keep up your postings. I really enjoying them!

    Loveland, OH

    • Assuming your volume is large enough to span two studs behind the sheeting on your wall, get some really long gold grabber screws (not the black, brittle drywall type). I think I went with 3.5 or 4 inchers. Hold your volume on the wall where you want it and drive the grabber screws through the edge of the volume (at least one to two inches in from the edge), through the plywood wall, and into the stud. Do this in as many places as reasonably possible into the studs behind the wall. From there, I’d get some shorter gold grabber screws, maybe 2.5-3 inchers, and sink those all the way around the volume every few inches through the volume edge and into the plywood wall. You’ll end up with a volume on the wall that has a ton of screws all the way around the rim, some hitting studs behind the wall, some not. That is why you see most volumes with tape around the edges (mine in the video and pictures is black) to hide the screws and to hide any sharp edges or gap from an imperfect fit. Good luck! There are other ways to do this too, but this is the way I did it on my last two volumes and they are very sturdy. Thanks for visiting the site.

      • you don’t need to worry about grabbing studs. pre-drill 3/16″ holes at 6″ increments around the edge of the volume, making sure to inset the hole enough that it goes through the full thickness of the plywood. Then attach with 2″ wood screws. Even this is overkill, and you can mount your volume from the same set of holes every time regardless of volume or stud orientation. You can also make bolt-on volumes but its a bit trickier to do a nice job of.


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  3. i see how easy it is to build the volume but how do you attach it to the wall?

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