Brian Crane // Eugene, OR
When did you build your wall? Was it a COVID baby?
March-April 2020, yup, Covid Cave!
How long did it take you to build and what did that time look like?
It took around 1 month of evenings and weekends. The time was great, but I have a full furniture grade woodshop, loads of experience building as an artist and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Craft, emphasis in Woodworking. Super fun project!
Not including holds and padding, how much did it cost you to build? Any surprises there? Most/Least expensive part?
Would have cost less than $300, no surprises and I had most of the wood here in the shop so that didn’t cost me much out of pocket. Least expensive was the wood because I had most of it already…Most expensive was all the huge bolts, nuts and washers.
What are you doing for padding?
I use three Mad Pads velcro’d together.
What was your primary incentive for the wall? Did anything in particular inspire your wall design?
I was absolutely inspired by my favorite climbing, Cave Roofs! I wanted to log hours upside down and increase my strength/connective tissue, so I designed and built a Cave Roof Hangboard with footwork bars and an adjustable panel. The fixed panel is at 70 degrees and the variable panel can be set at any angle. I prefer the 45 though. The footwork bars are great and allow me to practice tension while pushing on them, toe-hooking, heel-hooking and bicycle grabs. After I started sharing pics around, I was told it looks like a fancy “Skinner Box”. Sure enough, it does!
What was the most difficult aspect of the design and build?
Figuring out the footwork bars was the most challenging, but I really like my solution as it allows me tons of options for foot placement.
What would you do differently?
Nothing at all, it’s exactly what I need and fills the allowed space perfectly.
Did you make any mistakes along the way or choose to re-do any aspects? If so, what?
Nope, no mistakes but it was an improvised build so it just kind of evolved.
What is your favorite aspect?
I really dig the footwork bars and the adjustable panel, plus the fact that it can be easily un-bolted, taken apart and moved or stored if needed.
How often do you use the wall? Do you think you’ll still use it as much when all of the gyms open back up?
I use it 2 times per week even when the gym is open. I use it daily when we are in lockdown. I keep it covered with shipping blankets for insulation and a huge tarp to keep the water out. Work great even in the winter!
Any words of wisdom to aspiring homewallers?
Yeah, build and set for strength circuits instead of problems to solve. Building it steep will allow you to practice keeping tension (no feet cutting on big moves!) and really level up your strength for your outdoor or gym climbing regardless of terrain.