How to Build a Freestanding Hangboard

There comes a time in life when most climbers want to up their training game. Sometimes you just feel like training at home and most end up installing a simple hangboard over a doorway in their home, apartment, etc. However; some landlords don’t approve of drilling into the studs for various reasons. I live at home with my parents, so what they say goes and they weren’t to keen on drilling some wood screws into the studs of their house.

I was left with no choice, but to make a freestanding hangboard that could stay in the garage. In my research, I found lots of pictures of existing freestanding hangboards, but no directions on how to make one.How to Build a Freestanding Hangboard

Here’s a list of what you need and how to build a freestanding hangboard.

You’ll need:

  • Skill saw
  • Power drill
  • Safety glasses
  • Extension cord
  • Pencil/marker
  • Level/straight edge
  • 6ft ladder
  • 2 friends
  • Tape measure
  • #9 wood screws
  • 2 wood clamps
  • 3/4″ plywood
  • 8ft 2×4 (7)
  • Hangboard

How to Build a Freestanding Hangboard:

  • Start off by cutting one 2×4 in half, with your skill saw, so you have two pieces that are four feet in length. Take two more 2×4’s and cut two feet off each, so they measure six feet long.
  • Take your power drill, some wood screws, and assemble your base. The base of your freestanding hangboard should be six feet long by four feet wide.
  • Get some friends together and start measuring out your plywood. I made mine 24″ in height and 48″ wide. I personally like the bigger surface area and it reduced my cutting. Do this step twice.
  • Cut your measured out plywood with your skill saw. You should now have two 24″ tall and 48″ wide pieces of plywood.
  • Measure your halfway point on the long end of your base (three feet) then find the mid point on each end (1.5 feet). Mark these points on each side because this is where your upright 2×4’s are going to go.
  • Find the distance between your base, lay out your 8ft upright 2×4’s and start screwing your cut out piece of plywood to those uprights. Do this step twice.
  • Now remember those marks you made on your base? Find those and fasten the upright pieces to those spots. Use the wood clamps to hold them in place while you work. Each piece is going to be a little wobbly, but that’s OK.
  • Get on your ladder and measure out the rectangle on top of the uprights you just fastened.
  • Whatever that measurement is, mark it and cut it out using the last bit of plywood.
  • Put it on top of the uprights and fasten it into place with the screws.
  • Take the last bit of plywood you have and fasten it onto one set of 2×4’s, length wise (more on this in a minute).

At this point, you should have erected the frame of your freestanding hangboard…great job! It’s a little wobbly and that’s OK, it’ll hold as long as you’re using it for its intended purpose and not jumping or swinging on it.

You’ll notice that you have a fair sized amount of plywood on each side. Hang your favorite hangboard (I like the Simulator 3D from Metolius) on one side and on the other side you can install some of your nemesis holds. For that you’ll need: power drill, extension cord, 7/16″ wood boring bit, tee nuts, 3/8″ bolt, wood glue, 5/16″ allen wrench, and metal lube/graphite. Here’s a great video on how to install the tee nuts.

You’re probably wondering why I had you fasten your last bit of plywood onto one set of 2×4’s. In case you want a little weight assist, this is where it comes in handy. You’d need some rope, weights, eye rings, and pulley’s. Take the cut off ends of 2×4’s and fasten them to the bottom of each hangboard/hold side and fasten one to the solo plywood. Drill a little hole into each (2 holes on the solo plywood) and then screw in your eye rings.  Hang a pulley off each eye ring, thread your rope through, fasten one end of rope to your harness and weights to the other end of the rope.

Now you’re set to start training in your house!

Here’s a little video my brother put together of the assembly process for your reference and entertainment…primarily entertainment.

I also wanted to give you a link to a beginner hangboard workout video my buddy Gif from Rock Climber Life put together. It’s very informative, short, and better (in my opinion) than those lack luster “instructions” you get when you buy a hangboard.

There are other great and possibly simpler designs out there, but I believe this to be the most versatile. I am also by no means a skilled craftsman, carpenter, or handyman. I’ve been told “this looks jank as …” and I definitely agree. However, it works and if I can build this–you sure as heck can build a freestanding hangboard.

Pin It


  1. says

    Thanks for the link bro!! Much appreciated. An advanced hangboard workout video is on my shortlist of things to do soon as well. 🙂

    • The Weekend Warrior says

      You’re very welcome. Looking forward to seeing the advanced hangboard workout, though it might be a while before I’m ready for it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *