Joshua Beijer
Upcycling Project: Natural Wood Hangboard

I have chosen a natural wood aesthetic for my project because it lends itself well to my medium of choice. The project that I am going to work on is a climbing hangboard made from a tree log. A hangboard is a piece of exercise equipment climbers use to improve their grip strength. Hangboards (seen below) can be fairly expensive and are usually found in climbing gyms.

Matt Pincus – January 5th, 2018 –

This past December I cut down a few trees with my dad and brother. After cutting them into logs we piled them on the side of a shed, similarly to the pile below. My brother and I have used this wood for a few different projects but did not have the tools required to make a proper hangboard. The trees were a mix of pine and aspen so I will need to decide which will be more conducive to the aesthetic I wish to achieve.  The pine will lend itself better to a rustic look while the aspen has a more modern look. I will make this decision when I pick out the wood at my parent’s house base on which has the best branches and shape.

Rachel Vogel – November 30, 2020 –

I will incorporate the natural wood aesthetic by leaving the bark, branches, pine needles, etc on the top and bottom of the hangboard. I have not been able to find a picture of anyone else doing this before so I believe this idea is novel. I could see how climbers would prefer this type of hangboard because it could be used as a wall decoration when it is not in use instead of trying to hide it out of view. It will also speak to the climber’s love for nature and the preservation of natural beauty.

Since the wood is still fairly fresh I will need to dry it out before attempting to work with it. I did not dry out the first project I attempted with this wood and it created a host of problems when cutting and finishing. After this, I will use the wood shop in the idea forge to cut the log into a plank and then create the hand holds. I will make a model of this in SolidWorks to plan out the placement of the holds. I plan to place the holds in the wood along grain lines rather than the straight pattern that is usually utilized. I will finish the holds with sandpaper to make them smooth but will probably not use any wood stain to preserve the natural wood aesthetic. Since I have access to the materials and have recently taken the necessary workshop for the ITLL wood shop, I am ready to start this process. I plan to consult Josh Coyler, Makersapce Engineer, about what processes would be most efficient.

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • I think the aesthetic and proposed project here are both exciting Josh! I think it’s neat how you are integrating your personal interest, home/family life, and an aesthetic all into one project (that’s functional too). If you are planning on going for a more ‘raw’ finish, I think it could be neat to potentially incorporate some bark into your project. Whether that is by retaining some bark on the piece, adding some, or attaching some twigs or sticks, it could be kind of cool and add to it.

    • Thanks for the input Peter! I may have not made this clear but I am planning to have the bark on the top and bottom of the hangboard.

  • Hey Josh, this looks like a very cool and unique idea you came up with! I really enjoyed the detail you went into for your plan on making this idea come to life. It may be an interesting idea to sand different locations of the wood to different degrees allowing for some potentially difficult areas that offer a challenge being it more smooth than other holes. Just an idea though. Great work nonetheless as I’m sure this will be a very cool resulting project.

    • Thank you for the input, Kyle. I think I will have to sand it all similarly to avoid splinters but I will think about this more when I am at that step in the process.


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