Monday, November 1, 2010

Wood Hangboards

Hangboards, also known as fingerboards, are training devices for rock climbers. They are relatively small boards designed to be screwed or bolted above a doorway. They feature a multitude of different size and angle edges so that rock climbers can exercise their fingers on a range of holds without going to a local gym.

I became seriously interested in hangboards only recently as I moved back to Wisconsin. Having spent the whole summer progressively climbing harder, until Yosemite broke me down. I wanted to maintain some finger strength, but alas there are few mountains around Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin. After getting basic rock climbing technique down, the most critical element becomes finger strength. It is very plausible that someone can maintain a relatively high level of rock climbing ability through hangboard training. I considered buying one but once again I could not find exactly what I was looking for, primarily a vertical fingertip crack. In my research I noticed that many were made of wood so I set out to make my own wood hangboard.

I only had a half inch and one inch chisel at my disposal so I went to work. Wood allows some interesting properties because of its anisotropic properties (the grain of the wood). The first prototype is below!

Sorry the picture is fuzzy. I guarantee there will be better pictures in the near future. The second and third have already been CNC machined...

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