DIY Freestanding Hangboard Setup


There are a lot of at-home workouts going around at this time and it is great to see. But what about those activity specific movements and strength training that needs to be done?

With climbing when you can’t head to the gym or the local crag due to shelter in place circumstances, you can use a hangboard. But, if you live in an apartment or building in which you can’t drill holes or the walls would not support you pulling on a hangboard, what can you do?

That was the dilemma I was facing, I had an old hangboard in storage from a long time ago but there was nowhere in my house that I could hang it without seriously damaging the door frames and structure.

After a little internet sleuthing I found just what I was looking for (major thanks to Reddit’s r/climbing community) - a freestanding hangboard setup with excellent step by step instructions.

I am by no means a carpenter and I was able to do this thing from start to finish in a single day for right around $75 give or take a few bucks - plus the cost of the hangboard.

Selfie of Austen with his completed hangboard set up.

The nice thing about these plans too is that it uses a lot of bolts so it can be taken down and transported fairly easily compared to trying to move it fully set up.

What you’ll need:

  • Two of: 8’ 4x4 wood
  • Five of: 8’ 2x4 wood
  • Four of: 8” long ½” bolts
  • Four of: 6” long ½” bolts
  • Eight of: washers (that fit your bolts width)
  • Eight of: nuts
  • 24 of: 3” wood screws
  • 8 of 2.5” Wood screw
  • Saw (I used a table saw but you could do it with a circular saw)
  • Electric drill or impact driver
  • Drill bits (properly sized for your bolts)

Here's how all of that will visually come together:

Blueprint plans visually showing the above list.

Step One

Get the lumber and necessary bolts, wood screws, etc. (see list at bottom of plan). What’s nice about this setup is it doesn’t require a ton of heavy wood, I was able to haul everything myself and fit it all in my SUV without trouble.

Wood and gear in the back of Austen's SUV.

Step Two

Cut the wood into required lengths. Luckily the 4x4’s don’t need to be cut. I stand 6’ 4” tall and the hangboard sits a few inches below the top of the posts so keeping the main 4x4’s at a full height of 8’ was perfect for me.

The 2x4’s need to be cut into twelve 24” lengths - you will use these to create the triangle supports at the base.
Then cut the remaining 2x4’s into three boards of equal length (however wide you want your hangboard setup to be, I set mine at 42” wide). Then cut one piece that will be affixed diagonally to the back of the three boards to keep them tight and together.
Photo of all the wood Austen purchased.

Step Three

You will need to cut 45 degree angles on the ends of four of the 24” 2x4’s, these are going to serve as the hypotenuse on the triangle base supports.

Austen sawing the wood at an angle.

Step Four

Screw together your triangles for the base supports. Ensure that the vertical 2x4 goes all the way to the ground (when it is finally connected to the pillar) and try to make the hypotenuse ends line up as evenly on the other two 2x4’s as possible. This is where I had the most trouble personally so be sure to take your time here.

Each end of the hypotenuse will require one 2.5” wood screw and one 3” wood screw, then the connection at the right angle will require two 3” wood screws side by side.

Also put the three equal sized boards together and attach them with the diagonal piece across then back as shown below (with a beer for size reference obviously).

Step Five

Now that you have your triangle supports and the top section, it is time to drill. Drill holes for your bolts through the triangle supports AND through the 4x4 pillars ensuring they line up and that their bottom sides are all flush with the ground.
This could take some time to drill through it all so be patient here…
Then line up the top part and drill four holes in both that top 3 board section as well as the 4x4’s. Screw your hangboard into the three slat section that will be used at the top - you are almost there!... Just make sure the width at the top is the same at the bottom, this was tough, you may want to throw a support across the bottom section just to hold it all in place.

Step Six

Insert bolts through the front side of the triangles and then put washers and bolts on the back sides and bolt it all together tightly, do the same with the top hangboard section.

Step Seven

Stand it up and get your hang on! There are all kinds of hangboard routines that you can find online, find your own and get hanging.

I personally am going to add a pulley system to the bottom to help with smaller holds and my heavier weight and am also going to add some additional holds to the wood but make yours your own to fit your needs. 

Recent Articles

Leave a comment