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By Stopgo
From Seattle, WA
Jan 8, 2010
Hey all,

Building my first woody this weekend, and was wondering how you like to space the t-nuts in the plywood sheets. I've seen everything from drilling every 6 inches, to random patterns every 3. The only thing I've heard about putting them on a grid is that it can limit route-setting, as it's not as random as haphazard placements. Though, putting them on a grid sure seems quicker and easier! Pros, cons, thoughts?

Not much info out there, so was wanting to find out what was working for you all.

thanks in advance!

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By Red
From Arizona
Jan 8, 2010
Cobra Kai
Not sure why the grid option would be quicker and easier. In fact it would probably take more time since you are trying to be precise about where you drill. We put up a wall in my buddies garage about two years ago. I would suggest just drilling a bunch of randomly placed holes with about 3-6 inches between each hole.
The only reason that I can think of to drill on a grid would be to set up a system wall.
Hope that helps. Good luck with the wall!

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By Kevin Stricker
From Evergreen, CO
Jan 8, 2010
I've built a half dozen walls over the years and done about every possible combination of T-but spacing. On a small woodie, a 4 inch grid ( start 2" from the edge) will give you the best variability. It's a lot of work though. A good alternative is 6 inch grid offset 3" every other row.

Random is more work than it's worth as you end up drilling every sheet separately. Instead stack all your plywood on some 2x4's, align the edges. and drill some screws through them to hold them in place/together. Now mark out your grid (easiest with a chalk line) on the top sheet and drill through all of the sheets at the same time. Make sure your sheets are facing good side up and use a 1/2" brad point bit. You can drill at least 4 sheets this way, now take one of the sheets and use it as a template for the rest of your panels.

Have fun!

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By jnowis
From Laramie, Wyoming
Jan 8, 2010
Keep in mind where your studs are located. If you drill on a grid and don't pay attention to where the studs are, you might end up with entire rows of T-nuts placed over the stud, nullifying your work.

For the walls I've built, I first layed out the studs, and not just the centerline. Lay out each edge. Building your wall uniformly helps speed up the process because you can stack the plywood and drill in multiple layers (per Kevin's advice). Stay a bit away from the studs when drilling, dimensional lumber is not straight.

I've had the best results drilling randomly, spacing between 3 and 6 inches. The spacing depends on how many T-nuts you purchase, the more holes the more options.

Even with all the layout work, I still end up with a few T-nuts to close to the stud for use.

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By berl
From Seattle
Jan 8, 2010
i'm about to do a combination of the above- draw out a random-ish pattern with a set number of t-nuts (5) per square foot (roughly) and drill the holes through 2 sheets that will both be placed on the same stud pattern.

apologies for a couple drifts- may be of general interest:

1) i tried a 1/2" bit and the resulting hole still leaves a lot of slop around the barrel of the t-nut- to the point where my vertical drill attachment becomes pretty pointless. some site (3ball?) recommends 7/16" and i plan on picking one up tonight. anyone have experience with this?

2) somewhere on the internetz, it was recommended to use a bolt through a 2x4 and tighten the bolt to pull the t-nut into the wood, instead of hammering the tnut from the back. i tried a version of this and the tnut spurs/spikes/whatever just folded over and busted. anyone really have problems with the hammer method?

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By Mike Pharris
From Longmont, CO
Jan 8, 2010
Climbing above Black Lake
I just did a small wall in my garage and drilled my holes on a grid pattern 6 inches apart, alternating rows by 3 inches offset. I managed to miss the studs completely, but a couple got pretty close. I wasn't trying to be 'exactly precise' with the 6 inch measure, just reasonable close.

Definitely use a 7/16 bit - it will fit the T nut almost perfectly and you won't need any glue or anything to hold the nut in place.

I used a half inch block with a washer to put the bolt thru to pull the T nut into the plywood and didn't have any trouble at all. It's tedius to be sure. If your prongs folded and bent, you may not have had it lined up very flat - especially if the hole was oversized.

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By Mark Cushman
From Cumming, GA
Jan 8, 2010
Profiley Styley
Justin Simon wrote:
Keep in mind where your studs are located. If you drill on a grid and don't pay attention to where the studs are, you might end up with entire rows of T-nuts placed over the stud, nullifying your work.

If you can find short enough bolts you can still use these t-nuts. Fastenal has bolts in varying sizes and if you get some shorter ones they will be able to go into these holes with certain holds. The bolts only need a few turns into the t-nut to hold. Measure the depth with a plastic tube and then compare it to the protruding side of the bolt on the hold to get the right size bolt.

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By Forestvonsinkafinger
From Iowa
Jan 8, 2010
I have only built one wooder
+1 For Random
+1 For avoiding studs

I had so few t-nuts bend (2-3) and hammering is so quick I feel it a better option.

You also may want to consider gaps in panels as good places for cracks or other features (i.e. underclings, bulges, sinks, etc.)

Also, several people in the area, lag-bolted the panels directly to their attic rafters, making their work only about 2 hours worth, burly and fun.

One more thing, we got all our lumber for nearly nothing ($5 a sheet), went to all the lumber yards, found blemished wood, and asked the floor manager for a deal.

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By Jason Gilbert
From Lakewood
Jan 8, 2010
...And a few Push-ups just for fun.
+1 for using gaps as cracks and features. I used tile grout as a filler and then shaped it with my fingers and let it dry. It's worked great so far.

Also I hammered every T-nut on my wall, I didn't have any bend and have only had 1 or 2 fall off where I couldn't fix them. The T-nuts are great, but I also left plenty of spaces for addition features like screw-ons on inset holds

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By Andy Librande
From Denver, CO
Jan 8, 2010
Me in the Buddha Cave at crumblewood a while ago.
berl wrote:
2) somewhere on the internetz, it was recommended to use a bolt through a 2x4 and tighten the bolt to pull the t-nut into the wood, instead of hammering the tnut from the back. i tried a version of this and the tnut spurs/spikes/whatever just folded over and busted. anyone really have problems with the hammer method?


Hammer is fine, just make sure you are pounding them in straight. The only issue is that some that you have already hammered may pop-out due to vibrations. Use only quality wood 3/4" plywood and you should be fine.

T-Nuts are usually cheap and tend to break, always have more than you need and if one of the teeth break or bend just throw it away.

The only way I have found that secures the T-nuts is after pounding them in is to mount the holds really tight to the wall. I prefer using a Socket Wrench with a 3/8" hex bit; works great for cranking them down.

Justin Simon wrote:
Keep in mind where your studs are located. If you drill on a grid and don't pay attention to where the studs are, you might end up with entire rows of T-nuts placed over the stud, nullifying your work.


Yep pain in the ass when you screw this one up. Also remember to make sure you can access the back of the wall after you are done as T-nuts will need fixing every once in a while.

You can always add more t-nuts for random placement after you have built the wall.


Some inspiration here:
mountainproject.com/v/general_...

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By Andy Librande
From Denver, CO
Jan 8, 2010
Me in the Buddha Cave at crumblewood a while ago.
Also features are awesome to have on your wall and come later. There are some examples in this thread:

mountainproject.com/v/for_sale...

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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Jan 8, 2010
berl wrote:
i'm about to do a combination of the above- draw out a random-ish pattern with a set number of t-nuts (5) per square foot (roughly) and drill the holes through 2 sheets that will both be placed on the same stud pattern. apologies for a couple drifts- may be of general interest: 1) i tried a 1/2" bit and the resulting hole still leaves a lot of slop around the barrel of the t-nut- to the point where my vertical drill attachment becomes pretty pointless. some site (3ball?) recommends 7/16" and i plan on picking one up tonight. anyone have experience with this? 2) somewhere on the internetz, it was recommended to use a bolt through a 2x4 and tighten the bolt to pull the t-nut into the wood, instead of hammering the tnut from the back. i tried a version of this and the tnut spurs/spikes/whatever just folded over and busted. anyone really have problems with the hammer method?


Re no. 2, I just used an old hold that I didn't care if it got busted. Works way better than hammering, since the nuts didn't always line up straight. You do need to guide the nut until the teeth catch, then you can continue tightening as normal. Never had the spurs bend that way. Not once.

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By Stopgo
From Seattle, WA
Jan 8, 2010
Awesome tips everyone! It's a pretty small woody, so will likely go with the 6 inch offset pattern.

I'll post some pics when I get it all done!

Appreciate it.

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By berl
From Seattle
Jan 8, 2010
yep- thanks everybody. i may even get mine finished this weekend and put some pics up too.



also


I'm always pleasantly surprised when a thread actually accomplishes something before the (inevitable?) slide into welfare vs obamacare vs. wingnuts vs. scientologists vs. chopping routes vs. slidingsuperXwebolette vs. rap is techno.

thanks!

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By Adam F.
Jan 8, 2010
I swear by screw on holds.
- No t nuts.
- Ultimate versitility for hold placement.
- No spinners!
- You can tweek your route/boulder problem in fine increments.

I make a lot of my own holds out of real rock but Crater makes great screw ons.

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By JoeP
From Littleton, CO
Jan 8, 2010
I did a grid pattern, and don't mind it. Rarely have I wanted to move a hold just a bit. The grid also allows you to place holds at even spacing/height if you want to do some training exercises that require such.

Hammer worked fine for mine, never bent a single T-nut. To prevent spinners, although it adds to the time, put some epoxy/J-B Weld/etc. on the back of the T-nut. As others have said, definitely mark where the studs will fall on the panels before you drill the holes.

Not sure if it has been mentioned, but make sure to drill the holes from the backside through the front due to splintering.

Good luck and have fun.

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By kBobby
From Spokane, WA
Jan 8, 2010
Kevin Stricker wrote:
Random is more work than it's worth as you end up drilling every sheet separately. Instead stack all your plywood on some 2x4's, align the edges. and drill some screws through them to hold them in place/together.

Why does this not work with the random method? Stack the plywood and drill random holes.

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By Kevin Stricker
From Evergreen, CO
Jan 8, 2010
My thoughts is if you are going random you want to go random on all your panels, not repeatedly random. I find the time it takes to lay out your stud lines ends up being only about half the time to draw your grid. If you stick with 16" centers on your studs and a 4 or 6 inch pattern you will not have to draw out your studs as long as you do the right inset ( 2 inches or 3 inches respectively).

JoeP wrote:
Not sure if it has been mentioned, but make sure to drill the holes from the backside through the front due to splintering.


You've got this backwards, you always want to drill from the front side unless you want to look at ugly blown out splinters. If you stack your plywood you only have to worry about the bottom piece if you screw them down tight together. One thing I will do is put a 2x4 under the row I am drilling to reduce splintering on the bottom sheet.

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By JoeP
From Littleton, CO
Jan 8, 2010
Kevin Stricker wrote:
You've got this backwards, you always want to drill from the front side unless you want to look at ugly blown out splinters. If you stack your plywood you only have to worry about the bottom piece if you screw them down tight together. One thing I will do is put a 2x4 under the row I am drilling to reduce splintering on the bottom sheet.


Nice call. 50/50 shot and my memory let me down. I'll have to remember the 2x4 underneath.

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By Stopgo
From Seattle, WA
Jan 17, 2010
As promised . . . finished up the woody yesterday. Ended up going with a random pattern of t-nuts, but put in a shit-ton. We could only get about a 30 degree angle on the wall to maximize space, but other than that, pretty happy with the way it all came out.!


New basement woody
New basement woody

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By Woodchuck ATC
Jan 17, 2010
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
I didn't even bother reading all the posts; just went straight to a response. Believe me, after building many home indoor walls since 89' I can tell you that once that panel is up on the wall you will find a spot you wish to hell there was a t-nut. 50 per sheet is good. More is better. Place some just inches apart so a key hold can be moved JUST that little bit further up or closer. Your other choice is to fasten screw on holds later when needed. Don't spare the nuts....they're cheap enough to dump a ton of them on each board.
Be sure if you are coating the board with some kind of texture, to do it before you drill the t-nut holes. Have you decided between pound-in nuts or screw on t-nuts?

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By Kevin Stricker
From Evergreen, CO
Jan 18, 2010
Your new Woody looks great!

Based on my experience with HIT training, you will need to respace your strips as your bottom strip is too close to the ground. You want to be under the first row with your arms above you and your butt off the ground. If you have the space in your gym, I would consider building a separate 3 foot wide wall at 45-55 degrees just for your HIT system, the holds are so positive that at 30 degrees you will need to add a lot of weight to get a training effect. Also with the HIT system out of the way you will get a lot more usable traversing space.

For cheap HIT footers take some 1x2 and cut it into squares. Round out the corners and drill and countersink a bolt hole. You can stack them to make them more positive. Also REI has a set of 30 bolt on Metolius footers for $45 bucks, which is a pretty good deal as it includes bolts and t-nuts.

Now all you need is to have a hold party. Invite your friends, buy a keg, and ask everyone bring some holds to partake. Good luck with your training!

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By berl
From Seattle
Jan 18, 2010
I finally got mine put together


it's so big it won't even fit in the frame.
it's so big it won't even fit in the frame.



It's only 8' wide, but both sides of the overhang have ply and holds. the gap at the bottom of the overhang is about 3' up and the overhang is 8ft (running) and 30deg, which I'm pretty happy with at the moment. I added more holds since this photo, but I it's a long ways from being fully populated.

I ended up hammering in about 1/3 of the t-nuts (into 7/16 holes drilled with a vertical press attachment) after realizing that there was enough slop of the bolt in the threads to undo any perfectly vertical installation using the bolt pull-through method. plus I was getting the t-nuts in further w/ a hammer.

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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Jan 18, 2010
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.
berl, looks good! If you want to smooth out your arete, get some 1/4-cylinder molding at a hardware store (got mine @ home depot) and put it in the joint. It makes slapping the arete much more pleasant.

An example of what I did is visible in the center of this pic (zoom in to get a good view):

East end.
East end.

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