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DIY Climbing Peg Board

There are so many options for creating Do-it-Yourself Equipment available today.

It amazes me that more people don't take advantage of making their own equipment on their way to fitness dominance.

The climbing pegboard is something that I didn't have a chance to use until I made it. The inspiration came when I was going through old photos of workout equipment and saw some kids in gym class climbing a pegboard.

Most garage gyms don't have room for rope climbs, so to build the upper body pulling strength you're pretty limited to a pull-up bar. The climbing pegboard offers a unique challenge that is not only highly effective, but also pretty fun.

A quick search online took me to a couple retailers offering a pegboard for way more than I wanted to pay. So, being the cheap (my wife would say) and resourceful (I would say), I decided to create my own. that in my opinion looks and performs as well as any you could buy.

Although this is a DIY guide, the pegboard you can make utilizing the guide is in my opinion the same if not superior to those offered by retailers all over the world.

DIY Pegboard Instructions

Rogue Pegboard

What You Will Need:

IMG_20141108_115552

Supplies

  • One 8′-10′, 2″ x 8″ Board
  • One 8′, 2″x 4″ Board
  • One 1 1/4″ Dowel Rod
  • One Thin Sheet of Plywood
  • Elmer's Wood Glue
  • One Box of 1″ Wood Screws
  • One Box of 3″ Wood Screws
  • Sandpaper (optional)
  • Wood Stain (optional)

Tools

  • Power Drill
  • Drill Bits
  • 1 1/4″ Spade Bit (A Forstner Bit would also suffice)
  • Miter or Circular Saw
  • Pencil
  • Ruler

Total Price: ~$35

Instructions:

First off these instructions are for one 4′-5′ long Peg Board, if you'd like longer, or would like to make another (say one vertical, one horizontal) like I did you just double the instructions.

Step One: Cut the board to length.

The length of the board obviously varies depending on where you will be using your pegboard as well as how tall you want it to be. For a garage with standard ceilings, a 4 to 5-foot board would be best.

I cut my 8′-10′, 2″x 8″ board in half using the Miter or Circular Saw. It ended up being about 4 1/2 feet in length.

For a taller pegboard like those used in commercial gym settings, you can either keep your board long or combine multiple short boards at different angles for an extra challenge like seen here:

angled-boards

Step Two: Measure out your hole pattern.

There's a seemingly endless amount of ways you could cut your holes. I've seen many people who have used this guide use random placement to exact science.

For mine, I simply drew three vertical lines with each being 2″ apart. Then, I took my ruler and made a mark every 6″ to be used for my pilot holes.

IMG_20141108_174945

Step Three: Drill holes.

Cooper2(1) (1)

Find the locations where you marked for your holes to be and begin drilling. 1 1/4″ Spade Bit where you made your marks

I used a Drill Press combined with a 1 1/4″ Forstner Bit, but you could easily get by with a Spade Bit and a handheld drill.

If you plan to use a handheld drill, try to keep it as vertical as possible to prevent any wonky holes and make sure you have your batteries charged as this takes some time.

For a more challenging grip workout, simply make your holes larger and use larger dowels. The thicker the handle, the harder it is to use. Or you could also throw a pair of Fat Gripz (see my review here) onto the dowels like I've done many times, although it takes a while to build up to.

Step Four: Cut out the backing.

20141122_113210

In order the keep the Pegboards from sliding all the way through and you getting your hand pinched, a backing is pretty necessary.

In reality, you could use a thin piece of chipboard like I did all the way up to a nice seven-ply piece of plywood. If you have scraps, I would opt for those.

Simply place your pegboard on the backing material you've chosen, trace it out, and cut away.

I used a jigsaw to cut the backing, however, if you don't have the power tools, a simple handsaw will do just fine.

Step Five: Attach Backing to Pegboard

This part is simple. Grab your handy-dandy wood glue and lather it on. Although unnecessary, I suggest spreading the glue evenly to make sure it's attached evenly.

After the glue is spread, attach the backing and clamp to dry (you could also put some weight plates on top.)

Step Six: Cut out support boards.

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To anchor the pegboard to the wall, you'll want to use some wood stringers that are long enough to reach the wall studs on either side of the pegboard.

I used two 2″x4″ boards I had laying around.

First find the studs in the wall, then measure and cut your boards accordingly. Once cut, place them on the back of the board, one near the top, and one near the bottom of the board.

Using screws, screw the boards into the back of the pegboard. I suggest not skimping on the screws here either as this will your entire bodyweight.

Step Seven: Attach the Pegboard to the wall.

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Using 3″ long wood screws, attach the pegboard to the wall lined up with the wall studs.

(Optional: Sand and stain for fresh-looking gainz.)

Step Eight: Cut the dowels.20141123_100331_HDR

Cut the 1 1/4″ dowels based upon your hand plus 2″.

I suggest a hardwood maple for the dowels as they will have a lot of pressure.

Step Nine: Climb that wall!

Pegboard Photo Gallery:

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20141123_100152_HDR

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My Favorite Pegboard Workouts

 

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
Power Cleans (185 lbs.)
One Pegboard ascent and descent in between

EMOM 10
5 Strict HSPU
1 Pegboard Ascent

Death By Pegboard
Minute 1: One Pegboard Ascent
Minute 2: Two Pegboard Ascents
Minute 3: Three Pegboard Ascents
Etc. until failure

5 Rounds – Rest as Needed
Ascend Pegboard
Every time the Right Peg Moves, do one Pullup

EMOM 10
15 Second Effort on Airbike (see my review of the new Schwinn Airdyne Pro here)
1 Pegboard Ascent

CrossFit Games Pegboard

2015-crossfit-games-peg-board-1024x681

The pegboard was featured in both the 2015 and 2016 CrossFit Games.

Rather than the traditional, wooden style pegboard as shown in this DIY Tutorial, Rogue created their boards out of metal and plexiglass.

The event has proved to be a tough for nearly all competitors, and it's cool to see the pegboard be used on such a large stage as the CrossFit Games.

Pegboards Created Using this Guide & Submitted by YOU!

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-11-12-29-am screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-11-12-01-am

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-11-10-50-am screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-11-10-35-am

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-11-15-24-am screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-11-15-04-am

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-11-14-43-am screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-11-14-17-am

Commercial Pegboard Options

Rogue Pegboard

Final Thoughts

A Peg Board is a piece of equipment that I believe should be in every gym in America.

Its practicality, price, and strength building properties make it a very under-appreciated piece of gym equipment. The project is really quite easy. Go to Home Depot, get your materials and build your strength.

Have you made a pegboard? I'd love to see it! Comment below with a picture or let me know anything else. I love to hear from my readers!

Stay Strong, Live Long,

Coop

About Coop

Hello fellow fitness fanatics and equipment fueled fiends. I'm Coop and when not training I can be found mostly operating other entrepreneurial ventures, spending time with my Wife and family, and worshipping my risen Savior. You can find more about me on my personal blog CooperDane.Com

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  • David patterson

    Would you recommend a 2″ forstner bit so the dowel actually goes into the peg? I am in the process of building my board (drill battery already died on me!) and I found that my dowel won’t seat into the peg after I drill the hole. Thanks
    -dave

    • Coop

      I use the same drill bit as the size of the dowel. At first, it will be a little bit difficult to fit in the hole, but it will expand over time and you want that dowel to sit pretty tightly in the hole so there’s no chance of it slipping out. You could try the 2″ bit, but I personally wouldn’t recommend it. Let me know how it the board comes out though, I’d love to see it.

      -Coop

  • Clif H.

    Would beveling out the holes be recommended?

    • I personally would not bevel the holes out. The pegs go into the holes easier after you’ve used it a few times.

  • Donnie

    Are your ceilings 8′? Does that inhibit some of your workouts not having a taller ceiling? Strictly speaking peg board that is.

    • I believe the ceiling in my garage is 10′, but yes, it does inhibit it somewhat. In order to get the same work as you would get on a really high ceiling you can just go up and down multiple times.

  • XFITTER

    AWESOME TUTORIAL. I BUILT ONE FOR MY AFFILIATE AND MY MEMBERS LOVE IT!

    • Awesome, tag me on Instagram if you don’t mind! @garagegymreviews

      -Coop

  • Fitness Guy

    Do suggest using lag bolts instead of wood screws to attached the stringers to the studs?

    • Lag bolts may work better, but I personally have had no problems with my wood screws.

  • DerrickD66

    With home made peg boards, i have commonly seen the holes stretched out over time, and the pegs not staying in the holes correctly. Have you had this problem?

    Thanks!
    Derrick

    • Hey Derrick,

      I have not had this problem. They do stretch out, but have not to the point of needing to replace. If it’s a big concern, I would simply suggest a harder wood such as oak or maple.

      -Coop

  • Great job!

    • Thanks Carlos!

  • A Grown Up!

    Hey just thought of a money saving suggestion. If the peg holes loosen after a while to save money and time just turn the peg board over and use the back side for a while. Not positive if this would work but sure seems like it would. Will be building mine soon! Thanks for the suggestions!

    • That’s a great idea!

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  • Nathaniel Hausladen

    so before i put up my peg board what would be the recommendation for the peg board holes of the pegs feel like they might want to stick going in and out

    • Can you clarify the question?

      • Nathaniel Hausladen

        The pegs for the peg boards feel like they are gonna stick when you try to pull them out of the peg board, should I not worry to much and put up the peg board or sand the peg board holes more

        • Gotcha. the more you use them, the better it gets. I would just put the pegs in the holes and move them around a bit. After a few uses, the holes will expand and it will become easier to slide them in and out.

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