Resin for making climbing holds

zingalongzingalong Regular
edited August 2010 in Life
I'm in the early stages of planning a small climbing board for rock-climbing training. What I need to first do however is make some climbing holds. From some googling I found that resin and molds are the way to go but I have no idea about where to buy it or if I can make it myself.

Has anyone ever attempted what I am trying to do or have any experience working with resin?


  • MantikoreMantikore Regular
    edited July 2010
    there are a bunch of different resins, but ive only used epoxy and polystyrene resin for my projects, which might not be the stuff youre looking for. You can easily get them both at hardware stores. Epoxy is sold as an adhesive and comes in two parts, where you have to mix them together. Its quite expensive, especially in large quantities for a rock climbing surface.

    The other one is polystyrene. it comes in metal cans (similar to paint and Milo cans) as a clear liquid. there are different ones for different purposes. i would get the one labeled "casting resin". you initiate it with a methyl ethyl ketone peroxide catalyst. this kind of resin is also used in conjunction with fibreglass, and the hardware store should have all those materials next to the resin. its still fairly pricey, but much cheaper than epoxy. i have found polystyrene to be harder, but more brittle, but for something thick like a climbing hold, it should be alright. fiberglass reinforcement adds toughness, but ive never used it so i cant say if would be more expensive. brittleness is a problem when youre drilling it to get bolts through.

    for both, they would probably stick to the mold. you can get around it by using a polyvinyl alcohol film on the mould itself to help release it. resin cans should have all the instructions there. another way is to make multiple molds and just sacrifice each one by grinding the surface.
  • zingalongzingalong Regular
    edited July 2010
    Cheers for the great info, I was concerned that this might be an expensive venture. I'll go check out the prices and see if ill actually be saving money DIYing the holds as opposed to just ordering them online.
  • EbolaEbola Acolyte
    edited August 2010
    I would go with pre-fabricated grips. Not only do you need them sturdy but also with a rough surface allowing friction. The pre-fab ones are not very expensive (especially when compared to making molds and the time spent on the whole process).
    Sounds like a nice project tho :) Been planning a small wall too in my kids room but I´m waiting for some grips to go on discount.

    EDIT: Prices here aren´t too steep, especially if you buy a lot.
  • KatzenklavierKatzenklavier Regular
    edited August 2010
    I would too. A one quart bottle of resin can cost $15. The store-bought grips are much cheaper.
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