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By Viktoriya Larmore-Schaaf

So you want to build a freestanding hardboard without putting holes in your walls? Here's a guide to help you do just that!

STEP 1: Take a deep breath! You CAN do this. (if I did it you certainly can ;D)

STEP 2: Make a supply list and draw things out. (I recommend referring to the Schematics picture a lot.)


  • Tools Needed - Drill, pencil, T25 drill bit (for woodscrews), 5/16 nut driver bit (for ThruLOK), tape measure, hand saw+miter box (for 45° cuts), **3/8 drill bit, phillips bit, & 5/16 hex bit or T-wrench (**only if your hangboard system/holds need Teenuts)
  • 8' 4x4 - [x2] (make sure your ceilings are high enough)
  • 8' 2x4 - [x5] (these shouldn't cost more than $3.50ea. Buy 1-2 more for additional hanging space if desired)
  • 8in ThruLOK screw bolt fastening system - [x4] (these are fast and you'll avoid tons of pre-drilling)
  • 6 1/4in  ThruLOK screw bolt fastening system - [x4] 
  • T25 3in woodscrews - [1 box of 62] (These should come with a T25 bit in the box)
  • Eyebolts - [x2] (ensure the eyes are big enough to fit rope/cordelette through)
  • **3/8in Teenuts + matching teenut screws + 3/8 3in long hex bolts (**only if what you're hanging requires it)
  • I used these pictures and schematic to help me get an idea of what I was building would look like. I even redrew the schematic to better memorize the build. The link calls for 2 1/2in screws but I found you don't need that.

STEP 3: Cut a whooooole bunch of wood! You won't be cutting the two 4x4s at all. I cut everything with a handsaw & miter box. Save yourselves the hand cramps and have Lowes/Home Depot cut your 2x4s down to size. TIP - Most stores will not do 45° cuts (use miter box + saw.) Once done cutting you should have: x9 - 2' [2x4] cuts / x4 - 2' [2x4]cuts w/ 45° cuts on each end / x2 - 44" [2x4] cuts / x1 - 52" [2x4] cut (see photo). You may have an extra 2' cut which you can save or like me, use for when you space out and mess up one of your 45° pieces. Many parts of this build can be modified, so think that through before diving in.

STEP 4: Bust out that drill/impact. Don't go standing anything up yet, get it all built while its on the ground. Build all four 2'x2'x2' triangular supports first. If you look carefully at the schematics, you will see that it shows you where to put the 3in screws to build the four parts that will makeup the two legs. A pencil can help you mark where the 45° pieces need to be. I thought this was the trickiest part and I needed a helping hand to hold things steady.

STEP 5: Attach the triangular supports to the 4x4 posts. This is where the four 8" ThruLOKs come in. Again, the schematics tell you where to put them. Try to put the bolts in as straight as possible and ensure supports are flush with the posts.

STEP 6: Flip the finished posts and attach the top four pieces. The two 44" cuts will go in at the top. Throw at least one woodscrew on each side of the 44" pieces. The 52" cut goes below the two 44" cuts. This piece is longer to facilitate a simple "pulley system". Last, use the four 6 1/4" ThruLOKs to fully affix the top section. (You may notice that my build has all different sizes. This is because hand cutting is exhausting and I didn't want to waste energy on something that was just aesthetic.)

STEP 7: Screw your last 2' piece to the backside of the top three pieces. If you used heaps of screws on the front side of the boards, this step may be unnecessary. 

STEP 8: Last checks before standing it up! You may want to drill holes for your T-nuts and install them now if your setup requires them (see photo on what not to do). I also recommend mounting your desired holds and hangboards at this time. Don't forget to attach your eyebolts for a pulley like setup. I happen to have pulleys but you don't need them for this to function. Offset the eyebolt a few inches to the right (from the middle of the bottom board) on your setup so you don't suffer from awkward pulling.

What not to do!

STEP 9: IT'S ALIIIIVE! Get a second pair of hands (social distance though!) to help you stand your brand new creation up. Crash pads/floor padding recommended. A ladder or chair will be clutch if you're shorter. I used my spare wood to build some feet on the inside.

BAM! Congrats on your new freestanding hangboard setup! To all my CityROCK homies, have fun getting fit and stay fabulous. :)

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