Thursday, May 5, 2016

Portable Training Tripod

The Training Tripod is a portable stand for making a workout station for hangboards, hanging portable climbing holds, or other training devices. The idea was adapted from Tom Linder's original idea over on Training Beta's Blog. We have used it at climbing festivals to showcase our training products and allow people to try them, as well as running dead-hang comps as a fund raiser for the American Alpine Club.

The main differences between mine and Tom's are that it collapses to 5' for travel and has the wooden triangle hanger which provides three sides from which to hang training devices. It also helps set the correct leg spacing each time the tripod is set up. I suggest that your read his description first on how to create the Training Tripod and then decide if you'd like to make the collapsible version with 3 training stations.

The tripod is made out of 10' section of 1.5" diameter conduit pipe. Each leg is cut in half and a 3/16" wall 1.5" i.d. x 6" long aluminum pipes epoxied to one end of each of the legs. This provides a slip-fit joint which is held in place by gravity when assemble and makes setting up and taking down a snap. I tried originally using 1.5" conduit joints but they were too short and the fit too sloppy to provide a decent joint. I obtained the aluminum pipe from a friend's machine shop.

The top joint is held together by 3/8" carriage bolt, several washers, a lock washer, and a wing nut. The holes drilled are 1/2" to allow a bit of play which makes it easier to set up and adjust. The measurements for drilling the holes are: Middle tube - both holes are 2/14" from the end.
Side tubes - one hole is 2 1/4" from the end; the other is 2 3/4" from the end.

The stops for the wooden tripod to rest on are 3/8" x 3 1/2" carriage bolts with washers and a lock nut. The holes for them are drilled 26" from the end of the top half of each tripod leg. However, this is totally dependent upon how high you want the wooden triangle to be mounted. I suggest making and setting up the basic tripod without the wooden triangle so you can determine how high up off the ground you want it, then drill the holes accordingly for each leg.

The wooden tripod is made out of 2x4 lumber measured and cut to fit once the tripod is set up and the desired angle achieved. Make sure before making the measurement for the wooden triangle that each leg of the tripod are equal distance from each other. Each leg of the wooden triangle is approximately 23" except for one leg that was left longer so that a weight reduction pulley system could eventually be mounted which is 30" long. This was cut longer so the suspended weight would not interfere with the climber. Each angled end is cut at 60 degrees.

This was the trickiest part to make because the length of each leg will determine what angle the assembled tripod sits at. Measure twice (or three times) and cut once! The desired angle between each of the wooden braces is 60 degrees to form an equilateral triangle.

The wooden triangle mount is held together with 2 #10 3-1/2"wood screws in each end and then 3-1/8-in x 7-in nail plates and mending plates.

The Training Tripod could easily be created without this part as Lindner did if you intend to only mount one item at a time such as a hangboard. This would make construction significantly easier. See his description for how they mounted a hangboard that was easy to swap out for other training boards. We decided to use the wooden triangle mount so that we could use the tripod for climbing festivals to display and use three products at once and have multiple people using them.

We added J-bolts drilled through the width of each leg of the wooden triangle so that they were free to pivot into place and "hook" the bolts on the tripod leg that it rests on. This "locks" it into place so that when in use the triangle won't move or be flipped up by weighting the opposite side. Each side of the wooden mounting triangle had had one J-bolt corresponding to the tripod bolt that it was resting on.

1/2" holes for ground stakes - optional if you're going to use the tripod on a lawn or in the dirt.  This will keep keep the tripod from shifting around. Use a solid spike or tent peg.

Assembled tripod with weight reduction pulleys temporarily hung with accessory cord.  Eye bolts will be added later to make a permanent mount for the pulleys.

The tripod with Crack Rack, Pocket Rocks, and Gstrings hung and ready to use. The Crack Rack is mounted to a 2x10 backing board that has two 3/8" open-eye lag screws so that it can be quickly hung or removed from 3/8" bolts in the wooden triangle. The bottom of the 2x10 was shaved off at an angle so the board would sit vertically when hung. The same mounting system could be used for a hang board or board with climbing holds mounted to it.

Additional thoughts and ideas:

If you are going to use the tripod on cement or asphalt, it might be worthwhile considering putting 1/4" bolts through the bottom of each leg and then connecting it with vinyl coated braided wire. This would also help in setting it up by setting the correct distance that the legs are able to spread and thus the correct angles for the tripod. I would also consider cutting the ends of the legs so that they would sit flush on the ground.

I've toyed with the idea of eliminating one of the legs and substituting a pair of 2x10s spaced by 3/8' bolts to make an adjustable crack. I'd have to eliminate the wood triangle and figure out another way to mount the products. This would add versatility but would definitely increase the hassle in moving and transporting. For portable crack training it's much easier to use our prototype Crack Rack so we'll probably will not go this route.

Stay tuned - we'll also be publishing some plans for how to make your own simplified version of the Crack Rack called the Squeeze Box. It is relatively simple to make based on using a pair of wood clamps, is easily adjustable and can be hung most anywhere.


  1. Replies
    1. Sorry, it is just a do-it-yourself project. If you don't have the few tools or necessary skills, hopefully you can find someone who can help. It's really a pretty simple project. It's even simpler if you leave off the wood triangle and make it similar to the original model that is linked in the beginning of the article.

  2. Have you or anyone else tried this with smaller diameter conduit? Considering no wooden triangle, so only (1) 150 lb person at a time?

  3. Can you elaborate on the aluminum pipe joints? Have had trouble locating this material. Worried that the conduit will rust if I have to transport it on top of the vehicle.