How to Make a Pinch Block
You love crimps. You fold your thumb over your index finger whenever you get the chance. Your little mitts fit into pockets like two dirtbags in a sprinter van. But Lord help you as soon as your tiny paws have to pinch something. You eventually realize that pinch strength is an unavoidable necessity and decided to attack this weakness.
Then, as soon as you start regularly programming pinchy boulders into your climbing sessions — a global heath crisis strikes. Forced to stay out of the climbing gyms, the climbing community at large buys Tension completely out of portable pinch blocks. You proceed to check every other retailer to no avail. Pinch blocks were wiped out as fast as the toilet paper supply.
But not to worry, there is a solution. All you need is some scrap wood, some screws, and the determination to stop sucking at pinches so much.
This tutorial teaches you how to make yourself a set of pinch blocks: a wide one and a narrow one. Let’s get started.
Here is what you will need.
- 6″ chunks of 2×4″ lumber
(2 for the wide, 1 for the narrow)
- 3″ wood screws (4)
- 3.25″ eye screw (1 per block)
- Screw Driver
- Masking Tape/Clamp
- Sand paper
The wide pinch is two 2×4 chunks screwed together. The narrow is simply one chunk of a 2×4.
You can use scrap wood you have at your house. If you need to go to a hardware store, pick out a 2″x4″ piece of lumber. Then, have an associate cut it into chunks for you. We were informed that the minimum size per chunk is 6″ — but you can go down to 4″ or 5″ if you choose.
Step 1: Clamp two chunks together
I used masking tape. If you have a clamp, that works as well.
Step 2: Drill starter holes in the wood
Don’t want to split it when you put the screws in. I would get the sturdiest screws you can – these brass ones broke on me a couple of times.
Step 3: Put in the screws
You can use your power tools for this. I recommend hand tightening the screws down at the end so you don’t split the wood.
Step 4: Drill a Starter Hole and Insert the Eye Bolt
Drill a starter hole in the center of the block. You can then hand tighten the eye bolt into the middle of the block. Carrabiner can be used for assistance in hand-tightening if needed.
Step 5: Sand it Down
Climbing is hard enough on your hands. Don’t give yourself a pinch splinter.
Step 6: Add resistance and use your new pinch blocks to get stronger
And there you have it, a homemade set of pinch blocks that doesn’t break the bank. If you have any questions, please be sure to leave a comment below.
If you’d like to gain some insight into your strengths and weaknesses as a climber, check out my climbing theme song quiz! While it’s definitely a good time, it shines a light onto the aspects of your training and climbing that might be holding you back and keeping you in a plateau. And once you get your result, I’ll also send you some tips and tricks to help your training and climbing more effective and efficient!