Sunday, March 9, 2014

Stress-Testing for Fun and Relaxation

This weekend, a new milestone was reached in the construction of Kuraimu v4- an adult human being hung on the wall and didn't die. Multiple adult humans, actually! Not only that, but nobody sustained grievous bodily harm and the wall didn't break. Things are looking up!

Pictured: Me, alive

It all started when I invited my dear friends and climbing buddies over for a pleasant lunch breakfast-y burrito-things. If it doesn't taste good, I always say, just add more sriracha.

No, it doesn't include the honey.

Once I had my guests fed I sprang my trap: T-nuts, and lots of them. 

Pictured: T-nuts and Element Formula K-2
holds, aka bugs

Just like that, I had a work party going, making good progress on the 200+ T-nut installations I still have to do. Between the three of us, we finished at least fifty of the little buggers, along with a good number of beers. We eventually called it a day and turned to focusing solely on beer, but that didn't last.


We had a big, structurally-complete segment of climbing wall lying around. Our eyes kept returning to it. The framework that eventually hold the wall sections up hasn't been built yet, so I hadn't planned on doing much with the wall other than getting it ready... but we soon decided to have a test. If the wall itself wasn't strong enough to hold up climbers, we reasoned, wouldn't it be better to know now, when reinforcing would be easier? When you've made a decision, it becomes easy to justify.

So we hoisted the wall up against the, uh, wall. The wall of the house. We did so in a controlled and thought-out manner.

I didn't make this face for the camera.

Functional Stength

And then we had a wall, propped up in a very secure and not-at-all life-threatening manner.

Note the highly technical support 2x4 wedged
against the bottom

So now the critical moment came... would the wall hold? Or would there be a cracking noise and a visit to the hospital? This thing weighs well over 200 pounds, a thought that was at the forefront of my mind as I got into position. And...

Yes, I know I already used this picture.

Success! I was able to get all my weight onto one hold, with a minimum of flexing. The wall felt surprisingly stable. I had my (taller, heavier) friend get on after me.

"I'm scared"

I'm now going forward with a great deal of confidence, knowing that this thing is capable of staying rigid. More testing will have to take place, of course, but for now I'm thrilled with this weekend's experimenting.

Stay tuned!

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