Pinch Blocks For Climbing Training - How to Build Them



This is an easy 2 hour project to create pinch blocks with variable sizing.

This way you can tie weight to the cordelette and train pinch strength for your next project!

I opted for 5 pieces on each pinch block. This size works for me. Some of you may want 6 or 4 pieces.


This is the step by step:


Tools & Materials:


  • 3/4" Birch Plywood
  • Mob Grip Tape (available at skateboarding shops; make sure to get the fine coarse for your skin)
  • Cordelette
  • Razor / Utility Knife
  • Drill
    • Dril Bits: one the size of your cordelette and a smaller one
  • Sandpaper Block
  • Tape Measure
  • Lighter
  • Pencil
  • Working surface
  • Saw and Gloves (optional)


Part 1: Cutting and Griptaping the Pieces


  • You'll want to cut 10 times 5" by 5 " pieces from your birch plywood.
    • If you ask the folks at Home Depot nicely they might cut these down for you since they don't normaly cut this size. If you're like me and don't have a saw, this'll help you not having to get one.
  • Once you have your 10 pieces, you'll want to sand down the edges a bit to clean up them up.
    • Gloves are nice for this part.



  • The Mob Griptape is 10" wide, making things easier.
  • You'll cut down 5" by 5" squares and apply them to the pieces.
  • NOTE: with 5 pieces, you'll want your middle piece to have griptape on both sides!
    • Your 4 other pieces only need griptape on one side: the side facing outward.
      • (See pics below for visualization)
  • You may experience having griptape go over the edge of your pieces.
    • Use the dull side of the razor to help fold the extra tape over, and then cut it off.
    • Sandpaper the edge down one more time to smooth it out.




Part 2: Drilling Holes and Tying it all Together


  • Use your tape measure to mark a drill location on 1 of your pieces.
    • I picked dead-center at 2.5" and 1" from the edge.
  • Drill a hole into this piece.
  • NOTE: This part is tricky to explain. Essentially you don't want your holes to be offset. So you use the first piece to guide the hole location on the other pieces.
  • Switch your drill bit to the smaller one.
  • You'll line up the first piece with another block (one on top of the other) and make small "guiding holes" going through the first hole down onto the new piece.
    • You'll repeat this process to have "guiding" holes on the 9 other pieces.
  • Switch back to the larger drill bit and make cordelette-sized holes on all 9 other pieces.
  • You should now have 10 pieces whose holes align about the same and you can make two groupings of 5.
    • If you double-griped 2 pieces on both sides, make sure to have one of these in each grouping.


  • Use your pencil to flush out the scraps from the holes.
  • Sand the pieces down a bit.
  • Cut equal length cordelettes, burn the ends, and run them through each grouping.
    • Tie with your choice of knot! I used a double fisherman's.
    • Remember to have the griptape facing outward.


You're all set! Have fun training and crushing your project!




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