Any ideas for a Simple Safe Hangar that can be stored easily?

Our first main goal (Beyond an effective drivetrain) this year is to be able to build a reliable climber. We have a few designs that we are working on. The first goal is to be able to climb to the low and mid rungs, but our stretch goals (pun intended?) involve the high and traversal rungs.

We think we are doing well with designing our mechanisms, but by the end of next week, we are going to want to begin testing them. However, our mechanical resources are limited (I know little about structural engineering). We do have some parents who have offered to build something for us, but our storage space is small and we do not have any place to set it up where we could leave a full hangar assembled. we do not want to ask them to build something that will rarely get used because it takes to much time to set up and tear down.

So, I wonder what thoughts do people have for creating hangars that can be quickly disassembled and stored taking up a relatively small footprint?

Some thoughts I have may be…

  1. Building two of the minimal rigs, but build them taller, then we can move them to go from mid to high and so on.
  2. Shore up the old 2020 game element (removing the first piece of plywood) and run pipes between them. ← We do have one of these, but we took the frames apart. We are left with the top goal assembly (assembled), and the two framing pieces (essentially over-built theatre flats) which are currently independent and against a wall in our closet. The construction is probably not up to the task, and it may be more work to shore them up than starting over.
  3. Purchase a few ladders (4?) and clamp our pipes to them (Also moving them from place to place as we go up the rungs).
  4. Bite the bullet and purchase some cheap truss, possibly something like this…

Does anyone have any other thoughts?

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Is there a sturdy wall (maybe concrete block, definitely not drywall) you can lean something up against? I am thinking of an oversized ladder leaned against a wall.

May be able to do some low energy climbs (i.e. not wildly swinging around) by carefully cutting the appropriate angles on some 16’ 2x6s, drill holes (or add blocks) for a piece or two of Iron pipe to climb on, then weigh the ends down with some plywood “feet” (attached to the 2x6s) and a few 40lb cement blocks or tubes of sand. Finally have some vertical 2x4s to hold up the ends against the wall and have a cross piece 2x4 (or two) to add some extra strength and keep things lined up.

The wall is just thee to keep everything steady.

At the very least you would have close to correct geometry for the bar(s).

Then to store it you have 2 large triangle shapes (that will fit against a wall) and a few screws to pull out.

Maybe something like this?


I will have to look at the space, but that is an incredible idea. We have concrete walls, but I am not sure they are unobstructed.

My thought was to build a frame of 6@2x12s and 2@1x12s (or maybe a bit smaller), with the 2x12s being the uprights and top joists, those being bolted together. The 1x12’s would be crossbars (parallel to the rungs), screwed into the top of the joists at the far ends to keep things square. The top joists would be sloped at 32.6^{\circ} (tan^{-1}({15\frac{3}{8}/24})) rather than horizontal. The mid, high, and traverse rungs would pass through holes drilled centered about an inch below the top of the diagonal joists, and be secured with lag screws or similar through holes drilled in the rungs. The low bar would be secured to the short uprights with 1-1/4" pipe hangers. How far you took this apart would depend on how much room you have for storage, but completely disassembled it should fit in a box 12’ x 12" x 12". (This would also be a great way to travel for demos post-season, as it would fit on an SUV roof rack!) Oh yes, if you need LAUNCH PADs for some reason, they can just be a couple bits of 1x12. I’m confident that with a bit of planning and practice, two people of normal height can assemble and disassemble this in about 15 minutes each way. If you want to plan for weak flooring, add some footer pads.

(OBTW, this borrows heavily from similar structures I designed for 2013 and 2017 travel climbers. Only the 2017 one got built, but I put the whole demo apart from students - climbing arbor, feeder station, scoring peg, robot, batteries, and driver station in and on my Saturn VUE plenty of times.)

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We were able to build a minimal one with bits scavenged from our 2020 climb thing. If you unscrew the top board it comes apart and stores away flat.


This is excellent. It is similar to what @GeeTwo mentioned. I was literally Cadding that idea this morning.

Do you have any footers or are the 4x4s just directly on the floor?

Is it stable to move from rung to rung?

Thank you all for your responses. I think we will implement one of these 3 designs.

Yes, there is a 1’ x1’ (approx) plywood foot on each post as well as an (out of frame) diagonal 2x4 between the 4x4’s. It is stable enough for me (well heavier than any robot) to monkey from bar to bar, but we will still probably have a person standing outside each leg just in case, at least for our first real goes at climbing.

A good part of the side-to-side stability comes from the tightness of the fit between the 2x8’s and the pipes (I bought a new just big enough Forstner bit for this reason).

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Thank you again for this. It is an excellent idea. How thick is the plywood?

Just some 1/2” we happened to have in the pile.

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So, I have been a bit busy, but I did do a Crayola CAD of these other two options. I made the one @GeeTwo designed full-sized, but it could be minimized easily.

I did include the 4’4 bar on the one @john3928 designed. I forgot the top spanner, and used the 2X6 instead of 2X8 as I think that may work as well, yes? I also put the side supports all the way up as I could not really figure out where they ran.

These are excellent. Both are potentials. I think we will use one of them. @Skyehawk I love your design as well, but I think free-standing will be better for us.

Here is the onshape doc.

Thanks, everyone. Please let me know if I missed anything. Oh, and I think if it still works structurally, if one set of uprights is on the inside, and the other is on the outside when the poles are gone, if the bolts are loosened, each side may be able to fold up (I would double up the bolts to ensure this does not happen when we are climbing of course).


All good! You know your space best and we’re just a think-tank to get you to a solution :slight_smile: .

I would make sure you have some sort of diagonal crossbar on both of these to keep the whole structure from racking. Just a few screws to pull in order to store it.

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Thanks where do you think the diagonal bar should go? Accross the top or back?

Probably across the back.

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