How To Drill a Rock Climbing Wall Panel For T-Nuts

How To Drill a Rock Climbing Wall Panel For T-Nuts


If you're drilling multiple wood panels for T-nuts, you can save time by stacking the panels and drilling them all at once.

Before drilling, clamp the panels together and prop them up off the ground. We used a wood pallet so that when we penetrated the last panel, the bit would, at worst, drill into the pallet. You do want to avoid the bit hitting the ground below.

Use a drill bit long enough to go through all the panels and a small block of wood around 4" long.

The block we use is a piece of 2 x 4 cut square on a chop saw. We then drilled a 7/16" hole in the center of the block. See the image below. 

7/16" is the size for most T-nuts; however, industrial T-nuts require a 1/2" hole. We used a 12" long general-purpose bit when drilling multiple panels. A spaded bit works for drilling one panel at a time; however, the general-purpose bit works best with the jig for drilling multiple panels.

Mark the spots where you want your T-nuts. In the video example, there are 8 rows of T-nuts across and 16 rows down for 128 T-nuts per panel.

Quality Control Tip: Always orient your panels so that the front of the panel is face up. When drilling, the pressure applied to the drill/drill bit blows out the back of the hole as the drill bit passes through the material. Steady even pressure is ideal, as it will lessen this. However, it is quite difficult to avoid blowouts. So, keep the blowouts on the back side, where the t-nuts get installed.

Follow How To Install a T-Nut for the nest steps.