Building a wall... (what materials?)

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by Eph, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. Eph

    Eph Professional

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    My local park's tennis wall is basically shot (there's a hole from either A) a soccer ball or B) a baseball bat every 3 feet or so) so I figured I'd build my own in my oversized driveway.

    I'm guessing plywood wouldn't be the right type of wood to use, right? Too skinny? What would I need to do to build a durable, decent wall, where I can practice groundstrokes on?
     
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  2. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    Well. Ideally, you would have plywood on a solid wood platform. Plywood to keep it as flat as you can. And the solid wood, probably 2x4's side by side behind every inch of the plywood, for the mass to withstand impact and allow the ball to come back at a decent speed.

    So, let's see. If you separate the wood support on the back, you may have weak spots where the ball doesn't come back as fast, and hard spots (where the 2x4 is) where the ball comes back faster.

    Also, if the wall isn't secured to the ground properly, it will keep the ball from maintaining it's bounce and slow it down.

    Now, you may be able to get away with spaced 2x4s with two, maybe three, layers of plywood attached. This is how I would go about it. Then, depending on how you have the wall arranged in your driveway, I'd have a few supports slanted off the back and anchored into the ground somehow.


    EDIT: Actually, the ideal solution is a concrete wall.
     
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  3. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

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    I would agree with YU on the concrete wall, but Im not sure the cost involved in building such a thing.

    If I were to bulid a wooden wall this is how I would go about it.

    Dimension wise I would start with a 12 foot wide wall and would use 4x4's for my vertical posts and space them every 12 inches. I would need 13 posts for a 12 foot wide wall. At a little under 15 bucks a piece here in MD for pressure treated 12 foot long 4x4's just estimate 200 bucks for the posts. I dig holes and bury the the posts at least 3 foot deep. at 3ft deep it should be sturdy enough with the sakcrete (3 bucks a bag) to give you a 9 foot high wall.

    i would then mount 12 foot long 2x12's (need 8 for a 8 ft wall) horizontally. at 20 bucks say 180 for 9 2x12's. if the posts are 9 foot you can leave the bottom fott open or use another 2x12 to close it in. I would just use a board ont the bottom so the balls wouldnt go through. although I wouldnt worry about plywood covering the bottom foot of the board.

    then i would mount 3/4 inch plywood (sheets are 4ftx8ft) sing alot of wood glue and 3 inch long screws (minumum) to penetrate into the 4x4 posts. 3/4 inch plywood is about 50 a sheet so 150 bucks for plywood. before i did anything I would probably cover the posts and 2x12's with truck bedliner (that stuff is just about indestucable) or at least get some weather proofing treatment and a few good coats of exterior paint.

    This wall would be practically invincable and could easily survive a hurricane :)

    to sum up costs of materials for a 12 foot wide 9 ft high wall using the upper 8 ft of wall as hitting surface and bottom foot open (or closed) these are estimated prices based on lumber costs in 21028 zip code

    qty 13: 4x4x12's = $170
    qty 9 : 2x12x12's = $180
    qty 3 : 3/4 ply = $150
    qty 13 : sakcrete = $39 (1 bag per post is probably overkill but better to haveto much than too little)
    qty 1 : gallon wood weather proofing $30
    qty 1 : gallon exterior primer and sealer $20
    qty 2 : gallon exterior paint flat base $46
    qty 4 : liquid nails heavty duty construction adhesive $20
    qty 1 : caulk gun for liquid nails $5
    qty 2 : 1lb box 4 inch exterior wood screw $16

    total for all that is about 680 bucks, but trust me that wall would not move for a lifetime and as long as you kept it clean and applied a new coat of paint every couple years it would last.

    or you could say screw the effort and drop a couple grand on one of these

    Fiberglass tennis backboard
     
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  4. Eph

    Eph Professional

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    Thank you both. I didn't realise how involved this would be.

    Considering the cost of labor, I think the fiberglass board isn't a bad idea.

    And maybe I'll go to the City and ask them to buy one. You should see the condition of the wall (I wasn't joking about the holes, and where there aren't holes, the wood is warped). I guess I have to go to a city planning meeting. The tennis courts aren't any better (uneven surfaces, cracks throughout, grass/weeds growing around the fence).

    They take care of the basketball courts, but not tennis. I wonder if they are waiting for somebody to get hurt and sue them to fix?

    Would I need to go to the City planning meetings to ask them to fix this?
     
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  5. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

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    I have seen plenty of walls like all decrepit as well as courts. There used to be a nice pair of courts on top of a hill with a great view of the chesapeke bay. We used to play on them all the time until after one winter the San Andreas fault decided to rip across both courts. The City decided they didnt need courts there and just tore them out.

    I would say attend a city planning meeting it wouldnt hurt. Sometimes just presenting the issue may be enough for them to allocate some funds that way. My guess is they dont see anyone on the courts so they dont feel they should waste the money on something no body will use. but chances are the courts are so bad nobody wants to use them :)
     
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  6. Eph

    Eph Professional

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    The problem is my town says it is poor, but it's really just run by neo-cons. Across the street is the YMCA and the town owns some of the land. On the land owned by the town, there is a broken down shack that used to be used for snacks when those fields were used for little league. It now has splinters everywhere, there are holes in the floor, etc, etc. The YMCA told the town it would pay to build a nice building there (they use those fields for activities for the kids in the summer), and the town said "no".

    They keep the basketball courts maintained, but don't do a thing about tennis. There are usually 3-4 people there a day who play when their kids are doing soccer. I'm guessing they'll just say go to the brand new courts built by the school district - but they have no wall, either, and they are still somewhat "private" and have no lights.
     
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  7. Loco4Tennis

    Loco4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    the highschool courts near me are made out of wood material, plywood like you mentioned, i''ll go hit today and i'll bring my camera with me, i'll post pitures latter on tonight as to how it looks, they have the back exposed so it should be easy to see
     
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  8. Loco4Tennis

    Loco4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    sorry for the delay, rain out yesterday finaly made it to the courts today
    here are some pics, hope they help
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Imaster

    Imaster New User

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    Guys, what is the recommended height of the painted net line, 3' like the center or the 3'6" like the sides of an actual net?
     
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