Tuesday, January 28, 2014

DIY Pitching Mound

We have two boys (7 and 11) and from the beginning of April until the end of July it's baseball 24-7 at our house.  By the end of the season the lawn is bare where the kids have setup their make shift pitching mound.  I decided to remedy that by building a wooden mound instead.  I wanted to build something large enough that the kids could grow into it, but still portable enough to move it now and then.  I also wanted to be able to use it inside during the winter in the basement.

Here's what I ended up building:

Materials list:

  • 3 - 2x6x10ft treated lumber
  • 1 - 2x6.x8ft treated lumber
  • 1 - 2x4x8ft treated lumber
  • 1 - 4x8x1/2 treated plywood
  • 1 - box 1 1/4" coated deck screens
  • 1 - box 3" coated deck screws
  • 1 - pitching rubber (Amazon)
  • 7 - 1/2" reversible foam mats 
  • 1 - tube foam adhesive
The dimensions of the mound are 84" x 42".  The end with the pitching rubber is the full width of a 2x6 (~5 1/2" ) and it tapers down to 2" at the bottom.  I choose that height because in little league the mound is 6" above home plate.  The flat section with the rubber is 22" inches wide before it begins to taper.

I cut away a section from the sides and back of each board to help reduce the weight and to also give the grass underneath the mound a chance to breathe.  It also makes it much easier to lift up if you need to move it.  I plan add some portable wheels eventually, but I'll worry about that this spring when it's time to move it :)

Here are a few more pictures from different angles:

You can see from the picture below that I set the bottom of the plywood 7/8" of an inch below the top of the 2x6's.  That way when I added the 1/2" foam it would be roughly flush with the top. The pitching rubber is 3/4" of an inch thick so it sits above the foam slightly.  I debated on adding an extra piece of wood below the rubber to raise it up a bit more, but I figured that the foam would compress some after use.

The reason that I used foam rubber tiles is because I had a bunch of them laying in my garage collecting dust.  I considered indoor/outdoor carpet, but I thought the kids would appreciate having a bit more cushion.  I also seriously consisted buying a cheap rubber stall mat, but the mat alone was close to 70 pounds.

He's an angle from the bottom and as you can see it's not very pretty. If I had had some extra 2x4's laying around I would have built a 1 1/2" continuous frame around the perimeter to support the plywood.  Instead I simply used the scrape pieces that I had left over from side and back cutouts. It seems to be plenty stable for the kids, so it worked out OK.  You can't tell from the pictures, but I also drilled some drainage holes at the bottom of the mound.

 Hopefully someone will find this useful.  We'll see you in Williamsport (go Coon Rapids Andover American Little League!)