If you’ve visited a friend or teammate and found out they have a portable baseball mound, you must have thought “Well, this is a great idea and I should have one like this.” You are right. Portable baseball mounds are becoming increasingly popular among beginners as well as pro baseball players. What’s even better is that you don’t have to spend so much to own your personal portable baseball mound.
Yes, you can build your own portable pitching mound. And there are several reasons why many informed baseball players are choosing this option as explained in the next section.
Why Opt for a Portable Pitching Mound
You might be experiencing a scarcity of baseball field with pitching mounds in your town scarcity. This is not a new challenge. Most cities and towns are experiencing the same problem. The reasons for this scarcity are many and varied but two will suffice to explain why you might be facing this challenge in your locality.
The first and most important reason is that baseball pitching mounds are expensive to buy. Not many field owners want to bear the cost of buying these vital parts of the baseball field. And of course, you know playing baseball without the right kind of pitching mound is an uphill task.
The other reason is that maintaining a baseball pitching mound is more difficult than you might think. Perhaps the pitcher’s mound is the one area on a baseball field that deserves more attention than all the other areas. Think of the daily maintenance demands meant to keep the mound in a good and safe playing condition.
You’ll have to sweep any loose dirt and debris from holes and worn areas in addition to dampening the hole and adding new clay and raking the mound. All these require time and effort. And the bad thing is that unless you have a portable mound you’ll only be able to play from that specific field. These are just some of the reasons why there are few baseball fields that have high-quality pitcher’s mounds.
While it’s true the market has hundreds, if not thousands of these mounds that you can choose from, you might not have the budget to get the best of them. What even complicates matters is that these pre-made portable mounds are not made with your exact specifications in mind. Instead you have to be contented with the whims and expectations of the manufacturers.
To avoid all these some people opt to make their own portable pitcher’s mound.
Why You Should Build a Portable Pitcher’s Mound
The benefits of doing this are compelling. For one, these things are portable so if you live in area with many fields but limited pitching mounds you’ll increase possibility of playing your favorite game from any field. What’ you’ll just need to do is carry your portable mound to any available field and enjoy your practice sessions or entire games from there.
For almost a similar reason, portable pitcher’s mounds make it possible to host several games in a single baseball field in a single day. These multiple mounds cater for the needs and exact mound dimensions of several leagues at the same time.
With a DIY portable pitcher’s mound you can customize it your unique circumstances. For instance you can easily build it according to specific height or taper. On the same note, you can also customize it to cater for any age group. This fact means your DIY pitcher’s mound will take care of the league you have in mind.
Unlike the fixed and pre-made versions of pitcher’s mounds, a DIY portable mound has a very low maintenance cost. This is a big reason why many baseball players are opting for this easy-to-make and cheap-to-maintain pitcher’s mounds.
With your portable pitching mound you can use for practice or play in both indoor and outdoor games. When used indoor like in an indoor batting cage or an indoor gym, this mound can help you and other pitchers improve your pitching skills irrespective of the weather.
Challenges of Building a Portable Pitching Mound
Of course, just like everything else, constructing a portable pitcher’s mound is not everyone’s walk in the park. Some skills are expected if you have to do a decent job. Yes, you are baseball enthusiast but that does not make you an engineer. However some elementary skills in home-based engineering are necessary. So if you are the kind that keeps hitting your fingers with the hammer, this feat might be a bit of a challenge.
Other than the skills, you need to have the right tools for this task. You need a hammer, a hand saw. A carpenter’s square and carpenter’s level among other important tools.
Getting the correct height and distance for accurate pitching can be another challenge that you might encounter. However, with the help of a laser and transit you can easily overcome this and construct a good portable pitcher’s mound.
Simple Steps of Constructing a Portable Pitching Mound
With the facts highlighted above, it’s obvious constructing a pitcher’s mound is not rocket science. It’s true you’ll have to overcome the few challenges highlighted earlier but the benefits outweigh the challenges. Follow the following easy steps and soon you’ll be the proud owner of a well-made standardized pitching mound.
And just for clarification, a standard pitching mound’s height is 10 feet. Two of these feet are the level section while 6 feet are the slope section.
Step 1- Assemble your raw materials and tools for the job
These raw materials include an 8-foot ply wood, ribbed nails, pitcher’s rubber and two small wheels. The tools include a hammer, a hand saw, carpenter’s square and carpenter’s level.
Step 2- Cut the ply wood to the right sizes
Slice one ply wood into a 2 X 6-foot section and the other one into a 10 X 6-foot section.
Step 3- Draw your sketch marks on the sliced pieces
Mark the opposite ends of your 10-foot ply into 2-foot sections. This means you have a 2-foot section on the upward facing side and 2-foot section on the down looking side at the other end of the plywood.
After that, draw a diagonal-like line linking the two-opposite-facing sections such that the line leaves out two-foot sections on both ends of the plywood.
Step 4- Cut the plywood according to the line you just made
Step 5- Make the plateau
After cutting the plywood as shown in step 4 you end up with four pieces. Join the four pieces together with the 2-foot sections to make a downward slope. With this now, you have the framework of your pitching mound.
Step 6- Decking
Align the 6-foot plywood on top of the frame you’ve just constructed and nail them together using ribbed nails.
Step 7- Pitch the rubber
You can easily buy pitching rubber from an online store or any offline store near you. Make sure the rubber has the right nails on its edges rather than on the bottom. This makes it easier for you to use the bolts on the rubber.
Step 8- Surface the pitching mound
It’s time to give your mound its surface. You can do this by using a carpet or by just simply painting the surface green.
Step 9- Attach the wheels
You definitely want a portable pitcher’s mound so the easier it is to wheel around the better it is for everyone. That’s why the final step is attaching the two wheels by bolting them onto the mound’s frame. Certainly this gives your new mound easier mobility.
Do You Buy a New Pitcher’s Mound or Do You Build Your Own?
Now you have two options when it comes to having a portable pitching mound. So, which method do you use?
Well. If you have some measure of passion in craftsmanship, it would be wiser to construct your own mound. Such a mound will add to your joy and satisfaction every time you play the game using a mound that you’ve proudly constructed.
As mentioned earlier, building your own mound is far cheaper than buying one. What’s even better is that you can customize your portable pitcher’s mound to your preferred specifications.
On the other hand, if basic construction skills are not your thing, building such a mound can be quite a challenge. However, if you feel you are up to the task, then building your own portable pitching mound is the way to go.
With this portable mound you’ll not only escalate the number and quality of your practice sessions but also end up playing more fruitful baseball games this season.
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