There are a few basic issues about backyard pitching mounds which must be initially considered. The first being, buying a pre-made portable pitching mound is expense, $700 to $1500 + depending on quality and accessories, secondly, to actually build a dirt pitching mound is an enormous amount of work, cost and should probably be undertaken only by a skilled professional due to the slope requirement.
Great, all I wanted was a pitching mound in my back yard which I could practice throwing off and you’re telling me I need a ton of money to do it. Oh contraire my friend. If you have moderate building skills, I’m going to show you how to build a perfect practice pitching mound for a mere $200 or less if you have spare lumber around the house.
Finished Size 4′ wide – 8′ long with 2′ top and 6′ downward slope.
1. 5 – 2″ x 10″ x 8′
2. 1 – 2″ x 4″ x 8′
3. 1 sheet – 4′ x 8′ Plywood ** There are two factors to consider when buying the plywood, ¾” plywood is much stronger and stiffer than ½” plywood, negating any softness in the platform, but it’s also much heavier and more costly.
4. 1 – 4′ x 8′ piece of Astroturf and contact cement.
Place your tape measure on the end of one 2″ x 10″ x 8′ and measure down 2′ and make a pencil mark.
Beginning at this 2′ mark, which is the edge of your platform base, (top of the pitching mound) begin your marking for your down slope by measuring down 1′ – then measure down 1″, another foot and measure 2″ down, another foot and 3″ down until reaching the end of the board.
Using a chalk line, hold it at the 2′ mark and extend to the bottom, snap a line and it’ll mark the downward slope of the pitching mound, which is 1″ drop for every foot of slope. Using a power saw, carefully cut along this line, which will give you a template to produce 4 identical 2″ x 10″ pieces.
Lay the 4 stringers out equally spaced apart. Attach a 2″ x 10″ x 4′ to the back of each stringer. Attach a 2″ x 4″ x 4′ to the front of the stringers. I’d advise cutting 2″ x 4″ or 2″ x 10″ pieces and attach them in between the stringers at the beginning of the mound’s downward slope. You’ll have extra wood from the bracing.
Cut a 2′ x 4′ piece of plywood and attach it to the mound’s flat area. Use the remaining plywood to cover the slope. Use at least ½” screws placed every 4″ apart to secure the plywood to the framing, you don’t want any wobbling.
Cover top area with contact cement and attach 2’x4′ piece of Astroturf. Repeat for the slope using remaining Astroturf and contact cement.
*** You can try to attach Astroturf as one piece, but it’s quite difficult to transcend the flat to slope without cutting it.
*** The finished pitching mound will be very heavy, it’s suggested you place it where you want it before attaching the plywood.
*** You can install a pitching rubber or a piece of wood simulating a pitching rubber for better accuracy of foot placement, with screws.
This mound, although possibly crude looking in comparison to a $1500 pre-made mound, fulfills every requirement needed to practice throwing off a pitching mound, which is totally different from throwing on a flat surface, and for a possible ZERO cost.