View Full Version : Homemade pull up bar questions

Jonathan Vechet
09-23-2010, 07:43 PM
So I just made a set of paralettes in accordance with a CrossFit Journal article by Coach Glassman, and I am now looking forward to building my own pull up bar. I do, however, have some questions concerning the approach, and was hoping to find some guidance here.

First off, is whether to go for a standing system or a wall/ceiling mounted one. I live in an apartment and would like to avoid drilling holes in the wall and/or ceiling, but am not completely against the notion.

My concern with the ceiling mounted option is that my ceiling, and two of my walls, are concrete. Most of the wall/ceiling pull up bars I've seen have been attached to wood, and I worry about hanging, and kipping, from a bar hanging from a concrete ceiling; and I also plan on using a weight vest, eventually bringing the total weight to be supported to 300+lbs. I found some anchors at the hardware store that claim to support 800-1000lbs in solid concrete; Alligator is the brand I believe. I'm curious if anyone has any experience with a concrete mounted system; how it holds up to weight over time, and if kipping does anything to loosen to mounts.

Now the standing system: My biggest concern with this route is the stability of the system; mainly with the motion of kipping. Would stablizing it with added weight on the base help? If so, how much?

I also plan to hang rings from whichever system I choose to go with, if that helps any.

I also have looked around at buying one, but none satisfy me completely. The adjustable one that I've seen on Mark's Daily Apple, and elsewhere, peaked my interest, but I ultimately declinded it based on price, and the fact that it only goes up to 7ft; I want to be able to hang freely and am right at 6ft tall.

I have 8ft of height to play with while still being able to pull my head over the bar and not hit the ceiling.

If I'm leaving out any relevant information please let me know, and any help would be greatly appreciated.

Luis Fernandez
09-24-2010, 08:57 AM
I would not trust plastic anchors.
"Expandable" concrete studs are the way to go.
Don't know how these are called in English so I could only google a page in Spanish.
On the link, look at the picture of the "TAQUETE EXPANSOR TIPO Z".
http://www.celta.com.mx/taquetes.html (wfs)
The smallest of this type of anchor uses a 1/4 screw and requires a 1/2" hole by approx 3" deep.
There are other type of concrete anchors (also expandable and made from metal) that work with 2" deep holes or less (in case you are drilling into cinder blocks and not solid concrete walls or similar).
If you are using 3/4 galvanized steel pipe and floor flanges two of these anchors per flange is more than enough.
Considering you want to kip with 300# load you will need to anchor to both the ceiling and a wall, or wall to wall in a hallway.

Jonathan Vechet
09-24-2010, 04:55 PM
Man, I wish I didn't fail Spanish several times. But I know what you're getting at.

Expandable anchors as opposed to nonexpandable/plastic anchors, correct?

And does it make a big difference as to the type of flange in terms of support, or just go with what fits?

And I don't really want to kip with a 300lbs load, so to speak. I weigh approximately 180lbs, and want to eventually work my up to doing pull ups with 100+lbs, preferably on a vest. Those pull ups would be more for strength building, rather than a metcon, as would be for the kipping.

And I know that pressure, or something, is increased when you start pulling as oppose to just hanging, which is why I want something rated to support a lot more than 300lbs.

I suppose more consulting with the hardware store people may help me come to a decision. Thanks for a helping hand.

Luis Fernandez
09-27-2010, 07:41 AM
Correct. You could start with the easier to install plastic anchors you mentioned in your post.
If you notice they start to fail / move, then you can "upgrade" to metal anchors.
If you do so, then you could use the holes drilled for the plastic anchors as pilot holes for the wider metal anchors.

About the flanges. Here is a link for a 1 tube flange. These are also available for pipe.
http://www.hardwareandtools.com/Mueller-521-605HC-1-Inch-Black-Pipe-Floor-Flange-u449275.html (wfs)

Chris Lee
09-27-2010, 08:49 PM

You are very lucky that you have a concrete wall and ceiling as that is extremely easy to anchor. Though either the holes or the anchor system is permanent. In construction alot of your stud walls are connected to the concrete slabs using Simpson Strong Tie's and you can probably choose a fastener here http://www.simpsonanchors.com/catalog/mechanical/index.html. Just a note though that the weight you are talking about 300 lbs roughly is a static load and while kipping you may generate 1000lbs of force from the acceleration you create as you swing. Either way choose a heavy duty anchor and try it out. Only probably need the anchor system, hammer drill, galvanized piping with two 90 degree bends and your good to go.


Jonathan Vechet
09-28-2010, 05:09 PM
Thanks a lot Chris and Luis.

And I think there has been a misunderstanding. I do not plan on kipping with a 300lbs total weight, I plan to gradually build up strength to that weight doing strict pull ups. The kipping would be reserved for a lower added weight, or none at all, while doing a metcon.

Again I appreciate the help, and hopefully will have a fully functional pull up bar by the end of this weekend.