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Old 04-19-2014, 09:27 PM   #1
David Meverden
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DIY Farmers Walk Handles for $42? Yup!

Hey guys, I just designed and built some farmers walk handles on the cheap for my home gym and figured some of you would be interested. Used them today with 180# of plates on each for a total load of 200# per hand and they worked great! Let me know what you think and if you have any questions or want more photos of the construction process.

Design criteria:
-Cheap
-Sturdy
-Narrow profile so they don't bang my legs
-Plates load on vertical post for easy loading
-No exotic tools or welding necessary for construction

Supplies and Construction
Supplies for these cost $42 plus tax (nearly half of which was the two 18" galv steel pieces used for handles. Probably could have found better price for those) and included everything but the 2x4 and 1x6 bits at the end and a few screws (had that stuff lying around which saved me 5 bucks).

My key design feature that solved various challenges was the use of a threaded rod. A 3/8 inch steel threaded rod ($5 for 6',working load 1600 lbs) runs through the pipe handle, through the 9" tall vertical 4x4 piece, to underneath the horizontal 4x4, clamping it all tightly together (no screws or anything connect the horizontal and vertical 4x4 pieces). More galvanized pipe could be used to simplify construction, but this drives the price up.

Construction took around 4 hours using a cordless drill and circular saw. Drill press and table saw would have made this one cleaner and faster. Channel for handle pipe was made by cutting an 18" piece of 4x4, drilling a 1.25" hole through the middle, then cutting it in half so that a semicircular channel ran though the end of each 9" piece.

Specs:
Horizontal 4x4 piece: 36"
Vertical 4x4 piece: 9"
Pipe: 18" pieces of 1" inside diameter galvanized steel (1.25" outside). Threaded ends cut off for aesthetics.
Vertical posts for plates: 10.5" length of 2x4 with 7" trimmed to 1.5 inches square. Rounded to accept plates.
End pieces: 12" wide on one end, 5.5" wide on other. End assembly held together with a 4.5" lag screw and regular screws.

Quick Video Load Test Demo of Handle:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QtN...ature=youtu.be
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:48 AM   #2
Robert Fabsik
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Re: DIY Farmers Walk Handles for $42? Yup!

I like that the plates are stacked parallel to the floor. I have a set that have the plates perpendicular to the floor and when I drop them, they roll around my non-level drive. A minor pain.

How solid are the posts that hold the weight? Overall looks solid.
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:04 AM   #3
John Donovan
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Re: DIY Farmers Walk Handles for $42? Yup!

I built ones similar to those but I used more pipe so it was a little more expensive. I'll try to post a pic. I've had 155# per hand on them so far.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:02 AM   #4
Mark E. Wallace
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Re: DIY Farmers Walk Handles for $42? Yup!

David -

How is your design better than this one (wfs) ?

I want to make some FW handles soon and was considering just using this design.

- Mark
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:53 PM   #5
David Meverden
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Re: DIY Farmers Walk Handles for $42? Yup!

Robert: The posts are solid, and I've got a 4.5" lag screw that is torqued in well running through the two outside pieces into the 4x4 to hold the end parts together (some regular screws over there too). The only thing that I could imagine breaking would be one of the wider horizontal parts on one end. If the handle were heavily loaded and dropped on a corner something might crack, but it wouldn't be dangerous so I'm not worried. If that happens I'll beef up the ends with some more 2x4. The wide part just keeps it from tipping over annoyingly when it's on the ground.

John: You should post a pic. Could collect different options.

Mark:
Pros to my design:
-Mine is cheaper. Those ones require 8 flanges and 4 elbows. ACE hardware, per their website, sells 1" flanges for 8.49 a piece, and 4.49 for elbows, so you're up to almost $90 just for pipe fittings.
-The wooden posts fit the hole in standard plates much more snugly than the small pipes on the one you linked. If I had 3/4 or 1 inch pipe as the post for the plates I'd worry about 45's tipping to one side or jostling around screwing things up.
-Mine won't tip over. His are only 3.5" wide at the bottom so could easily tip over on the floor if he put real load on it. That could be annoying.

Cons to mine:
-More work. Shaping the posts and vertical 4x4 pieces for the handle added some time.
-Ends are a bit more vulnerable due to the width and potential resulting torque as mentioned above.
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:31 PM   #6
Mark E. Wallace
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Re: DIY Farmers Walk Handles for $42? Yup!

Good response, David. Thanks.

- Mark
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:12 AM   #7
Christopher Morris
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Re: DIY Farmers Walk Handles for $42? Yup!

I was a little suspicious of the handle design, as you've got two bolts holding the pipe to the 4x4s. All your weight is going to be pulling on just those two bolts. Once I saw the load test video, however, I'm satisfied that your design will stand up to the heaviest farmer's carry anyone could hope for. How long are those bolts?

Kudos!
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:43 AM   #8
John Donovan
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Re: DIY Farmers Walk Handles for $42? Yup!

David, mine are the ones in the video Mark linked in his post. They are a bit more expensive but I liked the way they came together.
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Old 04-21-2014, 04:57 PM   #9
David Meverden
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Re: DIY Farmers Walk Handles for $42? Yup!

Shoot! Video in original post is WFS. Forgot to designate.

John: Your design is solid and very straightforward to construct. I don't want to take anything away from it. I'm just cheap

Chris: It's actually a threaded rod, like THIS ONE (WFS), not a bolt, though a very long bolt could be used. I used a hack saw to cut the rod into 14" pieces and there is a washer and nut on each end, one on the top of the handle, one slightly countersunk at the bottom of the horizontal 4x4. The handle and 4x4s are only held together by clamping action. See the not-to-scale MS Paint drawing below diagramming this. The listed working load limit on the rod was 1600 lbs, and there is one length on each end of the handle so any conceivable farmers walk load will be chump change unless you WAY overtorque the nuts on the rod, as more turns on the nut will create more stretch and pretension on the rod.

Being an engineer, it occurred to me that I could have estimated that amount of pretension I put on there by measuring how much the steel stretched and using the modulus of elasticity, but alas, I wasn't thinking of that at the time. Might have to take it apart to try to find out.
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:52 AM   #10
Christopher Morris
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Re: DIY Farmers Walk Handles for $42? Yup!

A through-and-through rod - excellent!
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