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Old 11-19-2009, 08:15 AM   #1
Nathan Munson
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Another home made squat rack idea

Hello all,

I've been doing a lot of researching before posting this, so I apologize if I missed a previous post answering my idea. The idea below is inspired by all of the great threads on home made squat and power racks.

I'm going to go through a SS cycle as soon as I get set up with a rack. Due to financial crappiness I will be using my metal sawhorses as a spotter (same yellow ones seen in other posts) after bolting wood to the top, and making a very simple rack. Now for the idea...

I'd love anyone's best, educated thoughts on this one. I'm putting my gym together in my basement, which has 8 ft exactly from the cement floor to the bottom of the exposed floor joists above. I'm thinking of laminating (glue and screw) two sets of 2x6 lumber (with holes drilled at 2-2.5" centers for bar hooks) that have about a 3' 2x6 foot at the bottom (for balance and a place to store unused plates for added floor friction), then is bolted somehow to the joists above for rigidity.

Long story short: 2 side by side legs of 2x6 lumber from floor bolted to ceiling with holes for adjustable height hook placement.

Thanks for your help
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Old 11-19-2009, 01:24 PM   #2
Tom Fetter
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Re: Another home made squat rack idea

Could work. I'd be a bit concerned about the strain on your connection at the top end, if the bottom is held in place only by friction against the floor.

If you have the floor space, why not use 4 uprights and make an actual cage? The cost's not significantly more, and the whole thing will be much more stable - especially if you put in some bracing at the corners.

In my home-made squat rack, which you might have seen if you did a search of the archives, I laminated the posts together to be the thickness of three 2 X 4s. The two outside laminates were full length, but the middle layer had spaces left at the heights where I wanted to slide in safety bars or hooks. For those, I used pieces of heavy gauge 1" square tubing. It's been solid now for about 3 years of use, holding loads of up to #330.
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Old 11-19-2009, 01:36 PM   #3
Nathan Munson
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Re: Another home made squat rack idea

Thanks, Tom.

I had seen your rack and have been/still am considering that approach. I've been waffling between the "extended" squat rack and the full cage idea for a little while, but am thinking the full cage might be the best option.

I love home made equipment, by the way. Its fun to come up with creative, cost-effective solutions for our needs... and keeps me out of trouble!
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Old 11-19-2009, 02:32 PM   #4
Sheldon Danley
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Re: Another home made squat rack idea

Nathan,

When I first started building equipment for my own basement gym I scoured these boards and other websites for ideas. I ended up going with 4x4 posts in 5 gallon buckets of concrete with 1" diameter metal pipe stubs drilled into the posts every 6" or so. While they have held up great as squat/press stands to loads of 300 lbs, I always regretted not having a spotting system like in a full cage. I finally came across some adjustable spotters on craigslist for dirt cheap just this past weekend. Anyways, long story short is that I think you should learn from my experience and build a full cage as described above. I really like the idea of 3 - 2x4's laminated together with openings for spotters or any other kind of attachment you can dream up and create.

If I wasn't so limited in square footage I might even consider building myself one just like that at this point.
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:27 PM   #5
Nathan Munson
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Re: Another home made squat rack idea

Thanks for your voice of reason and experience, Sheldon. Safety is key, so I can push myself and focus on form -- and not on 'injury avoidance'. As an experiment, since I already owned the sawhorses, I dropped my bar weighted to 95 lbs from 6 inches above. They 'horses' held really well at that weight... but still gave me the heebie-jeebies. I definitely think of it as a mental issue for me, rather than one of physics and engineering.
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:27 PM   #6
Sheldon Danley
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Re: Another home made squat rack idea

I was max squatting one time and had to bail at the bottom, that was the last time I REALLY pushed it. However, the first time I squatted with the spotter stands, it kind of threw me off. Having them in your peripheral vision makes you feel like you have to squat deep enough to touch them or something, but you get used to it.
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