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Old 01-05-2007, 09:17 AM   #1
Clay Johnson
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I made two different set of cheap 2" dumbbells.

(links are work safe)

I found some really cheap screw type dumbbells but this method would work with just about any type of dumbbell.

1. I started with basic pipe foam and 2" PVC pipe worked well. For the grip, I used Rust-Oleum's plastic paint. I found that it is easy to clean, resists chips, and stays slick (and looks better than the plain old white PVC pipe!). I use the washers to take up any slack if I cut the pipe uneven (hint: it is easier to cut the pipe with a miter saw, especially if it is a power one):
http://homepage.mac.com/biggerfoot/....dumbbells1.jpg

2. Since the pipe foam is a tight fit with the PVC pipe, there is no need for glue.
http://homepage.mac.com/biggerfoot/....dumbbells2.jpg

3. One hint is that since it is a very tight fit, I do not cut the foam until I have it all of the way in. Sometimes the foam compresses. Also, I use a C-clamp to press it in sometimes. For barbells, I have used a long pipe-clamp before:
http://homepage.mac.com/biggerfoot/....dumbbells3.jpg

4. The quick, cheap, and easy thick dumbbells:
http://homepage.mac.com/biggerfoot/....dumbbells4.jpg

http://homepage.mac.com/biggerfoot/....dumbbells5.jpg

More thick dumbbells were made from some Olympic dumbbells I never used using the same method:

http://homepage.mac.com/biggerfoot/....dumbbells1.jpg


http://homepage.mac.com/biggerfoot/....dumbbells2.jpg

I do have some three inch metal dumbbells that I am using more than the two inch Olympics now.

http://homepage.mac.com/biggerfoot/....hdumbbells.jpg
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Old 01-05-2007, 01:19 PM   #2
Eugene R. Allen
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As a fellow equipment tinkerer allow me to salute your fantastic innovation and craftmanship. You sir make good stuff. The foam inner liner is sheer genius. I will be turning my Olympic dumbbell set into your 2" design next time I get a chance to get to Home Depot for the pipe. Can you tell me more about the bottom photo...is that plumbing pipe?
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Old 01-05-2007, 03:45 PM   #3
David Aguasca
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wow, very nice!

the female threaded portion, what is that exactly?
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Old 01-05-2007, 04:06 PM   #4
Roger Smith
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Nice stuff....:-)
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Old 01-05-2007, 05:31 PM   #5
Clay Johnson
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The three inch dumbbells came from:

(work safe links)

http://www.torqueathletic.com/

They are pretty nice (and were cheap). They are not solid but do hold up well.

I think the threaded part of the first set of dumbbells was a type of dumbbell, but I am not sure.

I live close to a huge junk store that sells all hardware for $1 a pound...even hardened 1" bolt, etc. It is the perfect place to find homemade ideas.

http://www.mendelsons.com/the_story.html
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Old 01-05-2007, 07:05 PM   #6
Dan Koloski
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Bought 2 inch dia. pvc pipe at HD. About $2. Cut it into two sections, each about 6 inches long. Have an old pair of std diameter dumbbells, the kind with the spin on/off locks. They measure 6 inches from inside plate to inside plate. Take plates off, slide on PVC pipe over the handles. Put plates back on and lock the plates firmly against the edges of the PVC pipe. Cheap fat bar dumbbells. Will use for Farmer's Walks around my pond.
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:00 PM   #7
Jan Szyndler
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Wondered if anyone was doing this...good to know.
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:01 PM   #8
Jan Szyndler
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Thanks for the info...good stuff.

(Message edited by worker on January 06, 2007)
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Old 01-07-2007, 01:15 PM   #9
Eugene R. Allen
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Clay - How on earth did you get the plastic to go over the foam? I begged, I pleaded, I threatened and I swore epithets but nothing I could do would get the plastic over the foam. So I did what I always run into trouble. I quit. Then I started up again but this time with a towel. I cut off the thicker end pieces, rolled it on really tight and then forced the PVC over the top of the towel. I had to slam it on there pulling the towel taut now and then as I got toward the last foot or so but in the end it went on perfectly. I tightened the sleeves back on good and snug and decided to make it like my Apollon's Axel and took the spin out of the bar by making it really tight against the PVC pipe. As soon as I find a 7/16's hex head wrench I'll get busy with my Olympic dumbbell handles. Thanks for the idea Clay.
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Old 01-07-2007, 02:14 PM   #10
Clay Johnson
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Sorry you had a problem. When things got tight, I used a C-clamp to press it on for the dumbbells. For barbells, I have used a long pipe-clamp with success.

Edit: To start the foam, I twist it in...it seems to help compress the foam a bit. I use some washers with the clamp to hold things where they should. I only had to use a clamp on several bars.



(Message edited by biggerfoot on January 07, 2007)
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