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Old 01-16-2012, 06:40 PM   #21
Jared Ashley
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Re: Safety Rails on Squats

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Originally Posted by David Meverden View Post
Less than $100?? Did you weld that yourself? I'd be amazed if you could find a used power cage for less than 100. And welding it yourself is not an option for most people. With somewhat less tools you could build one out of wood and galvanized pipe, but that takes some know how, tools, and not everyone would trust it.
It's wooden and pipe, and yes I built it myself. No welding, only 2x6's and lag screws. Only tools required were a drill, a tape measure, and a circular saw, although you could get the pieces cut at home depot do you don't even need a saw. I designed and built it alone in one day on a whim and am not particularly handy, so I think anyone could build one.

You're right that a lot of people wouldn't trust it, but that's just silly. I mean really... HOUSES are built out of wood. Forklift platforms are built out of wood. Railroad ties that have been in place for 100 years are made out of wood. And people somehow think a measely 4 or 500 lb barbell is going to break some 2x6's? Please.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:17 PM   #22
Eric Shuty
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Re: Safety Rails on Squats

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It's wooden and pipe, and yes I built it myself. No welding, only 2x6's and lag screws. Only tools required were a drill, a tape measure, and a circular saw, although you could get the pieces cut at home depot do you don't even need a saw. I designed and built it alone in one day on a whim and am not particularly handy, so I think anyone could build one.

You're right that a lot of people wouldn't trust it, but that's just silly. I mean really... HOUSES are built out of wood. Forklift platforms are built out of wood. Railroad ties that have been in place for 100 years are made out of wood. And people somehow think a measely 4 or 500 lb barbell is going to break some 2x6's? Please.
Before everyone calls you crazy let me back you up with a similar project of my own. When I was on my first vacation to Iraq all I had was 300lbs of weight and a bar to start with at an outpost in Baghdad. So I built a wooden bench similar to what you might find in a locker room and used chair cushions for padding. I weighed about 240 at the time and used the full weight set to bench for up to 10 reps. Thats 540lbs of weight up and down on a wooden bench, most of it on one end. It didn't creak or appear to be anywhere near its breaking point. So, not to say it's the best option, but it can surely do the job and do it well....
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:22 AM   #23
Jared Ashley
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Re: Safety Rails on Squats

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So, not to say it's the best option, but it can surely do the job and do it well....
Exactly.

Wood is strong stuff. A picnic table can hold the weight of 8 people and not even creak. That's easily 1500+ lbs. And they are often sitting out in the elements for decades.

Now were I outfitting an affilliate I'd spring for a real metal cage, or have one welded if I knew someone who could do professional-level work. But my garage gym doesn't need curb appeal.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:01 PM   #24
David Meverden
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Re: Safety Rails on Squats

Hey Jared, your rails are made out of galvanized pipe? I'm designing some sort of easy to put away safety rails that are also adjustable that could be used with free standing squat stands. I could make the rails out of lumber, but an easier adjustable design would be pipe that slides through drilled holes.

Only thing I'm worried about is brittle failure from someone dropping a barbell on the pipes. I have no doubt that very heavy barbells could be set down on galvanized steel pipe safely, but am worried about the sudden shock of a barbell drop from 1 or 2 feet. I guess they SHOULDN'T ever drop a bar on the rails, but I'd rather make my stuff basically indestructible if possible.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:28 PM   #25
Graeme Moore
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Re: Safety Rails on Squats

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Originally Posted by David Meverden View Post
Hey Jared, your rails are made out of galvanized pipe? I'm designing some sort of easy to put away safety rails that are also adjustable that could be used with free standing squat stands. I could make the rails out of lumber, but an easier adjustable design would be pipe that slides through drilled holes.

Only thing I'm worried about is brittle failure from someone dropping a barbell on the pipes. I have no doubt that very heavy barbells could be set down on galvanized steel pipe safely, but am worried about the sudden shock of a barbell drop from 1 or 2 feet. I guess they SHOULDN'T ever drop a bar on the rails, but I'd rather make my stuff basically indestructible if possible.
If you manage to design/construct something successful would you mind sharing your designs?
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:59 PM   #26
David Meverden
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Re: Safety Rails on Squats

No prob. I'm leaning towards just making the rails out of 2x4's and non-adjustable to simplify construction and keep costs down. I can get 9 ft of 2x4 lumber for under 3 dollars, but 5 ft of galvanized pipe costs me over 20. Still not that much, but I like keeping things as cheap as possible.

The sketches I'm making would have the left and right rails be separate pieces that have T shaped bases. Then, for easy storage, the top of the T part of the base could rotate inline with the rest of it, so it would have a small profile. I'll keep you posted on my progress.
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:40 PM   #27
Jared Ashley
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Re: Safety Rails on Squats

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Originally Posted by David Meverden View Post
Hey Jared, your rails are made out of galvanized pipe? I'm designing some sort of easy to put away safety rails that are also adjustable that could be used with free standing squat stands. I could make the rails out of lumber, but an easier adjustable design would be pipe that slides through drilled holes.

Only thing I'm worried about is brittle failure from someone dropping a barbell on the pipes. I have no doubt that very heavy barbells could be set down on galvanized steel pipe safely, but am worried about the sudden shock of a barbell drop from 1 or 2 feet. I guess they SHOULDN'T ever drop a bar on the rails, but I'd rather make my stuff basically indestructible if possible.
Initially I made non-adjustable wooden rails but ditched that idea because the level I need for bench is just a bit too low for squats.

My rails are now galvanized pipe. I don't know how they would handle a drop of 1-2 feet, but honestly can't imagine under what circumstances I would drop something that far. I did once drop 175 lbs a distance of maybe 6-10 inches when I randomly lost balance coming up out of a front squat. No damage resulted.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:59 PM   #28
David Meverden
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Re: Safety Rails on Squats

I think I've got a workable design. It's height is adjustable, the arms rotate so that it can fold together and be put against a wall when not in use and, made mostly of 2x4's, it won't break the bank (total costs probably <$100 for all materials). I'll upload some pics of the design soon, build it in the next few weeks.

One thing I'd like input on, though. What should the min and max height be for adjustment? I'm thinking 27" as min (I've found that sufficient for pretty much any squatting), but what should the max height be? Would 36" be good enough? Would someone ever want 40" safety rails? Is 36" even overkill?
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:25 PM   #29
Michael Burke
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Re: Safety Rails on Squats

I've heard more bad things about people getting pinned under a bench press than being pinned under a squat. Either way, power cages can start off so affordable these days I don't see why you wouldn't want one for the ease of mind if nothing else if you are going to be benching and squatting near your limits.

I think the powerline is around 300 bucks and although it's not a great rack compared to the more expensive ones in terms of stability, it's probably more than enough for most people. I'd at least get a pair of saw horses or something.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:32 PM   #30
David Meverden
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Re: Safety Rails on Squats

A little late with my photos, but delivered as promised. These are renderings made with Google Sketchup.

The rails rotate around a vertical galvanized pipe, so it sort of folds away. The rails themselves are 2x6's, that with ~3/8 holes in them. A 3/8 to 1/2 in bolt will pass through the two 2x4's and through the rail. To adjust height, pull bolts, move 2x6 and replace bolts. Probably have wingnuts on the bolts.

The part that connects the left and right assemblies looks a little weak with only 1 2x4 but based on the forces it will be exposed to I don't think it will pose any risk. Could be beefed up after the fact if it looks sketchy.

Should be adjustable from about 26 inches up to 36

I'd like to start construction this weekend. Input or feedback welcome.
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