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Old 03-05-2012, 04:15 PM   #1
James Yates
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my new DIY power rack

Finally have a place to do barbell curlz!!!!!

I got an OK used barbell last week and a new miter saw the week before... so I figured it was time to put this together. Just under $20 in wood and about $15 in hardware (which could have been cheaper if I didn't insist on carriage bolts-a few hex head lag screws would be sufficient for the weight-bearing hardware, but I though it might get taken down and put back up multiple times given our current remodeling situation). My cheap old bench will slide in for benching off of the lower catch and the upper catch will be sufficient for me or my wife to squat (if she chooses to use it-she is only about an inch shorter than me).

I was inspired by a combo of the old "studs in a bucket with concrete" and two other designs I saw bouncing around on these forums, but this is my own design. To do it again, I would make a couple of changes that would make it good for several hundred pounds. But as it is, it will last a very long time for the amount I will have loaded.

I might put an eye bolt in the top cross-member for hanging my heavy bag and it should also be a nice place to hang my DIY rings! I already have a place for pull-ups at home, so I wasn't worried about hanging a pipe up there.

Hope it may inspire others to do more with less money!
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:27 PM   #2
Rolando Santos
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Re: my new DIY power rack

Superb!!!simple!!!

Love It...
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:15 PM   #3
Michael A. Jones
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Re: my new DIY power rack

Excellent worksmanship!!!! I thought about building one a while back but not too crafty with a saw....

How long did it take you?
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:37 PM   #4
James Orr
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Re: my new DIY power rack

Thing of beauty.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:44 PM   #5
Nalin Prabhu
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Re: my new DIY power rack

If its not anchored down you're going to tip it over when you walk the weight back into the rack... make those legs extend out further.

Looks great otherwise!
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:54 AM   #6
Adam Molnar
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Re: my new DIY power rack

That is one sexy wooden rack right there, good job!
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:38 PM   #7
James Yates
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Re: my new DIY power rack

Wow, thanks for the positive feedback!

Michael-would have been one solid afternoon (took my time, pre-drilled holes for screws, counter-sunk nuts and washers for carriage bolts), but ended up being an hour here and there for a week and a half (helping out with the baby, toddler and various other things!)

Nalin-it is stable enough as long as you don't slam into it. There is an extra 9 inches out the back (wanted to be able to put it up against a wall if necessary and still have space for 18 in plates). But the toes are a bit cramped when setting up for a heavy squat, so maybe 12 would have been better.

For anyone interested, the weak link is basically the design of the squat catch-it should be full-length instead of bearing down on the safety rail the way I made it. My design has a bit of flex, but I would still trust it with well over 200lbs, perhaps 300.

The other weakness is the bracing-could be larger and/or 3/4 plywood (but I had 5/8 laying around). With the improvement to the squat catch and a full-size 3/4 ply brace on the bottom (a big rectangle to fill the whole area below the safety rails), I'd imagine the rack would hold 500lbs no problem.

The safety rails are solid-thought about an upright 2x6, but went for doubled-up 2x4s instead, but the post and lintel design is what makes it. My obsessive-compulsive side got over the fact that a doubled-up 2x4 is only 3 inches wide and the rest of the frame is 3.5 inches wide. If you care, a piece of 1/2 plywood sandwiched between would be cool.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:21 AM   #8
Jim Ullmer
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Re: my new DIY power rack

James,
can you give me the dimensions that you used for your rack? I think that would work perfect in the limited space in my garage.

Thanks.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:19 PM   #9
James Yates
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Re: my new DIY power rack

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Ullmer View Post
James,
can you give me the dimensions that you used for your rack? I think that would work perfect in the limited space in my garage.

Thanks.
I will give the slightly modified dimensions that I should have used...It will give a little more space out the back for better toe space and have the full length post for the squat catch.

This will give a rack with a 26 inch high safety rail, a 40 inch catch for benching and a 55.5 inch catch for squatting. If you change the safety rail height, it will affect the bench catch because it bears directly on the rail.


2 x "bottom" rails 37.5 inches (or 36 in if you don't want the little foot sticking out the front)
4 x "safety" rails 21 in

If you need a "shallower" design, shorten all the rails.

4 x "safety rail" posts 21 in
2 x "front" posts 26 in
2 x "squat catch" posts 54 in
2 x "back" posts 80 in (or whatever height requirements you have)
2 x "bench catch" posts 14 in

2 x "cross" rails 44 in (or whatever width requirements you have-I wanted as wide as possible, while still being able to use my cheap old "walmart" bar if necessary)

The blocks in front of the catches are 9.75 inches and beveled at the bottom just because I liked it that way. I let the blocks protrude .75 inch above the catches.

5/8 plywood is adequate for braces, but 3/4 would be better (and more badass)

2 x main braces 25.5 x 26 rectangles (or a rather creative trapezoid would be cool to extend all the way to the back)

4 x braces (for cross rails) 12 x 12 right triangles-might need to nip the corners off of the bottom ones

This design must be square to be strong-if it racks the slightest bit with a serious load it could collapse. I used a framing square and triple-checked before adding bracing. All loads must bear down to the floor via posts-do not trust fasteners to bear any load.

I mostly used 2.5 inch screws because I hate nails for this type of design. For the blocks, serious bolts (lag bolts or carriage bolts) are a necessity near the top.

I also used bolts for the bracing so that it could be easily broken-down for storage/moving if necessary.

If you plan your cuts carefully, it should take 8 8ft studs at the most.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:23 PM   #10
James Yates
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Re: my new DIY power rack

PS

my carriage bolts were all 5/16 of various lengths. Was originally going to use 3/8, but that seemed like overkill.... some people like overkill, though.
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