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Old 06-26-2007, 12:24 AM   #1
Mike Gray
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Hi folks!

Safe link:

http://picasaweb.google.com/mikesusangray/CrossFitBasementGym/photo#508026441858 7747858

I've added saftey rails to my squat rack. Thought I'd share. The rails and their outside supports can be easily dismounted and stored (i.e., shoved in a corner) when they're not needed, which is important, since I dont have much space.

This is definitely not a solution for a professional gym. The wood rails are strong enough, but they do require some care. If I were to drop a loaded barbell from full height directly onto the safety rails, they wouldn't certainly break! OTOH, it *is* strong enough for my needs, I notice that I squat a lot better when I know that I have some saftey apparatus in place.

Obviously, my capital outlay for this project has been extremely low, which is important just now. Also, should we move, the whole thing could easily be unscrewed and carried to the moving truck under one arm. Try that with a normal squat cage!

Unfortunately, I messed up in two important respects:

1) The safety rack is to wide. If I don't squat very precisely, I end up bumping the weights on the rails of the safety rack. Not a hard fix: I'll detatch the main rack's support beams, shorten the horizontal beams (that is, bring the whole thing a little closer to the shelves - it's too far out anyway) and re-attatch with the posts to the inside rather than the outside. Problem solved.

2) The safety rack is too high. I can't get to parallel as it is! This was partly on purpose, since it's easier to make them shorter than to make them taller - but I hadn't meant them to end up quite this high! What I'm thinking about doing is adding support blocks all the way around at two lower levels, so I can adjust the rails according to three different squat depths.

Which reminds me: Does the bar come down to the same depth on front AND back squats?



(Message edited by mikesusangray on June 26, 2007)
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Old 06-27-2007, 02:00 PM   #2
Michael Tong
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Nice creativity.

I cannot tell what dimensional lumber you used for the safety bars but I'd reinforce that part somehow. Maybe cannibalize some used barbells bought off of craigslist. Or, at least screw a piece of angle-iron to the top edge. I wouldn't want to be under there if a heavy barbell comes crashing down on what looks like are 2x4s.
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:04 PM   #3
Skylar Cook
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Yeah, when (if) I ever get my own equipment (and the space to put it in), I'm gonna make all the veritical supports out of 6x6;s and the actual racks out of 3x6's. What about covering that top part in foam to absorb/soften the crash? Kinda just thinking out loud here...

(Message edited by surfreak on June 27, 2007)
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Old 06-28-2007, 07:55 AM   #4
Paul Findley
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I would put the safety bars at a low level, low enough so when you do a full squat, you still have room, then if you "collapse" from that position, the horizontals are there to catch the bar and keep it off of you.

Then I would add lumber directly under the horizontal beams, like in between the two vertical pieces.

They look closer to 2x3 to me, so maybe add some beef to horizontals too.
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:36 AM   #5
Mike Gray
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Hi guys!

First, yes - the safety bars are waaay too high. I thought I had calculated everything pretty well, but I obviously got my numbers screwed up.

About the lumber: yes, it's scrawny - no denying that. However, they do actually seem to hold pretty well. The vertical and upper horizontal bars are fine, I'd say, but it would be wise to reinforce the safety rails, since I do intend to drop heavy weights on them! The angle-iron tip sounds like a good idea, come to think of it.
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Old 06-29-2007, 07:17 AM   #6
Paul Findley
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The only time I caved to the safety bars in a power rack, it was a slow collapse, either I am not trying hard enough, or I was not giving up.

I am not sure that weight would/should be dropped like you describe.
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:22 AM   #7
Mike Gray
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<grin>

Don't get me wrong. I'm not planning to spend my afternoons bouncing barbells off the rails!

But, I mean, getting stuck under heavy loads is part of finding your max - and beating it! - isn't it? I tried squatting 130kg about a month-and-a-half back, and I had to dump, and the bar got bent. And I *really* didn't like the feeling of being stuck down there! I haven't tried a lift that heavy ever since.

Knowing that I'm not going to (a) wreck my equipment, (b) wreck the floor and (c) scare the heck out of my wife frees me up to concentrate on the best lift I can do - and not on anxiety about things going wrong.
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:03 PM   #8
Paul Findley
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Yea, I am probably not trying hard enough, heh.

Being able to just lower down to support will be much better than having to huck it off your back.
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:18 PM   #9
John Seiler
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WFS: http://www.geocities.com/fightraining/safety.html

That's the best option for being able to move them. For a more permanent option, you could use a T joint at the top of one end, run a short pipe and a flange off it, and bolt the whole affair to the wall.

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Old 06-29-2007, 04:42 PM   #10
Michael Tong
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Mike - no one really plans on dumping the weight. What if you blow out a knee (God forbid) or spasm up for some reason? I like the design in John's post - cheap and much more sturdy.

Stay safe.
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