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Old 01-08-2014, 09:00 AM   #21
Mike Gin
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Re: Bamboo Bar

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Originally Posted by Rob Darden View Post
Awesome Mike! How do you think just a solid 1.25" rod would be with no 1.5" sleeve over it? Then just glue 1.5" slots for the bands. Too stiff you think?
That actually might be perfect! The bandbell bar is 1.5" in diameter I was just trying to emulate that.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:30 AM   #22
Rob Darden
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Re: Bamboo Bar

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Originally Posted by Mike Gin View Post
That actually might be perfect! The bandbell bar is 1.5" in diameter I was just trying to emulate that.
I hear ya. I think I might try that. At 1.25" that would still be bigger than regular barbell.
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:20 PM   #23
Jim O'Brien
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Re: Bamboo Bar

So I have been reading this thread and since I made quite a few items already I thought I had to do this. I got a piece of schedule 40 PVC and it felt pretty weak even with the small amount of weight needed. As a coincidence, my wife works for an orthopedic doctor. He had a bunch of fiberglass casting material that was outdated so they can't use it. This stuff is cool. It's rolled like an ace bandage and you dunk it in water and roll it on and when it dries it is a pretty stiff piece of fiberglass. I rolled on two layers leaving about one foot bare on the ends and it works perfectly.
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Old 01-10-2014, 09:43 AM   #24
Mike Gin
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Re: Bamboo Bar

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Originally Posted by Jim O'Brien View Post
So I have been reading this thread and since I made quite a few items already I thought I had to do this. I got a piece of schedule 40 PVC and it felt pretty weak even with the small amount of weight needed. As a coincidence, my wife works for an orthopedic doctor. He had a bunch of fiberglass casting material that was outdated so they can't use it. This stuff is cool. It's rolled like an ace bandage and you dunk it in water and roll it on and when it dries it is a pretty stiff piece of fiberglass. I rolled on two layers leaving about one foot bare on the ends and it works perfectly.
Jim I'm assuming it is something like this correct?

http://orthotape.com/fiberglass_casting_tape.asp (wfs)

That's an interesting technique. Wonder how much strength it adds. Can you do some load testing?
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:14 PM   #25
Jim O'Brien
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Re: Bamboo Bar

Yep. That's the stuff. I will load it up this weekend and report back.
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:43 PM   #26
Jesse Gray
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Re: Bamboo Bar

I've used the bamboo bar a lot and while I think you can make a pretty decent copy out of PVC, it's just not quite the same. As for the guys here ordering the fancy fiberglass stuff, based on your description I'm not sure that it's really working the way you want it to. The idea is not to have a stiff/inflexible bar. You want it to bend bend and spring around a lot. The less stable you can make it without breaking the better. As for loading, I've been hesitant to add more than 225 to an actual bamboo bar. With a homemade device probably a bit less.
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:31 AM   #27
Mike Gin
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Re: Bamboo Bar

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Originally Posted by Jesse Gray View Post
I've used the bamboo bar a lot and while I think you can make a pretty decent copy out of PVC, it's just not quite the same. As for the guys here ordering the fancy fiberglass stuff, based on your description I'm not sure that it's really working the way you want it to. The idea is not to have a stiff/inflexible bar. You want it to bend bend and spring around a lot. The less stable you can make it without breaking the better. As for loading, I've been hesitant to add more than 225 to an actual bamboo bar. With a homemade device probably a bit less.
Agreed - they have made many prototypes to figure out he best resin to use for the bar so that is is super strong and flexible too. But for those of us who don't want to pay $300 the diy bars are a decent alternative. My setup might be a little too stiff but it bends a bit and moves decently. I'm curious to see how the 1.25" solid fiberglass rod for works out for Rob. That might be the ticket for the simple diy solution. Strong enough to support normal weights but flexible enough to create some kinetic energy.
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Old 01-11-2014, 02:41 PM   #28
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Re: Bamboo Bar

Just tested it out sort of...I put two 25s on each side directly on the bar and hung a 45 from bands on each side. The total weight on the bar was 190. The bar bowed a lot and you could hear the fibers in the wrap cracking but so far nothing broke or came apart. The cracking was kind of like the fiberglass stretching and breaking in. All I did was took the bar out of the rack with a close grip. The weight felt kind of heavy to do any reps with it wiggling around so I basically just tested the strength of it.
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Old 01-11-2014, 03:52 PM   #29
Mike Gin
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Re: Bamboo Bar

Nice thanks Jim!

Now I'm even more interested to hear about Rob's experience with the 1.25" rod. I found this on another site (pardon the language):

http://herochat.com/forum/index.php?topic=249286.0 (possibly not wfs for language I didn't check the entire site)

I've crafted a couple of "ghetto" homemade versions so far, and here's what I prefer (all cut to 7 feet):
-1 1/4" solid fiberglass round: approx $70-80, able to handle more weight, but still has a great amount of flex; best for using by heavy pressers, as it really comes alive with 50+ pounds on each side
-1 1/4" fiberglass tube: should cost about $15-20 unless someone is trying to rape you; wonderfully responsive with even a few 10's on each side.
-PVC [1 1/4" white Schedule 40 inset with 1" gray Schedule 80 pipe, and end caps]: flexes well, but doesn't have quite the rebound or the strength that fiberglass does; materials are commonly found for about $10 and with the dual pipe system it can hold at least 100lbs per side (done with 1 x 25lb and 3x10lb)
Note: I always tape these up, just to make life easier. Gotta make off the sleeves, center, initial knurling, powerlifting marks, and knurling end.

Sometimes people put an assload of similar weights, but because you want the flex and oscillation, experimenting with differential spacing with differing weights. This way really makes the bars come alive, whether you're using a Bandbell/Earthquake bar, or one of the homemade version I've listed above.

Performing squats and overhead presses with this are fantastic as well, but not for the uninitiated. Good lord, don't try it if you're awful at strict overhead presses.

Or maybe you should.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:51 AM   #30
Tighe Crovetti
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Re: Bamboo Bar

I think I'm going to take the plunge on one of these DIY's, just to have at home and do some light work with. My other activity is baseball (men's league, not elite level, but lots of ex-college players and some that played farther, so it's pretty competitive), and while CF certainly prepares me in general for the physical demands, I am also a pitcher and want to take extra care of my shoulders. I'm not super-strong, and don't imagine I ever will be, but I do want to get stronger than I am, and do it gradually with a lot of stability strength, too. I think using a light bar like this for strict OH presses, bench pressing, OHS, etc.., as a daily routine would be a huge benefit. Given that, I think just a fiberglass tube, with some rings cut from a slightly larger tube, glued to create slots for the bands, is my ticket. Only question is, I have fairly large hands, I'm wondering if doing a 1.5" tube for the main section is the way to go? Would add a little grip workout, too?
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