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Billy Jack

Homemade Axle Question

4 posts in this topic

Hey Guys,

I have a homemade axle that is black iron pipe and the outside diameter is 1.9". It really gets on my nerves how loose my plates fit on this and the bar never rests properly when it just sits with weight on it. It will lean to one side or the other and the plates get loose all the time even when I am using a steel hose clamp tightened up against the weights. Any ideas on what I can use to make the sleeve area larger so my plates will have a tighter fit? I have tried some athletic tape on the ends but this just gets worn off after a few weeks of sliding weights on and off. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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It's a common problem and the actual plates you have determine how bad it is. Really good quality plates like Eleiko etc have much tighter tolerances and won't flop around as much - Barbell and other more generic plates have hole sizes that are all over the place and usually way oversized. The problem is that the space isn't big enough to really put any kind of metal shimming etc in place. A machine shop might know of something thin enough to work? There are a couple solutions I have thought of. If you have a friend who welds - you can run say 4 raised beads of weld the entire length of the loading area - then slowly grind them down to a fairly snug fit on your plates - pretty easy to do. Another solution is to use blocks of some kind to hold the bar high enough that the plates are just barely off the ground (think "jack stands") but anything could work. This way the plates are hanging free and the bar is solid and not flopping around - I've used this and it works fine but you have to be careful not to drop the bar onto the stands as it will then bend. But this really isn't a problem.

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Maybe put some tape on the ends to thicken it up a little?

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What movements are you doing with the Axle?

If you have muffler clamps, those might provide more stability than the hose clamps, yet they are still relatively cheap. I use muffler clamps on my DB press bar. it's 1.9?" OD water pipe, and I use the muffler clamps for collars on both sides of the weights (i.e. inner and outer). I can clean and press it no problem with little disruption from the plates moving around.

For my DL axle, I purchased some 2" OD CRS from industrial metal supply. It was like $120 if memory serves. It is 75# unloaded. muffler clamps are used for the inner collars, and I use regular Oly bar clamps for the outer. All my weights fit on the bar, as it's a precise 2", and not over.

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