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Homemade Steel power rack input?


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Tommy J.

In the next 2 weeks or so it’s going down. Gonna make the most overbuilt (strength wise), unnecessary heavy duty power rack I can muster.

My intent is for the rack itself to be pretty basic. Gonna use C channel instead of square tube. Love the look. and also a couple factors that C channel racks can bring that other racks cant.

i intend for it to closely resemble the starting strength rack.27B1A0E5-D1B1-4CAE-8CF2-B1FF813BE1B7.thumb.png.41c52700f2cd27e5594faee3db30269b.png05035F67-510B-4D74-B7F6-65EF3D94DA2E.thumb.png.33e1959793f40632dd444de481168a45.png

 

my question is, what kind of center bar/pull up bar do you guys think would be cool? Thick grip? revolving/rolling bar? Saxon type pull-up bar? 

it could be a number of things I suppose.. 

just curious to see what grip guys or arm wrestlers would prefer.

and, if you built your own rack, what are some things you wished you had done, or features you wished you added?

 

open to all input. Even if you just feel like saying “stfu Tommy”. 😁

Edited by Tommy J.
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Climber028

My old gym had a regular pull up bar but slid two small sections of pipe onto it to act as rolling handles when you wanted them, but move out of the way when you were done it was a great way to get multiple uses out of a single bar. They were around 2.5 inch diameter and about 6 inches long. They didn't perfectly roll, but moved enough for a good challenge. 

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Horrido

A great project.

The rack on the pics looks nice for the most stuff to do in it.

As I am a fan boy of all things pull ups, I would make a lot of different handles and not a normal strict pull up bar. Revolving handles in a neutral position are great and a V Bar with the diameter which is your personal favourite.

Also some hooks or loops to the top and the bottom to hang in some special implements or to use bands.

And very important!!! An attachement to show and wrap your steel.

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climber511

I built my own rack years ago - so I know the features that I made and use and the ones I don't use enough to worry about them if I did it again.  Your needs and wants will no doubt be different - give it some serious thought before making it - it's hard to make changes after it's built.

I built it extra tall so I can do overhead press off of pins - as well as pull ups without having to bend my legs too much.  I also built it "deep" enough I can do sit back type squats inside.  If you care about the knurling on your expensive bars buy a couple pieces of PVC pipe and slide them over your rack pins - just takes a second and it's worth it to me.  Make "feet" that stick out front and rear if you aren't planning to anchor it down - racks can tip if you don't - I've never seen one tip over but even a little is enough to kinda freak you out.

Things I use regularly.  Neutral grip chin up bars (easy to make that slide on over two rack pins for easy off and on)  -- Removable dip rack (can also be used for supported sledge hammer levering).-- Multiple J Hooks -- Multiple rack pins -  Removable straight chin up bar (1" - wish I had made this 1.25" for comfort) --  Something easy to do without much hassle is to use Fat Grips on your chin up bars - not as hard as rolling handles but quick and easy on and off.  

Things I almost never use -- Band hooks -- 

 

 

IMG_1089.jpg

IMG_1090.jpg

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Bearcat 74

I’d have a neutral grip pull-up with 2” handles

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liftyzig

I'll be watching this closely.  I've been starting to think about making my own as well.

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Tommy J.

Okay, so in spirit of keeping it basic, but yet also to get the best mix of suggestions on accessories, I will do some 2.5” (roughly) neutral grip rolling handle attachments on the pull up bar. Of which will be 1.25” diameter fixed steel bar so I can just do regular pull ups on the same bar by gripping outside the neutral grip rollers.

unsure yet how deep the rack will be. May or may not ever get into box squats. Squats are an easy bail tho... so if I decide later I want to do box squats, but have too narrow a rack to do them in, then I can just do them outside the rack, and bail if I get in a jam.

will not be OH pressing inside the rack, and will not need super height. Plus, my garage is only 8 feet high anyways. Can just barely fit my log with 45’s on it overhead without touching the ceiling.

 

will be bolting the rack directly to the concrete floor, in spirit of building this thing as tough as possible. ...it may even double as an excellent place to hide during an earthquake 😂.

will be doing multiple pins like Chris and SS suggests. Prolly gonna go 1.25” diameter solid CRS on those as well so in the event an accident happens, the 1” barbell would bend before they do. Also on this, the shallower the rack, the shorter/more rigid the safety pins will be.

 

undecided on how I will fab a dip attachment, but will make one down the road, since it will be detachable anyways.

 

gonna be a bunch of fabricating this weekend. So I’ll make a run to the steel supplier today. I suppose I could update here with progress pics/vids if you guys are interested?

 

Thanks for the input so far fellas!

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climber511

Tommy - I'll try and take a picture of my dip rack and how it attaches - it's pretty simple.  

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Tommy J.
11 minutes ago, climber511 said:

Tommy - I'll try and take a picture of my dip rack and how it attaches - it's pretty simple.  

Very cool! Thank you sir!

 

also, if any of you guys have racks, or pics of racks that have cool features, post them  here. Open to any and all advice on this one.

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Tommy J.

52879301-B7A9-472D-A0E9-C965102E5B9D.thumb.jpeg.c77feb3ee2601ace011d938c38b73a0a.jpeg

Got off so much easier than I thought I would buying steel today. This is enough steel to not only build a monstrously strong rack, but also extra to build a solid welding cart for the welder.

everything here including all the cuts was $220’ish. Not bad considering the SS rack is over $1000 plus shipping.

 

the 2 schedule 40 pieces are what will be used for my neutral grip rolling pull-up device.

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climber511

Do you have the machinery to drill the holes?  That cost more than the steel for me.

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Tommy J.
Posted (edited)

Got a drill press, but no 1” bit.

decided on 1” safety pins while at the steel supplier. As I sort of stood in line to make my order I was wondering how much of a pain in the ass it would be to find a 1.25” bit, that would be needed to make holes for 1.25” safety pins. And at the same time thinking a 1” bit would be easy to find. But nope. No luck.

Edited by Tommy J.
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liftyzig
4 minutes ago, Tommy J. said:

Got a drill press, but no 1” bit.

decided on 1” safety pins while at the steel supplier. As I sort of stood in line to make my order I was wondering how much of a pain in the ass it would be to find a 1.25” bit, that would be needed to make jokes for 1.25” safety pins. And at the same time thinking a 1” bit would be easy to find. But nope. No luck.

you can use a hole saw, or possibly even a step bit.  just go slow, use  generous amounts of lube  🤣

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Climber028
1 hour ago, Tommy J. said:

Got a drill press, but no 1” bit.

decided on 1” safety pins while at the steel supplier. As I sort of stood in line to make my order I was wondering how much of a pain in the ass it would be to find a 1.25” bit, that would be needed to make jokes for 1.25” safety pins. And at the same time thinking a 1” bit would be easy to find. But nope. No luck.

I'm sure you are aware of this but just in case, a 1 inch bar will not fit a 1 inch hole, you need a little extra wiggle room in practice to move the pins in and out easily. And you definitely want a hole saw bit, a twist bit that large would cost a fortune and also is not great at drilling thin stock. 

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Tommy J.
1 hour ago, Climber028 said:

I'm sure you are aware of this but just in case, a 1 inch bar will not fit a 1 inch hole, you need a little extra wiggle room in practice to move the pins in and out easily. And you definitely want a hole saw bit, a twist bit that large would cost a fortune and also is not great at drilling thin stock. 

I’m sure you are aware of this but a 1” drill bit is actually 1” OD. Meaning, the actual hole it makes will allow a 1” bar to slide on in.

i see where you have it mixed up tho.. if I were to machine* out a 1” hole, then in that case a 1” OD bar would not fit in that hole. But luckily for me, I won’t be using any fancy equipment to make these holes. I’m gonna ramrod some dry holes with a 1”  OD drill bit in the drill press while I’m having a gentleman jack and coke and blasting heavy metal. It’ll go smooth. Or I’ll just start shooting holes in shit. It’s been known to happen to a piece of equipment or 3. 🤷🏼‍♂️

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Climber028

I was almost positive you had it covered but man on the off chance you didn't I'd hate to see the hours of lost labor due to something silly and I had to say something. 

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Boulderbrew
4 hours ago, Tommy J. said:

Or I’ll just start shooting holes in shit. It’s been known to happen to a piece of equipment or 3. 🤷🏼‍♂️

RIP that poor GHP 9

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Tommy J.
10 hours ago, Climber028 said:

I was almost positive you had it covered but man on the off chance you didn't I'd hate to see the hours of lost labor due to something silly and I had to say something. 

It certainly was worth mentioning! Thank you sir.

btw, I’m most certainly going to make some sort of err during this process... 😉

but it’s all good. I’m having more fun with the project itself than I think I will using the rack. I’m weird that way.

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Tommy J.
6 hours ago, Boulderbrew said:

RIP that poor GHP 9

That thing is more of a G than 50 cent.

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  • 1 month later...
Tommy J.
Posted (edited)

Update on the rack. As stated previously, I’m slow with home projects sometimes. At least with regards to projects that aren’t home or auto repairs. I’d have to look back at the date I bought the steel, but I’m certain that my time frame on this rack has been pitiful. 😆

Although I’m not totally neglecting this project.. 🤔

Among random footage, I added a very redundant full video of how long it takes to make a single 1” hole in this thick ass C channel. I’ve literally got about 8-10 hours JUST in making the holes! Not including measuring, staring at, center punching, staring at, cutting, staring at, grinding, staring at, and welding the rack... I’ve been drinking beer, stopping to ride the dirt bikes up and down the street with my sons, trolling the corona thread, living life partaking in various debauchery, etc. oh yeah, and working. I do that sometimes too. So it’s been slow progress.

anywho, here’s the update.

 

Edited by Tommy J.
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Tommy J.
On 4/30/2020 at 7:53 AM, Bearcat 74 said:

I’d have a neutral grip pull-up with 2” handles

Thought of you on the pull-up bar(s).

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climber511

Just a tip when you start welding it up.  Line everything up and then be sure to put the safety pins through the holes to be sure they all line up perfectly - even a small error means the pins won't fit when you're all done.  That line up is critical.  

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Tommy J.
2 minutes ago, climber511 said:

Just a tip when you start welding it up.  Line everything up and then be sure to put the safety pins through the holes to be sure they all line up perfectly - even a small error means the pins won't fit when you're all done.  That line up is critical.  

Ah, you didn’t watch the vid I see. ☺️

But nossir on the critical alignment. I chose C Channel uprights not only because they are strong, but also because the C channel rack allows forgiveness on slightly misaligned holes for the pins.

in fact, I can even put my safety pins in diagonally with a C channel rack. Can’t do that with square tube.

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Bearcat 74
4 hours ago, Tommy J. said:

Thought of you on the pull-up bar(s).


Man that looks awesome.  

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