Q. Has anyone built a squat rack? If so, can you pass instructions my way?
A. This is very low tech. You can do it yourself if you have an arc welder, or
a MIG or TIG. Or if you have a brother-in-law who has one or someone you know who works in
a machine shop.
The square channels used for the power racks are very standard, and cheap.
Any metal shop can get them, or has them. Buy regular steel, same thickness
they have in the gym. I see in my book that we have 2"x2" square tubes with
.250" thick walls. This should be enough, I don't remember what the
dimensions of a squat rack are, but you can also get 2-1/2" x 2-1/2", or
1-3/4"x1-3/4", or 3"x3". And if you think that .250" is too thick, or too
expensive or whatever, you can get .188", .150", .134", .125", .110" thick
After, you drill holes at the height of your nipples. This is where the bar
has to be.
And don't forget the safety bars. They must be just a little bit under your
flexion position when you squat. This to avoid the bar breaking your bones
if you (when you) collapse after a set to failure.
For those bars, I recommend thick steel tubes. In my book, you can buy
1.050" diameter tubes, with .125" thick walls. This will make you good
There is less than $50 in metal in a squat rack, when you can get wholesale
To build your own squat rack and make it worth the effort, you have to have
access and knowledge in the use of welders and metal sawbenches, and access
to a source of metal channels and tubing.
Of course, your squat rack will not be chromed like those in your gym. For
that type of plating, in quantities of just one, you would pull your hair
off your head if you had to pay for having it chromed.
So your squat rack will look plain, kinda like Rocky's (in the first movie)
if he had one. I think this is a cool, easy project. I thought of rolling
my own squat rack before, but I really do not have the time for that. Also,
I am not sure where to purchase the olympic bar (the barbell). Of course
you could make your own, but these bars are a standard, and unless you
really have access and knowledge in metalworks, it will be by far cheaper to
purchase it directly. And if you don,t give a toss about having the "real,
official" bar for your squats, then it is very easy to make your own halters
and barbells with steel tubes.
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