Sunday, 9 April 2017

Squat stands (and bench stands).

As is my usual writing style, this is post is a bit long and wordy, but there is a point to it. I built these my way because it suits what I want to do with them but there are easier ways to go about setting this up so it’s (hopefully) worth reading to get some ideas that might suit you better. Also the end product looks a little scrappy, part off that is to do with saving money and part is to do with having these stands work for multiple purposes. You might not need so much functionality, and so your stands can look a lot better than mine.

I wanted to build myself some squat stands so after much Pinterest searching, and contemplating, I had to list of things I wanted from these stands. I wanted them to be movable, I wanted squat and bench height, for myself and my wife, and I want them to fit my fat bar (50mm). That’s a lot of functionality, and a lot going on in a small space.

First step was measuring and planning. The sizes that follow are for myself and my wife, and will likely be different for you, but I’ll list them anyway so you will have a ball park figure in mind. The bar height for me is 1460mm (Squat) and 1110mm (Bench). The bar height for my wife is 1360 (Squat) and 1010 (Bench). The front stops are 40mm higher on each, and the central back stop is 100mm higher than my squat bar height (I.E. 1560mm).

Front rack/Squat height with the fat bar
This is a lot of material and a lot of functionality. It would be much simpler (and cheaper) for just one person or for just squatting, or without wanting it to fit a fat bar. But I think if something is worth doing its worth over doing. Another option, if it is available to you, would be to get just two uprights from a squat stand or power cage, and concrete these into a bucket each, job done.

I bought dressed (smooth), H3 treated (above ground) framing timber. This is 92mm wide by 45mm thick. I cut each of these to the bar height sizes. I then cut the front stops for each bar height from 92x18mm window framing timber. The centre stops were then set up with off cuts. Having these sections not run full length save me some money, but makes the whole thing look a little scrappy.

That is the bulk of the material needed, but the 45mm thickness would not fit my fat bar. I cut some 8mm plywood packers to fit between the framing timber and the front stops, so that there would be space to fit the fat bar. I used plywood I had spare, so again there don’t run all the way, saving some money but making it look scrappy.

This is the two squat heights set up
Everything was screwed together, nailed together, and stood up in a bucket each. I filled each bucket with one bag of quick set cement which I mixed in a third, old bucket. Once set these were heavy enough to stay in place without wobbling too much, but light enough to move (A short distance).

These stands can do everything I want them to which is great. By no means am I saying this is the best design, it’s certainly not the simplest, but I hope it gives to some ideas of features and how you might go about them for your own stands.

Also for comparison these cost me about $130 to build and the cheapest commercially available option for me was a bit more than twice this price.

Should have warmed up first

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