Building a wooden weight stand - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 10-29-2017, 03:42 AM Thread Starter
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Building a wooden weight stand

My home gym is only 10' x 10', and with a power rack and treadmill, the weight stand takes up a lot of precious space. I've seen some pics of where others built their own weight stand using wood and L-brackets, so I'm trying to emulate that.

The walls of the gym are thin wood paneling (80's style) that I can't really replace without tearing out the drop ceiling, too. It's part of my basement, and as far as I can tell, behind the paneling are 1x4s or 1x6s that are attached (nailed?) to the cinderblock foundation.

I'm wanting to do one of two things:

1. Take a piece of wood (1x6, or maybe a deck board?) that fits from the floor to the ceiling (about 7'), cut slits in it so that the L-brackets slide through from the back, then attach it directly to the wall using lag screws (that go through the L-brackets) that go all the way into the cinderblock foundation. So you would have a sandwich of the wall, the L-bracket, then the wood, with lag screws locking them in place. The bracket that holds the weight would be perpendicular to the floor.

2. Take a slightly longer piece of wood, but instead of attaching it to the wall I would have it at a slight angle so that the top leans against the wall, while the bottom comes away from the wall by about 4" (so the board, bottom, and wall would make a triangle). I'm not sure if I can cut the same slits to slide the L-bracket through from the back, though, because then I would have several weak points, so maybe I would have to attach them to the front of the board using lag bolts instead of lag screws? Or maybe I could add several short pieces of wood along the way for bracing? The bracket that holds the weight would be angled slightly upward instead of being perpendicular to the floor.

Either way, I'll have 2 of these (one on each side of my power rack), and each one will have 210lbs of plate weights stacked on it (3x45 plates, 1x35, 1x25, 1x10, 1x5).

Which, if either, of these would you guys suggest?

And, any suggestion on the type of wood that I should use?
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post #2 of 25 Old 10-29-2017, 06:58 AM
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It is not clear to me just what you are storing. Is it a bar bell? That is, bar and weights on each end? Or is it the separate pieces?

George
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post #3 of 25 Old 10-29-2017, 07:14 AM
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I think I would purchase a steel rack. Weights are too dangerous to rely on wooden brackets to hold up. You might make a rack and it hold up for a while but wood has a tendency to deteriorate from stress such as weight. Picture one day one of the brackets breaking when a love one especially a child is next to it.
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post #4 of 25 Old 10-29-2017, 08:41 AM
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Weight plate racks are cheap, to build one out of wood you would want to over engineer it, with wood that means it will take up more space than metal.

I personally would just buy some, a couple of these would do the trick...

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Weider-We...&wl13=&veh=sem

I personally like these, most gyms use them around the dead lift mats...

https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p...thsbmprpltrwst
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post #5 of 25 Old 10-30-2017, 04:06 AM Thread Starter
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GeorgeC, I'm trying to find a way to store the plate weights, not the bar. The plates look like this:

https://i5.walmartimages.com/asr/98a...4658661fa.jpeg

Shoot summ, I have one of those right now, but the problem I have is space. The room is only 10' x 10', and my rack looks like this:

https://images46.fotki.com/v1637/pho...255_797-vi.jpg

The barbell is just over 7' long, and I have a treadmill in there (one that folds up, so I can move the bench out of the way to unfold the treadmill) and a dumbbell rack, so space is pretty tight. The weight stand is about 2' wide, so I'm always having to contort between the bar and stand to get the weights off and put them where they need to go.

My theory is that if I could put half of the weights on either side of the rack, on the back wall, then they would be safely out of the way and easier to access. In theory they would only come off of the wall by 7" instead of 20", which would really be pretty helpful.

I see what you mean, Steve, about the wood not holding up over time... good point :-( I haven't found any steel racks that are perfectly vertical and mountable like that, though. Ideally, I would have something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Body-Solid-Ol...dp/B00C03BRRA/

but sliced down the middle so that I could have all 6 pegs on the same side...

Last edited by csdude55; 10-30-2017 at 05:09 AM.
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post #6 of 25 Old 10-30-2017, 08:08 AM
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Back in 1993 at Hunter Base in Somalia, we made a weight bench out of treated 2x12's. We used a cutting torch off the recovery vehicle to cut rounds out of the armor of a blown up vehicle. I think we used an axle of some kind for the bar. There is no telling how heavy that bar bell was. I know I put on a lot of size lifting that damned thing for 9 months. When we shut down the fire base, we let the Somalies that we had worked with scavenge what they could. When I last saw that bar bell 4 Somalies where carrying it.
I remember me and the guys laughing pretty hard about that. Anyway the weight bench held up through all that.

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post #7 of 25 Old 10-30-2017, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csdude55 View Post
My home gym is only 10' x 10', and with a power rack and treadmill, the weight stand takes up a lot of precious space. I've seen some pics of where others built their own weight stand using wood and L-brackets, so I'm trying to emulate that.

The walls of the gym are thin wood paneling (80's style) that I can't really replace without tearing out the drop ceiling, too. It's part of my basement, and as far as I can tell, behind the paneling are 1x4s or 1x6s that are attached (nailed?) to the cinderblock foundation.

I'm wanting to do one of two things:

1. Take a piece of wood (1x6, or maybe a deck board?) that fits from the floor to the ceiling (about 7'), cut slits in it so that the L-brackets slide through from the back, then attach it directly to the wall using lag screws (that go through the L-brackets) that go all the way into the cinderblock foundation. So you would have a sandwich of the wall, the L-bracket, then the wood, with lag screws locking them in place. The bracket that holds the weight would be perpendicular to the floor.

2. Take a slightly longer piece of wood, but instead of attaching it to the wall I would have it at a slight angle so that the top leans against the wall, while the bottom comes away from the wall by about 4" (so the board, bottom, and wall would make a triangle). I'm not sure if I can cut the same slits to slide the L-bracket through from the back, though, because then I would have several weak points, so maybe I would have to attach them to the front of the board using lag bolts instead of lag screws? Or maybe I could add several short pieces of wood along the way for bracing? The bracket that holds the weight would be angled slightly upward instead of being perpendicular to the floor.

Either way, I'll have 2 of these (one on each side of my power rack), and each one will have 210lbs of plate weights stacked on it (3x45 plates, 1x35, 1x25, 1x10, 1x5).

Which, if either, of these would you guys suggest?

And, any suggestion on the type of wood that I should use?
This is confusing, do you mean parallel?

Perpendicular means the floor(horizontal) and bracket is pointed vertically...

Why not find a way to store the plates on the power rack?
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post #8 of 25 Old 10-30-2017, 09:59 AM
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Is it a good idea to have 410 pounds anchored against the wall like that? Are the 1x4 or 1x6 positioned like studs at 16" on center or are they flat against the block and set edge to edge like paneling?
To be honest, I think you're better off just leaning the plates against the wall. Attach some rubber mats along the bottom of the wall to protect it from the weights.
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post #9 of 25 Old 10-30-2017, 10:34 AM
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I used to exercise intentionally, but age made sure that wasn't happening the way it once did. I still exercise, but not on purpose. It's usually connected to something the wife wants done and more often than not it involves living plants in the yard..
Save yourself a lot of trouble and get a big yard with lots of bushes that grow too fast. You might even look forward to dying from old age and lack of exercise..maybe just a tree limb growing in the wrong place that the Mrs wants trimmed with a poorly designed chain saw..
This is the story of my life. Individual results may vary.
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post #10 of 25 Old 10-30-2017, 02:26 PM
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post #11 of 25 Old 10-30-2017, 04:44 PM
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What if you make hollow "wedges" out of plywood with metal pipes protruding from the angled face? Rest the wedge on the floor and anchor the top edge to the wall just to keep it from tipping over. This way, the bulk of the weight is transferred to the floor. I think this is sort of what you're getting at with your 2nd idea.

To hold the pipes, fasten 2x6 lumber scraps inside the wedge, with holes drilled for the pipes. Glue and screw. You'll need to make sure the pipes don't pull out accidently. One way is to leave space behind the wedge and screw on pipe-caps.

I sketched it out in case my description isn't making sense. (the diagram shows 2x4 as the reinforcement, but 2x6 or 2x8 would be better...I didn't want to go back and fix the diagram)


Oh...depending on the angled involved, you might not even need to tie this into the wall. All the weight is transferred from the pipes into the plywood (especially the front angled piece) then into the floor. Very little force should be on the anchors, they're mostly as a backup.
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Last edited by desertsp; 10-30-2017 at 04:55 PM. Reason: add something
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post #12 of 25 Old 10-30-2017, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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@shoot summ, my apologies, I did mean parallel... I was posting at nearly 3am, so my brain apparently wasn't firing on all cylinders :-)

@gj13us, the 1x4s (or 1x6s, I'm not sure which) are positioned like studs at what appears to be 12" intervals instead of 16". They also go behind the droptile ceiling. What I don't know is how they are attached to the cinderblock foundation, so if I were to mount anything directly to them then I think I would have to drill through them and into the foundation.

Leaning like that wouldn't be terrible, I guess. I'm trying to keep appearance in mind, too, though, because I've been working towards refinancing the house and I'm looking for a high appraisal. Which is another reason I'm trying to make the room look less constricted.

@allpurpose and @Pineknot_86... believe me, I get that! lol And I actually do have a pretty big yard (5 acres) that requires a lot of maintenance. But I'm 42, and a few years ago I started developing near-crippling lower back pain. Since then I've lost nearly 40lbs of bodyfat, and weightlifting has helped to keep my lower back in check (most of the time, anyway). Plus, it gives me an excuse to stop working behind the computer for about an hour a day. So I hope to continue lifting weights for a loooong time! :-)
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post #13 of 25 Old 10-30-2017, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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@desertsp, you're right, that's fairly similar to my second option, but using galvanized pipes and 2x6's for additional support instead of an L-bracket is a pretty good modification :) :) :) You're coming out at a larger angle than I was anticipating, though.

Would plywood or MDF be strong enough to hold that much weight?
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post #14 of 25 Old 10-30-2017, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csdude55 View Post
@desertsp, you're right, that's fairly similar to my second option, but using galvanized pipes and 2x6's for additional support instead of an L-bracket is a pretty good modification :) :) :) You're coming out at a larger angle than I was anticipating, though.

Would plywood or MDF be strong enough to hold that much weight?
Yeah I think your original angle is probably more practical, esp since you're trying to save space. just becareful that there's at least some angle otherwise you risk the pipes "drooping" and the weights sliding off (BAD!!!).

I do have another space-saving idea, kind of a modification to the larger wedge concept. Hard to describe, but kind of like a cartoon Christmas tree, or two smaller wedges stacked atop each other. Yeah I'm sure that makes perfect sense LOL - just let me know if you want a sketch.

As far as the plywood, I bet your average quality 3/4" construction plywood is strong enough. This isn't a massive amount of weight and plywood is naturally good at bearing shear forces (get REAL plywood, not the chipboard or MDF stuff). The pipes won't dig in or splinter the plywood because of the 2x6 reinforcements. Use 2x2 lumber to connect the plywood edges, With glue and screws every few inches I'lI bet it holds up even to heavy use.
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post #15 of 25 Old 10-31-2017, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by csdude55 View Post
@gj13us, the 1x4s (or 1x6s, I'm not sure which) are positioned like studs at what appears to be 12" intervals instead of 16". They also go behind the droptile ceiling. What I don't know is how they are attached to the cinderblock foundation, so if I were to mount anything directly to them then I think I would have to drill through them and into the foundation.
I think drilling straight through a 1x4 from edge to edge is going to be nearly impossible.

What if you cut away the paneling where you want to mount the racks? Like a recess in the wall? Then you're saving a few inches' floor space and mount right up against the cinder block. It also might give the room a little more design/visual appeal.
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post #16 of 25 Old 11-01-2017, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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@gj13us, I love that idea! I might have to pull away a test section to see what's back there (insulation, etc), but I could definitely see a 2x6 that comes off the wall by about 1/2", maybe quarter-round to hide the rough edges... I like the idea :-)
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post #17 of 25 Old 11-02-2017, 01:38 PM
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@gj13us, I love that idea! I might have to pull away a test section to see what's back there (insulation, etc), but I could definitely see a 2x6 that comes off the wall by about 1/2", maybe quarter-round to hide the rough edges... I like the idea :-)

Happy to help.
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post #18 of 25 Old 11-03-2017, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Well guys, I've gotten myself backed into a corner, maybe you can help.

After a lot of thought, I decided to layer a deck board on top of a 1x4, then use a 3" lag screw to screw them to the 1x4 (or 1x6) "stud" that's behind the paneling. I was going to do like gj13us suggested, but it looks like there's insulation and electrical running through the areas without a stud so I'm hesitant to mess with all of that.

The original concern of having so much weight pulling on the stud? I had an "aha" moment last night and realized the easy solution: most of the weight comes from 3 45lb plates that will be at the bottom, so I'm just going to place them so that they rest gently on the floor, using the rack to hold them straight. And voila, now it's just holding 75lbs instead of 210 :-)

So the plan was to buy black iron pipe with a 2" outer diameter, and cut it in to 8" segments. Cut a 2" hole in the deck board (using a hole saw), and on the back side of the deck board have... something... to hold the pipe in place. I'll get to that in a second, because that "something" is where my question lies.

Then the 1x4 would be layered behind that something, so it's mashing the something in to the deck board and holding it firmly in place. I was thinking that I would Liquid Nail the wood together, then use the lag screws to go through both pieces of wood and 7/8" into the stud behind everything.

(Downside here is that I won't have an angle on the pipe, but I don't know a good way around that other than building a wedge... which I might still do using the same concept)

The problem is, what do I use to hold the pipe in place from behind the deck board? I've looked through a ton of options, and I'm coming up short.

My original thought was to drill 2 holes in the pipe and run a 3" long cold-rolled steel pin through it, then hammer the pin into the deck board. But those pins are $5 each, and with 10 of them that's getting a little pricey for this project. Worse, I'm not sure if the pin could hold any weight, or if it would dig into the board and make it all loose.

Next idea is a black iron floor flange, and thread one end of each segment of pipe. This seems ideal, but for two things: one, I'm not sure how to counter-sink it into the 1x4 behind it (I don't have a router), and two, the flanges are $8 each! So that gets a little cost-prohibitive, too.

Any other suggestions on how I might solidly connect the black iron pipe to the wood?
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post #19 of 25 Old 11-04-2017, 02:58 PM
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Sounds like a solid plan.

I didn't realize you were using two inch pipe so I can see why it would be hard to drill at an angle. Only thing I can think of would be to make a "guide" for the hole saw where you bore through a piece of scrap, then clamp it onto the actual boards using a spacer under one side so it's at an angle. Hopefully that would then guide the bit in at the same angle, at least enough to get it started. Make sense?

As for holding the pipes in place, could you just use a big gob of epoxy in each hole? Cheap!

The one thing that worries me I guess would be the lag screws in the 1x4 "studs". I assume by 1x4 they're actually 3/4" wide and that's doesn't leave much room for error. Even if you are able to drill exactly in the center, there's still barely any material on each side of the screw. Toenailing the screws might help (put them in at slight angles from the left and right of where you think the studs are, so they hit the stud at a slight diagonal. Could you run the "deck board + 1x4" all the way from the top row of holes to the floor?
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post #20 of 25 Old 11-05-2017, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds like a solid plan.

I didn't realize you were using two inch pipe so I can see why it would be hard to drill at an angle. Only thing I can think of would be to make a "guide" for the hole saw where you bore through a piece of scrap, then clamp it onto the actual boards using a spacer under one side so it's at an angle. Hopefully that would then guide the bit in at the same angle, at least enough to get it started. Make sense?
Yep, makes sense! Better than my idea; I was thinking to cut a piece of scrap at an angle (not a miter cut, but a straight cut at an angle), then screw that to the final board and use one of the ends as a guide. I like your plan better, though.

Quote:
As for holding the pipes in place, could you just use a big gob of epoxy in each hole? Cheap!
It's a thought, for sure, and I just happen to have epoxy on hand. I guess, worst case scenario, I could give it a shot, and if it doesn't work out then rebuild.

Quote:
The one thing that worries me I guess would be the lag screws in the 1x4 "studs". I assume by 1x4 they're actually 3/4" wide and that's doesn't leave much room for error. Even if you are able to drill exactly in the center, there's still barely any material on each side of the screw. Toenailing the screws might help (put them in at slight angles from the left and right of where you think the studs are, so they hit the stud at a slight diagonal. Could you run the "deck board + 1x4" all the way from the top row of holes to the floor?
I may not have been too clear. The 1x4s used as studs are flat against the cinderblock foundation, so I have a 4" area to hit the wood, not 3/4". But it's only 3/4" thick, so going through the stud and hitting the cinderblock is a larger concern.

If I'm right then a deck board would be 1 1/4" thick, then a 1x4 is 3/4" thick, then the paneling is 1/4" thick, then the 1x4 stud is 3/4" thick... so a total of 3" thick.
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