Monday, April 2, 2012

DIY pullup Rig / Squat Stand

I recently moved from a house that had a big enough basement to hang a pull-up bar. Our "new" house doesn't have any room for any sort of pullup rig. I wanted to order one from Rogue, but they haven't weather tested the rack I wanted, so I got creative. I took the parts from my now defunct pullup bar and decided to make something that'd do the trick. I then took it a step further, and decided to add a squat rack (because I can).

I already had everything I needed except the lumber and carriage bolts. They cost me a total of about $45. If I remember correctly, the original parts cost about $40. All in all, you should be able to do the whole project for $100-ish.

Materials needed

  • (8) 10" Carriage Bolts 3/8" diameter with washers and nuts
  • (8) 3" Galvanized screws 3/8" diameter
  • (1) 60" Galvanized pipe 1 1/4" diameter (threaded on the ends)
  • (2) 24" Galvanized pipes 1 1/4" diameter* (threaded on the ends)
  • (4) End Caps 1 1/4" diameter
  • (2) 1 ½” Floor Flange
  • (4)  pipe clamps
  • (4) 6' Untreated 4x4 boards
  • (2) 5' Untreated 4x4 boards
  • (2) 10' Untreated 4x4 boards
  • (2) 60lb bags of Quikrete (optional)
  • Level
  • Tape Measure
  • Saw (Circular saw, or miter saw preferred)
  • Power Drill
  • 3/8" Auger drill bit
  • 1 1/2" Auger drill bit
  • Shovel
  • Hammer / Rubber mallet
  • Bucket and water for Quikrete (optional)
  • For the bigger holes, make sure you drill exactly perpendicular. I suggest using a drill press if you have access.
  • Duct tape (optional)

       Pullup Portion
    • First, take the 10' boards. Measure 4" from the top of each, find the center, and drill a 1 1/2" hole through each (this is where the pullup bar will go).
    • Thread the 60" pipe through each hole. Screw the floor flanges on the end of the pipe.
    • At this point, you should have a bar that is loose on the top of your 10' boards. Call this the "main section", and set it to the side.
    • Next, measure from the ground to your preferred bar "resting position". (This is normally the position where you prefer to pick a bar off a stand. I recommend roughly 3" lower than the rack position - for me, this was 50"). Add 18" to that number (for me, it was 68").
    • Take the four 6' boards, measure from the bottom of each your resting position plus 18" (again, for me it's 68"). Find the center and drill a 1 1/2" hole through all four.
    • Set two of the 6' boards to the side.  
    • On the main section, move the 10' boards apart - so that they are each against the floor flanges.
    • Lay the main section flat on the ground. Take one of the 6' boards, align it's bottom with one of the bottoms the 10' boards. Make sure that the hole on the 6' board is facing up.
    • With the bottoms aligned, and the boards flush, temporary tape the boards together - to prevent them from shifting while drilling.
    • Drill a 3/8" hole through both boards at 6" below the hole on the 6' board. Drill another 3/8" hole through both boards 30" below the hole on the 6' board.
    • Insert carriage bolts in the holes, add washers, and tighten the nuts. Call this the "arm".
    • Repeat the last four steps (Steps in Blue) for the other side of the main section.
    • Tighten the Floor flanges, and attach one arm to the bar by bolting the floor flange to the arm using galvanized screws leave the other side unbolted at this time.
       Placement in the ground
    • Find where you want the rig to stand. Remember, you will need an area of roughly 10' x 10'. Section A will be centered in this area.
    • Dig two holes 18" deep. Space them the distance of the arms of the main section. (Make sure you measure, but they should be approximately 50" - 60" apart.)
    • Put both arms in the holes. Use the level to assure the main section is exactly perpendicular at all angles. (Be OCD about this - as it's vital!)
    • **If you are using Quikrete, add it at this time in each hole
    • Fill in and pack the holes - continually checking that the bar, and the arms are all level.
    • After everything is in place, then bolt the other Arm to the other floor flange.
       Squat Rack
    • Insert the 24" galvanized pipe into the open holes on the main section. Place one end cap on each pipe (the side opposite where you would like the squat stand.
    • Push the cap against the arm. Measure the distance from the near side of the Arm to the end of the 24" pipe" (this should be approximately 18")
    • dig an 18" deep hole directly under the end of the 24" pipe(again, approx 18")
    • Take the remaining 6' boards. Measure 2" above the hole. Square the distance, and cut with the saw. (This shouldn't be much - this is so you can get the bar over the board, and put it in the rack.)
    • Put the bottom of the board in one of the hole in the ground, insert the pipe in the hole in the board, and place a cap at the end of the pipe.
    • Make sure the board is level on all levels, add Quickrete (optional), and fill and pack hole.
    • Repeat the last three steps (Steps in Green) for the other side of the main section.
    • Add the pipe clamps on the inside of the insides of the exposed 24" pipes, and tighten them down. 
       Support Arms
    • Right now, the rig should look pretty sweet, and if you used Quickrete, you've pretty much done all you need to. If you're like me, and can't pour concrete, you'll need to take this last step.
    • Take the 5' boards and cut a 30 degree angle on one end each. (This end will be the brace against the rig.)
    • Dig two holes - one behind each Arm approximately 3 1/2' from the back of each arm (again, measure to make sure). Each hole should be the same depth, and should be at least 12" deep.
    • Set the braces against the arms. With the auger bit, drill through the Arm and the brace 1" and 3" from the top of the brace. Make the holes parallel to the ground.
    • Add carriage bolts, washers, and nuts to the holes. tighten everything down, and repeat on the other side.
    • Fill and pack the holes.
    • Do lots of squats and pullups 
* I used 18" galvanized pipes, and it worked - barely. The bar fits, but it's a very snug fit. 24" pipes will work perfectly.
** I didn't use Quikrete, and the rig holds weight just fine, and can withstand me doing kipping pullups.
*** I chose 1 1/4" pipes because I like a thicker pullup bar. Standard is generally 1 1/8"-ish. If you choose to go with a thinner pipe, remember that your auger bit will need to be slightly (not much) bigger than the pipe.

That’s about it! It took me about 6 hours to do everything, but I had two crazy boys running around everywhere. Like I said, it worked great for me. I'm notorious for being rough on pullup equipment, and it holds just fine.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask, or to hit me up on Twitter @gobosoxx.