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Build Your Own Squat Rack
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Homemade Squat Rack Plans
How To Build A Squat
This rack was copied from my local gym. The construction of it has
been slightly modified to make it more suited to the home constructor. The
original used pins that had stepped ends that would require a lathe to
manufacture. To overcome this a second washer is welded onto the upper and
lower pins. The 100mm dimension shown between the two washers was chosen
to be big enough to get your hand into only. Feel free to alter this
On the drawings I have
indicated the angles to cut the RHS at to give the correct assembly. There
are two side frames to weld up and two strut bars. The two strut bars bolt
onto the side frames to make a complete unit. You could weld the strut
bars in place but it would be difficult to transport in this state. The
four washers are to put on the other side of the strut bars to prevent the
side wall of the RHS from crushing when the M12 bolts are tightened.
I have indicated to
check the length of your favorite bar to make sure the rack is not
too wide for your bar. The bar in my gym only has about 50mm of clearance
from the outside of the frame to the collar. This can make walking back
with a heavy weight a bit tricky at times.
For the construction you will
A drill press
A 25mm metal cutting hole saw.
To Make It
off will be to cut the RHS up. I added up the lengths from the drawing
which came to just under 8m for one side and one strut. In Australia a std
length of RHS is 8m so this worked out nicely. Steer away from hardware
shops for the RHS as they will charge LOTS more for it, the large metal
companies who make the tube normally have a ‘direct to the public’ area
where you should be able to but the tube cut in half (add up some of the
lengths until your about half way and give them that dimension) which with
a good set of roof bars you could put in onto you car to get home. Some
shops may even be able to cut the entire length up into all the pieces
required, normally without the angles though.
Once the RHS is cut
the holes need to be drilled. For the four short vertical sections I would
put one 900mm length together with one 824mm length and tack weld (very
lightly) them together. Using a hole saw or a large drill bit in a
pedestal drill after marking out and clamping the RHS down, I would drill
the six holes. If using a hole saw you will eng up only being able to
drill through the top RHS and one face of the lower RHS, after this
separate the two halves and finish making the holes right through. Repeat
this with the other sides uprights. Drill the angled sections 11 holes
right through as well. The drill (or hole saw) should be around 26 mm to
give clearance for the 25mm bars. This will vary a bit depending on what
bar you obtain. Occasionally in Australia I have ordered 25mm bar and
ended up with 25.4 (1”) bar instead. Check this before drilling all of
Lay one side frames
worth of steel on the floor arranged to the correct shape. Start by
getting one of the angles right and put a couple of tacks on one side of
the joint (it will be a vertical weld). This allows you to move the joint
after the first tack has cooled to get it back into shape before you weld
the other side. Once all of the joints have been tacked you can finish
weld the frame. It would be beneficial to place the lower spot pins in
place before welding the frame to make sure all of the holes line up. With
one side complete you can use this as a template for the other side.
Providing both sides have the same errors it should still work OK.
Once the two main
frames are complete cap the top of the 900mm long RHS with a section of
flat bar, clean up any welds that are still messy and paint the whole
thing. The strut bars need the plates welded onto them after the mounting
holes have been drilled, paint when complete.
The racking pins and
lower spot bars will probably be the next items to make. It is your choice
to use either mild steel (cheaper and easier) or go for a grade steel such
as 4140. The upper pins will be no problem (can take about 10 Tonne in
shear) but if you like to drop 200kg from your shoulders to the lower pins
then the 4140 will not bend, as easily. The end stops for the bars was
only designed as a 25mm washer welded into place. This can be made as
elaborate as you please. The 8mm diameter hole in the end on the pin is
for an retainer pin to go through, very important that this is in place.
If you make the pins from 4140 you need to keep the spindle speed on the
drill low, the pressure high and some coolant on the bit.
The more care that is
taken the better the rack will look and function, after cutting the round
bar to length grind a chamfer on the end, maybe buy a sanding disk for
your grinder and dress the welds and the ends of the spot pins with
The unit in the gym has a stainless steel sheet riveted to the
front face of the inclined RHS. This is there so that when you shoulder
charge the frame with the bar you don’t chip the paint. There are a number
of low cost ways to reduce this problem, such as masking tape over your
particular hit area. I am sure that all you creative folk will find ways
Good Luck and Have Fun Squatting.
Drawing 1 - General Information
Drawing 2 - Upper Pins and Lower Spot Bar Details
Drawing 3 - Struts, Washer and Backside Frame
Drawing 4 - Side Frame Construction Details
DISCLAIMER - THE
INFORMATION CONTAINED WITHIN THIS ARTICLE IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES
ONLY. IT IS INTENDED ONLY AS A REFERENCE FOR BUILDING YOUR OWN SQUAT RACK.
THE AUTHOR, BILL McBRIDE (A PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER), OR THE SITE WHERE THIS
DOCUMENT IS HOSTED ARE MERELY PROVIDING INFORMATION AND OFFER NO WARRANTY
OR GUARANTEES WITH THIS DESIGN. EACH OF US, AS INDIVIDUAL'S, MUST BE
ACCOUNTABLE FOR OUR ACTIONS.
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