Wednesday, June 17, 2020

DIY Home Gym Improvements - Space Saving Barbell Rack

Right now I have a 15# technique bar, a 20 kg beater bar and a 60" axle bar.  I keep the 20kg in a corner and have the technique bar and axle bar on a homemade "gun rack" made from bike hanger hooks.  I am constantly worried the kids will knock over the 20kg bar.  Grabbing one of the other bars means moving the bicycles and moving them back.  It sucks.

This solution will accommodate my current needs and also leave room to grow for a future 15kg bar and my pride and joy Matt Chan bar which I will hopefully be able to order for Christmas.  

What about the axle bar?  This being shorter, I am going to try to use 2 inch PVC and mount a sleeve to the wall between the studs on the unfinished front part of my gym.  I cut three 6 inch sections and will be using the other two for warm up PVC and a standard curl bar (another item on my list of things to buy).  The rigid 2 hole straps were 2 x $2.08; I will work on this tomorrow.

I have not taken on plate storage yet as my home gym may be converted back to a garage space.  I am avoiding any project that would make it more difficult to park in the garage.

Space Saving Barbell Rack


2 inch Schedule 40 PVC - $7.49
2 inch Mending Plate (4 pieces) - 2 X $2.88
1x4 - had at home
1x3 - had at home
Base mat - had at home


Hack saw
2 and 1/8" Hole saw - Project is on hold until I purchase one of these
Circular saw
Tape measure

Difficulty Level:  Medium

I followed the excellent directions on Garage Gyms, but this has a lot of steps.

(1) cut the pvc - not easy with a hack saw.  I did nip my finger once and then put on gloves.  They ended up at weird angles, but certainly grip the barbell securely

(2) position the top board.  Finding the studs was not bad.  Determining the height was OK, I have my technique bar on the top step, there is room for a 15 kg bar, and I have room for two 20 kg bars.  One of my cups did line up with the stud mounting holes, so I had to screw in the boards and then the cups.

(3) position the PVC cups and match drill through mending plates.  This was OK.  I did put one mending plate on upside down (bevel needs to be towards you), but that was a quick clean up.

(4) cut and position the base boards.  This was pretty easy.  I did use a level to make sure everything is as it should be.  Rather than a stall mat, I used an old door mat to cushion the bars.  Cutting it was easy as I have a relatively new blade on my box cutter

(5) last step will be to cut 54 mm holes and secure the two pieces to the basement steps.  

Update June 18, 2020 - Cutting the holes was not too bad.  I did pilots, cut the holes, sanded the edges and then secured all of it with 3 screws per board.  It feels really secure, but I added some eyelets to secure the bars with a bungee cord as well.  The PVC bar storage was even easier.  I set a 2x4 between the wall and the PVC tubes so that the axle bar sleeve would have enough clearance.

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