T Nation

Add Lat Machine To Power Rack

First of all, I hope the pics work. If not, I will fix and re-post.

This post documents a low cost way to add a lat machine to an existing power rack. I did this about 10 years ago, and it hasn’t hiccupped once.

You will need:
Power Rack (duh)
Hardware - Buy quality hardened, bolt snaps are bad
Steel stock, 1 1/4 x 1/8 thick, about 8 ft should do it.
Square tubing for the upright. Larger tubing for the slider.
Dumbell handle

Pulleys - I used Marine grade from a boat store.
3/16 plastic coated cable, about 25 ft.
Various hardware for the cable ends (can’t remember what these are called.)
snap links to combine cables, attach lat bars, etc.

A good drill
A NEW bit or two.

This is a view of the top. My rack actually extends to the rear beyond the rear uprights to allow for a couple plate storage posts. Worked out great. If your rack dead ends at the uprights, you will have to use some of your flat stock to make extra brackets.

Get your tubing and slider where you got your flat stock. Be sure you pick a slider ID that will allow for east travel. ( The slider is just more sqare tubing, a little larger) Have a dumbbell handle welded to the slider.

Now, make your brackets out of the flat stock. You will need a tape measure, a strong vise, a hacksaw, and testicles.
Review all the pistures in this thread to see the different brackets. None are complex.

Test fit your pieces, and mark the rack for drilling. Drill the holes.

Assemble your lat machine. You will find that you are going back to the hardware store for nuts, bolts, washers, etc at this point I am sure.

Here is another view of the top pulley arrangement.

I am not giving specifics as to clearance, parts sizes, etc because every rack will likely be different.

I had to use multiple washers on either side of the pulleys to take up the slack between the pully sides and the inside of the brackets.

Here is a look at the slider and lower bracket.
You will need to make up an extra cable for this. Hook it to the main cable thread and run it through the lower pulley, and you are in business.

Here is another view of the lower assembly. Note the bolt going through the flat stock between the pulley and the vertical tubing.

Without this, when you thread your cable through and try to do some low rows, etc. you will pull the lower pulley up against the vertical tube and it will jam.

How much weight will this thing work with? I have had 300 lbs on it as a test and it was fine.

Here’s a look at the low pulley in action.
Note the angle of the cable coming up from the low pulley. This is what you want. The frone pulley on the top has to terminate far enough forward that the cable will clear a bar on the rack.

Otherwise, you will have to remove the bar from your power rack everytime you want to do pulls or rows, as the cable will rub against the bar, and produce a horrible noise.

Again, I know this is somewhat vauge, but everyone’s gear is a little different. My total cost for this was less than 40.00

Still works great.

How much weight do you pull on it? It doesn’t look like it could take much on top.

I kinda think all you need is a pull up bar and some extra weight.

That is good work on your part, though

I loaded 300 on it. No strain. Now I mostly use it for wide grip pulldowns and low rows. Also triceps pressdowns. You can use it for all kinds of stuff, though.
To each his own.

dude that is awesome, thanks for posting that. I can get all that steel for cheap, I’m gonna build one…

[quote]MODOK wrote:
Great work. How much did the raw materials cost you? (less the squat rack and lat pulldown bars, handles, etc)[/quote]

Less than 40.00. But we are talking 1996 or so. The slider is the only part that is not stock from any metal supply house. If you know someone that can weld, it is almost free. Just a foot of tubing, a peice of flat, and 18" of round stock. Don’t scimp on the pulleys.