T Nation

Adding Knurling to a Bar?

Does anyone know if it’s possible to add knurling to a bar once the bar has already been made? I assume the knurling is just engraved into the bar by the manufacturer, so is there anywhere that I’d be able to take a bar too and have them add knurling?

(Since I’m sure this raises numerous curious questions, the story is that some of the powerlifters at my gym bought a cambered bar, but the stupid thing doesn’t have knurling in the middle, ie, right where you need it. As such, it slides down your back unless you hold it in high bar position on top of your traps. Not surprisingly, nobody uses it for this reason. I was trying it for a few weeks and finally just got fed up today. hence this post)

ur trying to squat a cambered bar?

Yeah, I would suggest using a standard Olympic bar for squatting.

However, athletic tape works, but isn’t permanent.

just take it to a fabricator… the would be able to do it… i still dont understand y u want to use a chambered bar to squat thou…

This is not a bench cambered bar, it’s intended for squatting. I will try to find a pic.

Thanks for the athletic tape suggestion, not my bar tho, so I’d have to clear it, and I’m just not that trusting of athletic tape once the weight starts to get heavy.

If there are any suggestions answering the original question that would be great.

EDIT to add: these are teh two best pics i could find of the cambered bar. I love how matter-of-fact louie looks in any westside video/product picture i’ve ever seen.

2nd EDIT: I give up. cant seem to get the pics up. if they magically appear later, fine. Google image search it.

[quote]thosebananas wrote:
just take it to a fabricator… the would be able to do it… i still dont understand y u want to use a chambered bar to squat thou…

[/quote]

The problem with machining it is that its probably a carbon steel. If you machine off the exterior coating (generally the shiny part) it will rust. You could probably hit it with a rattle can, but then you have flaky paint on the handle. I’ve worked out at a gym that painted their dumbbells. It would give you all kinds of cuts and splinters.

I don’t know that you are going to be able to add knurling to a cambered bar. The knurling is put in the bar by turning it in a lathe. The bar is bent after the knurling is put in, as you can’t really turn a cambered bar.

One could probably add some knurling by hand with a die grinder or a cutting wheel. It wouldn’t look very good, and would be very tedious. Your best bet would be a quality machine shop, they may even have a better idea Keep in mind that after you add any knurling, you will have to refinish the bar to prevent rust.

I agree with the two posts above.

The knurling is machined and the bar you have is both shaped in a manner that will likely make turning it impossible not to mention the fact it is finished and would have to be refinished once the process is complete which would add significant cost.

I have actually had the same thoughts in regards to a cambered bar I have but abandoned the idea due to the issues listed.

It will be interesting to see if anyone has a solution other than tape…

skateboard grip tape dude. It’ll give some ouchies, but works.

KBC, like this?

www.westside-barbell.com/Images/cambered_bar.jpg

I have a hell of a time keeping that thing on my little back.

[quote] Matt wrote:
skateboard grip tape dude. It’ll give some ouchies, but works.[/quote]

dude, wow. I’m doing this with the cambered bar at my school gym as soon as I get back.

[quote]KBCThird wrote:
This is not a bench cambered bar, it’s intended for squatting. I will try to find a pic.

Thanks for the athletic tape suggestion, not my bar tho, so I’d have to clear it, and I’m just not that trusting of athletic tape once the weight starts to get heavy.

If there are any suggestions answering the original question that would be great.

EDIT to add: these are teh two best pics i could find of the cambered bar. I love how matter-of-fact louie looks in any westside video/product picture i’ve ever seen.

2nd EDIT: I give up. cant seem to get the pics up. if they magically appear later, fine. Google image search it.[/quote]

I did that with my straight bar which also stupidly had no center knurling. Partial squats with over 400 lbs, never a slippage and the tape is holding up going on a year now. Works really well

[quote]KBCThird wrote:
Does anyone know if it’s possible to add knurling to a bar once the bar has already been made? I assume the knurling is just engraved into the bar by the manufacturer, so is there anywhere that I’d be able to take a bar too and have them add knurling?

[/quote]

KB, I think the manufacturers use hydraulics to stamp the knurling into the bar.

I’ve used a hacksaw before to cut spiral grooves, mimicking knurling, and it was sufficient.

I’ve also used 3M brand non-slip tape, very good adhesive, very rough and tough. For squatting, it should work good. Hardware stores.

Haven’t posted here in a long time, so hello.

buckeye, yeah, that’s the pic I was trying to upload (one of em.) It also looks like the westside one may not have knurling? I’m surprised.

Matt, where can I buy skateboard grip tape? How heavy have you gone with this?

Limbic, thanks for teh 3M suggestion. How heavy have you gone with this?

[quote]Limbic wrote:
KBCThird wrote:
Does anyone know if it’s possible to add knurling to a bar once the bar has already been made? I assume the knurling is just engraved into the bar by the manufacturer, so is there anywhere that I’d be able to take a bar too and have them add knurling?

KB, I think the manufacturers use hydraulics to stamp the knurling into the bar.
[/quote]

Knurling is done on a piece of machinist equipment called a lathe. It’s like a drill press turned on the side, and the piece of material spins instead of the bit. Get the piece of stock spinning, line up the knurling bit to the depth you want the pattern etched, set the length of the pass, and let it go. We had these at the high school I went to, they just weren’t the size to do this to a barbell. As mentioned before, the shape of the chambered bar would make a job like this unlikely.

Sounds like the tape idea is the way to go.

Here’s one in use. Ours has skateboard tape on it.

Could put some epoxy on in a haphazard fashion to give knurling, or do the whole area and then etch in the knurling by hand (or with a knurling tool).

[quote]JimMcD wrote:
Here’s one in use. Ours has skateboard tape on it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx3T0TiOxKg [/quote]

Well I guess I don’t need to say “skateboard tape, supertraining uses it on theirs” but you are to skinny to not get told again

Knurling in the center makes the bar weaker. May or may not be the reason it doesn’t have it in the first place.

Grip tape.

Thought this might be of interest; http://www.powerliftingwatch.com/node/8747

Play the vid and look at the cambered bar, Donnie seems to have some form of tape around it too.