T Nation

DIY No-Drill Farmer's Walk Handles


I’m just going to throw up a few pictures of a pair of Farmer’s Walk handles I built from off-the-shelf parts from the hardware store. I’d seen several designs that required drilling through the steel, and I really didn’t have the bits, the clamps, or the time to do that, so I came up with another option.

Only needs an adjustable wrench and a screwdriver to assemble.

As far as the pipe, the place that sells the pipe can/will usually cut it down to size for free. In the midwest, I could buy 10’ of 2" pipe at Lowe’s/Home Depot/Menards, but on the west coast I had to ask around and get it from a plumbing supply place in town.

Assembly should be pretty obvious from the photos. The only thing to take note of is that there’s two washers and a nut on the underside of the handle, just to keep it from slipping down the bolts.

Basic parts list:

  • 2x 5’ to 6’ long pieces of 1-1/2" inner diameter Schedule-40 pipe (roughly 1.9" outside diameter). Mine are right around 5’6 apiece.
  • 4x 3/4" diameter black pipe T’s
  • 2x 12" long, 3/4" diameter black pipe nipple
  • 8x hinged pipe hangers (see pics)
  • 4x long bolts that screw into the pipe hangers
  • 8x large washers to go around the bolt and next to the Ts
  • 4x small washers to transition between the large washers and the nuts
  • 4x nuts to hold the handles on at the end of the bolts
  • 4x vise-clamp style collars to keep the plates from sliding off the end

Vise-clamp style collars need to be clamped down hard to keep the plates from sliding off the end if they get dropped hard

The bolts should be long enough so that he handle can be used to keep it from rolling away

I may update this with better measurements.

Trying to Become a Strongman

you must have been /is plumber
looks simple, easy to do


I like it a lot. You might want to add more washers at the top though and just make sure your hangers are rated for 400lbs so there is no chance of them breaking.


Good call on that. I looked it up, and those hangers are rated at 180 pounds apiece, static load.

There are conduit hangers rated at 400 pounds apiece, static load. There’s also clevis hangers rated much more than that, but they don’t clamp down so you’d have to find a way to keep them from sliding along the pipe. Or you could use a standard pipe clamp with an eye bolt/rod if you’re ok with the handles swinging a bit from your hand.

I’ll switch out to one of those options if/when one of these breaks.


It might be fun to test one to failure if you have the money/time.


if you wanted to get fancy you could buy a strain gauge and measure the elongation and get a good estimate of how strong your set up is…but that is the scientist in me talking.


I know this is an old post, but I just saw it recently and built my own pair following LoRez’s ideas. An engineer at work helped me modify it a bit; he suggested using reducing bushings in the pipe T’s to induce a more snug fit. The reducing bushings I used were 3/4" to 1/8" from McMaster-Carr. The threading in the reduced portion inhibited the bolt from penetrating, so I used a drill bit to grind them down. The result was a very sturdy fit for the bolt. They feel very solid and sound. Thanks for the idea LoRez, these things are amazing!


Post some pics!

Here are mine that I made a while back:


Why not use a strong wheel barrow?


Very different movement compared to farmers walks. If you’re hoping to get better at farmers, you need to train it.


Gotya :slight_smile:


I’m interested in whether these fell apart or not?


The angle of the camera in the closeup makes it look a tad odd, but they are square. I used a reducing bushing on each end of the pipe T’s (total of 4). I have only loaded them to a little over 200 lbs. each so far, and they feel very solid. Simply for information sake, they are 16.6 lbs. each.



They look great.


Thanks, jellodirt! I am trying to figure out a way to help my grip on these, since the handles are smooth. It seems that people have encountered problems after using athletic tape on metal, since sweat can accumulate underneath and cause rusting, although I suppose this can be circumvented by replacing it after every use. Has anyone ever tried using adhesive-backed sandpaper? I have felt 150 grit (too damn rough) and 220 grit (possibly too smooth?), but have yet to actually try them.


Mine are smooth as well, but I haven’t had a problem yet with slipping (maybe because I haven’t loaded them much past 200lbs per hand yet). If it is an issue you could always take a hacksaw or something and strike some grooves in it for a knurling type effect.
You could try some pine tar or something to add some grip to it as well.


How much did it cost for all the materials? I think I might have to build these this weekend lol.


Pine tar is an awesome idea, I will try that tomorrow. Last Friday I bought some anti-slip tape that is usually used for stairs and it worked very well, but was a tad on the painful side. Once the weight climbed to about 185, the adhesive began to give out, but I was able to complete 2 more sets afterwards.

The pipes were under $40 (10’ of 1.5" schedule 40), the reducing bushings were $15, the 8 pipe hangers were $40, the pipe nipples (I used 8") and the T’s were $20, and all of the bolts, washers and nuts were less than $10. Grand total: about $125. The cheapest that I have found online were about $200 with shipping (and not nearly as nice as LoRez’s design).


I have become frustrated with the vise-style clamps that are necessary since the pipes are only 1.9" OD. I ordered some of these:

and then modified them by Gorilla Gluing a small square of this on the inside:

This is so much easier than dealing with those damn vise clamps.


Photo please?