T Nation

Home Gym Cable Station

So in setting up what should be a basement gym that will allow me to not only train but perform my PT work for my injuries I’ve been looking into cable stations. I found a few of this type online:


as well as some of the more complicated Nautilus Free motion ones (refurbished gym models are under 2K)

The problem though is that my basement is online about 6.5 feet tall due to the pipes that are accessible.

Any thoughts or suggestions that might fit the bill?


That’s tricky. Are you friends with a plumber that can reroute a couple of water lines in spare time? (regular billing would probably cost more than the machine)

I’m beginning to think I’d get more use out of one of those than a rack. 7’ tall is going to be tight in any basement.

Where are you finding the refurbished ones?

Just found A few NY/Long Island based gym supply companies. Came up on google searches.

Not sure I’d want to start screwing with the plumbing as it would have to be the entire way the house was built (was a flip, but 90% brand new build to avoid new taxes)



You could always make your own for a fraction of the price, tailor it to suit your needs.

If I were someone handy,… my wife gets worried when I changed a lightbulb -lol


1 Like

I have a Kelton cable system that I bolted down onto a few big old thick pieces of wood & that I perch on top of my power rack, works well. Works well.

make your own cable station? Man, that seems like it would be incredibly difficult to do in any sort of cost effective way. I’ve built a handful of pieces of strongman equipment myself, and even that’s difficult to do at less cost than what I can buy from the companies that mass produce the stuff. And those are relatively simple to produce from an engineering standpoint. Basically just parts and labor.

For instance: I’ve built a couple axle bars out of sched 80 pipe. I buy pipe in 20 foot lengths. You can buy shorter lengths, but you end up spending far more per foot. Anyway. My cost to build the first axle I made was around 50-60 dollars. And it was unpainted. And I welded it myself. I could get a nicely fabbed axle from rogue, powder coated, for like 100 bucks. So even buying material at the cheapest price ANYONE will be buying it, it’s still difficult to do cheaply. Now, making 2 or 3 or more of a thing at once saves on my cost significantly. But if you’re making something for yourself, that generally doesn’t make sense.

As for a cable machine: no fucking way I could make one of those for less than 4-5k. And amazon sells it for 2k.

1 Like

I was thinking along the same lines, and I’m a pretty experienced metal worker.

For fit, finish, form and function that is a nice machine at a good price.

1 Like

For sure. The only stuff I’m really interested in making is stuff you can’t just buy. I just made 2 more axles for my gym that are 80+ lbs each, unloaded. That’s not a thing you can just buy off the rack, lol.

I would consider building a heavy duty log as well, like if I found someone who wanted it to weigh 200+ unloaded. That would be fun. Or maybe an oversized hussafell stone. A friend asked me to build him a cambered bar recently, and I couldn’t do it for less than what Titan sells it for.


You could rig this to your wall or a pull-up bar. I just got them and at least the top pulley works perfect. Haven’t tried the bottom yet.


Would you want to toss some photos up here or in your log when you’ve gotten some time with it? Curious how it looks all set up in a real home environment.

Sure, I’ll take some tonight. I just got them last week.

*I got them from elitefts and they have a video demonstration of them.



I think you chaps are overthinking it. Its just weight plates, which we’ve all got already and some cables and pulleys. You could rig them up to fit an existing rack or maybe even use some scaffold tubes, clips and make a station to suit. Unistrut is another option, just like a big meccano / erector set. I don’t see it as a big problem at all.

Don’t forget, that piece of kit doesn’t fit in the first place ergo making a piece of custom fit.

I threw a pic and video up in my log if you want to see how I have the top pulley setup. I haven’t messed with the bottom pulley yet.

*Also, I ended up doing more sets while kneeling to get more range of motion. The cables are too long for my setup while standing.


Make sure you are careful with a pulley system that doesn’t have linear guides. Sometimes the weight can rock back and forth, like a pendulum, big ouchy if it hits you when you get so focused on doing a set.

1 Like

I have a tuff stuff ctx200 and it’s right at 7 feet. It’s amazing and I can do almost everything I could think of on it. I believe they make a smaller machine called a six pack. Not nearly the versatility but has high, low, and mid pulls. Only 1 200 lb stack though. I much prefer dual stacks.

Dang that’s expensive for only 200 lbs. I wish I had this. I think it’s around $4k. It’s cables, a Smith machine, and can be a power rack (the Smith bar will lock in place at the highest point).


1 Like

I have had my eye on that for a long time and can just never quite pull the trigger to buy it… It always just seems like its going to be a cheap POS and I’ll regret wasting the money on it.

How do you like yours so far?

That’s bad ass! My home gym set up has to be a little more compact as the room is only 12.5x12.5 with a niche on one side that’s like 6x4.

I have a corner unit and love it. Perfect for almost everything.