T Nation

Homemade Power Rack


#1

I have many things to ask.

First of all, there was a thread created a few years ago titled "Building a power rack", in which a js385787 claimed he made a homemade power rack which can hold 600lbs, with wood screws. I would like to see this power rack

Next question - metal or wood? Yesterday I went down to bunnings warehouse (the australian version of home depot) and asked what wood would be suitable, was told straight away "nup, dont even think about it, go metal"
My background in woodwork and engineering - completed a pre apprenticeship certificate 2 in VET engineering studies and half completed the same thing in building and construction.
That was all through secondary school, I'm not great with building, but I understand the basics.

So I'm no idiot. I get the feeling this guy from bunnings may be trying to trick me into spending more.
My uncles (one is a fitter & turner, the other works for hire a hubby) told me MGP 10 would be strong enough (structural pine). Not sure you guys have that in the US? Anyway, it costs AU$3.25 per metre, galvanised steel fencing (what another guy from bunnings suggested) costs $30.95 for a 2.1 metre (~7 feet) post. So around AU$15 per metre.
Bit of a difference.

Obviously, the better the quality, the higher the cost, but is it really necessary to make a rack out of metal?

All the DIY videos and sites I've found, which are mostly american, use wood.

And I am considering going to a scrap metal yard, I already drop off scrap metal at some local yards for my dad (he's a mechanic), so I dont think they would mind me having a look and stuff.
The stuff I drop off for dad wouldn't be suitable I reckon, not many posts or even post-like looking pieces.

We do have a welder at home and I do know how to weld, however, the welder is quite old, I have no idea how good it is, I cant remember it being used for years. And I haven't welded anything for over 12 months, and when I learnt to weld (last year), I was pretty bloody average. Not sure if we have the cutting tools. We have a bench saw, but I think its for wood, ad we have a hacksaw, but fuck using that. Would take forever.

So, in summary - js385787, I would like to see your rack, is it wooden or metal? and can you show me plans for how you made it?
And, given the prices I shared above (and yes, I want the cheapest version, hence why I'm building a rack, I have very little money), do I go metal or wood?


#2

I would not go cheap on something that may have to tollerate the force of a botched squat.


#3

Checkout mine:

I use it 4 days a week and load it up with 300-400lbs regularly. I would put it up against any low end metal rack.

I would highly* recommend making your own rack metal or wood. Every day i get a nice feeling of satisfaction from using it, and fwiw i am a mechanical engineer myself.


#4

[quote]douglet27 wrote:
Obviously, the better the quality, the higher the cost, but is it really necessary to make a rack out of metal?
[/quote]

Of course not. Wood is more than sufficient if you know what you are doing. You’d be amazed how strong a doubled 2x4 beam would be over the 3’ span or so you would need for a rack. Just build it so that the integrity of the structure is not reliant on the fasteners, and use grade 5 or better bolts where appropriate. Never use a screw where it is subjected to a shear load.


#5

[quote]carbiduis wrote:
Checkout mine:

I use it 4 days a week and load it up with 300-400lbs regularly. I would put it up against any low end metal rack.

I would highly* recommend making your own rack metal or wood. Every day i get a nice feeling of satisfaction from using it, and fwiw i am a mechanical engineer myself.[/quote]

I feel funny saying this to a dude, but you have a really nice rack.


#6

A weld may look great but may be really weak. If you’re unsure, go with wood. There is zero issues with handling the weight.

Also consider what you need the rack for. A couple of well constructed boxes might do the job. Hell, the famous muscle beach photos had 4x4s as squat stands.


#7

[quote]tsantos wrote:
A weld may look great but may be really weak. If you’re unsure, go with wood. There is zero issues with handling the weight.

Also consider what you need the rack for. A couple of well constructed boxes might do the job. Hell, the famous muscle beach photos had 4x4s as squat stands.[/quote]

In my experience most people can’t even make em pretty though.


#8

[quote]Broncoandy wrote:

[quote]tsantos wrote:
A weld may look great but may be really weak. If you’re unsure, go with wood. There is zero issues with handling the weight.

Also consider what you need the rack for. A couple of well constructed boxes might do the job. Hell, the famous muscle beach photos had 4x4s as squat stands.[/quote]

In my experience most people can’t even make em pretty though.[/quote]
No kidding?
This one time a guy told me he could tig open root 6g on stainless to asme 8.3 standards…


#9

Spend the money and be safe that’s for damn sure.


#10

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:

[quote]Broncoandy wrote:

[quote]tsantos wrote:
A weld may look great but may be really weak. If you’re unsure, go with wood. There is zero issues with handling the weight.

Also consider what you need the rack for. A couple of well constructed boxes might do the job. Hell, the famous muscle beach photos had 4x4s as squat stands.[/quote]

In my experience most people can’t even make em pretty though.[/quote]
No kidding?
This one time a guy told me he could tig open root 6g on stainless to asme 8.3 standards… [/quote]

lol. How’d he do?

Seriously though, squat racks are the easiest thing in the world to weld. You can build them out of mild steel, weld everything on the flat, and a less than perfect weld will still be overkill. Keep in mind that bar might seem heavy, but it’s really not…


#11

[quote]Broncoandy wrote:

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:

[quote]Broncoandy wrote:

[quote]tsantos wrote:
A weld may look great but may be really weak. If you’re unsure, go with wood. There is zero issues with handling the weight.

Also consider what you need the rack for. A couple of well constructed boxes might do the job. Hell, the famous muscle beach photos had 4x4s as squat stands.[/quote]

In my experience most people can’t even make em pretty though.[/quote]
No kidding?
This one time a guy told me he could tig open root 6g on stainless to asme 8.3 standards… [/quote]

lol. How’d he do?

Seriously though, squat racks are the easiest thing in the world to weld. You can build them out of mild steel, weld everything on the flat, and a less than perfect weld will still be overkill. Keep in mind that bar might seem heavy, but it’s really not…
[/quote]
After about 10 minutes it looked like a volcano took a dump where a six inch flat fillet should have been.