T Nation

Make Equipment


Anyone here fabricate their own equipment? I've made a atlas stone using the plaster over rubber ball method but that's about as far as my experience goes.

The owner of my gym was talking about getting some new equipment made (racks and such). It got me thinking. I've always wanted to learn to weld but haven't had much need for it, just something that I've always thought would be a useful skill. This might give me the excuse to purchase a welder and learn from some guys I know.

Anyone weld any racks, yokes, or farmer's walk handles? I was thinking a arc or mig welder. I've looked at hobart and miller but I think considering the limited use it's going to get a harbor freight or northern tool and it might even get the job done for cheap.



Get the best you can afford, I have welded commercially for many years and the one thing I can say is the better the welder the better you can weld period. A mig is about the most usefull machine you will ever own, and believe me you think you won't weld much when you get it huh, you will be asked by every fucking hobo to weld this or weld that, such is the life of a welder.

Its one of the most easy things to get good at as well, the basics are easy and once you have mastered your welders adjustments and welded some different thikness steel, you will be making all sorts of shit. As far as welding fitness equipment goes, it would be easy, just make sure that you set your weld depth correctly by practicing on some off cuts that you can see the inside of. good luck.


I would go with the mig welder. More expensive at first but much faster and easier to use. Also, an arc welder is much more likely to warp the metal, especially square tubing.

I have built lots of equipment with my arc welder and have saved a ton of money doing so. I had a machine shop do some of the work and this was the most expensive part, other than the price of the metal.

I've made farmer's handles, a dragging sled, my own version of a prowler, a power rack, some benches and assorted other equipment. I'll try to take a few pics and post them if I have the time.


That's be great if you could post those pics. I was looking at this wire feed welder.


and this arc welder


They both run off a standard wall socket with a 20 amp breaker which is desirable to me because it was save me from have to install new electric. It says they'll do 11 gauge steel. You think either of these would be sufficient or do you think the welds would be too weak for weightlifting or strongman equipment?


I got a guy that is local to do all my metal equipment...


I have a buddy in the Ottawa area that welds, he has made me a sled and it is really sturdy


Yeah, find a welder that need some personal training. Those are the best deals I have heard of. I know a guy that got a yoke for 3 personal training sessions... hahaha


you will be asked by every fucking hobo to weld this or weld that, such is the life of a welder.

Never a truer word said.


Go Mig and dont buy a cheap one!!!!!

Cheap welders suck, I am happy with my Hobart.

So far I have built rack, mono-lift, ghd, reverse hyper, prowler.


I might have to move to Ohio! hahaha Nice work!


any opinion on the ones I posted above? I realize they're not a hobart or a Lincoln but they run on 120 which would save me from running 220 out to my garage. According to the technical specs they'd weld 11 gauge steel which would be sufficient for my needs, unless I'm reading them wrong.


You will not be happy with harbor frieght or northern welders, they suck and do not feed well at all.

On the cheapest side of things I would look at the Hobart Handler 125 EZ. It is 120vac, uses flux core wire. So household plug would work and you would not have to buy a gas cylinder.

I just posted some pics of my home gym in the home gym thread if ya wanna see some of my builds .


I've "made" my own Indian clubs by finding table-legs that I attach weights too. (they have some kind of screw things I can add smaller 2.5 or 7.5 plates too)adjustable boxes for box-squats, step-ups and plyometric jumping. I found a 20pound piece of drift-wood at the beach shaped like a cartoon caveman's club, not "home-made" but it's not too bad!!

nothing serious.

anyone make their own trap bar, T-bar or power rack?


Here are a few items I've made. Either I welded it or one of my training partners (welder by trade) welded it. I had a machine shop drill the holes in the power rack but did the rest of the work myself. I built the deadlift jack and the preacher curl out of metal that was just lying around. Also, another buddy who used to work at a machine shop did the bending on the bar catches for them.


I made a pretty decent thick barbell setup the other day. I got a video of it.

I have made a intro thread about how small I am, you may want to read that to understand why lol.

This is 115kg which is what I done yesterday. Today I tied some weight plates to it and busted out a 140kg - that's nearly 3 times my bodyweight lol.

I am not trying to boast, just had a really tough 7 years which has beaten me down, feels good to hit some PB's.

Anyway, the idea of this post is to show you that you don't need money to make something decent.


I have been searching online for equipment to create a home gym in the garage to surprise my husband on his birthday. After looking at all the equipment prices, it has made me think I should just taking some welding classes so I can build everything MYSELF with endless possibilities!! It must be the filipino blood in me wanting to save money haha.

So my question is, do any of you gentleman have any recommendations on how I should go about this? I'm considering taking them at the local technical college. Do you guys create everything free handed or do you use some sort of blueprints? I am obviously totally clueless on this- but am definitely interested on learning!

Also, how much would it roughly cost me to get this project up and running?

Thanks for you time and input! :slightly_smiling:


i go to home depot every week looking for something so i can build one thing or another.

i have built-
-axle: 1.5" x 7ft black pipe
-farmers: 2 1.5:x5ft sections with .75" and 1.5" handles held on by 10" bolts
-adjustable weight for distance/height using black pipe nipples, floor flange, and an eye bolt
-thick bar DBs, made the same way as the axle
-adjustable clubbels and macebell made just like the throwing weight
-adjustable throwing hammer with sch80 PVC and a cotter pin to hold the weights
-adjustable weight for height stand: bucket filled with concrete, 1.5" pvc suck in it with holes for holding the 2" pipe that fits over it. the 2" pipe has a T on top with a 4" .5" pipe coming out to throw over

i have plans for weight releasers, banded deadlift platform, and ply boxes and still trying to figure out the drop for a safety squat bar. all done without welding of any sort. although i am lucky enough to have a training partner that can weld.


You are looking at a long term and large investment of both money and time if you want to do this (which is awesome, anyone who makes their own stuff gets props from me)

We have built a bunch of stuff over the years.

We made an axel out of an actual axel from a ford truck, had a machine shop make the ends and then welded them on.

Farmers walk handles, very simple

Yoke, car deadlift setup (which uses the farmers handles)

I'll try to get some pictures up soon. If you can buy the material you need your best bet is to find a local fabricator and take them pics, they can build it for you and it will be cheaper/better made than most of the stuff that's out there.


I've been lurking this site for ages and finally decided this is the thread to dirve me into becoming a board member.

I'm a fabricator located between Baltimore and DC. Approx 2 years ago I got into building these strongman applications and haven;t looked back. I started by building myself a customized Prowler, and have since added a variety of tools.

I'll attached a photo of my 1-off Prowler, with loading plate and interior sleeves for hand positioning.

Since the prowler, I've been asked to build Farmers Walkers, Push-up spikes, Macebell, Pulling/dragging Sleds, and most recently a loadable sledge that will be tested this weekend.

I would upload the pictures, because I do this as more of a hobby and a side project, I would think this is right up everyones alley.


Here is a photo of a 35# macebell. This bmf could level rome in a day.