In a previous entry, I briefly discussed what I considered were important in building my homemade squat stands. Shown below is one of the stands.
In this, and in the next article, I'll discuss how the squat stand is assembled and joined together - from top to bottom. Naturally, you'd be building two of these squat stands.
Because these squat stands are made of wood, always remember they will be able to carry the most weight if compression is with the grain rather than across the grain. Putting heavy weight across the grain would cause the wood to sag.
With continued use, the wood would then eventually break. The wooden squat stands would therefore rely on a thick main post to hold up the heavy weight.
For safety purposes, choose the strongest materials available to you. That includes the hardwood you'll be using, nails, screws and metal fasteners for joining the wood.
The Top Catch of the Squat Stand
The Top Catch is what most squat stands have at the topmost part. It is essentially a hook that holds the barbell in place. They are either U-shaped or J-shaped. In some commercial squat stands found in gyms, the barbell catch or holder even has a lock for safety reasons.
Shown below are the top catches of the two wooden squat stands.
The entire catch assembly, like all the catches in this squat stand, is painted green. The distinct color gives the lifter a visual cue as to where to position the barbell after finishing a set.
The catch assembly is made of three parts: the rear restraint, the front restraint and the catch itself.
- Rear Restraint
The rear restraint prevents the barbell from falling backwards. It is the longer restraint because it acts as a "stop" for the lifter. So when the lifter feels the barbell has touched the rear restraint, this is his cue to safely lower the barbell into the catch.
Wood piece is 11" long, 3/4" thick and 1 3/4" wide. The actual rear restraint is 6" high (from top of the catch).
- Front Restraint
Prevents the barbell from falling at the front. The wood piece is 4" long, 3/4" thick and 1 3/4" wide. The actual front restraint is 1" high (from top of the catch).
Bears the weight of the barbell. You have the option of putting a wood piece on top of the post. This piece will prevent the chipping of the post's top edge. The wood piece is 3" long, 3/4" thick and 1 3/4" wide.
The main post of the squat stand is 47" tall, 3" thick and 1 3/4" wide. The reason I'm keeping the squat stands a bit low is because I crouch below the bar to maximally power up the weight with the quads.
Attach the wood pieces to the main post using wood screws. Although you can use nails to join wood, screws have better holding power. Paint the entire catch assembly so the J-shape of the catch assembly is highlighted.
(See Part 3 for the continuation of this article)