Saturday, May 22, 2010

Build a Weights and Dumbbell Rack from Wood

When I started working out at home, the basic exercise equipment I had in mind were free weights. Free weights can be used in a wide variety of exercises for all body parts. They don't take as much space as other exercise machines that have specialized and limited use.

So I bought a couple of pairs of adjustable dumbbell bars, an EZ curl bar and an ordinary straight bar. I also started accummulating an assortment of weight plates. These aren't the Olympic weight plates but rather the standard weight plates that fit in the standard barbell and dumbbell bars.

Shown below is the weights and dumbbell rack. Behind it are my homemade adjustable safety squat racks, collapsed for storage.

The Need for a Weights and Dumbbell Rack
  1. Secure Dumbbells - Since I use the regular weight plates which are circular in shape, there's a tendency for dumbbells to roll away as I put them down. By putting them on a dumbbell rack, they're confined and secured in the rack. They don't fall off to the ends of the rack because of the posts of the curl bar stands.

  2. Safe Storage - Stacking weight plates for storage may pose danger when there are too many weight plates stacked on top of each other.

  3. Neat Appearance - Weight plates, when merely stacked on the floor, collect more dust (and if you have a dog, shedding dog hair) than when neatly stored in a weight rack.

Considerations for the Weights and Dumbbell Rack
  1. Inexpensive - I had plenty of wood scrap at home and decided that the weights and dumbbell rack will be made of wood. The design is simple, and the rack was easy to assemble.

  2. Small Footprint - Space is a premium and so the rack maximizes limited space, but still stable and sturdy enough to contain the exercise equipment.

  3. Durable - Except for the repaired dumbbell rack, the structure has held up for many years. The structure, especially the A-bracing takes advantage of wood's good compression properties to carry heavy weight. The pieces of hardwood have been treated for termite control and coated with heavy duty paint.

  4. Multi-functional - The rack isn't only for holding weight plates and dumbbells. It also has a stand to hold an EZ curl bar and a foot stopbar for situps. The space behind the rack allows extra storage for other exercise equipment like barbell bars and my homemade adjustable safety squat stands.

Here's the completed Weights and Dumbbell Rack as viewed from the side.

Parts of the Weight and Dumbbell Rack (Click on the links to the parts below for details on their construction.)
  1. Dumbbell Rack - Horizontal rack that contains 2 pairs of dumbbells. A guide rail in the middle prevents the weight plates of the dumbbells from dropping off the rack.

  2. Curling Bar Stand - The EZ Curl bar is shorter than the Straight bar and is easily held by the two catches on top of this stand.

  3. Weight Plate Hooks - These are heavy duty PVC coated square hooks that are screwed on the wood. They are strategically positioned around the rack structure to hold the most number of different-sized weight plates. The combined weight of the hooked weight plates keeps the dumbbell rack stable and in place.

  4. Situp Bar - This is conveniently located at the front and center of the dumbbell and weights rack. The weight of the plates acts as a counterweight when performing situps on the bench (Roman Chair style).

See the rest of my homemade gym and exercise equipment below:
(with photos and how-to instructions):

Wooden Squat Stands
Assemble these squat stands from wood, with multi-level catches.
Parallel Grip Pull Bar
All-metal pull bar, with no welding required.
Homemade Metal Squat Racks
Adjustable metal safety squat racks, with no welding required.


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