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 accumulating 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 loaded with various weight plates, an EZ-curl bar and dumbbells. 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. Here's the empty weights and dumbbell rack as seen from the side.

  3. 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 bar for situps. As seen from the above photo, the space behind the rack allows extra storage for other exercise equipment like barbell bars and my homemade adjustable safety squat stands.

  4. 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.

Here's the completed Weights and Dumbbell Rack as viewed from an angle. The photo below also shows the parts that make up the weight plates and dumbbell rack.

Parts of the Weight and Dumbbell Rack (Click on the part below to see details of 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. The regular straight barbell also fits on 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).

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