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 Do It Yourself gym equipment

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Posts : 267
Join date : 2009-11-05
Location : U.S. Between the prairie and the Ozark mountains.

PostSubject: Do It Yourself gym equipment   Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:26 pm

was prowling the net today and ran across a site that provides instructions for building a do-it-yourself, wooden power rack.
The author, Alan Valancy, has done a creditable job of designing a serviceable rack which he estimates can be built by a person of moderate woodworking skills for about $120 to $140.

Mr. Valancy is to be commended for his designs, and judging from the comments that readers have posted on his site a substantial number of people are building the rack he designed. Good for him, good for them.

Still, I do have a couple of reservations about Mr. Valancy’s design, and about the whole idea of do-it-yourself equipment.
I should probably qualify my remarks by mentioning that I’ve always been an enthusiastic build-it-yourself-er. For ten years I wrote a column on this topic for a national magazine, I’ve published a book on the subject, served as tech. director for a division of the State University of New York, and have many years’ experience building more stuff than you can shake a two-by-four at.

Mr. Valancy’s rack is plenty strong in its vertical dimension, it’s actually over-engineered in that respect—eight 2 x 6’s could carry a small train. But the rack appears to lack stability if it racked (tilted – folded) to the right or left. This could be corrected by attaching 12 x 12 x ¾-inch triangular plywood gussets at the top and bottom of the rear vertical members, to connect these with top and bottom cross-bars.
Triangular gussets could also be substituted for the 45-degree angle braces at the bases of the vertical members, those braces aren’t actually contributing much to the strength of the system.
Mr. Valancy is using bolts and power screws to attach most of the parts of the rack, but well-made glue joints would be stronger. I’d still use power screws to assemble the parts as they were being glued—the screws don’t contribute any strength to the glue bond but they are a convenient way of clamping the parts together while the glue drys.

Mr. Valancy has also designed a good looking weight bench to compliment the rack

A valid consideration is whether doing-it-yourself is worth the savings in cost. Building this wooden rack appears to be about a two-day job—longer if you count the trip to the lumber yard. Since it is possible to purchase a safe and solid commercially-made metal rack for twice, or twice-and-a-half the cost of the lumber there is some doubt about the economy of the project. Nevertheless, there are times when time and hard work can substitute for money one doesn’t have. Also, there are times when the item we need isn’t available so building it ourselves makes sense.

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