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DIY – Make Your Own Pull-Up Bar

I had a small home-gym setup long before COVID-19 came into existence. But, it took the reality of knowing I would be quarantined, lockdowned or shut in (however, you want to define it) for seven weeks, to realize I needed to add a pull-up bar to my home-gym equipment repertoire.

 

And, the $20 pre-assembled version you stick into a door frame wasn’t going to cut it. I needed a bar that has the strength to hold me and my husband while doing multiple sets of pull-ups and toes-to-bars. Plus, it had to allow us the ability to work on grip strength and do core work; not to mention be long enough for both of us to do a WOD while using the pull-up bar at the same time.

 

I took matters into my own hands and built a pull-up bar to meet my needs. And, now you can, too! Here are the steps, tools and parts needed to build your own two-person pull-up bar in a garage or open space. Dimensions and bar length(s) will vary based on preference as well as the frame you will use to secure your space. 

 

What You Will Need: 

Parts

Your screws, bolts, washers and nuts will be in the same aisle at the hardware store. The rest of the parts to secure the bar will be together in another aisle.

  • A secure frame to hang the bar.

  • Two (one is fine if you just need a single bar) 36-inches long with a 1-inch diameter galvanized steel plumbing piping; You can also use a 24-inch long conduit. I would determine length based on hand placement when you do bar work.

  • Three 2.5-inch nipples; We suggest not going longer than this for fear of adding too much tension on the bolts, which can cause the bar to be unstable. You may also only need two Nipples if you are creating a single bar.

  • Two elbows

  • One T (You will not need a T if you are creating a single bar)

  • 3 floor flanges to fit the 1-inch pipe(s); You will only need two if you are creating a single bar.

  • Screws and bolts (long enough to fit securely into the wood)

  • ¼-inch  Lock nuts and washers

Tools

  • Drill

  • Screwdriver

  • Socket wrench

  • Strap wrench (optional) to fit pipes into fittings

  • Pencil (optional)

Steps:

  1. Determine where you will hang your bar.

  2. Insert all supporting pieces into the bar before you hang. This includes:

    1. Adding an elbow on one end of Pipe No. 1 and on one end of Pipe No. 2

    2. Adding the other end of each pipe into the T.

    3. Adding the Nipples to the open side of each elbow and to the open side of the T.

    4. Adding the open end of each nipple into a floor flanges

  3. Tighten all pieces as best as you can. This is where the strap wrench can come in handy.

  4. Bring the bar to the secure frame; ours is a long piece of 2×4 wood.

  5. Optional step: With a pencil, mark in the open holes of the floor flanges where you will secure the bar to the frame. This is to line up the bar properly.

  6. Drill through the top two holes in each floor flange to prep for securing to the frame.

  7. Then, grab a bolt and add a washer around the bolt. 

  8. Insert the bolt and washer through the hole.

  9. Add another washer and then a lock nut to the back of the bolt.

  10. Tighten the lock nut with a socket wrench. 

  11. Repeat steps 6-10 until all three floor flanges have been secured to the wall.

  12. Next, drill or use a screwdriver to secure two screws via the bottom two floor flange holes into the frame. Repeat this step until all the bottom two holes of the three floor flanges have been secured to the wall with screws.

Now, you are ready to test your bar. We did and it was sturdy. We actually discovered our shelving will likely fall down before the bar does. 

Overall, the cost to build this bar will run you between $50-$100, which can be a hefty price tag for some. But, if you see it as an investment or cost-per-use, it is well worth it. 

Jodi Tourkow is a content operations and content creation executive by day and a CrossFit junkie by night. Jodi started CrossFit when she turned 40 over four years ago as a way to pretty much be told what to do to get in shape. It kicked her butt, and she has been hooked ever since, competing in SoCal competitions and working out daily with her husband. 

Checkout @wodoffaces