Build a freestanding pull-up bar

Written by michael arcand
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Build a freestanding pull-up bar
A pull-up bar is fundamental for many exercise routines. (Getty Thinkstock)

A free-standing pull-up bar allows the user to perform pull-ups as well as other exercises while suspended from the bar. Portability is a must for this piece of equipment. This article will show how to build a free-standing pull-up bar and the considerations needed to ensure that you maintain personal safety.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Two lengths of 5 by 10 cm by 2 metre (2''x4''x80'') timber (adjust length to match desired height of pull-up bar) for vertical posts
  • Two lengths of 5 by 10 by 90 cm (2''x4''x36'') timber for bottom extension and support
  • Six lengths of 5 by 10 by 50 cm (2''x4''x20'') timber for diagonal supports
  • Two lengths of 5 by 10 by 50 cm (2''x4''x20'') timber for arms
  • Two lengths of 5 by 10 by 25 cm (2''x4''x10'') timber for arm supports
  • Two lengths of 5 by 10 by 50 cm (2''x4''x20'') long timber for horizontal support
  • One 60 cm long, 2.5 cm diameter (1''x24'') steel pipe, threaded one end
  • Two 45-degree 2.5 cm (1") steel pipe connectors
  • Two 15 cm long, 2.5 cm in diameter (1"x6") steel pipe, threaded one end
  • Two 2.5 cm (1") piping clips with two wood screws each
  • 32 1.9 x 2.5 (3/4" x 1") lag bolts with washers

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  1. 1

    Using two lag screws with one washer each, attach one bottom extension support to one end of each of the vertical posts. The vertical posts should not be centred on the extension support but rather at a quarter of the length of the board on one side and three quarters of the board on the other side. The longer dimension provides stability while the user is suspended from the bar.

  2. 2

    Connect a horizontal support between the two vertical posts at the base using four lag screws and washers, two on each end. These should be attached at the base of the upside down "T" form of the vertical post and bottom extension. The result will be two "L"-shaped pieces attached at the base.

  3. 3

    Attach a horizontal support at the top of the vertical posts using two lag bolts and washers on each end.

  4. 4

    Attach two diagonal supports to each vertical post, attaching one end with two lag bolts to the post and the other end to the bottom extension support using two additional lag bolts.

  5. 5

    Attach the two arms to the top of the pull-up apparatus at the vertical supports, one on each side. Use two lag bolts per arm to attach to the vertical posts.

  6. 6

    Attach the smaller arm supports to the arms as well as the vertical posts using two lag bolts at each end.

  7. 7

    Construct the actual bar by attaching the 15 cm (6-inch) pipe to the longer piece of pipe using the 45-degree angle connectors. The bar is then attached to the pull-up bar stand you have already constructed using the piping clips and wood screws.

Tips and warnings

  • Angled connections can be mitred to provide a more professional appearance.
  • Wood glue can be used to add additional support for each connection.
  • The lateral bar from an old weight set can provide an excellent pull-up bar (adjust clip size as necessary).
  • The pull-up bar apparatus should be inspected before each use to ensure there is no damage.
  • Any damage can result in unsafe operating conditions and should be repaired immediately.
  • This article represents an attempt at providing instructions for constructing a piece of exercise equipment. In attempting this project, you do so at your own risk. Any deficiency in the construction of this project or damage caused by an attempt to make this project are not the responsibility of the author or publisher.

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