How to build an outdoor chin-up bar

Written by c.l. rease
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Chin-ups are a standard part of an exercise regime. An outdoor chin-up bar will allow you to exercise while enjoying fresh outdoor air. The outdoor chin-up bar needs to withstand the elements. Building the chin-up bar with treated lumber and stainless steel is a sure way to make your new outdoor chin-up bar endure harsh outdoor environments for years to come.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Two landscaping stakes
  • Power auger with a 10-inch bit
  • Spade shovel
  • Post-hole digger
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Two treated 4-by-4s, 12 feet long
  • Soapstone or permanent marker
  • Square
  • Drill
  • 1 1/16th-inch spade bit
  • Four bags of concrete
  • Tamper
  • Hose
  • Post corner level
  • One 53 1/2-inch long piece of 1-inch O.D. stainless steel pipe, threaded on both ends
  • Two 1-inch stainless steel thread-on caps
  • 6-foot ladder

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  1. 1

    Locate the area where you want to build the outdoor chin-up bar. Drive one landscaping stake into the ground. Measure over from the landscaping stake 48 inches and drive the other landscaping stake into the ground. You will need to have 48 inches between the centre lines of the 4-by-4 posts.

  2. 2

    Pull one of the landscaping stakes from the ground and drill the hole with the power auger. The hole needs to be 48 inches deep to secure the 4-by-4 vertical posts. Measure the depth often to avoid digging too deep. Shovel the dirt from the hole into the wheelbarrow and repeat the process for the second hole.

  3. 3

    Set a 4-by-4 into each hole. Stand one 4-by-4 upright and shovel 4 inches of dirt into the hole. Tamp the dirt and add an additional 4 inches of dirt. Repeat the process with the other 4-by-4. Pour one bag of dry concrete into each hole. Use the tamper to compact the dry concrete. Add enough water to each hole to just cover the dry concrete. Pour one additional bag of concrete into each hole. Use the corner-post level to hold the 4 by 4 posts in place while you tamp the concrete. Spray water into the hole and let the vertical posts set. Backfill each hole until the dirt is above ground level. Tamp the loose dirt into the hole. Repeat the process until the hole is filled even with the surrounding ground.

  4. 4

    Measure 84 inches off the ground and place a mark on one of the vertical posts. Use the level to transfer the mark over to the other post. Use the square to transfer the height to the inside face of each 4-by-4. Mark the centre of the 4-inch inside face of each post. Drill a 1 1/16th-inch hole at the point where the centre line mark and height mark cross on each vertical post.

  5. 5

    Insert the 1-inch stainless steel pipe through both posts. Screw a thread-on cap to each end of the stainless pipe. Recheck each vertical post with the corner-post level. Adjust the post if needed and tamp around each post. Let the posts set overnight to harden the concrete.

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