How to Build a Gym Bench

Written by james rutter
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How to Build a Gym Bench
You can work out at home on your own bench. (gym image by AGITA LEIMANE from Fotolia.com)

Building a workout facility in your own home offers advantages that include training on your own schedule, not having to wait in line for equipment, and saving on gym membership fees. Constructing a homemade weight bench will enable you to perform a number of exercises, from bench press, seated military press, and triceps press, to bent-over rows and seated dumbbell curls, presses, and flies.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • 2 planks, 6 by 2 inches, 1.5 inches thick
  • 2 beams, 2 by 4 inches, 1.5 inches thick
  • Power saw or handsaw
  • drywall screws, 3-inch
  • Power screwdriver
  • Power sander or sandpaper
  • Wood sealant
  • Measuring tape

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Instructions

    Measure and Cut

  1. 1

    Determine the length of your bench. Measure the length of your body from the top of your head to the base of your buttocks. This number will tell you how long to cut the 6- by 2-inch planks in Step 2.

  2. 2

    Take the measurement from Step 1 and mark that length on each of the 6- by 2-inch planks.

  3. 3

    Cut the planks for the top of the bench. Use the power saw (or handsaw) to cut two sections from the 6- by 2-inch planks.

  4. 4

    Use the saw to cut seven 12-inch sections from the 2- by 4-inch beams.

    Build the Bench Top

  1. 1

    Lay the two pieces of cut 6- by 2-inch plank side by side lengthwise. If you do this step correctly, the two pieces of wood should form a rectangle that spans 12 inches across and runs the length of the measurement from the top of your head to the base of your buttocks.

  2. 2

    Screw one of the 12-inch sections of 2- by 4-inch beam across the centre of the planks to join them together. Lay the 2- by 4-inch section flat across the centre of the planks. Then take the power screwdriver and drill eight of the screws through the 6- by 2-inch plank and into the 2- by 4-inch section. You should evenly distribute the screws by putting four through each of the 6- by 2-inch planks.

  3. 3

    Attach two more of the 2- by 4-inch sections to the planks, one at either end. Take one of the 2- by 4-inch sections and lay it flat across the plank exactly 1 inch from the end of the plank. Then screw eight screws through the 6- by 2-inch planks and into the 2- by 4-inch section in the same manner as the previous step. Then attach another 2- by 4-inch section to the opposite end of the plank. If you have completed this step correctly, the top of your bench should consist of two 6- by 2-inch planks joined together at the centre and at 1 inch from each end by three 2- by 4-inch sections.

    Attach the Legs

  1. 1

    Attach the legs to the bench top. Take one of the 12-inch sections and align it perpendicular to one of the corners of the bench top so that it stretches lengthwise down to the ground (imagine that you're affixing a table leg). This section should also rest firmly against the 2- by 4-inch section that you screwed into the end of the bench top. Then use the power screwdriver to screw two of the screws through the top of the bench and into the 12-inch section.

  2. 2

    Repeat the previous step three times, one for each of the remaining corners of the bench. If you have done this step correctly, you should have four legs stretching away from the bench top, one at each corner.

  3. 3

    Screw the bench legs to the 2- by 4-inch sections holding the plank together. Use the power screwdriver to drive two screws through the face of the bench leg and into the 2- by 4-inch section underneath the bench top. This step will add extra durability. Repeat this step for the three remaining bench legs.

Tips and warnings

  • If you apply wood sealant to the entire bench, it will help preserve the longevity of your bench, especially if you sweat while weightlifting.
  • Use sandpaper or a power sander and smooth down all the cut edges of your beams. You don't want to accidentally get a splinter or injure yourself while you're weightlifting.

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