How to build a pull up bar at home

Written by louise harding
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How to build a pull up bar at home
Use galvanised elbows and pipes to create a pull up bar at home. (pipe fitting image by Joann Cooper from

Gym memberships can be expensive investments in money and time. If you are short on one or both, creating a home gym allows you to stay healthy. Doing chin ups on a pull up bar works many muscle groups and provides cardio exercise. Build a bar in your home or garage by purchasing the components at a hardware or home improvement store. According to Handy, it is imperative that you install a pull up bar properly on ceiling joists that can support twice your body weight. Improper installation will result in damage to your ceiling and possibly to you.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Stud finder
  • Ladder
  • Measuring tape
  • Marker
  • Drill
  • Woodworking drill bit
  • Screwdriver bit
  • Wood board, 2 inches thick, 4 inches wide, 6 feet long
  • 2 galvanised floor flanges, ¾-inch, threaded
  • 2 galvanised elbows, ¾-inch, 90-degree, threaded
  • Pipe wrench
  • Pipe, ¾-inch diameter by 48 inches long, threaded
  • 2 pipes, ¾-inch diameter by 12 inches long, threaded
  • Wood screws, ¼-inch diameter by 3 ½ inches long
  • Wood screws, 3/8-inch diameter by 4 inches long

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  1. 1

    Use a stud finder to locate the ceiling joists where you wish to install your pull up bar. The joists should be at least 3 feet away from the nearest wall. Typically, the 6-foot long board will cover about 4 ceiling joists when installed. A pull up bar must be installed on joists or studs. Mark the joists with a marker.

  2. 2

    Screw the 48-inch long pipe into the elbows, one elbow on each end of the pipe, forming a wide U with the elbows and pipe. Tighten with a pipe wrench.

  3. 3

    Screw a 12-inch long pipe into the top of each elbow, increasing the height of the U made from pipes. Use a pipe wrench to tighten.

  4. 4

    Lay the 6-foot long board on the ground, and centre the pipe U over the board. Mark where each pipe end hits the board. Attach the floor flanges to the ends of the pipe U. Use a pipe wrench if needed. Realign the flanges with the marks, and mark the locations of the flange holes onto the board. Set the pull up bar aside.

  5. 5

    Drill holes through the marks of the locations of the flange holes on the board with a woodworking drill bit.

  6. 6

    Center your 6-foot long board over the marks you made on the joists in Step 1. Make marks on the board that correspond with the ceiling joists to which you will attach the board. Ideally, a screw should be in each corner of the board, or near to it. Use as many along each side as is necessary to secure the board to the joist (at least 6). Use a woodworking drill bit to pre-drill holes for the wood screws through the board. Use a screwdriver bit to attach the board with 4-inch long wood screws through the pre-drilled holes in the board into the ceiling joists.

  7. 7

    Hold the assembled pull up bar over the marks made on the board from Step 4. Use a screwdriver bit on the drill to screw the 3 ½-inches long wood screws through the flanges into the pre-drilled holes into the board mounted onto the ceiling joists.

Tips and warnings

  • For padding on the pull up bar, wrap the bar with a sports bandage or fabric, and then completely cover the padding with sports tape.
  • According to Handy, the ceiling joists chosen for pull up bar installation must support 90.7 to 159 Kilogram of dynamic weight, which means the weight of your body in motion at a rapid speed.
  • Test the pull up bar cautiously before actual use.

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