How to Build a Roll Cage Using Square Tubing

Written by sanne godfrey
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How to Build a Roll Cage Using Square Tubing
A roll cage is designed to stop the crushing force in case a vehicle rolls over. (Ready to Rock and Roll image by John Sfondilias from

Roll cages are used to prevent damage to the vehicle and driver in case of an accident in which the vehicle flips over. Roll cages are most commonly used in off-road vehicles and race cars. It is designed to stop the crushing force that can impact a car's roof during a roll. The roll cages are made of steel and enhance stability and strength through a geometric design.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • 2 1/2-inch steel pipe
  • Metal pipe cutter
  • Brace
  • Vice
  • MIG welder
  • Bending tool or metal bender
  • 320-grit sandpaper
  • Automotive primer
  • Automotive paint

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  1. 1

    Measure the interior dimensions of the car where the roll cage will be installed using a tape measure. Use these measurements to design the roll cage. In this case, we will build a 30-inch high and 70-inch wide roll cage.

  2. 2

    Add the width to two times the height you have measured to come up with one length for the roll cage bar. In this case the total length is 130 inches.

  3. 3

    Cut metal saw or pipe cutter a 2 1/2-inch (or thicker, up to 4-inch diameter pipes can be used) piece of square tubing to the total length you just calculated.

  4. 4

    Insert the tubing into a brace so a little more than 30 inches of tubing are extending out away from the vice. The additional space is to allow room for the bend that will be placed into the tubing.

  5. 5

    Heat the area of tubing near the vice and, using a bending tool, bend the tubing at a 90 degree corner angle. Or, insert the tubing into a metal bender at the 30-inch mark and perform a 90-degree bend, if you have access to a metal bender.

  6. 6

    Repeat steps 4 and 5 on the other side of the tubing, making sure that the final, total length is still the 70 inches you measured to begin.

  7. 7

    Let cool and then rough sand the exterior with 320-grit sand paper, prime with automotive primer and finish it with a coat of automotive paint.

Tips and warnings

  • Always add padding to your roll cage to avoid injuries.
  • Round tubing is much stronger than square tubing, so if you have a choice, go with the round tubing for added protection.

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