How to install a pull-up bar in the ceiling

Written by john walker
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A pull-up bar must withstand high weights pulling at a downward angle. Installing a pull-up bar with the proper support will cause damage to the ceiling. Several kits are available for purchase that include specific installation instructions for ceiling and wall mounted pull-up bars. Building your own basic pull-up bar with inexpensive materials and mounting the structure to the ceiling is not a difficult process. Galvanised pipe with screw-in connectors which are hard-mounted to the ceiling joists complete the project easily.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 3 galvanised pipe nipple, 3/4-inch diameter by 18 inches long
  • 2 floor flange, 3/4-inch inner diameter
  • 2 galvanised elbow joints, 3/4-inch diameter with female ends
  • Pipe wrench
  • Stud finder
  • Pencil
  • 3-inch anchor screws
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver attachment

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  1. 1

    Attach 90-degree elbows to each end of one piece of an 18-inch pipe. Attach an additional 18-inch pipe to the end of each elbow to create a "U" shape. Screw on the floor flanges to the ends of the vertical 18-inch pipes. Tighten all connections down with a pipe wrench.

  2. 2

    Drag a stud finder across the ceiling to locate one ceiling joist. Follow the directions for the stud finder for proper use. Mark the location of a stud within a few feet of the wall with an "X." Keeping the location close to a wall adds stability to the pull-up bar.

  3. 3

    Mark the location of the ceiling joist adjacent to the first one. The pull-up bar will not be parallel to the wall, since most ceiling joists are only 16 inches apart and the bar will be approximately 18 inches long. Place the marks so the position of the pull-up bar assembly on the ceiling meets with your needs and desires. Keep the marks close to a wall for additional stability.

  4. 4

    Mount one of the floor flanges to the ceiling at the "X." Drive three-inch anchor screws through the screw holes on the flange directly into the ceiling joist. Adjust the positioning of the flange so at least two or more screw holes line up with the joist.

  5. 5

    Rotate the pull-up bar assembly so the second floor flange lines up with the second ceiling joist. Attach the flange to the joist as in Step 3.

Tips and warnings

  • The 18-inch pipe is a basic size. Choose a pipe long enough to meet your needs for pull-ups. Use a single pipe of the desired length as opposed to multiple pieces to ensure the structure is stable.

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