Using parallel dip bars to work out is one of the best ways to develop your upper-body strength, but buying this equipment for your home gym can be expensive. You can easily build your own homemade parallel dip bars, but it's worth taking into consideration what options you have when it comes to materials, stability and durability.
There are two good materials to use for building your own homemade parallel dip bars. Forget about metal because most people aren't accomplished metal workers or welders. Wood is a terrific option when it comes to durability, but the structure must be built solidly so it will not wobble while you exercise. PVC pipe is also a good option when it comes to durability, and when properly designed it can be stable, as well. Wooden dip bars can be a little heavier, whereas PVC dip bars are light and can easily be moved.
Construction with wood
If you want to build wood dip bars you'll need 2 by 4 boards to build most of it. The four posts of the dip station should be about four feet long, depending on your height. You'll need to use base boards as long as the posts are high to increase stability in your parallel dip bars. Also frame the posts with cross bracing boards around three sides of the dip station, allowing one side to be open for access to the dip bars. Two-inch-wide dowels work best for the actual parallel bars. You'll need three-inch screws to put together your wooden dip station, so use these same screws to reinforce the two-inch dowels. Duct tape can be added to the wooden dowels if you need padding.
Construction with PVC
For parallel dip bars constructed from PVC you'll need to have two-nch PVC pipe. You can get a bunch of long pieces and cut to your specifications with a saw just like wood, but you'll need elbow connectors and T connectors to put everything together, along with PVC cement. You can form the base as wide as the dip station is tall by making a square with the elbow connectors to increase stability. The T connectors can be used to build the dip posts up from the base. Once again you'll need to construct cross braces on three sides, allowing one side to be open to access the dip bars. More T connectors can be used for the cross braces and more elbow connectors can be used to top the frame off with the dip bars. Duct tape works great for padding on PVC parallel dip bars, as well.