Practical, easy to follow home fitness and exercise

Materials Needed for Homemade Barbell and Weights

Here's what you need to make the barbell and weights.

Total cost: under $100 for 210 lb weight set, if you can get everything at local stores.

Here are all of the steps to make the equipment and below that is the list of materials:


  1. How to make the plates: getting organized!
  2. Filling the mold
  3. Mixing the concrete
  4. Checking the weight
  5. Cutting the pvc pipe to make the sleeve
  6. Inserting the PVC sleeve!
  7. Smoothing and curing the plates!
  8. Removing the plates from the mold
  9. Clearing the sleeve hole
  10. Painting and sealing the plates
  11. Making the barbell


Barbell1 in. x 10 ft. Galvanized Steel Pipe

  1. One 10-ft, 1-inch diameter plumbing pipe
    to make the barbell. Current cost is $26 for 1 inch (inside diameter) 10 feet long plumbing pipe (NOT electrical conduit). You need the heavier plumbing pipe. They are shiny galvanized steel that look and feel nice.  
    Ask them (nicely) to cut it into 2 pieces, 7 ft and 3 ft long
    . They have a pipe saw, and it will save you a lot of effort.
    Available at Home Depot, Lowes, Ace,

  2. Two 1  5/8 inch U-bolts
    to keep the weights from sliding inwards. 

    Available at
  3. Home Depot, Lowes, Ace, or online here.

  4. Thumb-screw hose clamps
    to keep the weights on like clips at the gym. 

     I had to order these online.





The weights themselves are made from concrete and painted with an epoxy concrete driveway sealer.

  1. Concrete mix:
    High strength for up to 2 inch thick.  The bag weights give you an idea of how many bags you will need.  If you want to make two 25 lb plates, you will need one 50 lb bag of concrete mix.  Hopefully you can do elementary school level math to approximate how many bags you will need.
    Type of concrete mix? Really, any type will work, but higher strength is better, as is the type with added fibers to resist cracking.  typical cost is $3 to $5 per 50 - 80 lb bag. 

    Available at Home Depot, Lowes, Ace,
  2. and online at but the shipping costs are absurd for online.

  3.  Plastic oil change pan. 
    The one at Walmart for less than $3 is the perfect size and shape to make all of the plates except for the 45lb plates.

    It is also available online for about the same price which saves you going into Wal-Mart.

  4. If you want 45 to 50 lHOMZ 17 Gal. Rope Handle Storage Tub in Blueb plates
    You will also need a larger diameter round plastic form.  I found this plastic tub at Home Depot worked perfectly!  It only cost $5 at my Home Depot.  You can also get it at Target (for twice the price)


  5. PVC Pipe
    Get a piece of PVC pipe just large enough to slide on the metal pipe. 

    Generally this means  1 inch or 1.25 inch inside diameter pvc pipe.  Just walk over to the PVC pipe with your metal pipe and try them until you find a good fit.  This will allow your weights to slide on and off the barbell easily and without wearing out the concrete. 

    You will also need a hack saw or other type of saw to cut the pipe.  A circular saw would work, too. I used a cordless reciprocating saw with a fine tooth blade on it.

  6. Plastic hand trowel -
    For mixing the concrete. go to the garden section and get the cheap hand trowel there. Any small plastic hand trowel will work as long as it is sturdy (because you will use it to mix the concrete and water).
    Or order online here.


  7. Concrete epoxy sealer paint -
    This stuff makeexpoxy sealer paint\s the plates SO much easier to hand, no sharp edges, no sand or crumbling; really they are so much better painted.  Otherwise will you will be vacuuming up dust every day. I used the Behr 1-part epoxy, (about $32) for 1 gallon, which was plenty)  but I'm sure any driveway / concrete paint should work as well.  Like this one online.

    And you will need a cheap nylon paint brush, like this one, available online.

  8. Rubber, leather, nitrile or latex gloves -

    Concrete is an alkali and abrasive, so you want to protect your hands while working with it.

  9. Bathroom Scale:

    You will want a bathroom scale to weigh the plates as you fill the mold to achieve the weight you want in each!

    This one gets unbelievable high ratings and is well priced, so if you need a new scale anyway, get this one. I did!



This is ALL you need!

Next: How to make the plates!