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:
How to make the plates:
the pvc pipe to make the sleeve
and curing the plates!
the plates from the mold
Clearing the sleeve hole
sealing the plates
Making the barbell
- 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
Available at Home Depot, Lowes, Ace,
- Two 1 5/8 inch U-bolts
Home Depot, Lowes, Ace, or
to keep the weights from sliding inwards.
- 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
- Concrete mix:
at but the shipping costs are absurd for online.
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,
- 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.
If you want 45 to 50 lb
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)
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.
will also need a
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.
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
Concrete epoxy sealer paint -
This stuff makes 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
And you will need a cheap nylon paint brush,
like this one,
Rubber, leather, nitrile or latex gloves -
Concrete is an alkali and abrasive, so you want to protect your
hands while working with it.
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.
This is ALL you need!
Next: How to make the plates!