Sunday, December 21, 2014

Adventure in Building a Home Gym

Last year I started assembling a little garage gym so I could do some weight lifting in the comfort of home. I scoured the online classifieds and found good deals on used power racks, a bench, and some weights. I was doing pretty well finding these deals, I thought. The one oddity was with the weights. The seller wouldn't sell them separate from this monster:

I had no use for this because I had bought into the idea that compound lifts were the best and this enormous and heavy thing served only to isolate your shoulders. I took it anyway because the guy was nice and he was giving me a good deal on the weights whether this was included or not. I was also thinking in the back of my head that I have a friend that likes metalworking that could probably help me turn it into something more useful. Nearly a full year later my hope was finally realized.

I stored it as is in my garage for about 6 months. My basement was being remodeled so there were lots of things in the garage with it (on it, under it, around it) so that wasn't a big deal. Once the basement was finished and we moved everything back in, it was painfully in the way. I moved it to the side of the house where it sat for a couple months, and then finally my next-door neighbor showed me how his acetylene torch worked and this thing was now in a much more compact state:

The flat bench I originally bought was a little rickety and cheap and my idea was to turn this into a nice sturdy one. A couple weeks ago my schedule and my metalworking friends schedules finally synced up and he graciously helped me use his chop saw, MIG welder, and drill press to reform the original beast into this:

It turns out welding is pretty dang fun. Once this metal frame was done I cut out and sanded some 1/2 inch plywood for the actual bench and attached it using bolts and t-nuts. My wife graciously painted the metal with some Rustoleum, found some padding and vinyl and helped me cover the wood. Here are the last few progress pictures: