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How to Build Your Own Weight Bench

Weight benches are not complex pieces of gym equipment. The basic design consists of a padded bench that’s supported by a stable leg assembly at each end. Building your own weight bench is done using standard-grade lumber for the rectangular bench frame, and half-hexagon legs that provide lateral stability. A piece of plywood is used as the bench platform and foam padding with a vinyl fabric covering is fitted to the platform. The project is done using basic hand and power tools.

  1. Use the circular saw to cut a length of 2-inch-by-4-inch Douglas fir 12 inches long as the top piece of the half-hexagon leg frame. Cut an additional piece 20 inches long as the base. Lay both pieces flat on a worktable and spread them to approximately 20 inches apart and parallel.

  2. Align the center of each piece on the vertical. Use the adjustable builder’s square to mark two pieces of 2-inch-by-4-inch Douglas fir as angled legs that fit between the ends of the top and base. Cut these pieces and lay them in place to form a half-hexagon leg frame.

  3. Apply wood glue to the ends of the side pieces and reset them in place between the top and bottom of the leg frame. Cut four pieces of 5/8-inch plywood as triangular corner braces for the leg frame. Apply wood glue to each of the braces. Use the cordless electric drill with a screw tip to attach them to the face of the leg frame with 1 1/4-inch wood screws. Repeat these steps and make another half-hexagon leg frame.

  4. Cut two pieces of Douglas fir 48 inches long as sides of the bench frame. Drill 1/4-inch pilot holes at the ends of the top pieces of the leg frames. Align the sides of the bench frame between the top of the leg frames and use the socket and ratchet to attach them with 3/8-inch lag screws.

  5. Cut a piece of 5/8-inch plywood as the weight bench platform and attach it to the bench frame using wood glue and 1 1/4-inch wood screws. Use the utility knife to cut a piece of 2-inch foam pad for the bench. Use scissors to cut a piece of vinyl fabric that covers the foam covering with two inches extra at the sides and ends. Attach the fabric at the underside of the bench platform using a staple gun and 1/2-inch staples.

    Tip

    Add Douglas fir risers with v-grooves at the top for a barbell rest.

    Warning

    Test the stability of the bench before working out with excessive weight.

Things Needed

  • 2-inch-by-4-inch Douglas fir
  • Circular saw
  • Adjustable builder’s square
  • 5/8-inch plywood
  • Cordless electric drill
  • Screw tip
  • 1 1/2-inch wood screws
  • Wood glue
  • 1/4-inch drill bit
  • 3/8-inch lag screws
  • Socket and ratchet
  • 2-inch foam pad
  • Utility knife
  • Vinyl fabric
  • Scissors
  • Staple gun
  • 1/2-inch staples

About the Author

William Machin began work in construction at the age of 15, while still in high school. In 35 years, he's gained expertise in all phases of residential construction, retrofit and remodeling. His hobbies include horses, motorcycles, road racing and sport fishing. He studied architecture at Taft Junior College.

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