A while back, I wanted to buy a set of Horizontal bars. But in Canada, their price can be anywhere between CAD $100 and $300.
For example, I looked at the Lebert Equalizer. You can see it in Frank Medrano’s Youtube videos, and boy did I want them! There are other brands and whatnot, but these were the ones I wanted the most.
I priced out how much it would cost to buy them. And because of their price, I started to think, “Hey…Maybe I can make my own!”
And so my adventure to build my own horizontal bar started.
I wrote out a rough plan on how I wanted to build it, inspired by my doorway pull-up bar. The handle is roughly 30 inches for pull-ups, which I figured would be a good size for a horizontal bar.
My goal with my new bar is to get better at pull-ups and horizontal rows, so I used the measurements of my pull-up bar.
The idea was simple.
I wanted to keep it light and movable, while still being strong and solid. I knew I wanted the parts I’d hold to be round.
I played with the idea of making the base out of wood, but that would make it bulky and heavy. So I ended up deciding to use some kind of plumbing pipe instead.
And I was off to the plumbing store!
I went exploring and found some fencing poles, but I could neither find 90s or T-shaped poles here. It was sad, because Fence poles are dirt-cheap (CAD $3 for 8 FEET)
I thought of using copper because it’d look nice, but it was too expensive and way too soft a metal for what I wanted to do. I settled for a black pipe in the end. Many people have used black pipes for their DIY pull-up bars.
I still didn’t know if it’d be stable enough to be a stand, but hey, nothing tried, nothing gained, right?
Also, they were very affordable for me. Not even CAD $2/foot!
Apparently, black pipes are normally used for gas lines. So it’s pretty solid stuff.
As I was shopping at the store, my idea became clearer and clearer. I knew I wanted a bar about 30 inches across, but how high should it be?
I figured 30 inches in height would also be good.
So here’s the list of materials I used after all my deep thinking:
Three 30-inch length black pipes, threaded both sides
Four 8-inch length black pipes, threaded one side
All 1 inch-wide pipes.
Once you’ve bought the material, have all the ends of the pipe threaded, if it isn’t already.
This is a threaded screw. The striations on the screw were made by a machine to connect it to the different parts.
When you buy plumbing pipes in a store, they’re not always threaded. So you can pay to have it done in the store, or you can just buy pipes that are pre-threaded.
All that’s left after that is fitting the different parts together! Here’s mine:
You might be asking, “But Mark, what’s that white tape on it?”
Well! glad you asked.
Lucky for me the local sporting store was closing down, so that tape is Hockey Tape! I got a bunch for less than CAD $5.
The Ts on the feet were making the bar rock back and forth, so I bought caps for the ends, which made them more stable.
Although I didn’t like the idea of adding more weight to it or it being able to stretch floors, metal on a wooden floor doesn’t normally do well…for the floor. So I wrapped the bottom legs to get some grip and stability, with great results.
After a few uses, the tape kind of flattens out and becomes a perfect landing for the bar. I’m sure any kind of grip tape would work just the same.
It was super simple and cost me CAD $50 for all the parts. I’d have saved $15 had I wanted to thread the pipes myself, but I chose to pay for it instead.
Just so you know, most big box stores do that for free.
I chose to make 30×30”, but next time I make them myself, I’ll be fitting them to my height of 5’5” – it’d be nicer if I could reach the bar while laying on the ground, flat on my back.
If you want to custom tailor your horizontal bar, I suggest that you measure your arm length and add 1-2 inches to get a perfect fit in height.
I’d also suggest you use 10-inch pipes for the “feet”. It’ll be a bit more stable than my first creation.
With that said, I love it!
So that’s my custom built Horizontal Bar.
I’m probably not done making my own custom fitness equipment after this first one! So keep your eyes open, you’ll be seeing more from me.
Also – if you make a second horizontal bar, BAM! you have your own dip station.
If you want to try building your own horizontal bar and have questions, leave a comment or shoot me a message in the Facebook group!
Make sure you follow Mark on his Instagram and check out his personal site
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