View Full Version : Want to build a dip station for my basement

11-09-2002, 09:18 AM
I'm going to build a wooden frame and use black iron plumbing pipe from the Home Depot (big builder's store for you non-Amereecuns). I'll publish the plans here when I've built it.

Would one of you nice gym members measure the distance between the bars at the narrow end and at the wider end, as well as the length of the bars, so I can determine the angle and spacing for them? I'm thinking of dip stations that arrange the bars like this / \ .

It should be easy and inexpensive to do. I'm planning to make it height-adjustable. Thanks!


11-09-2002, 10:18 AM
John, I would be very interested in this too. I was thinking of buying a dip/chins station but building that and getting a doorway bar would be a lot more reasonable. What kind of tools you think one would need?

11-09-2002, 10:57 AM
It's going to be very easy, but sturdy. I'm going to make a base out of a 4X4, then put 2 upright 4X4s on that, connecting them at the bottom with two plywood or MDF board aprons and screws. Before putting the frames together, I'm going to drill them for the black pipe on the drill press at about 3 " intervals so I can have several heights by sliding the black pipe through the holes.

All I need is how far apart at the narrow end, and the wide end and the length, then I'll connect the two sides at the floor with screwed 2X4 cross pieces. Piece of cake.

11-09-2002, 12:24 PM
Ummmm....Are you doing a diagram of that? That would help. I'd love building one too. So I would need a drill press right? I can manage that.

Unfortunately can't help you with the measurements bit, the one at my gym is one of those that runs parallel.

11-09-2002, 01:37 PM
Actually I'm not too worried about the angle, maybe I'll just do it by feel, or just leave it parallel.

Would you measure how far apart the bars are on the dip station at your gym--even though it's parallel? Thanks. Here's a diagram of what I'm thinking about--without measurements yet.

What do you think?


11-09-2002, 01:51 PM
I think it looks great. I see no reason why it wouldn't work. It looks quite simple and with some proper finishing might even end up looking good.

How thick do you imagine the uprights will have to be?

I'll measure it tomorrow afternoon as it's already closed.

11-09-2002, 01:55 PM
I think 4X4 is overbuilt, it would work with 2X4, but I'm gonna use 4X4 to make it really solid.

11-09-2002, 02:23 PM
You mean 4X4 inches?

11-09-2002, 02:35 PM
You can bolt two 2X4's or 4X4's in a vertical position to a wall, parallel to each other, with the holes drilled at 3" intervals like you mentioned. Then put three 4X4's together so that one piece lies on the floor parallel to the wall and the other two stand on the floor piece in an upside-down "T" position, with some 2X4's bolted at the bottom for diagonal bracing. The two free-standing vertical 4X4's should also have holes drilled at 3" intervals. You then slide each iron bar through a free-standing 4X4 and the into the corresponding 4X4 on the wall. What this has done is anchor one of the side of your stand to the wall, so that only one stand must stand uipright from the floor. By having one side anchored to the wall, the two iron bars ultimately help to support the uprights that stand on the floor. I've done this with success with a pullup bar in the past. If this doesn't make sense, I can try to make a crude drawing tomorrow.

11-09-2002, 03:48 PM
Thanks, Delphi! Makes perfect sense! Much better idea, actually, thanks for sharing that. I think I got the idea and don't need a drawing.

You have any idea how far apart the bars should be? I don't have access to a dip station. Sometime in the next couple weeks my co-worker is going to take me to his Gold's Gym on a guest pass and I will bring a tape measure with me. So I'll get it figured out sooner or later.


11-09-2002, 04:58 PM
As far as pull ups I wouldn't over complicate it. right now I have a peice of rebar on top of some ceiling joyces in the garage. The the rebar is little tough on the hands. I would go with 3/4 Rgc or galv pipe. If your building it in a basement I would drill 1- 1 1/4" holes through the jouces in slide in a peice of pipe. If your doing it on a wall just have to lag a couple brackets to the wall and connect and put a piece of pipe across. Your only supporting 200-300 lbs. With no jarring motion. As far as dips My bench came with supports 22" center to center. But I would do what ever felt right. No need to over compicate things, thought it is fun. You don't need a drill press either. 1/2 drill with hole saw, paddle bit or an auger. Radial saw or sawz-all.

11-09-2002, 10:19 PM
JC, I have a PowerLine VKR station that has a pullup bar and dip handles. The dip handles are 21" apart, from inside edge to inside edge. I'm 6'3" and I wear a 46 Long or 48 regular coat. I wish my dip bars were one, maybe two, inches closer together. With heavy weights my arms feel a little too abducted at the shoulder. I imagine with a narrower span there will be more emphasis placed on the triceps rather than the deltoids and pecs.

11-10-2002, 01:09 AM
Berserker, you might try slipping a piece of 1" Schedule 40 PVC pipe over the rebar. It'll give a thicker bar to hold on to, and be easier on your hands. It also has the advantage of being able to rotate on the rebar, which will also take some shear stress off your hands.

11-10-2002, 07:33 AM
Delphi, you're a genius! You're a doctor, aren't you? You could run a home improvement show. That PVC over the rebar thing is simple, but much genius is.

Anyway, thanks for the measurements. Because you feel you'd like just a little more width, that made me decide to put a gentle angle on this thing using your design idea. That way, diferent sized users (although I rarely have company) can find their favorite spot. I think the angled grip will be somehwat more comfortable, too, kind of like an EZ-curl bar principle.

Restless, this may take a while for me to get to, but I will put detailed drawings back here when I'm done with it.


Le Catt
11-10-2002, 09:25 AM
I recently built my own dip station as i now train at home, i used steel box section over wood, stronger and even probably cheaper, welded joints over screws etc, i used parallel bar at 22" works but if i was building another id defo angle the bars.

Just signed up great site:)

11-10-2002, 09:27 AM
Sliding PVC should work good. I was going to duct tape hand position. But maybe theres something better then duct tape.

11-10-2002, 01:54 PM
Duct tape on the outside of the PVC will probably give you a better grip. That plastic's pretty hard to hold on to at the end of a set. If you're lucky you can find a foam-type grip that will slip over the PVC. You might find some at one of these sites:



11-11-2002, 12:59 PM
Screw Home Depot, go to Lowes!!!!

Home Depot kills an average of 8 customers a year...Lowes average 0.

The last person Depot killed was an 8 yr old girl when a counter top that wasn't secured properly fell off and decapitated her in front of her Mom and Dad.

Sorry I know it's not lifting related, just thought you'll might want to know.

11-11-2002, 01:47 PM
Actually I meant I was going to duct tape the re-bar to make it thicker. I am not sure if I would need to duct pvc. For now I've just been wearing work gloves. Probably do something differant soon. I been doing my chins in the garage, probably move it to teh basement. I am a wuss.