By Zack Smith
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Weightlifting benchWith only 9 pieces of wood and some screws, you can make a basic bench for using free weights.
Here's the first bench that I made in 2007:
Photo 4: How to line up the wood before putting the legs on.
Second identical bench, make in 2015:
MaterialsIn 2007, I had some extra wood lying around -- actually some of it I had bought out of the Extras bin at my local Home Depot hardware store for cheap. I also needed a weight bench, so rather than spend a large amount of money I decided to make one myself for about a quarter of the cost.
In 2015, after giving away the first one I made a second one.
- Two 2x6 boards, which are actually 5.5" by 1.5". Typically these are sold as 8-foot planks, so you can either ask them to cut two 48 inch pieces or something shorter. I chose 40 inches long. If you'll be using this bench for not just weightlifting but also general tasks, longer is probably better. These pices cost me perhaps $8.
- Seven 2x4 segments, 11" each. Go to your local Home Depot or similar store and buy one 8 foot 2x4. Ask them to make 7 (or if you like 8) 11-inch segments. Or, you could ask for three 11-inch segments (the cross beams) and four 12-inch segments (the legs). As you prefer... This cost me about $5 plus the cost of the cuts.
Around 32 screws. They can be deck screws, drywall screws or general purpose
goldwood screws, either 3" or 2.5" length. I bought a 1 pound box for $6.
- Cut all wood pieces to the proper lengths. Let the people at Home Depot (etc.) cut them for you if you lack the proper equipment.
- Stabilize the two pieces constituting the top of the bench by attaching the central cross-beam (see photos). Use at least 4 screws.
- Turn the boards over. Place two 11-inch pieces under each end for stability. Put at least 2 additional screws in through the top of the boards into the central stabilizing piece.
- At each end of the boards, position two 11-inch pieces perpendicular to the boards' length and not flat against the underside but rather up. (See photo 4.) Use screws to stabilize the inner 11-inch pieces. (The outer pieces will be removed.)
- Attach the legs next. Be very careful to make sure they are perfectly perpendicular with the bench top. Do this on a surface that is flat and hard (not a carpet). For stability put one end of the bench up against a wall. Then put in the vertical screws down through the boards into the tops of the legs. Then put in screws through the legs into the 11-inch cross beams.
- Reinforce everything with more screws.