The 50.00 USD Power Cage

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KenDowns
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The 50.00 USD Power Cage

Post by KenDowns » Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:22 am

I've posted a description, with pictures and instructions, of my 50 USD power cage, which requires 15 studs, a saw, a tape measure, and a hammer or drill.

Pros: Cheap, good for squats, press, and bench.

Cons: Not adjustable after being built, no real facility for pull-ups, unknown weight capacity.

http://www.downsfam.net/cage.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


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Re: The 50.00 USD Power Cage

Post by Paperclip » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:15 pm

That looks really nice!

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Re: The 50.00 USD Power Cage

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:28 pm

you should be proud.
I'm too rich lazy to have gone that route.

great write up too.

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Re: The 50.00 USD Power Cage

Post by Matt Z » Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:53 pm

Looks pretty good ... just be careful re-racking after a let of squats. If you put it back too hard you could tip the rack, since wood is lighter than steel.

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Re: The 50.00 USD Power Cage

Post by ironmaiden708 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:45 pm

It looks sound, so nice work. But for the added durability factor, I'd stick plate metal on the surfaces that will come in contact with the bar.


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Re: The 50.00 USD Power Cage

Post by KenDowns » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:49 pm

Matt Z wrote:Looks pretty good ... just be careful re-racking after a let of squats. If you put it back too hard you could tip the rack, since wood is lighter than steel.
Yeah I've been thinking about this one. Don't actually have an easy answer to that yet, but thinking about it...

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Re: The 50.00 USD Power Cage

Post by KenDowns » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:51 pm

ironmaiden708 wrote:It looks sound, so nice work. But for the added durability factor, I'd stick plate metal on the surfaces that will come in contact with the bar.
Yup, I've considered this. Since I'm doing Stronglifts 5x5 and have reset my weights lower, it's not an immediate issue.

The idea I guess is you can get started for 50.00 USD then embellish as desired. The plates add what, about another ten? So it's very reasonable if you expect to drop the bar and don't want a bunch of dinks in the wood. But if that extra ten is tough, maybe you're a student or something, you can always add the plates when the next paycheck comes around, you don't need them on day 1.

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Re: The 50.00 USD Power Cage

Post by Jungledoc » Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:10 am

KenDowns wrote:
Matt Z wrote:Looks pretty good ... just be careful re-racking after a let of squats. If you put it back too hard you could tip the rack, since wood is lighter than steel.
Yeah I've been thinking about this one. Don't actually have an easy answer to that yet, but thinking about it...
How about just extend the horizontal boards at the base on each side, so that they extend back a foot or so?

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Re: The 50.00 USD Power Cage

Post by KenDowns » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:46 am

Jungledoc wrote:
KenDowns wrote:
Matt Z wrote:Looks pretty good ... just be careful re-racking after a let of squats. If you put it back too hard you could tip the rack, since wood is lighter than steel.
Yeah I've been thinking about this one. Don't actually have an easy answer to that yet, but thinking about it...
How about just extend the horizontal boards at the base on each side, so that they extend back a foot or so?
I think if you mean extend them *forward* that would do the trick nicely. This would move the fulcrum forward requiring more torque to tip the cage. If you want to make this a serious cage for after you're squatting 300#, and you expect to go slamming into the hooks, you might want to make those 2x6 instead of 2x4.

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Re: The 50.00 USD Power Cage

Post by Jungledoc » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:57 am

I guess it depends what you consider front or back. I think of that as the back of the rack.

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Re: The 50.00 USD Power Cage

Post by stuward » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:17 am

I would bevel the tops of the "hooks" so that if you don't hit them exactly, the bar will still drop into the rest, instead of onto your chest.

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Re: The 50.00 USD Power Cage

Post by KenDowns » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:34 am

stuward wrote:I would bevel the tops of the "hooks" so that if you don't hit them exactly, the bar will still drop into the rest, instead of onto your chest.
I'm sensing a revised design if these suggestions keep rolling in....

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Re: The 50.00 USD Power Cage

Post by stuward » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:57 am

That's not a redesign, that's a tweak. All in all, it looks like a nice rack. If you're going to redesign it, you should include a way to adjust the "pins" so that you could have chest height for benching and higher for squatting.

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Re: The 50.00 USD Power Cage

Post by ironmaiden708 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:12 am

KenDowns wrote:
ironmaiden708 wrote:It looks sound, so nice work. But for the added durability factor, I'd stick plate metal on the surfaces that will come in contact with the bar.
Yup, I've considered this. Since I'm doing Stronglifts 5x5 and have reset my weights lower, it's not an immediate issue.

The idea I guess is you can get started for 50.00 USD then embellish as desired. The plates add what, about another ten? So it's very reasonable if you expect to drop the bar and don't want a bunch of dinks in the wood. But if that extra ten is tough, maybe you're a student or something, you can always add the plates when the next paycheck comes around, you don't need them on day 1.
Yeah it doesn't to be anything crazy. Plate metal and use self tapping screws to hold it down.

The simplest solution to keep the rack from tipping would either be to.
1. Bolt down frame
2. Stick heavy dumbbells on frame towards back.
3. Build a strut across back of frame. Drill a large hole, stick a pipe out as sort of a verticle plate rack. Buy some used standard barbells and load it up.


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