Straight to the Bar

All Things Strength


Home-Made T-Bar Rower
Written By : Scott Bird

T-bar row machineGary Chandler is very much part of the growing network of DIY equipment enthusiasts. His latest creation, a home-made T-bar row machine, is superb.

Over to Gary for a few details about its construction :

I used an old spin-on bar with an electrical cable hangar as my swiveling attachment point. The bar goes into a 4×4 with a 1-1/2″ hole drilled into it for a pivot point. The box at the end allows some quarters to counterbalance the weight and keep the back end of the bar from coming up when the thing is loaded. The foam pad at the top is from a stereo box. The weight rest is an odd bracket from a garage door opener.

The nicest thing about this rig is that a simple shrug of the shoulders is all that is needed to lift the weight fromthe rest, and it’s only a couple of inches to the side (and a shrug) to park it, rather than waaaay off to the side, like some gym equipment.

I have since added a footrest, between the back box and uprights, using a piece of pipe and conduit clamps. The bar comes out for other
uses if needed. I’m pulling around 300 on this thing lately. Takes two quarters for the back balance when over 260.

A few of Gary’s other works (which are equally brilliant) :

Wooden Weight TreeWooden Weight Tree

This is made from just 2×4’s and a piece of wooden closet rod, hammered into holes. You could use pipe if you don’t have a rod to cut up. With weights set on top where those nickels are, you can put your chain through them and walk up to it and hook them to your belt at waist height. Very convenient.

W-BarW-Bar Chin Rig

This is for guys who get wrist pains from a straight bar. A piece of innertube for bar protection, a springclip and S-hook.

Hammer PullHammer Press/Pull

This one speaks for itself, using a piece of chain or two. Bolts, or spring clips.

Squat RackSquat Rack

Using 5″ pieces of pipe, or as in my case, stainless steel curtain rod (1″) set 2-1/2″ deep into the 4×4’s. 6′ tall and 42″ at the base. Yes, that is a drink holder (from a bicycle) and a window fan mounted over the stabilizer board. This will be used to hold attachments, as the weight collars you see there. Maybe some speakers?

Chinning barChin-up Bar

If you have a cased opening you can spare, you can use an old weight bar or pipe, and simply drill into both sides of the jambs, and slip the bar into one side, then the other, and use bar collars to keep it centered. My old bar was rusted, so I used metal duct tape to cover it.


Over to you. Drop us a line on Twitter ( @scottbird ), or add a comment below.



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Straight to the Bar is the online home of fitness enthusiast Scott Bird, and looks at the many training approaches, essential techniques, uncommon exercises and superb equipment to help you become as strong as humanly possible. In short, this site is the home of all things strength.

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Written By Scott Bird
Scott is a long-time fitness enthusiast (Jan 2004!), writer and photographer living in Sydney, Australia. If you share the passion for spending a bit of time under a bar, welcome. Love hearing how everyone else trains. You can connect via X (Formerly Twitter), Facebook and the various networks listed in the sidebar.
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