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Thread: Welding home gym

  1. #1
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    Welding home gym

    I want to weld an outdoor home gym with stations for pullups, bar dips and push up bars, all attached to some cedar posts. I want to use 1 1/4 inch black pipe and weld these to plates that I would attach to the wooden posts. I also want to weld pipe to pipe at 90 and 45 degree angles. These are all structural pipe welds, unlike most of the pipe welding talked about on this forum.
    I chose black pipe over galvanized because it is easier to weld, cheaper and does not give off fumes when welded. I will need to paint it.
    Would anyone choose galvanized pipe over black pipe?
    As a structural weld for this size of pipe, what would you use? MIG or stick? I was thinking stick. I assume mild steel plate would weld fine to black pipe using either stick or MIG. The welds I plan will be pipe to plate at 90 degrees, and pipe to pipe at 90 and 45 degrees. No pipe to pipe to extend the length like on a pipe line and all of it is to bear my weight while exercising. Any advice on technique would be appreciated.


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  2. #2
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    Re: Welding home gym

    One suggestion is wherever you can, utilize
    screw on pipe flanges to attach bars to your wooden posts.

    It may make for a tidier looking structure than all welded.


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  3. #3
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    Re: Welding home gym

    I would use mig myself. Main thing is getting a good fitup on your cope joints. If you've never coped pipe before I would recommend the pipe master coping tool or I believe you can print out patterns for various joints online. Google pipe coping templates.

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    Re: Welding home gym

    Pipe and other material sizes TOTALLY depend on your strength,, now, and after a few months of exercise,,

    I know guys that would destroy the material sizes you mentioned, and they have not exercised that long.

    As far as choosing black, galvanized, etc,,,,,, I would base my selection on the minimum prep and maintenance for use.
    Some galvanized is used on playground equipment every day,, but, I have seen the stuff at the big box stores with flakes of zinc coming off.

    The last thing you want is flakes of zinc imbedded in your hands.
    The same goes for black steel pipe, not all pipe is manufactured to be touched constantly, it is made to carry gas,,

    I think that is why LOTS of exercise equipment is built with specialty material,,

    As far as welding zinc,, people do it every day,, it is mostly only a problem if you ignore the fumes.
    Be down wind, you will be fine. It is not like you are welding inside the Chernobyl power plant,,

  5. #5
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    Re: Welding home gym

    Quote Originally Posted by Lis2323 View Post
    One suggestion is wherever you can, utilize
    screw on pipe flanges to attach bars to your wooden posts.

    It may make for a tidier looking structure than all welded.


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    The pipe flanges are like 7-8 bux a piece right now.

    Was at Lowes looking for some last week.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Welding home gym

    MIG or stick, whichever process you want.

    Black pipe welds up nicely but it is covered in protective oil:

    Joint areas goes without saying but also consider that you'll need to really clean ALL of it before painting.
    Ed Conley
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  7. #7
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    Re: Welding home gym

    For coping pipe at 90° joints, I often cut two 45° angles on one piece (the base of the "T" joint so to speak) to create a bird's mouth and that gets it "good enough" to bodge it together with stick welding...and if I want it to be good and strong, I'll generally use 6010 rod, even though it doesn't look as good (and isn't as tough) as 7018, because it penetrates a bit better (and fills gaps easier)...

  8. #8
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    Welding home gym

    Here are pics of a few bars I've built for ideas...

    One inch diameter solid round stock. Mig welded. Bends made in hydraulic press. Chrome plated.

    One inch silicone heater hose and one inch locking shaft collars for grips.





    2" pipe (for fat grip) also mig welded and chrome plated.



    1.25"D pipe "handle bars" for T-Bar row.
    Bends created with pipe bender in hydraulic press. Mig welded also.

    "Grip" surface created using black automotive rocker guard coating.




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    Last edited by Lis2323; 06-28-2021 at 11:53 AM.
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  10. #9
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    Re: Welding home gym

    Quote Originally Posted by Broccoli1 View Post
    The pipe flanges are like 7-8 bux a piece right now.

    Was at Lowes looking for some last week.
    Geez. Just like everything else.

    Okay skip the flange idea unless you have some old stock kicking around. I do like the look though…


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    Re: Welding home gym

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    I would use mig myself. Main thing is getting a good fitup on your cope joints. If you've never coped pipe before I would recommend the pipe master coping tool or I believe you can print out patterns for various joints online. Google pipe coping templates.
    Pipe Master's are great, especially for things like roll bars in race cars where several pipes meet at odd angles. The one thing I would do is buy structural pipe/tubing from a steel supplier instead of the water/gas pipe they sell at box stores like Home Depot. The black pipe can be quite rough and who want's to spend all the time cleaning and polishing it to get it smooth. Mig would be fine for welding as long as you have the required skill. Same with stick. It's not a first project for when you just got a welder.

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    Re: Welding home gym

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    Pipe Master's are great, especially for things like roll bars in race cars where several pipes meet at odd angles. The one thing I would do is buy structural pipe/tubing from a steel supplier instead of the water/gas pipe they sell at box stores like Home Depot. The black pipe can be quite rough and who want's to spend all the time cleaning and polishing it to get it smooth. Mig would be fine for welding as long as you have the required skill. Same with stick. It's not a first project for when you just got a welder.
    Typically called pipe sized tubing or hand rail pipe. Not pressure rated and no threaded ends. Usually just light mill scale to deal with

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    Re: Welding home gym

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffrey.penfield View Post
    As a structural weld for this size of pipe, what would you use? MIG or stick? I was thinking stick.
    id probably innershiled it, but others will work too. i made a pull up bar in the 90s (i still got it). i had access to a machine shop at the time, so i knurled it on some dom. what ur doin sounds custom to fit ur wood, but, i myself wouldnt put my $/efforts towards anything u can buy, as when the next lockdown comes, them gyms are gonna throw in the towel. next to where im at, theres warehouses full of excercise bikes/treadmills etc right now.

  14. #13
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    Re: Welding home gym

    I could get a screw on pipe flange for one side, but the other side has to be cut to fit the other post, so it wont have threads. I could thread it, but I thought welding would be easier.
    Those bars and welds look nice. Do you use that equipment yourself?
    The reason I am building instead of buying is that I want an outdoor workout place and will use my own weight for most of the exercises. I have cedar trees that I can cut with a sawmill for the posts. I wanted bars that I could weld and would not rust. I will look for pipe railing.


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    Re: Welding home gym

    I think welding looks more professional than threaded pieces. Was in a take out fast food place and the railing (upper and middle rail) to keep people in line behind the counter was made with all threaded pipe connections. Looked like it was some last minute idea. Probably took a while to figure out all the length's of pipe (and the order to assemble them) so they would thread together. Would have been a good exercise in school for an apprentice but not for an actual job.
    Last edited by Welder Dave; 06-30-2021 at 03:58 PM.

  16. #15
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    Re: Welding home gym

    I will try to find pictures of some of my stuff when I get home. Go to Reebz Welding on face book, should be a bunch of pictures. It may give you some ideas.
    I used to do a ton of this type of work.

  17. #16
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    Re: Welding home gym

    I wouldn't dick around with any threaded stuff. All the stress is applied to an area that is weakened from the reduced wall thickness at the valley of the thread.

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  19. #17
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    Re: Welding home gym

    Welding around ready rod is the same thing. The threads are like the starting point for cracks.

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    Welding home gym

    Depending on your design you may be able to drill the correct diameter hole through your posts for the pipe. This may minimize your welding.


    Just found this on Google images….




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    Last edited by Lis2323; 06-30-2021 at 05:29 PM.
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  21. #19
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    Re: Welding home gym

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    Welding around ready rod is the same thing. The threads are like the starting point for cracks.
    I would say threaded pipe is way worse tho. Often a third to half the wall thickness is reduced.

  22. #20
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    Re: Welding home gym

    I would likely go with stick given the size of the material. Welding around small diameter cylinders accurately is difficult, stick gives that little extra bit of access/maneuverability.

    I might go with mig if most of the welding was done on a bench or on rollers (not in place).

    I would have the bar go through the post and be secured preferably on both sides ("capturing the post"), or at the very least use through bolts (not screws/lags) to attach flange to post. The dynamic loads on this could be pretty large.

    Be sure to check and re tighten things as the wood dries out/settles.

    Consider going with solid instead of hollow material - overkill is best when anything living is the intended load. Also, solid material can be bent (Easy when heated, and can be heated by literally just a small bbq or bonfire).
    Last edited by SlowBlues; 07-01-2021 at 09:08 AM.

  23. #21
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    Re: Welding home gym

    There's going to be a tendency, on the posts in the pic Lis linked, for the posts to split, with the round pipes acting as wedges. I'd find a way to address / prevent that.

  24. #22
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    Re: Welding home gym

    If going through the wood with the bar I'd suggest over sizing the hole and using PL premium or similar between the wood and metal.

    Even if no glue is used for the metal I would use a little lightly thinned wood glue for the ends and any holes (to help prevent future cracks), and in present cracks.

    the wood will expand and contract being outdoors, in addition to the first acclimatizing.

  25. #23
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    Re: Welding home gym

    You could drill the wood post holes slightly oversized and screw NON threaded pipe flanges on either side of the post to capture the pull up bar.

    This should mitigate the post from splitting, add additional support, allow the capability to remove by loosening the set screws, AND look relatively professional.





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