Before I get started on this, you need to be smart when making your own equipment. There is a tradeoff between saving money and having quality equipment. I love the Rogue “KILO” Bellswhen I got to use them at different gyms, but the $3 per pound price tag just about kilo-ed me. Making your own equipment can save you money, unless you put too much faith in it and end up in the hospital.
Look at how the equipment will be used and whether it will put you in danger if it fails. I’ll talk about my collapsing pull-up bar some other time.
I don’t know about you, but I have weights sitting around I hadn’t used for a long time. We had purchased a set of adjustable dumbbells I no longer used, so I decided to put them to work.
The plates all had 1″ holes in them, which made them ideal. I went to the hardware store and purchased the following supplies:
- 12-inch length of 1-inch National Pipe Thread Tapered Thread (NPT) (quantity: 1)
- 1-inch NPT T-style junction (quantity: 2)
- 3-inch length of 1-inch NPT nipple (quantity: 2)
- athletic tape
- PVC scraps
The assembly is really simple. You are going to make a big “T” with the two lengths of NPT and one of the T-style junctions.
Then you will slide your weights onto the 12-inch length of NPT, creating the weight you desire.
The first time I used mine, the threads nearly drew blood on the palm of my hands, so I wrapped the handles with the athletic tape. Again, do this at your own risk. Make sure your tetanus is up to date or just buy some commercially-produced kettlebells.
One other problem I had was the plates would slip down and bang on my knuckles. So I took a scrap of schedule-40 PVC pipe, cut it to the size of the gap between the plates and the T-junction, removed about 1/4 of the diameter of the pipe and snapped it around the center post. There’s still some slop, but it protects my knuckles.
It’s not as pretty or nice to grip as Rogue’s Kilo Bells, but it works.