I knew when we scored 490 pounds worth of iron plates that we couldn’t just throw them on the garage floor. Because if there’s anything worse than squeezing my feet into a pair of anatomically taxing stilettos, it would be squeezing a broken toe into an already anatomically taxing pair of stilettos. (And considering that I do, on occasion, literally walk into barbells, I wouldn’t put it past me to NOT stub my toe walking into haphazardly placed 45lb plates.)
And because I’m a visual learner, I put together this visual shopping list of tools required and a lumber cut list. Click HERE to download the PDF because it’s easier to just print out and take to Home Depot – yay, shopping!
BUT (!) before I dive into explaining how to make a weight tree let me just take a moment to lay down this obligatory disclaimer. (Hey, I grew up in sue-happy Cali so I know the deal.)
Neither I, the author of posts on Girl Walks Into A Bar(bell), nor Ryan (the designer of this DIY weight tree) shall be held accountable for loss, damage, injury or death that may arise as a result of following these plans. It is your responsibility to know how to operate these tools and your responsibility to ensure the safety of the equipment that you make. DIY at your own risk.
Let’s get this party started!
STEP #1: CUT THE 2X4 LUMBER AND DOWELS INTO APPROPRIATE SIZES
Use the cut list on the PDF provided. Important: If you are making the cuts yourself, Make sure to measure each length AFTER you make a cut to account for blade thickness. Otherwise, each piece will end up being a little short.
STEP #2: DRILL HOLES FOR THE DOWELS IN THE VERTICAL SUPPORTS
The (2) 37″ pieces will be the vertical supports.
STEP #3: ASSEMBLE TOP OF WEIGHT TREE.
Now take the 3 1/2″ square piece of 2×4. Using the auger, bore a hole approx 3/4″ deep (not all the way through!) in the center of this piece.
Insert the 8″ long dowel into the center.
Secure with a screw through the bottom.
STEP #4: ASSEMBLE THE BASE SUPPORTS
Mark the center of the (2) 24 1/2″ pieces where the (2) 6″ pieces will be connected (see picture below.)
Use the bar clamps to hold the 6″ piece to the 24 1/2″ piece and, with a 1/8″ drill bit, drill pilot holes through the 24 1/2″ piece and into the 6″ piece. (This is a pretty important step – failure to drill pilot holes may result in splitting the edge of the wood.)
Unclamp, add wood glue to the edge of the 6″ pieces, reclamp it to the 24 1/2″ piece, like it was before.
Drill (2) 2″ wood screws through pilot holes of the 24 1/2″ piece and into the 6″ piece.
STEP #5: ASSEMBLE VERTICAL SUPPORT STRUCTURE
Place the remaining 3 1/2″ square 2×4 piece between the two 37″ pieces. The bottom of the 3 1/2″ piece should be 2 1/2″ from the bottom of the 37″ pieces.
Very important: Use a square to square up! You don’t want the vertical supports of a weight tree looking like the leaning tower of pisa.
Clamp these pieces with a bar clamp and drill (2) pilot holes with a 1/8″ drill bit through each 37″ piece and into the 3 1/2″ piece.
Unclamp, apply wood glue to each contact point, reclamp, and drill wood screws into the pilot holes of the 37″ pieces and into the 3 1/2″ piece.
Remember that other 3 1/2″ square piece with the 8″ dowel at the top? Attach it to top of these 37″ pieces such that the top of the 3 1/2″ square is flush with the tops of the 37″ pieces. Remember to clamp, drill pilot holes, unclamp, add glue, reclamp, and screw!
The last part of the vertical support assembly is to add the dowels. Tap the 17 1/2″ dowel through the top holes of the 37″ pieces and the 18 1/2″ dowel through the bottom holes.
(Kinda important: If the dowels won’t go in the holes (I’m going to pretend that doesn’t sound perverted), you’ll want to use the auger to widen the holes. Careful! Just bore through a little at a time because if you make the holes TOO big, the dowels will just slide through and that’s not very safe when it comes to big iron plates. But, let’s say you “accidentally” bored the holes too wide, drill a pilot hole through the the side of the 37″ vertical support and into the dowel so that it doesn’t slide around.
STEP #6: ATTACH VERTICAL SUPPORT TO BASE
Center the vertical support assembled in the previous step between the two horizontal base pieces.
Clamp and drill (2) pilot holes through each contact point of the base and into the vertical support. Make sure the structure is level at this point and that it does not rock or move excessively at this point.
Unclamp, add glue, reclamp, add screws!
This weight tree was inspired by various people on the CrossFit.com forums and was designed by Ryan Decker. Total cost will be sub $20 (if you have all the tools) and around $35 if you buy drill bits, screws, and augers. Not too shabby.