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View Poll Results: Which half rack design do you prefer?

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  • Design 1

    4 26.67%
  • Design 2

    11 73.33%
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Thread: Half Rack Plans

  1. #1
    Registered User dumb.bell's Avatar
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    Half Rack Plans

    I'm finalizing plans for a half rack that I am going to build as a gift for a friend of mine and I'm looking for some input. I've attached 3 pictures. The first two are side views of alternate designs for the half rack (safeties are different) and the third one is the rear view of the rack.

    The first design shows a traditional designed half rack with plate storage and a late machine. The safeties are held in place with one inch rods that run through the uprights.

    The second design is similar but uses safeties that slide up and down with pins holding them in place like adjustable saw horses (two per side - red dots represent holes where pins will go).

    I feel that the second design is stronger, but safety height is limited. Nevertheless, the user will primarily be using the rack for benching, and a more tradition set of safeties could be built to use at higher heights.

    I'm interested in people's preference regarding the two designs (different safeties) as well as general feedback on the designs. Feel free to ask questions.

    Thanks





    Last edited by dumb.bell; 02-02-2011 at 12:48 PM.
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  2. #2
    Banned Kodokan's Avatar
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    Plenty of half racks out there use the design 1 approach. For example, the EFS Econo Half rack, and the legend fitness half rack...plus many more I know.

    My preference personally would be for that design, because it should be safe enough for what a half rack is and still gives more flexibility regarding height. Plus, if for whatever reason you want to remove them to do floor press or deadlifts in that space, or something else, you can.

    My gut is also telling me that it would be easy enough to just buy some of these safeties if you wanted to go that route from say nybb or legend fitness...or else get a really good idea about what their design/angles are in order to copy.

    With option 2 you may be doing more experimenting...which could be good or bad, but is probably a little riskier and harder.
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  3. #3
    Registered User dumb.bell's Avatar
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    Kodokan,

    Thanks, I appreciate your input.

    Anyone else have any thoughts?
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  4. #4
    Registered User highhung723's Avatar
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    I like the look of the second option because I'm biased by animalfan's rack. I think his is adjustable too, with more options than two heights. The spotters look like they go pretty high, like 4ft. Maybe you can ask him for specs if you haven't already.
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  5. #5
    Registered User dumb.bell's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by highhung723 View Post
    I like the look of the second option because I'm biased by animalfan's rack. I think his is adjustable too, with more options than two heights. The spotters look like they go pretty high, like 4ft. Maybe you can ask him for specs if you haven't already.
    Thanks, I appreciate your feedback. However, to clarify: If your referring to Animalfan's Black and Gold rack, it is a full rack with an open top (I have the exact same rack). Although the picture may resemble his rack, this is only a half rack with an adjustable spotter that is supported on both ends. Nevertheless, it will have more than two positions. The spotter arms will telescope up and you slide pins into the red holes to hold the spotter arm in place. The spotter arm will likely be adjustable upwards for about eight to 10 inches with hole spacing every inch. Hope that makes sense.

    If I go with option 2, I'll likely build a pair of traditional half rack spotter arms for use at higher levels.
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  6. #6
    Equipment Geek Mod Wildtim's Avatar
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    I would go with design one. With an additional accessory, tray style bar holder so that you can set the weight at lower heights. It seems kinda limiting to have a rack that you can't do "rack" pulls with. I'm sure you can build it strong enough to handle the weight as well, unless you are making this for a elite level power lifter, and even then it would probably still do the job. Design 2 is either overkill or a pain in the butt, in my experience anything that telescopes will freeze up some day. A slight bend in the thinnest section will be enough to render the whole unit worthless. design one follows the KISS principal much better.

    Why Half rack?
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  7. #7
    Registered User dumb.bell's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Wildtim View Post
    Why Half rack?
    Just personal preference. He compared my open top rack to one of my half racks and after discussing the advantages/disadvantages he preferred the half rack design. He knows he'll be giving up some safety and versatility, but preferred the look and less confined feeling of the half rack.

    Thanks for your input. I hadn't considered a bent safety and the possibility of binding. It is unlikely that he will use enough weight to bend one of the safeties (the steel tube walls for the safeties are a quarter inch thick), but it is still a weak point in the design that I hadn't considered. (Kodokan's comment about experimenting with design 2 is making more sense to me now). I'm beginning to see the advantages of design 1.

    I was at Dynabody in Maryville, Tn today and they had a Monster Half Rack (Largest I've seen - 4x4 tubing) that used a variation of design 2 (but with one telescope as opposed to two - appears to be less susceptible to binding). The designers were either smarter than me, or someone went down this road before and learned from their mistake (see photo below).

    I'm not quite following you on the tray style bar holder, can you elaborate? Is this the same thing as the accessory trays for cleans?

    Thanks again



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  8. #8
    Registered Ginger Muscle Mania Matt's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dumb.bell View Post
    Just personal preference. He compared my open top rack to one of my half racks and after discussing the advantages/disadvantages he preferred the half rack design. He knows he'll be giving up some safety and versatility, but preferred the look and less confined feeling of the half rack.

    Thanks for your input. I hadn't considered a bent safety and the possibility of binding. It is unlikely that he will use enough weight to bend one of the safeties (the steel tube walls for the safeties are a quarter inch thick), but it is still a weak point in the design that I hadn't considered. (Kodokan's comment about experimenting with design 2 is making more sense to me now). I'm beginning to see the advantages of design 1.

    I was at Dynabody in Maryville, Tn today and they had a Monster Half Rack (Largest I've seen - 4x4 tubing) that used a variation of design 2 (but with one telescope as opposed to two - appears to be less susceptible to binding). The designers were either smarter than me, or someone went down this road before and learned from their mistake (see photo below).

    I'm not quite following you on the tray style bar holder, can you elaborate? Is this the same thing as the accessory trays for cleans?

    Thanks again
    that is the beefiest half rack I have ever seen. What I find funny is that with all the space use for plate holding and whatnot, the thing actually takes up more space than a full rack.
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  9. #9
    Registered User dumb.bell's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Muscle Mania Matt View Post
    that is the beefiest half rack I have ever seen. What I find funny is that with all the space use for plate holding and whatnot, the thing actually takes up more space than a full rack.
    They didn't seem to be advocates of the full rack. In the gym area they didn't have a rack, just two half racks (that monster half rack and a smaller more traditional designed one - design one). I didn't take a picture of the second rack, but did take a picture of one of the safety arms (see below). This half rack had a lifting platform and both the rack and platform were countersunk into the ground so that the platform and the surrounding area were level.

    Although they didn't have a rack in the gym, they had quite a few in the basement for sale. Since they make all of their own equipment, I think it is safe to say that they prefer half racks over full racks.








    These are a few of the racks they had for sale in the basement.


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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by dumb.bell View Post

    I'm not quite following you on the tray style bar holder, can you elaborate? Is this the same thing as the accessory trays for cleans?

    Something like this:

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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by Wildtim View Post
    Something like this:

    Ok, I know what you mean now. Thanks
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