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  1. #1
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    Swiss Cheese Style Power Rack

    I'm having a friend make me a squat rack, and I've run into some trouble. He's using 3"*3", 11 guage tube steel for the uprights, and he made a mistake. I'd like some opinions if it's salvageable or should just be redone.

    He was supposed to drill 11/16" holes on the sides, spaced every 2", as well as holes on the front and back with Westside spacing. He made a mistake, and the holes on the left and right side of each upright are offset by 1", so they (the left and right holes on each individual upright) don't line up. The only way to fix this is to drill another matching set of holes, leaving the uprights with 1" spacing up and down the entire sides; IMO this would make the uprights so many holes that they'd look like swiss cheese, and there would be only 5/16" of steel between every hole.

    My question is, would removing this much metal compromise the strength of the uprights? I'm pretty strong (squat around 500lbs), but I know that this is structural steel, meant to support much heavier things than I can put on it. I frequently see squat racks with similar steel sizes rated to support thousands of pounds, but they don't have this many holes. Additionally, should I fail a lift, this would be a dynamic load, not a static one.

    I can't tell if this isn't standard practice because it's not useful, and would cost too much to drill all those holes, or because it would weaken the steel. I know Texas Strength Systems used to make a rack with 1" spacing from 2.5" tubing (www DOT lakevillepowerlifting DOT com/2014/11/bench-and-power-rack-arrive-from-texas) but they no longer offer it, and I'm not sure of the specs it had.

    TLDR; Upright has too many holes. Is it worth buying new steel and redoing them, or am I (as usual) overthinking this?
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    I suspect that would compromise the structural integrity of the rack, but I am neither an engineer nor a metal fabricator so I'm only speculating.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Mech6's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AccomplishCoyot View Post
    I'm having a friend make me a squat rack, and I've run into some trouble. He's using 3"*3", 11 guage tube steel for the uprights, and he made a mistake. I'd like some opinions if it's salvageable or should just be redone.

    He was supposed to drill 11/16" holes on the sides, spaced every 2", as well as holes on the front and back with Westside spacing. He made a mistake, and the holes on the left and right side of each upright are offset by 1", so they (the left and right holes on each individual upright) don't line up. The only way to fix this is to drill another matching set of holes, leaving the uprights with 1" spacing up and down the entire sides; IMO this would make the uprights so many holes that they'd look like swiss cheese, and there would be only 5/16" of steel between every hole.

    My question is, would removing this much metal compromise the strength of the uprights? I'm pretty strong (squat around 500lbs), but I know that this is structural steel, meant to support much heavier things than I can put on it. I frequently see squat racks with similar steel sizes rated to support thousands of pounds, but they don't have this many holes. Additionally, should I fail a lift, this would be a dynamic load, not a static one.

    I can't tell if this isn't standard practice because it's not useful, and would cost too much to drill all those holes, or because it would weaken the steel. I know Texas Strength Systems used to make a rack with 1" spacing from 2.5" tubing (www DOT lakevillepowerlifting DOT com/2014/11/bench-and-power-rack-arrive-from-texas) but they no longer offer it, and I'm not sure of the specs it had.

    TLDR; Upright has too many holes. Is it worth buying new steel and redoing them, or am I (as usual) overthinking this?
    It's really besides the point because just the fact you're asking the question means you're never going to trust that rack and every time you look at it you're going to regret not having it made properly the first time. Redo the uprights.
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    Registered User AccomplishCoyot's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mech6 View Post
    It's really besides the point because just the fact you're asking the question means you're never going to trust that rack and every time you look at it you're going to regret not having it made properly the first time. Redo the uprights.
    That's how I feel about it now, but if someone can offer me any evidence in it's support, I'd rather save the 100-150 a d keep the uprights as is
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    Originally Posted by AccomplishCoyot View Post
    That's how I feel about it now, but if someone can offer me any evidence in it's support, I'd rather save the 100-150 a d keep the uprights as is
    I don't squat 500 lb and probably never will, but even if safety wasn't a concern, I'd redo the uprights because I'd never be happy with them.
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    Originally Posted by Mech6 View Post
    It's really besides the point because just the fact you're asking the question means you're never going to trust that rack and every time you look at it you're going to regret not having it made properly the first time. Redo the uprights.

    I agree, I'd never be happy with that rack. OP, you're putting up some big numbers and your head needs to be in the game, if you're not 100% confident in the rack it'll just become a distraction and you'll end up wishing you'd changed those uprights.
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  7. #7
    Registered User AccomplishCoyot's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mech6 View Post
    It's really besides the point because just the fact you're asking the question means you're never going to trust that rack and every time you look at it you're going to regret not having it made properly the first time. Redo the uprights.
    I hadn't realized who I was speaking to; I just called the fabricator. They're getting redone.
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