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DIY Stall Bars

DIY Stall Bars - garage gym

If you were to walk into any gym in the 1950's you would find stall bars.

        Old school stall bars

They look like a completely vertical ladder made out of wood. When I first saw them I had no idea what they were for or why someone would have them in their gym.

Then I saw this video:

And I realized just how awesome they would be to have in the garage.

You know, because the more equipment you have in your garage, the more manly you are.

This set me off on a search for stall bars.

I looked far and wide for companies that made pre-made stall bars to buy and couldn't find much.

Rogue Fitness had some metal stall bars (surprise, surprise) in one of their YouTube videos but told me they wouldn't sell them due to liability reasons. (Like selling squat racks and barbells leaves you any less liable)

So, like any DIY'r I set out to make my own set. And to my amazement, they're better than imagined.

Also, a slight side note, I can not do anything the girl in the above video does. None of it. So don't go into building a set of stall bars with the idea that you will magically be able to be acrobatic and graceful.

DIY Stall Bars

What You Will Need:

Supplies:

  • TWO 8′-10′, 2″ x 8″ Board (Uprights. I chose this size because I wanted a pull-up bar at the top)
  • ONE 10′, 1″ x 4″ Board (For Bracing and Drilling into Studs)
  • EIGHT 8′,  1 1/4″ Wooden Dowels (Preferably Hardwood like Oak, but Pine will Suffice)
  • Box of 1″ Wood Screws
  • Elmer's Wood Glue
  • Sandpaper (Optional)
  • Wood Stain (Optional)

Tools:

Quick word on tools. I have a lot of tools. You don't need a lot of tools to make things, but they sure do help cut down time. For this project you can get away with using very few tools, it's really up to you. However, I will list what I used and possible alternatives:

  • Drill Press (alternative: Power Drill)
  • 1 1/4″ Forstner Bit (alternative: Spade Bit)
  • Power Drill (alternative: Go buy a power drill you pansy)
  • Miter Saw (alternative: Handsaw)
  • Jig Saw (alternative: Handsaw)
  • Rubber Mallet (alternative: Brute Force)
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Tape Measure

Stall Bars

Instructions:

The measurements I'm going to list are for 8′ tall, 4′ wide stall bars. Make adjustments according to the space you have available.

  1. Cut the 8′ dowels in half using a miter or handsaw. Make sure all dowels are the same length.
  2. Draw out how you want the uprights to look. I measured mine in half long ways and then drew a slant towards the corner to allow for the addition of a pull-up bar.
  3. Stall Bar Lines
  4. Using the Jig Saw cut out the section of the uprights you don't need that you drew out.
  5. Measure out your hole pattern. For mine, I marked the center of the holes 6″ apart from each other. The bottom dowel I measured 6″ from the floor. The top dowel is 6″ from the dowel below it, but is pulled out so pull-ups and strict toes to bar can be done. Make sure you mark the holes on both sides of the upright, you'll thank me later.
  6. IMG_20141108_174945
  7. Here's the tricky part. Make a mark on your Forstner Bit of how deep you want it to go in to the wood. I marked mine 1 1/2″ from the tip of the bit so it wouldn't go all the way in.
  8. Drill the marked holes. This will take some time. A drill press is very helpful because you can keep it straight, but if you only have a drill make sure you have batteries charged and you're keeping the barrel straight.
  9. Stall Bar Holes
  10. Fill one of the upright's holes with wood glue and insert the dowel in the hole using a rubber mallet. You want the dowel to fit tight, and if you drilled the holes straight it will.
  11. Once all of the dowels are attached to one side of the uprights, fill the other upright with glue and attach using the rubber mallet. This took some time to get all of the dowels lined up, but with the help of my wife, turned out beautifully.
  12.  Stall bars construction
  13. Now that all of the dowels are glued and in place, grab your screws and screw the dowels in place from the outside of the upright. Remember how I said you'll thank me later for marking holes on both sides of the upright? This is that time. You can thank me in the comments section 😉
  14. The stall bars should be built now excluding the mounting hardware. Take the 1″x4″ board and cut 2 -4 pieces the width of the stall bars. Screw the boards into the back of the stall bars uprights.
  15. Using a studfinder find the studs and screw the board to the studs.
  16. studfinder
  17. Stand back, grab a brew, your dog, a nice sunset, and admire your craftsmanship.
  18. Human Flags Stall Bars
  19. DIY Stall Bars

Stall Bar Plans

When I built these stall bars, I kind of just went by feel and combined some plans I saw with some drawings of my own. However, I know a lot of people like to have plans they can see and work off of. So, here are some plans of various stall bars I gathered across the web universe, also known as the webiverse.

Stall Bar Plans

Stall bar plans 3

Stall bar plans 2

In Use

The stall bars are great for all sorts of things.

I do sit-ups of the bottom. Strict toes to bar. Pull-ups. Stretches. Handstands. L-Sits. Dry sweaty gym apparel. And a lot more.

I'm kind of surprised I got away without it in the past because of how much I use it.

Here's a video of me doing a hamstring stretch on the bars. You can tell they may creak some, but they can actually take a lot of pressure

Rogue Stall Bars

Many people want stall bars but don't want to build them. I understand this and although I love the process of building equipment, I can see how others would rather exchange fuel units for their equipment.

Up until now, you pretty much had to build your own. There were a few companies manufacturing wood stall bars but the new bars that Rogue has released after me begging them for years to make a set look absolutely awesome!

See for yourself:

Stall Bars

 

But, in my opinion, man/woman up and build them. (Garage Gym Reviews is an equal opportunity blog)

Final Thoughts

If you want to increase your flexibility or get more into the gymnastics type of training than stall bars are an absolute must.

The amount of exercises you can do with them can really only be understood when you have the bars available.

They also take up very little space.  You screw them into the wall and they're out of the way, ready to be used when you would like to start using them.

So grab your materials and get to work. Like my dad always said, “They aren't going to build themselves…”

Train On,

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About Coop

Hello fellow fitness fanatics and equipment fueled fiends. I’m Coop and when not training I can be found mostly operating other entrepreneurial ventures, spending time with my Wife and family, and worshipping my risen Savior. You can find more about me here.

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  • Paul

    Thanks for putting this together, can’t wait to make my own. One question, how did you attach the pull-up bar section? Is it part of the uprights or did you have to affix it?

    • Hey Paul, no problem! The pull-up bar section is attached to the uprights just like the other bars, however the pullup bar is offset. Hope that helps!

      • Paul

        So up rights are one solid piece? I guess it looked like the part of the upright the juts out for the pull-up bar was a separate part.

        • Yes, they’re all one piece, I just made the top piece wider.

          • Paul

            Ok, thanks for being so helpful. Last question. If I understand the instructions the uprights are 4 inches wide for most of it and then are 8 inches wide for the top pull-up bar section?

          • That’s correct!

          • Paul

            Thanks so much, I am going to build mine this weekend. One last question, the dowels aren’t dead center of the upright are they? it looks like they are about an inch from the front?

          • Paul

            Hey nevermind, I just saw the video of you doing stretches on it an I see now that they are dead center. I guess the pics threw me off. Did you drill the holes for the dowels before using the jig saw to cut out the portion of the uprights your didnt need?

  • Julius Toltesi

    Awesome! Going to do this in a few weeks. Bookmarked! I had the same questions as Paul. lol

  • I wish I had space in my garage to have one of these

  • rjc4

    I thought from the instructions that your bars are 4′ wide but it looks closer to 3′ and all the ones that are for sale online seem to be 3′. Which width is yours? And if 4′, are you worried at all about the strength of the rods? Speaking of, it seems that hardwood would be way better, huh? Thanks for this– love projects like this, esp for home gyms!

  • TS

    I went on a similar quest about a year ago. Wish I had the space and tools to do it myself, but I went looking for a company that could give me a more “stable” product than I could likely build myself!

    I bought a custom size stall bar from Artimex Sport, http://www.artimexsport.com. Not trolling here, it took me a long time to find a company that offered lots of products and thought I’d save someone else the time. Couldn’t be happier with their quality and service. Highly recommended if you can’t DIY.

    • Wow! looks great, I’ll see if they’re interested in a review, seems like a great product.

  • Larry Larry

    Vita Vibe makes these. They started making them likely after you made this post. The prices are not too bad. I do not know how much it cost you to make these. I do know that buying them would be easier. http://www.vitavibe.com/stall-bars.html

  • Kostia Dombrovsky

    Nice article! Where did you get the dowels? Big box stores don’t seem to carry the big ones.

    • I actually got them from Home Depot. You can also get them from Lowes, at least locally you can.

  • Susan Tang

    How much did it cost?

    • I believe around $75.

  • Lenora Henderson

    Thank you! I’ve been doing gymnastics strength training at a gym here in Denver and would really love these at home for when I can’t make it to the gym.

    • You’re welcome! Tag me on Instagram if you make them! @garagegymreviews

  • Tibi

    Thanks for this great post! I bought one very similar online (3B science). But when I install it, I got tired and only applied glue on one side of all the dowels. The purpose of this stall is for my teen daughter’s rhythmic gymnastic stretch only. We will not do pull ups here. But she does need to grab the bars. Do you think I can get away with that? There are no bolts or screws provided in the package for securing the dowel to the board.

    • I’m guessing if the company didn’t send bolts that glue would work just fine. I would reach out to them to make sure though.

  • Su Ro

    Hi look awesome! I scored some lumber just now and am ready to make this. Quick question: did you use nail pins to prevent the rods from rotating in addition to the glue? Your instructions (#13) say to drill into the rods from the outside, however, I don’t see any screw marks in your pic and vid, did you cover them up somehow?

    • Yes, I drilled screws from the outside into the dowels. I didn’t cover them up, but they’re small screws so they’re a pit difficult to see.

  • Ismael Steven Solomon

    Do you know how to make one out of metal that is freestanding? I’m 6-2 and weigh 210 pounds, and I think a wood bar wouldn’t be sturdy enough for me.

    • I do not, however, I can assure you that a hardwood would be more than sturdy enough for you to use.

  • Shane Watson

    What is the estimated cost of this. Am I overlooking the article?

    • It was a bit under $100 I believe.

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