In the initial post in this series I showed you the three pull up bars I’ve built previously. Today I’d like to review the materials used to construct these bars. As I eluded to in the first post, the materials list is surprisingly simple. The two building blocks needed to construct almost any pull-up rig you can imagine are:
Let’s begin with the piping. I’ll start by stating, you can definitely use other materials such as steel, but I’ve found that aluminum holds up well and it is very easy to work with, so it is my material of choice. The specific aluminum I used is: 6061-T6, 1.25″, schedule 40. So, what does all of that mean? Well, the 6061-T6 specifies the aluminum alloy. The T6 is an especially important parameter, it specifies a high tensile strength version of the 6061 alloy. If at all possible, stick with this exact same material. For more information on the 6061 alloy, check out this Wikipedia article. The 1.25″ specifies the pipe diameter and the schedule 40 designation specifies the wall thickness of the aluminum. Again, I recommend not going with a smaller diameter pipe and also sticking with schedule 40 or greater. For more information on the schedule 40 designation, check out this other Wikipedia article.
Aluminium piping is a commodity product. Most likely there will be a nearby industrial supply company that you can purchase stock lengths of pipe. I purchased my stock from a company in the Los Angeles area called Industrial Metal Supply. The standard length was 20′ which ran me $45 per piece. You can buy online, but shipping will drive your costs up substantially.
The second building block is the speed-rail fitting. These magic little fittings can support immense amounts of weight, all by tightening one or two small set screws. They come in a variety of shapes that when combined with the aluminium pipe, essentially form a huge erector set that you can let your imagination run wild with. For a list of frequently used fittings and online sources for purchasing them, check out the speed-rail fitting page.