There are numerous reasons for building your own weight bench at home. Low cost, the ability to customize it to your personal needs, and the pleasure of using a piece of equipment you built yourself may be some of the reasons you choose to build your own. The critical element in building a homemade weight bench is ensuring that it is safe. A poorly designed and built weight bench will cause serious injury or even death. Fortunately there are several sources for weight bench plans, available from experts in the fields of construction and architecture.
Construction expert, home repair handyman, and host of the popular television series “Your New House,” Michael Holigan offers a simple weight bench plan on his website, MichaelHoligan.com.
Michael specifically notes that while the bench is designed to support a barbell up to 100 lbs., it is important that you “insure that the bench is sturdy and safe by hand-picking good materials” and by using good construction practices and skills to fabricate the bench.
The plan is simple, well-illustrated and well-described in text as well. The plans call for the bench to be constructed of 2-by-4 and 2-by-6 dimensional lumber and 3/4-inch plywood. For the home handyman with basic woodworking or construction tools, this is a great weekend project that will not require an added expense from purchasing specialized tools.
For the experienced woodworker, the total construction of the weight bench shouldn’t take longer than a couple of hours, while most will be able to complete it in less than two hours.
The handyman and home repair website CraftsmanSpace.com also offers several weight bench plans, the most useful being their “Olympic Flat Bench With Weight Set-Dumbbells,” although the plans are actually for a barbell and plates, rather than dumbbells. This plan requires the ability and tools to weld metal, and other metal-working skills, as well as some very minor woodworking skills. The biggest advantage of this plan over that offered by Michael Holigan’s 100-lb. weight bench is that it is an Olympic Bench, designed to hold far heavier weights, and with the uprights far enough apart to support the professional 7-foot-long Olympic-style barbell used for serious strength training.
Craftsman's Space Second Plan
Finally, CraftsmanSpace.com offers a second set of plans for a flat weight bench with separate uprights. This design offers the same advantages as the previous CraftsmanSpace.com plan, but has several other advantages, the most notable being that, because you can move the bench away from the uprights, you can make the set a multi-functional fitness tool.
You can use the bench alone and perform numerous dumbbell exercises that are difficult with the uprights in the way. The upright alone can be used as an expedient squat rack, in order to get the heavy barbell up onto your shoulders in the standing position. Both CraftsmanSpace.com plans are available for free download in PDF form as well.