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How to Build a Garage Pull-Up Bar

author image Jack Kaltmann
Jack Kaltmann is a Las Vegas-based writer with more than 25 years of professional experience in corporate communications. He is a published author of several books and feature articles for national publications such as "American Artist" and "Inside Kung-Fu." Kaltmann holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Miami University and is a retired nationally certified personal trainer.
How to Build a Garage Pull-Up Bar
Use an electric drill to install your pull-up bar.

A pull-up is a one of the best exercises for the back, shoulders and arms and is often the most challenging movement to execute. Improving pull-up performance requires more time on the pull-up bar. Armed with a few tools and some space in your garage, you can have your own dedicated pull-up training center.

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Step 1

Check joist spacing. To make the pull-up bar stable, you need to bold the mounting board should across multiple ceiling joists. Most joists are spaced 16 inches apart, but climb into the space above your garage and measure the joists to be sure. Note the direction the joists are running and then decide a location for your mounting board that runs perpendicular to joists so your board is bolted across at least three separate joists.

Step 2

Locate each joist in the garage using a stud finder, or by drilling small test holes in the drywall ceiling. Attach the 2-inch by 6-inch board to the ceiling using the 1/4-inch by 2-1/2-inch lag bolts and washers. Drill 5/16-inch pilot holes for each of the lag bolts to make it easier to get them screwed in the board and joist. Use at least two bolts for each joist. Once mounted, test the board to make sure it is not loose and does not wiggle.

Step 3

Assemble the bar by threading one elbow connector on each end of the 3-foot section of 1 1/2-inch conduit. Attach a 2-foot section of 1 1/2-inch conduit to the other opening of the elbow. You should now have the pipe assembled in the shape of a large U. Thread a flange on each end of the 2-foot section of pipe. Place the entire bar assembly on a level surface, flange-side down, so you can make sure the bar is not twisted.

Step 4

Hold the bar to the mounting platform and drill pilot holes using the flange holes as your guide. Bolt the pull-up bar flanges to the mounting platform using the 5/16-inch by 3-inch lag bolts and washers.

Step 5

Pull down on the bar to test that it is mounted properly and then hang your weight from the bar. Next, swing back and forth to test the lateral stability of the bar to the mounting board and the mounting board to the garage ceiling. If there is any movement, re-tighten the lag bolts.

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