So, you’ve got a bunch of dumbbells all over the floor of your home gym and are getting tired of the disorganized mess but don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a dumbbell rack? You’ve come to the right place.
We’ve explored the different types of dumbbell racks that can be built for cheap, and have a few recommendations for you.
What Exactly Is A DIY Dumbbell Rack?
Simply put, it’s a way for you to keep your dumbbells off of the floor. It makes it easier for you to keep your dumbbells organized, and makes it slightly easier for you to pick them up/put them away.
I really hate it when I finish doing exercises like the Zottman curls or seated tricep presses and don't have a way of just putting the dumbbells in a place that I'm used to and not have to remember where I put them.
A DIY dumbbell rack can be made a few different ways, but they all follow the same basic principle. Create a shelf that is the correct width for your dumbbells, that is strong enough to hold them all up.
That’s really all you need to do. There are quite a few ways to accomplish this as we’ll see.
How To Build A DIY Dumbbell Rack At Home
There are a few different ways you can build a DIY dumbbell rack. There are also a few different materials you can use to make them. While the most common is wood, we’ll get into the other materials people have used here as well.
Wooden DIY Dumbbell Racks
Barbell Sanctuary put out a video of an angled dumbbell rack build, which gives extra space for your hand to come in underneath to grab the weights.
The design is simple and straightforward, and the angled wood pieces give the build extra strength and room for your racking/unracking efforts.
EpicDIY on the other hand opted to make a tiered shelf design where the dumbbells rest directly on a flat surface. While this design does not give as much room for racking/unracking dumbbells, it looks to me like there would be no problem doing so.
This design is a bit simpler, and possibly less intimidating for someone who does not have a lot of experience with woodworking.
YouTuber DakotaBusy shows us a slightly more refined example of a wooden DIY rack. He has access to what appears to be an entire woodworking shop, so the design shown in this video may be hard to accomplish in your garage without many tools.
Metal DIY Dumbbell Racks
While wood is plenty strong for holding up your dumbbells, some DIYers out there opt to make their dumbbell racks out of metal. The people who make them out of metal appear to be more familiar with working with metal than wood and are working with the material they are most comfortable with.
The Buff Dudes asked their dad to make a DIY dumbbell rack for their gym, and he opted to make it out of metal. To make a DIY dumbbell rack out of metal requires quite a few specialty tools like a saw with metal cutting abilities along with a welder.
I’d suggest working with whatever material you’re most comfortable working with. If you’ve never worked with wood or metal before, wood will be easier for a total beginner.
Why Do You Need A DIY Dumbbell Rack Anyways?
Sure, you don’t NEED one. It’s a fun project that’s doable for most people, and it’s functional. If you’re not at all tired of keeping your dumbbells in a weird disorganized pile on the floor, that’s fine! You sound like you don’t need a DIY dumbbell rack. Why are you reading this?
For those of us that appreciate a small amount of organization in our home gyms, a DIY dumbbell rack will organize your gym, give you a project to work on, and get your weights up off the floor for easier racking/unracking.
What Are The Pros/Cons Of Taking On This Project?
I already went over the pros, but I’ll list them here for you to contrast with the cons of undertaking this project.
Gives you a fun, functional project to undertake
Much less expensive than buying a rack online
You can tell your friend, hey, I made that
Organizes your gym floor
Keeps dumbbells off the ground
Much easier to keep dumbbells organized when placing them back on a rack
Upgrade your home gym’s aesthetics
Need some DIY skill and ability to complete the project
If not done correctly, you can hurt yourself if it collapses
Need tools and space to work
If you don’t already have the tools, it’s going to be cheaper to buy one online
Probably won’t look as clean or polished as your other options
What Materials Do I Need To Get Started?
For this section, I’m going to review what is needed for a wooden dumbbell rack build as it is the most common and easiest type of dumbbell rack to DIY.
Every build will be different, but in general, you will need:
2x4s (or 2x6/8s)
Again, depending on the size of your rack, and design, you may need more materials.
How Do I Build The Rack?
While each design is different, there are some basic steps most racks require you to accomplish.
Determine the height of your rack: Determine how high you want your rack to be, and cut your vertical boards to size.
Cut your feet to size: The feet at the bottom of your rack will be important to keep it from tipping over and hurting you.
Determine the width and cut boards to size: Once you have your feet attached to your vertical supports, you’ll need to determine how long your dumbbell rack is going to be.
Attach your horizontal boards to your vertical stands: This will give you a sense of the overall size and shape of your rack. After this, all that’s left is going to be putting it together with screws and supports.
Connect your rack together with screws and supports: Screws may not be enough to hold the weight of your dumbbell racks. You’ll need to use a corner support or even a metal corner brace to ensure it is strong enough to hold your weights up for extended periods of time.
These steps are just a general outline, as I have not built a DIY dumbbell rack and cannot provide you with an exact parts list or step by step guide on how to build one.
If you’re going to attempt on, I’d recommend checking out the videos linked above to get the information directly from the people who build these racks.
FAQs For DIY Dumbbell Racks
Now we answer common questions asked about DIY dumbbell racks.
Q: What Tools Will I Need to Complete This Project?
A: Most videos show entire woodworking shops, but these projects can be completed with access to a sawzall, drill, sandpaper, and wood glue.
Q: Isn’t It Just Easier to Buy a Rack Online?
A: Well, yes. It will however cost you more money, and you won’t have a fun project to work on.
Q: What if This Just Looks Like a Lot of Work to Me? Is It Still Worth Doing?
A: Honestly, if you won’t enjoy building this rack, it’s probably not worth doing.
Q: What Do I Do if I Have No Tools but Want to Do This Project?
A: While I wouldn’t recommend buying tools specifically for this project, if building up your tool collection was on your list of things to do anyways, I’d say go for it!
Q: If I Don’t Have Tools, Is This Still a Cost Effective Solution for My Dumbbell Storage?
A: If you have literally no tools whatsoever, the cost of buying the tools for this project will overcome any savings you’ll manage. At that point, I’d say look online for a cheap rack.