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  • Alternatives to mortice and tenons to make a 90 (load bearing) joint

    Hi,

    I'm basically building a pair of squat stands out of 4x4s. That is, I want to build something like this:



    with 4x4s. Most people that are building these are using buckets with concrete as bases:



    However, I would much prefer to use 4x4's or 6x6s as bases, connected to one side with another piece of wood (as in the metal-made, commercially available stand in the first picture.)


    I was thinking to use some sort of the StrongTie E-Z Baseā„¢ (FPBB44) for this:

    http://www.strongtie.com/products/co...rs/ezfence.asp



    However, the manufacturer explicitly says it's not for load bearing posts. It would seem to me that this would be solid if I were to bolt it to wood with big *** bolts. The amount of weight I expect to use in this thing is no more than 450lbs, not the thousands of pounds one would expect on a deck or home roof.

    Some people are using these ties for the top (as in the picture below), but these structures are connected to the home structure, making them solid. Unfortunately that's not an option for me. I need to be able to move these things in case I move out.



    How else could/should one safely connect the horizontal squat beams to a wooden base? Is a mortise and tenon joint the best way? I never done one, and I don't have quite the tools for making one. Is it even possible, or should I just go with the concrete bases?

    Thanks.

    ps. I'm not sure if this is the right subforum. I placed my question here since I think this related to wood construction, but if that's not the case, I'd appreciate if a mod move it to the right place. Thanks.

    -- Luis.

  • #2
    Re: Alternatives to mortice and tenons to make a 90 (load bearing) joint

    luis, you're the engineer

    the problem i see with the buckets is stability.

    sure the 4x4 is plenty strong to support the weight.

    but what keeps its stability if you don't put it down perfectly square?

    you need to install a proper base to support the potential for sway.

    honestly, the commercial metal one shown, is probably much less expensive and clean than what can be made with your own metal tubing.

    wood is not going to be very portable and is not going to be very adjustable.

    by the time you build it from wood, you'll have a monster of a stand.

    why not try to duplicate the design in wood or metal and compare the cost of materials to the cost of the unit you want?

    if you could bolt the brackets to the floor, then your problems are solved.

    why not move the post outside and sink them into the ground with a bag of concrete. cut them off when you move

    stop over engineering the wheel, us plumbers don't like that

    rick.
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Alternatives to mortice and tenons to make a 90 (load bearing) joint

      LOL, Rick, that's a good one. I'm a software engineer (aka a keyboard geek). Most of my building has been limited to hammering nails and putting screws on cabinets, and some good old carpentry over 20 years ago, hahahah. Nothing of this magnitude until now.

      The thing is that I want those wooden posts to extend to 6ft tall (as opposed to just 4-5 as in the commercial version) and place another 4x4 on top for pull ups (as in the last picture on my first post.) That change alone sky-rocket the price of a commercial version by $200-300 at least. Plus adjustability is not much of an issue since I'll be the only user with a fixed height for racking and unracking a loaded bar.

      With the concrete buckets, if I were to go that route, I could bolt them to 12"x4ft bases. That would stop the risk of tip over, and AFAIK, people have loaded and unloaded up to 500lbs on those contraptions.
      but as you said, if I don't set the posts on the concrete well, they'll be uneven (and I'll be screwed with two large blocks of concrete.) Plus, paint buckets filled with concrete are really not appealing.

      The main problem I have is in finding how to safely connect the post that is not supported by load from the top to a wooden base. I got no clue about that at all.

      I'm renting where I'm living right now so I can't bolt the thing down to the floor. And working out outside is not much of an option - horrendously humid and hot during the day, mosquitos at night

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Alternatives to mortice and tenons to make a 90 (load bearing) joint

        luis, a software engineer

        all you need then is some spring clamps to keep your hands in good shape to protect your pocket protector

        have you thought about using commercially available plumbing sch. 40 pipe.

        the nice thing is that 1'' pipe fits really nice into 1.25'' sch. 40 pipe. this will allow for the telescoping assembly you want with a pin to lock the height.

        floor flanges can be bolted to a good base to support the sway.

        all the pipe can be screwed together and disassembled.

        spend some time at home depot in the plumbing isle to get some ideas.

        while there go to hardware and look at the assortment of spring clamps to build up your hands/ grip for the pocket protector

        start off on the mini 1'' clamps and then see if you can squeeze the 6'' together 1 hand

        rick.
        phoebe it is

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Alternatives to mortice and tenons to make a 90 (load bearing) joint

          Try finding a used pair of squat stands on craigslist, ebay or some other used goods outlet. It would probably be cheaper than making your own anyway.
          I've seen them for sale new locally for about $100, used would be about 1/2 that I'd figure.
          www.TheWoodCellar.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Alternatives to mortise and tenons to make a 90 (load bearing) joint

            now I am surprised rick did not suggest this, use threaded pipe and make a stand, much like the one in the picture buying may be cheaper,

            but I would think one could make a effective stand out of wood as well by using a lap joint with 2 2x4"s and possibly a plywood gusset, (that is how trusses are/were field made use some glue as well, or the steel plate reinforcement,

            and to do a mortise and tendon you really only need a saw, (hand) a chisel and a drill and bit to make a hole, to chisel square,

            but a lap joint would be easiest, and if you want more use 1x4 and you would have a mortise and tendon and a lap if you used 4 of them, glue the unit together and some screws, and your nearly indestructible, and on the end where you would tie the two bases together one saw some slots and use the same type of laps but bases would need to saw and chiseled out to accept the middle/center across boards, you could jsut do the top and bottom cut out then there would be no chiseling all could be sawed, I hope my typed words is enough of a idea, I can draw it out and post it if necessary if you do not follow,
            Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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            • #7
              Re: Alternatives to mortice and tenons to make a 90 (load bearing) joint

              Originally posted by elnyka View Post

              The main problem I have is in finding how to safely connect the post that is not supported by load from the top to a wooden base. I got no clue about that at all.
              The Strong tie you are showing is great for stabilizing a post that is attached to something on it's other end, like a deck or something, but will not take the load if the bar isn't set down straight. You also need some kind of gusset on a 45 degree angle to reinforce the joint between post and base, in 2 directions, if not 4. Otherwise, if you set it down fast (cramp!) and it bends over, you will be scrambling and possibly hurt yourself trying not to get hurt! The most critical gussets will be fore and aft (perpendicular to the weight bar). I would do 2 45"s in that direction and one to the outside (collinear with the weight bar)

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Alternatives to mortice and tenons to make a 90 (load bearing) joint

                How 'bout we look at this differently, the weight is 4' tall and you lift/squat that assembly. Not needing the stand ?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Alternatives to mortice and tenons to make a 90 (load bearing) joint

                  Originally posted by Rafael View Post
                  Try finding a used pair of squat stands on craigslist, ebay or some other used goods outlet. It would probably be cheaper than making your own anyway.
                  I've seen them for sale new locally for about $100, used would be about 1/2 that I'd figure.
                  That's true. I forgot to mention that those commercially available only work with 7'ft bars, usually for olympic plates. Problem is that what I have is a 6ft bar for standard plates... and over 500lbs in standard plates already.

                  There are 7ft long bars for standard plates, but I I don't quite trust them for anything over 300lbs (too long, too narrow), and if I get a 7ft olympic bar, then I also have to buy all the weights in olympic plates. The only type of commercial squat stand for 6ft bar that I've found only takes a max of 220lbs (too little.)

                  So that's my conundrum: I cannot use the plates and the bar I currently own with commercially available squat racks/stands.

                  Originally posted by stokefire7 View Post
                  How 'bout we look at this differently, the weight is 4' tall and you lift/squat that assembly. Not needing the stand ?
                  I'm currently doing that off a pair of crawford saw horses The problem with that is that I have to use about 60%-75% of the weight I would use if I were to start the squat from a standing position. Plus doing that (from the bottom up) for long enough (say over 8 weeks) can be detrimental to the spine (specially mine which is jacked up.)





                  This is the most complex thing I've ever attempted to assembled. I've build other small things for working out using pieces of lumber, metal pipes and tires (see here for example ). And I guess it's just a personal challenge to build this thing, if I can figure out how to do it safely.

                  Thanks everyone for your comments. There's lot of good info here for me to read and digest before attempting this. More suggestions, caveats or warnings are always welcomed!

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