Ross Enamait wrote:
If you have pictures, post them to the forum. We can add this to the homemade equipment sticky. I'm sure others would find this useful.
Here it is:
The way I made it, the bottom is the center of one long piece of rope. I think each ladder uses about 30' of rope. I got a spool of 100' at Home Depot pretty cheap, cut that in half, found the centers, and worked from there. I had something like 40' total of extra (~10' x 4 ends across the two ladders), so you definitely don't need 100' unless you want to make it really long.
Each handle is made from 1/2" PVC pipe on the inside, connected to a T connector on either side, with a 1" PVC sleeve that goes over the inner pipe (this way the handles rotate, which is very helpful for bicep curls and flys and things like that).
So find the middle (this is so there's a foot loop at the bottom, I tied another loop into that to use as a toe loop, but that isn't really necessary), tie some knots where you want the bottom of the handle to go, (I used double overhand stopper knots) and thread a handle over both ends of the rope until it hits the knots. I thought my rope was thick enough to not go through the holes in the T connectors with a knot, but I was wrong, so I also looped the rope through each T once to make sure it stayed in place. So the idea was for the knot to hold each handle in place, but instead it just stops the loop around the handle from sliding down.
Continue until you have as many handles as you want. On mine there's a handle about every 6".
I don't really recommend copying this idea directly though, it can be done a lot more easily than this. On mine, I had the idea that I might not want rotating handles sometimes, or maybe I could make some thick handles or something and wouldn't want to always use them, so I made it possible to take apart and change the handles. Well, I never did any of that, ever, so the the T connectors are completely unnecessary if you don't want to be able to take it apart. With the T connectors it gets kind of wide and bulky too.
So with that in mind it would be a whole lot easier to just cut lengths of the 1/2" pipe an inch or two longer than the 1" pipe and drill holes in the ends, and thread the rope through the holes. This would also eliminate the loop around the T connectors and save a lot of rope since you can make a hole small enough to keep the rope from slipping through with just a knot. You also don't really need rotating handles everywhere, such as the upper handles you're probably only using for pullups, so you might want to just go with a single pipe with no outer sleeve on those.
Sarcoplasmic wrote:This sounds like no sewing was necessary (i presume)?
Nope, but I'm using a new set of handles now, which are adjustable, and required sewing some webbing. (http://i44.tinypic.com/43ij8.jpg
) Get a sewing awl for under $10 somewhere and it's not that hard. It's a pain in the ass and takes too long, but it's no worse than tying all those knots.
The downside of the ladders is that they're big and clunky (but if you made them without T connectors like I suggested you could make them a lot "slimmer") and at least on my setup, they were in the way a lot, but I have mine on a power tower, not out in the open, which would be a lot better.
The rope is also a pain to work with, placing the knots properly and figuring out how much the rope will stretch when your weight is on it (not much, but it does stretch a little). A webbing solution would probably be better. I didn't want to deal with sewing webbing at the time. Now that I've done it though, sewing webbing isn't a big deal.
Another downside to making them with the T's is that while the whole point was to make it possible to take the handles apart, that means it's possible for the handles to COME apart... That hasn't happened to me, they're pretty tight, but be careful with that. Better to just not use the T's in the first place.
The handles I use now are just a strip of webbing and some cam buckles for quick adjustments. These stay out of my way a lot better, but having to adjust the height is a pain compared to the ladders, even though they adjust easily enough. I think I'd stick with the ladder idea if I had a good place to hang them that was free from power tower dip handles getting in the way.