Deadlifts are made to lift heavy. So if you have a home gym and you've bought your barbell and weight plates, you are ready to lift heavy. Except, when it's finally time to deadlift, it can be hard to load and unload your bar. It's easy to load a barbell on a power rack, but it can certainly be challenging to load a bar on the ground.
Fortunately, there's a DIY solution. With a DIY deadlift jack, you can take the pain out of loading and unloading heavy barbells for deadlifts. In the guide below, we will discuss how to build a wooden deadlift jack.
How To Make Your Own DIY Deadlift Jack (Step-By-Step)
Before starting your DIY deadlift jack project, make sure you know how to operate all of the necessary tools. You should also wear appropriate PPE, like gloves and safety goggles.
This build will be pretty cheap. How much it costs you will depend on how much the lumber in your area costs or if you can reuse some old lumbar you have laying around.
If you're handy with the tools, it should only take a couple of hours to complete. I'll tell you what tools I used to make this deadlift jack, but there are many options on what tools and even materials you can use.
Here are the materials you'll need:
We used a miter saw to cut just about every edge, and the angles are all pretty basic. We got the table saw out for two cuts because it was the safest way to cut down on the width of the 2x4.
There really aren't exact measurements for the smaller pieces because lumber can vary. You'll have to cut your pieces to fit and ensure everything is snug. To get everything together, you'll need a lot of wood glue, screws, and some bolts.
The deadlift jack will support a lot of weight, so it needs to be sure it can handle it. Drill pilot holes before putting in screws to prevent the wood from splitting.
When you add the dowel, add the third screw from the back to ensure it doesn't go anywhere. Be pretty liberal with the wood glue when you lay the 2x6 piece over the top and fasten it down. You'll finish this DIY wood deadlift jack by drilling two holes for the bolts to go through through the 2x4.
Finally, go over the whole thing with a sander and sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges and remove the markings from the lumber yard.
At this point, you're done. You can add stain and make it look better, but that's not necessary. If you choose to stain your jack, just remember each piece of wood accepts stains differently, so expect slight color variations.
Once the glue is dry, test it out. This one should hold anything you throw at it. (just don't actually throw anything at it) This thing should hold a lot more than we could ever deadlift.
Watch a similar deadlift jack get assembled in this video.
Homemade Deadlift Jacks (Creative Ideas For Your Gym)
One of the biggest challenges while performing deadlifts is that the stronger you get, the harder it gets to load and unload the bar. A simple solution to that problem is using a deadlift jack.
Deadlift jacks make the process of loading and unloading the weights a lot easier and quicker as they can lift the entire bar from both sides off the ground, allowing you to slide the weight plates in and out.
1. The Lumberjack
"The Lumberjack" is an excellent DIY wood deadlift jack. The creator of the lumberjack did a great job and really went over the top for the appearance. You could skip all the extra finishing touches and still have a solid, attractive wood deadlift jack. This is a sturdy deadlift jack that can definitely get the job done.
Related Article - Trap Bar Vs Barbell Deadlift
2. DIY Iron Deadlift Jack
This DIY deadlift bar jack is made out of iron and requires zero welding. That makes it much cheaper to produce and is much more time-efficient.
This one is made of 1" galvanized pipes, so you know it will stand the test of time. The pipes are covered in Rustoleum, and the bar cup (where the bar rests) is covered in Rustoleum rubber sealants. This prevents the jack from scratching the bar.
See Also - DIY Barbell Holder For Home Gyms
3. Plywood DIY Deadlift Jack
This DIY wooden deadlift jack is made with a leftover piece of ¾" plywood. The only thing you have to do is decide where the groove will be on the deadlift jack.
The track holds the deadlift bar, and you can trace out the hole on the deadlift plate on the edge of the ¾" plywood. Once you make the groove, the only thing left is the handle. This one seems too simple to work, but it works like a charm.
More Homemade Builds - DIY Weight Plate Storage
4. The DIY Mini Deadlift Jack
This mini DIY deadlift jack is another one made of iron that requires zero welding. The only thing you need to do to put this miniature jack together is to connect the different iron pipes, and you're all set.
Connect two tee pieces to both ends of a 12" metal rod, then join a 2.5" pipe to one end of the tee piece, so the 2.5" pipe is facing downward. Then you're done. This jack may be small, but it gets the job done just as good as the others.
5. The DIY Square Deadlift Jack
The last deadlift bar jack DIY project we'll discuss is a custom jack made from square metal tubes. This one has a very straightforward design, but it does require welding to assemble the jack.
This will keep most people from putting it together, but if you have a basic knowledge of welding and a welding kit, you will enjoy putting this one together. As long as your welds hold up, you will be able to use this jack for a long time.
Frequently Asked DIY Deadlift Jack Questions
What are the advantages of building A DIY deadlift jack vs buying?
The biggest advantage of building instead of buying a deadlift jack is cost. You stand to save a lot of money when you build your own deadlift jack. However, making it is much more complex and time-consuming than just buying your deadlift jack. And the safety of your DIY deadlift jack depends on the quality of your build.
How much does A DIY deadlift jack cost to build on average?
If you already own all the materials and you can reuse some old lumbar, your DIY deadlift bar jack can cost nothing at all. Or, it can cost around thirty dollars if you choose to build the steel jacks. So, on average, building a DIY deadlift jack will likely cost around $10-$15, provided you already own the necessary tools.
What are alternatives to DIY deadlift jacks?
The easiest way to lift your deadlift bar so you can add weight is to use other weight plates. Put a small plate on the floor and roll the barbell on top of it. That will lift the bar up just enough to easily slide the plates on and off.
Another alternative is a deadlift wedge. These kind of look like a rubber doorstop. Wedges have a ramp to roll the barbell onto and raise the plates off the floor. They also have a groove that holds the first 45 lb plate in place while you load/unload the others.
It can be challenging to load and unload your bar when you start really lifting heavy. Fortunately, a DIY deadlift jack will make it much easier to load and unload heavy barbells for deadlifts. If you aren't the crafty type, you can buy one already made for you.
Last Updated on December 16, 2022