DIY Homemade Weight Bench (Ideas, Plans & How To Guide)

A DIY home gym is something many of us wish for, and few take action on. However, when you finally start building your own home gym, you will quickly notice that gym equipment isn't cheap. 

To combat the ever-growing prices of some of the most common equipment, you might be able to make your own. One of the best projects is a DIY weight bench. This guide will show you some examples of other DIY benches as well as help you understand what it takes to make your own. 

Once you decide to build your own weight bench, it can be difficult to start. You may not know what the bench should look like or how it should function. To that end, seeing the work of others can help inspire you or show you options you may not have thought about. 

In this section, we will showcase several different DIY bench projects to spur your creativity and give you new ideas to consider. 

workout bench with caster wheels

The first bench is a multi-use bench that supports a fair amount of weight but also acts as storage. The bench has a padded top for comfort on your back when you are lifting. The padded top also lifts up on a hinged edge, offering storage inside the bench. 

The caster wheels do lock, but this is still a weak point for the bench overall. With wheels that have turn locks, the bench can easily move when you are lifting, which is a danger. Rubber padded feet would be a better option. 

The aluminum reinforced edges offer more strength and support and will hold the weight of a grown adult and up to 300 pounds on a bench press. With proper footing instead of wheels and steel edge support instead of aluminum, that weight limit and durability would increase. 

Read More - Ultimate Guide To Home Gym Storage

wooden weight bench with padding

If you are looking for a sturdy option, this double reinforced bench could be your answer. It has a plywood foot base that helps prevent tipping to the side and will also give the main head-end higher weight support. 

As you can see, the 2x4 frame is mounted on both sides of the base support beam and the bench board. This adds to the overall weight limit, which will hold a full-grown adult and up to 500 pounds on a bench press. 

The downside is the plywood base. While it is supportive and sturdy, it may not be the best option for concrete or wooden floors. The plywood can slip or slide on these surfaces without rubber mats or rubber strips mounted to the bottom for traction.

homemade wooden weight bench

Aside from that, this is an inexpensive and simple build. With padding and a leather-wrapped benchtop, it is comfortable, functional, and can even be made from reclaimed wood, which can sometimes be acquired for free. 

Similar to the above DIY weight bench, the image below is also a cheap and straightforward build. The U-shaped frame design uses 4x6 wood posts doubled up on each end. This not only adds support to the bench itself but offers a higher weight limit on the user and weights being lifted. 

The benchtop board is 3/4-inch plywood with a pad and cloth-wrapped topper. It is comfortable on the back and shoulders, but there are a few downsides. First is the lack of center support. Over time the bench will begin to bow and can eventually break. Using metal L-shaped brackets can help prevent this, but it won't prevent it altogether.  

The other side is that this bench will absorb sweat and odors because of the cloth top. While it is breathable, those odors will build up and become difficult to remove over time. A leather or faux leather would be easier to keep clean and prevent odor retention. 

homemade bench press

This bench is mounted to the weight stand as well. Connected together, they offer anti-tipping support and durability to the entire rack. One of the great things about this build is that it is functional but also made almost entirely out of 2x4 lumber. 

Like most of the benches on this list, the top is padding wrapped in leather to add comfort and support.

The weight rack alone would tip over, which can cause problems when trying to re-rack your weights after a set. 

diy weight bench with small rack

Using lag bolts to connect the bench and rack prevents this. However, it does make the bench immobile, which can be uncomfortable when you want to perform other exercises. However, for the cost and the time to build, this is a great bench for a DIY home build.  

Not only is this build extremely sturdy, but it was made for free. All of the wood came from reclaimed lumber and pieces of discarded wood. Having a strong weight bench for free is a great deal by any means. 

The solid wood bench is sturdy, has a wide base, and can hold a full-sized adult as well as up to 500 pounds on the bar. However, it may not provide comfort to the back and shoulders when lifting. 

Because of the ultra-low cost of this build, you can generally afford padding and a leather or faux leather wrap to add some comfort to the project. At the very least, a yoga mat can be nailed or stapled to the top, which will be a cheap solution to a small problem. 


DIY Weight Bench Design & Build Plans 

Before you can build your bench, you need to make a plan. Many DIYers will draw a plan, make measurements, and perform the build on paper before making a cut with a tool on real wood or steel. 

This process does take time, but it makes the process much easier and smoother in the end. In addition, when you draw up your plans, you get the advantage of making changes or finding things that won't work before you waste time and money or effort on the real thing, which is the most significant advantage of them all. 

When making your plans, you need to consider the weight limits of the material you are using as well as functionality and overall comfort. Wood is the most common material for DIY weight benches, but rolled steel and metal are also used. These can be uncomfortable without proper padding, especially around the buttocks and shoulders. 

Once the plans are drawn, you will know what materials you need to use and purchase. You will also know how much material is needed and how it will all work together. You can find plans online that tell you everything, but drawing your own plans can be more satisfying and specialized to your specific needs. 

diy adjustable weight bench

How To Make Your Own Weight Bench (DIY Step By Step Guide)

There are a lot of materials you can use to make a weight bench. As we have stated before, wood is the most common. It is affordable, easy to cut and shape, and looks good when completed. Because of the popularity of wood weight benches, we will cover a step-by-step guide to building a basic weight bench as a DIY project. 

  1. 1
    Gather the materials list and ensure you have all the required wood pieces. This will include ¾” plywood, 1x2, 2x32, and 4x4 wood posts, nuts and bolts (2" to 8" lengths), washers, lag bolts nails, wood glue, staples, foam padding, and fabric or leather.
  2. 2
    Cut the back support board to size, usually 12 inches wide by 34 to 36 inches long. Next, cut the wood board backing for the seat portion to 12 x 12 inches or 12 x 14 inches.
  3. 3
    Use the 4x4 posts for the legs and base and the main body of the bench. The 1x2 and 2x2 will act as support for the folding mechanism.
  4. 4
    Cut notches for the mechanism on the main body board at 26", 18", 11", 5", and 3" from the edge of the board.
  5. 5
    Use wood glue to join the legs to the body and the base. Allow the glue to dry, and then drill a hole in each for the lag bolt and secure it in place for each leg.
  6. 6
    For the adjustment mechanism, you want to cut 2x2 boards to 30 inches long, drilling a hole for the 10-inch bolts. Drill the matching hole into the body board at 12 7/8". Use the 10-inch bolt to join the pieces. Using nylon washers will reduce friction and wear, as well.
  7. 7
    The 1x2 pieces will be the swingarm for the mechanism. You want to use a 3-inch bolt for these. Use the 12-inch bolt to finish the mechanical swing arm as the base for the notches.
  8. 8
    Next, you will add the backrest and seat to the frame. Use the nails and wood glue to secure the wood and ensure it is smoothed with sandpaper.
  9. 9
    Finally, you will want to use the padding and fabric to wrap the bench seat and backrest for comfort. Wrapping the bench in the fabric over the padding and secure with staples will give it a finished, professional look. 

Pros & Cons Of Building A DIY Weight Bench 

Building your own weight bench has a lot of benefits. However, there are some drawbacks, too. Let's look at both to see if this DIY project is something worth your time and effort.

Benefits 

  • Save money over buying commercial options 
  • Satisfaction of creating your own gym equipment 
  • Can make the bench sized to fit 
  • Full creative control 
  • Ideal for those on a tighter budget 

Drawbacks 

  • Won’t support heavy or intense workouts 
  • Must have woodworking or metalworking tools and knowledge 
  • May not last as long as store-bought benches 

Frequently Asked DIY Homemade Weight Bench Questions 

Is building your own weight bench easy? 

Depending on the type of bench and materials you use to build it, a bench can be made and completed in a few hours. Some may take several hours or even a few days, depending on the complexity. You can also make the project more complex by adding features to the bench, such as storage, movement, or additional frame support. 

How long does a DIY weight bench last? 

A DIY weight bench may last quite a while, but it will take care and quality craftsmanship to last as long or near as long as commercial-made benches. When you buy the quality materials and build the bench yourself, you can expect a few years of constant use out of it.

However, you won't be able to perform intense workouts or lift heavy weights. Doing so will drastically shorten the life span of the bench. 

What can I use instead of a weight bench? 

There are several alternatives to using a weight bench for lifting and working out. One of the most common is a balance ball. These large balls help you lift properly and engage more muscles to get a more thorough workout.

You can also use a standard bench or bench seat, such as a piano bench or even an aerobic step. Something flat, offering support, and off the ground will work as a workout bench. 


Conclusion

Building your own weight bench can be a fun, exciting project that will help your home gym a reality. It can save you money and give you the satisfaction of creating something you use almost daily. However, it isn't always the easiest thing to do. 

With metal or woodworking knowledge and the right tools, you can draft a design and build a bench that is supportive and functional. Hopefully, this guide has given you inspiration and ideas to build a perfect bench for you. 

Paul J

Last Updated on June 7, 2022