Inside: Build your own weight rack to hold all of your weights and workout essentials in one organized place. Optional power blocks holder makes it convenient to store all sorts of weight equipment. Perfect for a home gym and costs under $50 to build.
This was the janky setup we had in our weight room.
A small weight rack that we shoved as many weights on it as it could handle. A random wood bench we used for a few items and then the power blocks and stand.
With the DIY weight rack, I wanted something to put all these items in one place and make them easy and quick to retrieve during a workout while also being esthetically pleasing. As you can see I could only go up from here.
During our home gym remodel I built this DIY weight rack to put all those items pictured above in one neat and organized space, including a place to put the power blocks. You can build this for under $50 for the cost of the wood.
What are power blocks you might be asking?
Power blocks are a set of weights that are adjustable to a high amount of pounds. For example, our set starts at 10 lbs and adjusts up to 90 lbs. Instead of buying several weights that go up to 90 lbs and take up tons of space, the power blocks let you adjust your weights while only taking up a couple feet of space. The power blocks are expensive (although I know we didn’t pay as much for them as I see on Amazon) but if you compare that to several sets of free weights they are actually cheaper. For example, a set of 20 lb dumbells on Amazon is $59. Multiply that with 30 lbs, 40 lbs, 50 lbs…and it adds up fast. Our power blocks can be adjusted in 2.5 lb increments.
If you don’t have power blocks no problem. The weight rack will be the same except for one step in the build. Also when considering the height I kept the power blocks in mind as they are hard to lift the higher you have to lift them.
*This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy. *Before you get started make sure you have your Safety Gear. For this project, I recommend safety goggles, ear protection and a P100 mask.
Here is another great addition to your home gym: DIY Ceiling Mounted Pull up Bar
*Looking back at this build I would have done some things differently. I will make note of those as we walk through the post.
My weight rack at its longest measurements measures app 40W x 26T x 16 1/4D inches. Adjust your measurements according to the number of weights and workout supplies you plan to have the weight rack hold and allotted space for the weight rack itself. I laid all my weights and workouts items on the floor and measured to get an idea for sizing.
TOOLS FOR DIY WEIGHT RACK
- Tape measure
- Miter saw – I use this miter saw
- Circular saw or table saw
- Sander or sandpaper 150 grit, I use this orbital sander
- 18G Brad nailer or hammer and nails, I use this 18G Brad nailer
- Impact driver
- Wood clamps
- Kreg Jig pocket hole joinery – I use the K5
- Combination square
- Forstner bit 1 3/8 inch (optional – I used to make the holes to hold the power block weights)
SUPPLIES FOR DIY WEIGHT RACK
- 1 sheet of 48 x 96 x 3/4 inch sanded plywood (you will use about a half sheet)
- 2 – 2 x 4s
- 3 – 1 x 2s or use ripped cut plywood
- 1 – 1 x 4 x 6 or use ripped cut plywood
- 8 – 2 1/2 inch wood screws
- 6 – 1 1/4 inch wood screws
- Pocket hole screws #8 (softwood/plywoods) in 1 1/4 inch (qt. 24) and 2 1/2 inch (qt. 8 )
- 18G 1 1/2 inch Brad nails
- Wood glue
- Wood filler
- Black spray paint
- Water-based sealer – I like this one
CUTS FOR DIY WEIGHT RACK
I have included my measurements for reference. Due to variances in the thickness of wood, errors in measurements and cuts, I recommend cutting your pieces as you progress through the build. Remember always measure twice, cut once. I sanded all of my wood before I assembled it.
- 2 – 2 x 4 cut at 24 1/2 inches with 5 degrees cut on each end (long legs) – angled cuts are identical on each end (see pic below)
- 2 – 2 x 4 cut at 22 5/8 inches with 5 degrees cut on each end (short legs) – angled cuts are opposite on each end (see pic below)
- 2 – 2 x 4 cut at 12 7/8 inches at 5 degrees cut on each end (sides) – angled cuts are identical on each end (see pic in step 4)
- 1 – 3/4 inch plywood cut at 40 x 16 1/4 inches (top shelf)
- 1 – 3/4 inch plywood cut at 31 x 13 1/2 inches (middle shelf)
- 1 – 3/4 inch plywood cut at 31 x 15 1/4 inches (bottom shelf)
- 1 – 1 x 2 cut at 40 inches
- 6 – 1 x 2 cut at 31 inches
- 2 – 1 x 4 cut at 15 inches (top legs support)
- 1 – 1 x 4 ripped cut to 16 1/4 x 2 1/4 inches (optional wood strip for holding small weights for power blocks)
It is difficult to explain how to cut the legs with text only. So I thought a picture with text would be helpful. If after this picture and an explanation below it still doesn’t make sense please contact me and I can try to explain it better.
Notice how on the long legs the angled cuts are identical meaning one side of the flat side of the board will have both of the shorter miter cuts and on the flip side of the flat side of the board will have the longer miter cuts.
For the short legs, it will be different. On the flat side of the board, one end of the legs will have the longer miter cut and the same side of the flat side of the board will have the shorter side of the miter cut. The reason there is a difference between the long and short legs is due to the way that the long legs will lean forward whereas the short legs will lean back to support the top shelf at an angle.
STEPS FOR DIY WEIGHT RACK
Step 1) Start out by creating the base, which are the long legs, short legs, sides, and top leg supports. For the top leg supports, measure and mark where you want to attach the legs. I left about a 1″ overhang.
Make pilot holes then attach the shelf supports to the long and short legs using 2 1/2 inch wood screws. I also added countersinks to the top leg supports to hide the screws. Apply wood glue for extra support.
Step 2) Construct the top shelf and attach it to the base. For the top shelf attach the 40 inch 1 x 2 to the 40 inch plywood piece using wood glue and 1 1/2 inch 18G brad nails. It’s helpful to use clamps to hold it in place after applying the glue and for inserting the nails.
Step 3) Add the top shelf and top-shelf supports to the base. Place the top shelf face down and place the base on the bottom side of the top shelf. Measure and mark where you want to attach the base to the top shelf. I left approximately a 1-inch overhang on the front, back and sides.
Measure the distance between the leg supports and cross cut 1 x 2s to length. Next drill 3/4 inch pocket holes.
Apply wood glue to the ends and attach the 1 x 2s to the front and back legs using 1 1/4 inch pocket screws.
Side note…not sure why I attached the back 1/2 with the pocket holes facing out 🤦♀️ . I would suggest flipping the 1 x 2 over and attaching the pocket holes facing in so you don’t see them. Although this is the back of the weight rack and you probably won’t see it.
Attach the top shelf to the base. Drill pilot holes and insert 1 1/4 inch wood screws.
Step 4) Add the side supports. Drill two 1 1/2 inch pocket holes on the underside of both ends of the side supports.
Measure and mark on the legs where you want to attach the sides. I attached my sides about 8 inches from the bottom. Use a clamp and a level to make sure the sides are even.
Keeping the clamps attached and ever so carefully, flip the weight rack upside down. Use 2 1/2 inch pocket screws to attach the side supports to the legs.
This is how the weight rack should look at this point.
*Side note…in the next step, I realize there are different ways to attach the shelves to the legs. You can see how I did it, but another option to consider is attaching the front and back 1 x 2s first then gluing and nailing the shelf. In that case, it would be easier to screw in the pocket hole screws from the inside vs from the back.
Step 5) Assemble the last two shelves and attach them to the base. The last two shelves will each have one piece of plywood and two 1 x 2s that will eventually attach to the plywood and the legs. Make two pocket holes in each end on these last four 1 x 2s.
Attach one of the 1 x 2s to one side of the shelf using wood glue and 1 1/2 inch 18G brad nails.
This will be the back of the shelf. At this point, I did find it easier to keep the pocket holes facing out for ease of attaching later to the legs.
It helps to have a second set of hands for his part. Measure and mark on the front and back legs where to attach the middle shelf. I left 8 3/4 inches between the shelves. Attach the front 1 x 2 to the front legs first using 1 1/4 inch pocket hole screws. Attach at an angle.
Apply glue to the front edge of the plywood, line up the front edge of the plywood shelf with the bottom edge of the 1 x 2, and nail in place.
Attach the back 1 x 2 to the back legs using 1 1/4 inch pocket hole screws.
Repeat these steps for the bottom shelf.
If you don’t plan on adding the weight holder for the power blocks go to step 7.
Step 6) Make the weight holder for the power blocks. Measure and mark where to drill the holes for the weights. I measured right down the middle leaving 1/2 inch in between each holder hole. Drill a small pilot hole for each larger hole. This makes it easier for the forstner bit point to have a hole to connect with. I used a 1 3/8 inch forstner bit to make the holes. I went all the way through the board.
Measure and mark for placement on the top shelf for the weights holder. Make sure to leave enough room for one of the power blocks. Glue and nail in place with 1 1/2 inch 18G brad nails.
Step 7) Paint or stain. I applied a black flat spray paint and then dry brushed a silver metallic paint to make it look more like metal.
I think the DIY weight rack was the cure for the janky setup. Now it’s time to pump some iron.