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Homemade Lat Pull Down Bar

Everybody wants to make a quick buck in the fitness industry by coming up with the latest exercise gadget, and I confess I like buying these gadgets! One such item I bought was the Motion Transfer Cable Attachment, which I gave a good review.

rogue power rack

But after using the Motion Transfer Cable Attachment for a few workouts, one big negative I found was I could not use it for bicep curls. The handles have steel rings attached and these rings would cut into the backs of my hands when doing curls. Not good. I ended up selling this attachment on Amazon.

motion transfer cable attachment

I do like the concept of this attachment, where your hands can rotate to a more natural parallel or near-parallel position, so I did an internet search for a better replacement. I found these:

trak handle
rip cords

Did you happen to notice the price for these attachments? Go ahead and click the links, I’ll wait.

Are they out of their minds? I realize it costs big bucks to market and manufacturer a fitness product, but come on…I ended up making my own homemade lat pull down bar for around $50.

List of materials:

  • One 1-1/2" x 48"- 11 gauge steel tube $22
  • Three-3/8" x 5" eyebolts $3
  • Two-5/16" x 19" chains $4
  • Two- 3/8" spring links $7
  • Two-3/4" x 5" black pipe nipples $7

Tennis racket handle grip tape to give the handle a cushioned feel $6

Misc hardware: 3/8" nuts, flat washers, lock washers and wing nuts $2??

All eyebolts, chain and spring links have a safe working load of at least 200+ pounds.

Making the Homemade Lat Pull Down Bar

I probably could have used 1" or 2" black pipe for this, but I wanted something with more strength because I was going to drill a lot of holes into it, so I decide to use a 1-1/2" 11 gauge steel tube. I probably could have gotten away with using 1-1/4" steel tubing or even 1", but I went with the 1-1/2" for more strength.

I searched for a piece of scrap tubing at my work with no luck. I found a few vendors online selling small lengths (2’ or 4’, 3’ was a custom cut charge), but a seller on eBay was the cheapest. I got a 4’ one delivered for just over $20.

Drilling the Holes

I decided to invest in a drill guide to ensure the holes I drilled went straight through the steel tubing. Even though the drill guide was a cheap plastic one made in china, it did the trick. If you have a drill press, this is even better.

After drilling 11 small pilot holes with a 1/8" bit, I drilled the final hole size of 7/16". This size allows the 3/8" eyebolt to go through the steel tube with no problems. After drilling, I filed down all the sharp edges and cleaned the tube with WD-40. I might even paint it a glossy black and buy some plastic tube caps for the ends.

The eyebolt in the middle is attached with a flat washer, lock washer and nut, and tightened so there is no movement. The other two eyebolts are attached with a flat washer and a wing nut so they can be moved from hole to hole and be adjusted for a close grip; a shoulder width grip; a wide grip and a super wide grip. The eyebolts were too long, so I cut about 1-1/4" off and filed down the ends.

Using the Attachment

The chain for the handles are long enough to where they don’t make contact with the backs of my hands when doing bicep curls…YES! If you have large hands, you might want to use a 3/4" x 6" black pipe nipple to give yourself even more room.

The five hole positions per side allow for a wide range of grip options; the pipe handle rotates on the chain and the chain swivels which allow my wrists to settle into a comfortable position and I feel the attachment is sturdy enough to handle whatever weight I can throw at it.

Problems With This Kind of Attachment

The problem with this type of attachment (even my homemade one) is that you need a very high pulley attachment to get a good lat stretch because the attachment handles hang too far down.

Watch this video; see how he has to lean back to get a good stretch because the attachment is too long (and this is on a tall, commercial lat pull down)

Conclusion

Even with having to lean back to get a good lat stretch while using my homemade lat pull down bar, this was well worth the time and investment! It is quickly becoming my go to attachment when working out with either a high or low pulley.

Tell me what you think about my Homemade Lat Pull Down Bar. Are you interested in making your own? Do you see a way to improve my design? Let me know!


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