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How to DIY a weightlifting platform and which type of plywood to buy?

bilcruise
Junior Contributor

How to DIY a weightlifting platform and which type of plywood to buy?

Hi,

 

I am thinking to build a weightlifting platform for my garage gym, something like this.

 
 
 

8k2or9f07bmy.jpeg

 

As you can see the bottom layer is built by about 2 x plywood.

 

I went to bunnings website and not sure which plywood to purchase. The thickness is also a bit strange, I couldn't find one that is an integer number, e.g. 10mm or 20mm or something. The reason is that I want to put a rubber gym mat on the sides, just like the one in the photo and usually the rubber gym mat has a thickness of 10 or 15mm.

 

Any advice on this?

 

Also, would like some suggestion on which drill I should purchase to put screws on the plywood.

 

Thanks a lot!

EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How to DIY a weightlifting platform and which type of plywood to buy?

Hello @bilcruise

 

Thank you for sharing your question about how to D.I.Y. a weightlifting platform.

 

I totally agree that the thickness of the plywood sheets is not even and requires a bit of a ponder on how to assemble them. I suggest building the platform in three pieces for ease of movement and transportation. It also makes it easy to repair once they wear down. If we use the Ultimate Flooring 1 x 1m Rubber Gym Tile - Black for the left and right of the platform which is 10mm thick combined with 2400 x 1200 x 12mm F8 Structural CD Plywood with a thickness of 12mm, it gives us a total thickness of 22mm. 

 

We now need to find plywood that will fill the center of the platform close to the same height. I suggest using the Project Panel 1200 x 810 x 3mm Premium BC Plywood as a filler and putting the Project Panel 1200 x 897 x 7mm Premium Grade Radiata Plywood on top. When joined together 12mm + 3mm + 7mm gives us a total of 22mm. 

 

I suggest a combination of Selleys 320g Liquid Nails Original Construction Adhesive and Zenith 8G x 20mm Countersunk Rib Head Chipboard Screws - 45 Pack to hold the entire assembly together. If you wish to have the platform thicker you can add more plywood to the bottom of the assembly. It sounds like a very interesting project to put together, we look forward to seeing your progress.

 

Let me tag our experienced member @TedBear for his recommendations.

 

If you need more advice or information, please let us know.

 

Eric

 

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TedBear
Valued Contributor

Re: How to DIY a weightlifting platform and which type of plywood to buy?

Hi @bilcruise & thanks for the tag @EricL . I  don't know the specific requirements for a weight lifting platform, but it sounds interesting, so I did some online research. Given the hard pounding that it needs to withstand, It seems that the bottom layers occupy the full length and width and are usually made of 4 sheets of plywood, with 2 sheets butted together with the seam running through centre, the length of the platform and the other 2 on top with the seam running across ways to lock it all together firmly. One lifter recommends using mdf as the centre strip for the top layer, (where you stand) as it is strong, smooth and also gives good grip. This can be bought in 9mm thickness, so if you use 10mm mats on the sides, you will have a mere 1mm difference, which, given the 2 different types of surfaces, won't be noticeable. The recommendation was to fit that top centre piece last by turning the unit over (with a few mates' help) and screwing in from underneath, ensuring that screw points don't stick through.  You could do it from the top with countersunk screws if you don't mind seeing them. Any electric drill should be capable of drilling through the sheets. You'll need a countersinking bit to get screwheads out of the way.

(If you wanted to cut costs a little, you could use particle board for the middle layer, because the plywood is to prevent moisture from the concrete floor from damaging the wood, as would occur if you used particle board. But it maybe safer to stick to the recommended structure.)

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bilcruise
Junior Contributor

Re: How to DIY a weightlifting platform and which type of plywood to buy?

Hey @EricL , thank you for the tips, mate. I think that's a good plan to start with. I agree with you that it's probably a great idea to build the platform in 3 pieces.

 

RE: rubber gym tile, do you offer a service to cut them to size?

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bilcruise
Junior Contributor

Re: How to DIY a weightlifting platform and which type of plywood to buy?

Thanks @TedBear . Yeah I have seen some guys build it using 4 sheets of plywood, put together the way you explained. Just on the MDF for the top layer, I think I read it somewhere that MDF is better than plywood in a way that it is naturally straight - which is preferred for a weightlifting platform. Is this right?

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TedBear
Valued Contributor

Re: How to DIY a weightlifting platform and which type of plywood to buy?

Hi @bilcruise 

yes, I would say that MDF would be straighter, once locked into place, due to being a product where its manufacture can be exactly controlled by a machine and it also has no grain to make it want to bend with weather (etc) changes, whereas as plywood does have wood grain.

I am not sure of MDF's impact characteristics though... that may be why plywood is preferred for the area where the weights are going to land.

That's where grain would be better, since it can also spring back into shape if flexed, whereas a manufactured product such as MDF, being denser is more like glass (nowhere near as fragile of course), in that it has some flexibility but it may fracture suddenly if bent too far, or subject to much local impact. 

I'll tag @EricL who may know more about that aspect of MDF....

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EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How to DIY a weightlifting platform and which type of plywood to buy?

Hello @bilcruise

 

It's great that you've received fantastic advice from @TedBear. Using MDF is a good option. I recommend using it as a spacer rather than being the main panel on top. Plywood has a high tolerance for flexing and friction, it can also take on the occasional water bottle spill. MDF often unravels under extreme friction and pressure and does not react well to water. 

 

I'm so sorry but there is not cutting service for the rubber gym tile. I suggest using the Stanley Retractable Knife to cut the gym tile. It is strong enough to cut through the thick rubber pile. Please keep us updated, we look forward to seeing your platform assembled.

 

If you need further assistance with this project, please let us know.

 

Eric

 

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bilcruise
Junior Contributor

Re: How to DIY a weightlifting platform and which type of plywood to buy?

Awesome thank you @TedBear . Good to know the pros and cons of MDF.

 

@EricL Thank you! That knife looks good. Any ideas on how to secure the platform together given the 3 pieces structure?

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EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How to DIY a weightlifting platform and which type of plywood to buy?

Hello @bilcruise

 

Due to its combined weight, you will notice that platforms will stay in their spot when you drop your barbell on them. However, if you wish to secure them I recommend using Grunt 25mm x 5m Ratchet Tie Down Straps - 4 Pack and strap it along the perimeter of the platform to prevent movement. I suggest doing some test runs and see if you get movement while using the platform without the straps. You could also put an Ideal 1m Black Flat Surface Rubber Matting Sheet or similar under the platform to give it grip and prevent movement. Please keep us updated, we would be keen to see the platform while you assemble it.

 

If you need more advice or information, please let us know.

 

Eric

 

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bilcruise
Junior Contributor

Re: How to DIY a weightlifting platform and which type of plywood to buy?

Thanks @EricL . I recently came across OSB board for an alternative to plywood. What do you think about that? Does Bunnings sell it?

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