Particle board/plywood platform for home basement gym Particle board/plywood platform for home basement gym

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Thread: Particle board/plywood platform for home basement gym

  1. #1
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    Apr 2022
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    Default Particle board/plywood platform for home basement gym

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    I'm looking for guidance about building or buying a platform for a home gym where my basement floor is concrete (trying to avoid cracks and other damage from dropping weights). My ceilings are low--7 feet--so I don't plan to do any oly lifting, just squat/bench/dl, and will likely be able to fit a 6' squat stand at best. I looked at SS but its discussion of platforms was not quite a step-by-step how-to; I looked up past threads on this and the most in-depth guide I saw was at this link: How to Build a Weightlifting Platform | The Art of Manliness. I haven't seen anyone (besides the helpful poster who supplied that link) endorse this advice, though. Is this guide pretty much spot-on? Are there other considerations I should think about? I'm not very handy at all but the AOM guide seems doable even for a novice. Also, if anyone has experience buying and liking/disliking a bought platform, that would be helpful too (online reviews can be unreliable). Really appreciate any advice or suggestions here--thank you in advance!

  2. #2
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    Aug 2018
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    Look on youtube and you will find a ton of video's on how to build a platform. Most everyone uses two thickness of 3/4 plywood and horse stall mats for the top layer to catch the weights. You might consider using 3/4" pressure treated for a bottom layer and horse stall mats above to make a big platform. There will likely be some pitch to your basement floor for drainage, so keep that in mind. Your biggest issue will be moisture from the concrete floor weeping into the plywood. They make special waterproof basement floors by they likely will take up a lot more vertical spacing.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oso Rojo View Post
    Look on youtube and you will find a ton of video's on how to build a platform. Most everyone uses two thickness of 3/4 plywood and horse stall mats for the top layer to catch the weights. You might consider using 3/4" pressure treated for a bottom layer and horse stall mats above to make a big platform. There will likely be some pitch to your basement floor for drainage, so keep that in mind. Your biggest issue will be moisture from the concrete floor weeping into the plywood. They make special waterproof basement floors by they likely will take up a lot more vertical spacing.
    Unless your garage floor allows ponded water from rain or snow off of your cars, or you have subgrade moisture/high water table, moisture from the concrete weeping into your platform will not be a problem. After 28 days, the overwhelming majority of water used in the concrete has gone into hydrating the cement, while the rest has bled off the surface.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2021
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    Quote Originally Posted by iloverestdays View Post
    I'm looking for guidance about building or buying a platform for a home gym where my basement floor is concrete (trying to avoid cracks and other damage from dropping weights). My ceilings are low--7 feet--so I don't plan to do any oly lifting, just squat/bench/dl, and will likely be able to fit a 6' squat stand at best. I looked at SS but its discussion of platforms was not quite a step-by-step how-to; I looked up past threads on this and the most in-depth guide I saw was at this link: How to Build a Weightlifting Platform | The Art of Manliness. I haven't seen anyone (besides the helpful poster who supplied that link) endorse this advice, though. Is this guide pretty much spot-on? Are there other considerations I should think about? I'm not very handy at all but the AOM guide seems doable even for a novice. Also, if anyone has experience buying and liking/disliking a bought platform, that would be helpful too (online reviews can be unreliable). Really appreciate any advice or suggestions here--thank you in advance!
    You will be happier building a platform than buying one. The platforms that you buy are usually just the same as the ones you would build but with some cosmetic edging. The manufacturers aren't ripping you off but they are heavy and cumbersome to ship and you will end up spending five times the money and won't get anything better. I used the guideline at The Art of Manliness and managed to get one built. I am not the handiest and was successful. It was easy enough that even my step-daughter was able to do part of the work.

    I did not follow AoM exactly because I didn't want to cut stall mats. I used six pieces of OSB sheathing and two sheets of birch plywood. I had them cut at Lowes which means I didn't have to cut anything myself! It doesn't matter how thick your OSB is (5/8, 7/16, whatever) but the birch must be 3/4" thick or it won't like up with the stall mats. Have the lumber yard cut two feet off of *two* of the pieces of OSB so you have two six foot pieces and two . Lay out 3xOSB on the bottom so that you get 12' wide by 8' deep. That should look like a lifting platform. Lay the 2x6' pieces of OSB across the back of the platform. Use the remaining 8' piece of OSB and the two 2' sections to cover the front. Screw it all together using self-tapping screws. Don't put any screws near the "seam" of the base layer as you are going to screw the birch in along that joint. Place the birch on top aligned with the center sheet of OSB on the bottom. Screw it down using screws long enough to get into the bottom layer. Set your stall mats on the side. Lift and enjoy. It should take less than two hours. Not beautiful but gets the job done and you don't have to use any power tools other than an electric screwdriver!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    I followed the instructions in the article you provided and have been lifting for over 2 years on it. At the time, OSB was a lot easier to get a hold of than plywood thanks to people's overreaction to the pandemic. The only modification I made was rather than running horse stall mat the entire length of the strips, either side of the platform, I used a 2'x4' section of hard maple next to the part of the platform where the rack is. This enabled me to drill lag bolts in all three bolt holes on each leg of the rack all through 3/4" hardwood. I did end up running 2" lagbolts, but the last 1 1/4" is probably through OSB and I'm not sure how useful it is. The hardwood I laid down is probably doing all the anchoring and I haven't had one sign of a problem yet.

    It has been in my garage, in a high humidity environment for 2+ years and is fine. The only thing I would change is I would put some sort of strap or handle sandwiched between the layers to help move it when the time comes. Otherwise, I'm very happy with the platform.

    P.S. - I stained mine a darker maple color with a few coats of clear polyurethane on top. When I actually take the time to sweep the chalk off of it, it looks beautiful. I've had people comment that it looks like a tabletop stolen from a 1920's era speakeasy.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2021
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    Winter Springs, FL
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    Default Dealing with Moisture

    Quote Originally Posted by iloverestdays View Post
    I'm looking for guidance about building or buying a platform for a home gym where my basement floor is concrete (trying to avoid cracks and other damage from dropping weights). My ceilings are low--7 feet--so I don't plan to do any oly lifting, just squat/bench/dl, and will likely be able to fit a 6' squat stand at best. I looked at SS but its discussion of platforms was not quite a step-by-step how-to; I looked up past threads on this and the most in-depth guide I saw was at this link: How to Build a Weightlifting Platform | The Art of Manliness. I haven't seen anyone (besides the helpful poster who supplied that link) endorse this advice, though. Is this guide pretty much spot-on? Are there other considerations I should think about? I'm not very handy at all but the AOM guide seems doable even for a novice. Also, if anyone has experience buying and liking/disliking a bought platform, that would be helpful too (online reviews can be unreliable). Really appreciate any advice or suggestions here--thank you in advance!
    Quote Originally Posted by Satch12879 View Post
    Unless your garage floor allows ponded water from rain or snow off of your cars, or you have subgrade moisture/high water table, moisture from the concrete weeping into your platform will not be a problem. After 28 days, the overwhelming majority of water used in the concrete has gone into hydrating the cement, while the rest has bled off the surface.
    The OP should probably tell us more about the garage environment. How old is the garage? With modern constructions, garages are largely air-tight. I'm in very new construction and the garage is so air-tight that my wife complains when I close the man-door into the main house. It's loud because no air can leak out of the garage. If the property is older, and budget allows, it's worth making sure that the garage door seals are good. Otherwise you may get moisture in the garage every time that it rains.

    The plywood/OSB for the platform, even if it gets slightly moist, should still last a decade or so. The birch on top shouldn't get moist unless the humidity is constantly high. On the other hand, you should care about the rest of your equipment. You can get dehumidifiers for a hundred bucks. That should keep the garage fine as long as there aren't major air leaks.

    But again when it comes to moisture, the OSB on the underside of the platform is the least of your concerns. Your barbell, rack, and plates are going to be much more impacted.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    USA
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    while my platform is on the second floor of my home and only a single 4' x 8' 3/4 board topped with a 3/4" x 4' x 4' center board and 2' x 4' cut down stall mats, just for the sake of passing on info, I use EZ-LOK threaded inserts for the bolts for my rack. I have a Titan X-2 and I used 3/8-16 x 2" bolts and EZ-Lok 3/8-16x25mm flanged inserts for soft wood. They work well and provide a very secure connection without risking stripping out the wood from lag screws should you ever need to break everything down to move, etc.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2021
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by dgoldstein78 View Post
    while my platform is on the second floor of my home and only a single 4' x 8' 3/4 board topped with a 3/4" x 4' x 4' center board and 2' x 4' cut down stall mats, just for the sake of passing on info, I use EZ-LOK threaded inserts for the bolts for my rack. I have a Titan X-2 and I used 3/8-16 x 2" bolts and EZ-Lok 3/8-16x25mm flanged inserts for soft wood. They work well and provide a very secure connection without risking stripping out the wood from lag screws should you ever need to break everything down to move, etc.
    There are plenty of racks that *don't* need to be bolted down. The Titan T-2 has holes for bolts but you don't have to bolt it because there is a rear cross-member for cross-stabilization. I'd be scared to rely on bolting something to OSB. What is the sheer strength of the flanged soft wood inserts? I'm paranoid about safety. For home gyms, I'd like to see a rack get used that doesn't require being bolted down. I'm very careful to keep the rack "loaded down" with plate storage for stability. I also have setup my jerk boxes next to the rack with a stack of bumper plates on top so that, even in the case of catastrophic rack failure, the weight still wouldn't crush me. But I am clearly paranoid!

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