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Thread: Old Champion C Channel Power Cage

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    He doesn't need to "vet" a welder, because a guy with a welding truck who cuts and welds all day for a living is capable of any simple job, like this one. I didn't say Mike was stupid, I just said he didn't know a welder. Everybody needs to know a welder, since things with metal need to be done. And I doubt he's embarrassed. But he wasted a bunch of money, and he's done business with Rogue.
    I am actually not embarrassed.


    The rack was pretty rusty - not a patina, but rusty - like maybe it was left outside somewhere.

    It looked to me like Id want to sandblast it before I got it in the garage, and I did not know how much it would cost to have a welder fabricate J hooks.

    It also seemed like holes on 5 centers might meant I might have to figure some way to raise my weight bench so the safety pins would be at the right height for a bench press.

    I probably would have been able to get it all to work..

    In short, it looked to me like it was beginning to turn into a project.

    My general experience is that my Im smarter than the average bear DIY projects end up costing me darn near as much as buying a non-fixer upper.

    That may just mean I am not in fact smarter than the average bear.

    I also have pretty convinced myself that its hard to over spend on exercise equipment that I actually use.

    In my eyes, a treadmill that sits unused in a garage is a waste of money - no matter how much it cost.

    A squat cage is use 3 times a week for years - the difference between $300 + DIY improvements versus a $1000 is not that big of a deal.

    This rack - and the barbell I bought used, and used weights I will pick up on Tuesday - are tools to move from a gym to Starting Strength.

    If - as I expect - 3 or 4 years from now, I am still using the rack as I progress, then I will count the $1000 as well spent.

    If 3 or 4 years from now, I am not using the rack, then $300 would have been ill spent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shiva Kaul View Post
    Many software engineers spend exorbitantly to plug embarrassing holes in their knowledge. Judging by the rate of layoffs in the industry, some of them might need to Learn to Weld in the near future.
    Software engineering requires a mind-bending level of stupid.

    The formal definition of the field is "Idiocy at the speed of light in the service of mankind."

    Think about it - I spent a career learning how to think like a machine whose only abilities are adding ones and zeroes and comparing 0 and 1 - saying 1 if they match and 0 if they don't.

    It can't even really subtract - it sort of flips some bits and adds and pretends that is subtracting.

    Multiplying? Dividing? Forget it.

    If the problem is easy, it just shifts bits right or left - if it is hard, It just guesses again and again and finally gives up when it runs out of time.

    I was managed to match the CPU's stellar intellectual capabilities for decades and retired - still knowing how to add 0 and 1 pretty reliably - without ever having been laid off.

    Mike

    Quote Originally Posted by EdTice View Post
    But you will need somebody to weld that rack to the floor because there's no rear cross-member! So now you have the same problem!
    Why would it need to be welded to the floor? Or bolted to the floor?

    Its a flat foot model - it is not supposed to need to be bolted to the floor.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikepwagner View Post
    I am actually not embarrassed.

    Why would it need to be welded to the floor? Or bolted to the floor?

    It’s a flat foot model - it is not supposed to need to be bolted to the floor.
    There's no rear cross-member on that rack. The only thing preventing lateral movement of the rack is friction with the floor. You will surely want to purchase a rear cross-member ( Monster Lite Crossmembers - Power Rack Add-Ons | Rogue USA )

    I notice that the SS racks don't have cross-members and the ones in WFAC are sturdy as heck. I don't know how that was achieved. But I'm sure there are people here who can answer that!

    I do see that the RML-390F has those triangle pieces at the bottom which may be there to prevent the rack from swaying side-to-side. Keep in mind that I am paranoid about safety so maybe I'm being too cautious, but I would not wan to use a rack without cross-member that isn't bolted to the ground unless I had incredible confidence in the designers.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdTice View Post
    I notice that the SS racks don't have cross-members and the ones in WFAC are sturdy as heck. I don't know how that was achieved. But I'm sure there are people here who can answer that!
    The SS rack has a full floor on which you stand if you're inside the rack. They don't have to be bolted down if you're using them this way. Or even welded down.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdTice View Post
    There's no rear cross-member on that rack. The only thing preventing lateral movement of the rack is friction with the floor. You will surely want to purchase a rear cross-member ( Monster Lite Crossmembers - Power Rack Add-Ons | Rogue USA )

    I notice that the SS racks don't have cross-members and the ones in WFAC are sturdy as heck. I don't know how that was achieved. But I'm sure there are people here who can answer that!

    I do see that the RML-390F has those triangle pieces at the bottom which may be there to prevent the rack from swaying side-to-side. Keep in mind that I am paranoid about safety so maybe I'm being too cautious, but I would not wan to use a rack without cross-member that isn't bolted to the ground unless I had incredible confidence in the designers.
    The rack has two primary functions as far as I am concerned - the first is to keep me from being trapped under the bar at the bottom of a squat or bench press.

    The second is to provide a convenient place to start a press, a bench press, and a squat.

    I think a cross member would only help to prevent racking - the lateral structural collapse of the rack.

    For that to happen, lateral force would need to be generated against the side of the rack.

    It’s hard to see how that would happen when setting the barbell in the J hooks at the beginning or end of the bench press, press or squat.

    The bar is placed in the J hooks at the top of each of those - it will not be accelerating vertically at that point.

    As Rip points out in a video, in a failed squat, the bar comes to rest at the bottom of squat - it’s not really dropped from your shoulders. Even if the bar is dropped from your shoulders, the vector would still be down to the center of the earth.

    I don’t see much lateral force their otherwise.

    When the bar is on the safety pins, not only is the vector of force is directly down, and the moment arm - to generate lateral movement of posts - is very short.

    In short, I expect the steel posts and beefy top cross member are sufficient to resist the lateral forces I expect to be able generate doing the SS big 5.

    The bar might sway a little, but I think a collapse pretty improbable.

    I know there are various kinds of dohickies that hang off the side of a rack, but none of those are needed for the Starting Strength exercises.

    I don’t have much faith in designers - but I have enormous faith in the pugnacity of personal injury lawyers.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikepwagner View Post
    I don’t have much faith in designers - but I have enormous faith in the pugnacity of personal injury lawyers.
    The reason you get lateral forces against the rack is because either (a) you don't hit both J-hooks simultaneously when setting the bar down or (b) for a bench press, if you follow Rip's instructions, and slam the bar into the uprights (okay slam isn't the word used in the blue book but I don't remember the exact quote), you aren't going to hit both uprights at the same time.

    The asymmetry will create some degree of lateral forces. The RML-390F weights three hundred pounds so you have a lot of inertia to work with there and the triangular reinforcements clearly add some amount of stability. On the flip side, when you rack a bench a bench, the bar is going to have a mechanical advantage such that the front of the rack will lose contact with the floor just long enough to move a small distance.

    Again I'm paranoid about this stuff (but I've also never lost any teeth or gotten killed benching) so if you don't want to use a cross-member, after setting up the rack, measure to be sure that it's square. Then mark the floor around the base with chalk so that you can see if it moves.

    Or you could buy the SS rack.

  6. #26
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    I have a Titan X-3 rack, which is a similar setup to the Rogue RML-390F, that I bought two years ago when gyms were closed near me and finding any decent equipment was a challenge. Having a single pull-up bar (or two on the X-3) and a crossmember on the other side should be quite stable.

    I normally pause briefly after my last squat rep, as if I was waiting for the rack command, and don't slam the bar into the uprights, so I don't have problems with my rack or others squat stands. Although I tend to slam the bar at the end of a bench set, this old person training on a 300 pound rack with a couple of hundred pounds of plates on the plate holders isn't going to cause swaying or tipping.

    Titan used to make bolt-down gusset plates for the X-3 which might fit the Rogue model. Also, Rogue may still make brackets that can be used to bolt down a flat foot model. Alternatively, a suitable mounting bracket could probably be found at a hardware store. If I had an open class elite squat, I would want something bolted to a platform. Since I am unlikely to squat even 4 plates again, I am fine using a flatfoot rack as designed.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logan1 View Post
    I have a Titan X-3 rack, which is a similar setup to the Rogue RML-390F, that I bought two years ago when gyms were closed near me and finding any decent equipment was a challenge. Having a single pull-up bar (or two on the X-3) and a crossmember on the other side should be quite stable.

    I normally pause briefly after my last squat rep, as if I was waiting for the rack command, and don't slam the bar into the uprights, so I don't have problems with my rack or others squat stands. Although I tend to slam the bar at the end of a bench set, this old person training on a 300 pound rack with a couple of hundred pounds of plates on the plate holders isn't going to cause swaying or tipping.

    Titan used to make bolt-down gusset plates for the X-3 which might fit the Rogue model. Also, Rogue may still make brackets that can be used to bolt down a flat foot model. Alternatively, a suitable mounting bracket could probably be found at a hardware store. If I had an open class elite squat, I would want something bolted to a platform. Since I am unlikely to squat even 4 plates again, I am fine using a flatfoot rack as designed.
    Titan makes two versions of the X-3. One is "flat foot" and the other is supposed to be bolted down. The X-3 and the Rogue mentioned here are nearly identical. If you look at the X-3 "flat foot" it uses the exact same triangle pieces as the Rogue in order to give more lateral stability. And, like Rogue, Titan offers a rear cross-member for under $100!

    I think we all agree that the Rogue RML-390F and the Titan X3 are both exceptionally stable (without being bolted down) if a rear cross-member is used. The question is whether saving $100 on the rear cross-member is a smart cost/safety tradeoff! We probably won't settle that discussion.

    If cost is a huge factor, the Titan X2 is cheaper than the X3. I have a FringeSport garage series which is identical to the X2 except a half an inch shorter and no concerns about lateral movement.

    Clearly the Rogue and the X3 *can* be used without a cross-member. I've seen them that way in commercial gyms. There isn't a concern that the rack will just suddenly collapse. If you periodically inspect the rack to ensure that the feet haven't "walked apart," it should be fine.

    On the other hand, the rear cross-member seems to add a lot of safety and stability for a very low cost.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdTice View Post
    Titan makes two versions of the X-3. One is "flat foot" and the other is supposed to be bolted down. The X-3 and the Rogue mentioned here are nearly identical. If you look at the X-3 "flat foot" it uses the exact same triangle pieces as the Rogue in order to give more lateral stability. And, like Rogue, Titan offers a rear cross-member for under $100!

    I think we all agree that the Rogue RML-390F and the Titan X3 are both exceptionally stable (without being bolted down) if a rear cross-member is used. The question is whether saving $100 on the rear cross-member is a smart cost/safety tradeoff! We probably won't settle that discussion.

    If cost is a huge factor, the Titan X2 is cheaper than the X3. I have a FringeSport garage series which is identical to the X2 except a half an inch shorter and no concerns about lateral movement.

    Clearly the Rogue and the X3 *can* be used without a cross-member. I've seen them that way in commercial gyms. There isn't a concern that the rack will just suddenly collapse. If you periodically inspect the rack to ensure that the feet haven't "walked apart," it should be fine.

    On the other hand, the rear cross-member seems to add a lot of safety and stability for a very low cost.
    I have the flat foot version. It has three cross members if you count the pullup bars. The 1 1/4" pullup bar I use is on the end opposite side from the stabilizer bar. I use the 2" pullup bar and rings for neutral grip exercises. Replacing the 1 1/4" pullup bar with a heavier crossbar isn't likely to add much stability to a rack with a 30" depth. In contrast, it would make pullups and chin-ups harder to execute.

    I believe the Fringe Sport Garage Series Rack has a 1 1/4" and a 2" pullup bars as crossmembers and another one at the base. I'm not sure if having the 3rd crossmember on the floor vs the top of the X3 would be more rather than less stable. In any case, there would be no way to mount a floor level crossbar on the X-3 which has a rackable capacity of 1650 pounds or the 390F.

    Since the T-2 which uses 14-guage 2x2" uprights and the Garage series which has 16-gauge 2x2" uprights both have a floor level crossmember, it is a reasonable assumption that one is needed for racks that weigh less than 1/2 as much as the 390F or the X-3. Perhaps Rogue, Titan and others that make flatfoot racks with 11-gauge 3x3" uprights believe that are stable enough without additional ground level support.

  9. #29
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    Rogue makes "floor mounting feet" for Monster Lite equipment, $45 for two pairs, that can screw down nicely to a platform. Looking at the RML-390F, I'd expect that these mounting brackets would fit, so you could make it sturdy that way...not as sturdy as the SS rack looks to be from the plans in the blue book, but still better than as-is.

    I got very good deal on a used Monster Lite squat stand for my home gym (owner just wanted it out of the basement, barely used, sold for less than half retail, had accessories, etc.), and it fit into my weird garage space. With a lateral crossmember, it's a plenty stable standalone, but I still wanted to attach it to my platform, so I got those. It's availing nicely for now, until we can get a better house and a proper rack.

    Mike, if you want to investigate that route, I can provide whatever measurements you'd like for that hardware, to compare with your rack.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdTice View Post
    The reason you get lateral forces against the rack is because either (a) you don't hit both J-hooks simultaneously when setting the bar down or (b) for a bench press, if you follow Rip's instructions, and slam the bar into the uprights (okay slam isn't the word used in the blue book but I don't remember the exact quote), you aren't going to hit both uprights at the same time.

    The asymmetry will create some degree of lateral forces. The RML-390F weights three hundred pounds so you have a lot of inertia to work with there and the triangular reinforcements clearly add some amount of stability. On the flip side, when you rack a bench a bench, the bar is going to have a mechanical advantage such that the front of the rack will lose contact with the floor just long enough to move a small distance.

    Again I'm paranoid about this stuff (but I've also never lost any teeth or gotten killed benching) so if you don't want to use a cross-member, after setting up the rack, measure to be sure that it's square. Then mark the floor around the base with chalk so that you can see if it moves.

    Or you could buy the SS rack.
    I would agree with "some degree of lateral force" - the question is whether that degree of lateral force is enough cause the rack to structurally collapse - which is all that another cross member would help to prevent.

    My generating enough force - when returning the bar to J hooks - to cause the rack to collapse seems to me to be impossible.

    It also seems extremely unlikely that I could slam the barbell into the rack hard enough the whole rack backwards or forwards any perceptible difference seems equally impossible - but I don't know that I care.

    As long as the rack doesn't physically collapse - on in other words, as long as the uprights stay perpendicular to the floor - the bar will be safely held.

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