Digging through weight plates after each set can be frustrating and disrupt your focus. Weight plate storage is often an afterthought for most new home gym owners. However, after speaking to more than 50 home gym owners, it became clear that most of them got their first weight plate rack after a year of setting up their training facility. They all claimed that their training productivity went through the roof after installing weight plate storage units.
Commercial weight plate racks can be expensive and bulky, making them unsuitable for most home gyms. That’s why in this article, I will cover five sturdy freestanding and one wall-mounted DIY weight plate storage ideas that you can build for as low as $10. If you’re looking to level up your home gym game, read on.
Here are six DIY weight plate storage designs that you should consider:
1. DIY Weight Plate Storage Tree
Plate storage trees are the most common weight plate storage units in commercial gyms, along with power rack weight plate horns. Weight plate storage trees take up the least amount of space on the floor and can handle a lot of weight.
Tools and Materials:
– 4×4 lumber (for the post)
– Plywood (for the base)
– 1-inch thick dowel rod
– Wood screws
– Wood glue
– Measuring tape
– Circular saw or jigsaw
– Drill with various drill bits
– Paint and brush (optional)
Step One – Gather all the Tools and Materials
Always have all the tools and materials with you before building a DIY project. Beginning with incomplete tools or materials increases the odds of leaving the project halfway. You can get everything you need for building this project from your local hardware store or online.
Step Two – Begin with the Design
The best thing about DIY projects is that they are meant to fit your unique needs. Determine the exact dimensions of the plate storage tree and the number of pegs you will need before you begin building. I recommend building a 2’x2’x4′ plate tree, as it is the most stable design in my experience.
Step Three – Cut the Lumber and Base
Cut the 4×4 lumber to a height of 4 feet using a circular saw or jigsaw. This will be the pole for the storage tree. Then, cut a plywood piece into a 2-foot by 2-foot square for the base.
Expert Tip: If you don’t own a circular saw, jigsaw, or any other power tools required to build the DIY weight plate storage ideas, consider renting it from a carpenter or paying for his services. Avoid purchasing power tools unless you want to take on other DIY projects.
Step Four – Attach the Pole to the Base
Secure the 4×4 post to the middle of the base using wood screws and wood glue. Use a carpenter’s level to ensure the pole is straight. Besides compromising the project’s durability, a tilted pole can make loading and unloading the plates more challenging.
Step Five – Cut the Pegs
Cut the 1-inch dowel into seven to eight 8-inch pieces. You can use bigger pegs if you want to load more plates onto each peg.
Step Six – Make Holes for the Pegs
Use a drilling machine with a 1-inch spade bit to drill through the 4×4 post. I recommend marking the positions for the holes before drilling. The 45-pound plates usually go at the bottom, followed by 25-pound plates and change plates at the top.
Step Seven – Insert the Pegs
Insert the pegs through the 4×4 post. Ensure the pegs fit snugly into the holes. Add wood glue and screws to ensure additional stability. To maintain balance, ensure the dowel is positioned at the center of the 4×4, as having one side protruding more can result in an imbalance.
Step Eight – Paint (Optional)
Although this step is optional, I highly recommend painting the DIY weight plate storage tree, as it significantly improves its aesthetics. Plus, paint also acts as a protective layer, enhancing its longevity.
Step Nine – Test
Test this DIY project by loading a weight plate on each side. Add more plates until you max out the pegs. Fix any unnecessary wobbling with wood glue and screws.
Pros of DIY Weight Plate Storage Tree:
– Great for people who don’t have storage space on the walls.
– Easy to build.
– You can change the length of the 4×4 and add more pegs to increase the storage capacity.
Cons of DIY Weight Plate Storage Tree:
– You need basic woodworking skills and tools.
– Getting the dowel to fit snugly in the center pole might require trial and error.
2. DIY A-Frame Storage
The A-Frame storage is a close cousin of the plate storage tree. Some people prefer the former over the latter because of its angled pegs, which make loading and unloading the weight plates more convenient. It also has a suitable place for the change plates.
Tools and Materials:
– 2 x 92″ 2×4 lumber
– 1 x 1.5 x 48″ dowel
– #12 x 2″ pan head sheet metal screws
– 1.5″ washers
– 3″ wood screws
– Wood glue
– Caster wheels
– Mitre saw
– Drill press
– Cordless drill
– 1.5″ Forstner bit
– 1/8″ drill bit
– 5/16″ drill bit
– Pocket screw jig
Step One – Cut the Lumber and Dowel
Cut the two 92″ lumber into the following lengths using a mitre saw:
– 2 x 39-inch pieces
– 1 x 27.75-inch piece
– 2 x 18-inch pieces
– 1 x 12-inch long piece
Then, cut the dowel into five 8-inch pieces.
Step Two – Mark the Holes
Place one of the 39-inch lumber pieces on the work table and position two weight plates on it, leaving a couple of inches between them. Trace a circle along each plate’s insert using a pencil. Repeat this step on the other 39-inch piece.
Step Three -…