This instructable will show how to build a cable exercise machine rated at up to 300lb (420lb-120lb safety margin - see step 11 for rating justification) that allows you to do more than a dozen different exercises. I have been using it for around five months now, and have been very pleased with its performance. And at $100 (compared with $500+ for a simple commercial model that does not do as much), it is well within the home bodybuilder’s budget.

See below for a PDF with multiple drawings of the project, including dimensions. Also, see below for a Youtube video showing the machine in use, along with some of the exercises you can do using it.

Step 1: 2. Parts/Tools List

Below is a list of everything you will need to make this project.

Unless otherwise noted, all item numbers are from Lowe's. Just go to www.lowes.com and enter the item number in the search bar to see exactly what I am talking about.

1. 8-foot 10"x2" board, cut by your friendly Lowe's representative into a 6' section and two 1' sections (Item #201521, $9.57)
2. 10-foot 10"x2" board, cut into the following pieces:
     (Item #201523, $12.97)
          a. 12” piece
          b. 12.25” piece (x1)
          c. 33.25” piece (x1)
          d. 62.5” piece (x1)
3. 8-foot long 2"x4" board, cut into the following pieces:
     (Item #46905, $2.47)
          a. 82" piece
          b. 9" piece
4. 10-foot long 2"x4" board, cut into the following pieces:
      (Item #76854, $4.97)
          a. 82” piece
          b. 9” piece
          c. 16.25” piece
          d. 4-5” piece
5. 2 3/8"-16X3-1/2 Grade 8 bolts (Item #136102, $1.46/2 pack)
6. 4 Flat washers 3/8-16 Grade 8 (Item #136056, $1.09/pack)
7. 2 Hex nuts 3/8-16 Grade 8 (Item #136068, $1.21/pack)
8. 3 3" 5/8R Satin brass door hinges (Item #308904, $2.17 each)
9. 3" screws, approx. 40 (Item #112363; buy from local store where you can buy just what you need by weight)
10. 1.25" screws, approx. 85 (Item #227168; same as above)
11. 16' of 3/16" steel cable, 740lb rating (Item #348184, $0.58/foot) cut into the following pieces:
          a. 7' piece
          b. 7.5' piece
          c. 9" piece (x2)
12. 8 3/16" wire rope clips (a.k.a, cable clamps) (Item #348302, $0.88/ each)
13. 3 heavy-duty pulleys, rated at 480lb (Item #348562, $4.58 each)
14. 2 4" T-hinges (Item #315669, $1.78)
15. 4 4"x6" Shelf Brackets (ACE Hardware, Item #5294079, $0.99 each)
16. 2 8-foot 1"x2" boards cut into the following pieces:
       (Item #201999, $1.97 each)
          a. 18” piece (x4)
          b. 12” piece (x1)
          c. 12.5” piece (x4)
18. 4 Carabiners, "Zinc-Galvanized Steel Carabiner Spring Snap Link Hook" from Amazon,
          $2.06 each, 100mm size for 500lb rating.
17. 1 Dumbbell - This one is up to you. Personally, I bought the $6.87 dumbbell handle from Wal-Mart (Item #SDA-GG14TRB), and it has lasted just fine with no signs of wear. If you want to pay $40-$50 for a set of handles that are officially rated to any weight you want to put on them (such as the Troy GOD-20 Olympic Dumbbell Handle), that is your choice.

1. Drill
2. Measuring tape
4. Various drill bits
5. Small hand saw
6. 2 pairs pliers or lock clamps

While building this cable machine, you will be using several things that could be potentially dangerous. For the tools (drill, saw), make sure you have read the owners manual for your specific tool and know how to use it, and wear the appropriate protective clothing (safety glasses, gloves). For safety in using the finished cable machine, see last step.
This is brilliant and you are a genius! Thank you very much for this project.
<p>If the pulley is rated at 420lbs, could you get a pulley rated higher in order to get beyond the 300lbs?</p>
<p>Great 'ible. Great body too. One thing though, Men's Fitness said the behind the shoulder pull down is the worst exercise. Very dangerous and doesn't provide much benefit. </p>
Thanks for posting, great equipment.
Wow this is rad, and I like the way you assembled your plan diagrams. Thank you so much for the post.

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