After getting a herniated disk in my neck from doing the traditional barbell-behind-the-neck squats, I needed something that would allow me to continue working my legs while not putting any strain on my neck. After searching the net, I found nothing that I could make that would fit the bill. So, after much thought, I designed this machine in AutoCAD, then put it together one weekend in the space of around 4 hours for a total cost of $36.11 (compared with $270 for the dangerous looking Body Solid vertical leg press machine, skipping straight to the $1000-$1500 range for anything better).
The machine is designed off of a creeper (flat board on wheels used to work under cars) that is used in a vertical position to allow you to slide up and down a wall, with slots for up to 4 of the 45lb plates (180lb plus weight of machine (32lb) = 212lb). The attached PDF's give dimensioned drawings of the Leg Press machine, as well as multiple 3D views.
See video below or go to http://youtu.be/EafB3TLPGKc for a demonstration of how the machine works!
Ready? Click Step 1 to see what you need to get started...
Step 1: Parts / tools List
A. Unless otherwise noted, all item numbers are from Lowe's. Just got to www.lowes.com and enter the item number in the search bar to see exactly what I am talking about.
B. The cost estimate of $36.11 does not include the extras (rubber backing, cushioned head rest); I already had that stuff lying about, and did not have to purchase it. It is your choice if you want to add it.
1. 8-foot 10"x2" board, cut into 2 3.5' sections (with a little left over) (Item #77891, $7.12)
2. A 96" long 2"x4" board, cut by your friendly Lowe's representative into the following pieces:
(Item #7001, $3.32)
a. 4" piece (x2)
b. 10" piece (x2)
c. 6.24" piece (x2)
d. 5.5" piece (x2)
e. 10.5" piece (x2)
3. 1/2" ID 24" section of pipe (Item #24005, $7.13)
4. 2 1/2" pipe clamps (Item #301380, $1.93/pack)
5. 2 4" angle brackets (Item #19165, $2.87 each)
6. 1" dowel (Item #19425, $4.35)
7. 3" screws, approx. 38 (Item #112363; buy from local store where you can buy just what you need by weight)
8. 1.25" screws, approx. 28 (Item #227168; same as above)
9. Spray paint - optional (Item #'s 99337, 99369, & 96394; $3.98 each)
10. Rubber sheet,1/4 in thick,24x30 in (From www.zorotools.com, $18.06)
11. Orange cloth (from Walmart, Item #16422458, $5.97/2yd)
12. Foam padding (from Walmart, Item #19397511, $6.97)
Note: I used a different padding because I already had it, but this will work fine.
2. Staple gun
3. Measuring tape
5. 12" drill bit extension
6. Various drill bits, including a 1-1/8" spade bit
7. Gorilla Glue
8. Utility knife
While building this Leg Press machine, you will be using several things that could be potentially dangerous. For chemicals (spray paint, Gorilla glue), make sure to only use them where there is plenty of ventilation and no open flames around. For the tools (drill, staple gun, utility knife), 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 machine, see the last step.