Introduction: How to Make Cement Dumbbells for Weightlifting

Picture of How to Make Cement Dumbbells for Weightlifting

Hi everyone, where I am at it's hard to come by gym weights, yes, I can buy them online, but the price for let's say a 40lbs dumbell is about $120 for one! So I decided to make my own. I was thinking how to do it at first, and here is what I came up with with simple elements I bought at a local Ace Hardware store.

Step 1: Go Get the Stuff Needed

Picture of Go Get the Stuff Needed

So, as I said earlier, I bought this all at an Ace Hardware store:

If you want to make a pair like I did:

4 x 3/4" T's galvanized steel (Im using this so the cement has something to hold)
2 x 12" pipes with 3/4" thread
1 x rubber 6" x 3" pipe reduction
1 x optional plastidip (trying to get a rubber coated cement dumbbell)
Portland cement


Step 2: Attach Parts and Set Up

Picture of Attach Parts and Set Up

It's easy and straightforward:

Just put the T's on each end of the threaded pipe, and suspend the pipe so the pipe sits perpendicular, about 1" from the bottom. See pic. I suspended it with pieces of styrofoam laying around and taped them. This is okay for this step, but once you have to do the other half of the dumbbell, obviously this would be to flimsy to hold the weight. I did a better setup in the next step.

Mix your cement in a bucket and start filling the rubber up. I adjusted the height of the rubber by putting the rubber on the styrofoam, almost no cement seeped through. It was ok. I wanted to go around it with a hot glue gun, but couldn't find it.

Once done, let it set overnight, cut the rubber reduction (see pic) and remove it. to reveal the cast.


Step 3: Do the Other Half of the Dumbbell

Picture of Do the Other Half of the Dumbbell

This was a much better set up and you should do it like this if you can.
I used 2 concrete blocks (CMU's) and 2 broom sticks to suspend the half dumbbell at a perfect height, so the lower T is suspended 1" from the bottom. Since the rubber now has one cut in it, I taped all around to hold it well. This rubber also came with hose clamps on each end. Here again, pour the cement in and let is sit over night.

The result is pretty good. Nice finish. I did not do the step of the rubber Plastidip, as I did a test spray and didn't find it to be thick enough. Will do this on the cement once dry enough, after priming it.

I wanted to weigh the dumbbell, but my scale is type that needs to sense your two feet.

There are online calculators that can calculate the weight depending on the measurement of your shape. So you know how heavy it will get.

I will keep experimenting with this and make heavier ones

Comments

eehrhart (author)2015-06-07

Great idea and post. I knew I wanted to make something similar and your post really helped me flesh out some ideas. I made the same thing but to improve durability and aid in weight estimation I used 6 inch, schedule 40 PVC pipe.

Weight Estimation:

(a lb *12 in/ft) / [(pi*r^2 ft)(150 lb/ft^3)] = x inch

a: desired weight of one side of the dumbbell (aka total dumbbell weight / 2)
pi: ~3.14
r: radius of your PVC pipe (careful PVC is typically labeled with diameter)
x: length of PVC pipe you need to cut to get your desired weight

I used quickrete and metal pipes just like you did and when going for a 35 lb dumbbell I took off 2 pounds to account for the weights of the other materials. I cut off 6.32 inches of piping and when I weighed the final product it came out to 37.5 pounds so not too far off for a home gym DIY. The PVC pipe also makes them fairly durable and might work better than the plastidip idea.

SugeshK (author)2014-09-26

Excellent!!

I made my First Cement Dumbells at my age of 14. Those were never better than this. I used Milk Powder tins to fill Bumbell heads (Disks) and a 10Inch long thick Hexagon headed Bolt and nut as Rod. This post gives me a Hi-Fi figure of "Making of a Cement Dumbell!!

Good Job!

Dimitrios (author)SugeshK2014-10-19

Good Job man! Send some picture if you can. How much do they weigh?

Kiteman (author)2011-08-29

To weigh the dumbells, weigh yourself twice. The second time, hold the weights, and then work out the difference.

Dimitrios (author)Kiteman2011-08-29

Ah!! Mannnn, how come I didn't think of that? :-)
Thank you, great tip!

Kiteman (author)Dimitrios2011-08-30

So, go weight, and edit you project.

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