Introduction: Install a Hanging Bar/Trapeze at Your Office

Picture of Install a Hanging Bar/Trapeze at Your Office

Any office can be dramatically improved with a trapeze. It's a fact. Instructables used to have a small trapeze bar to hang from in a previous space. It was a great way to stretch and move around a bit before going back to whatever had to be done. Sadly, there has been no such bar in the office for almost two years. This needed to be fixed so I went about installing one.

DISCLAIMER: This is not the safest and most professional setup by far. The goal was to have a bar for stretching/hanging and pull-ups. This is not meant for swinging and trapeze despite the photos below of Josh on the bar.

Step 1: Get the Gear

Picture of Get the Gear

You'll need:
- 4 eyebolts. Two for the ceiling and two to attach to the bar
- rope
- 30" 1.5" diameter maple bar

Make sure that the eyebolts and rope are rated for much more than the weight that you're going to be applying to it.

Step 2: Drill Some Holes

Picture of Drill Some Holes

Break out your drill and drill holes in the joists and the bar. Make sure you drill straight and through the center.

Step 3: Screw in the Eyebolts

Picture of Screw in the Eyebolts

You may need to use a tool to get some leverage, but simply screw those bolts in!

Step 4: Time to Get Knotty

Picture of Time to Get Knotty

We used a few different knots to attach the rope to the ceiling and to the bar. We'll start with the ceiling knot, the bowline.

Simply tie a bowline to create a sturdy loop. Feed the other end of the rope through the eyebolt and back through the loop. That's it!

Step 5: Getting Knottier

Picture of Getting Knottier

The next knot we're using here is a figure-8 knot. Tie a figure-8 knot and leave a couple feet on the end.

Feed the rope through the eyebolt and then run it back through the knot to double it up. Before you really yank on it to tighten it, check the height of the bar and the evenness of the two sides.

Step 6: Finishing It Off

Picture of Finishing It Off

With the extra rope that's coming out, tie a double overhand knot. This will keep the extra rope in place and provide a knot that would stick in the figure-8 knot in the unlikely event that the figure-8 would start to come undone.

Step 7: Hang Out and Enjoy the View

Picture of Hang Out and Enjoy the View

Hang from the bar, do some pull-ups or chin-ups, and enjoy yourself. I don't recommend swinging like it's a regular trapeze since that requires a much safer setup. If that's your intention, do more research before attempting an installation.


jared.savage (author)2014-10-17


This is dangerous, and this post should be removed as the first hit on Google. A wooden dowel isn't suited for this and will break, and someone will get seriously injured.

If you're reading this and thinking of replicating it at home, DON'T. If you're going to DIY a trapeze, use a steel pipe. Not a wooden dowel.

ajc123 (author)2012-08-22

i looks so cool

ajc123 (author)ajc1232012-08-22

it looks so cool

jewdlecake (author)2012-03-20

I think you should really remove this. Its dangerous, and somebody might actually try this and get hurt =/

daltonjcw (author)2011-04-13

I'll put my weight on that rope set-up, but get some steel for that bar. This wooden dowel is vastly inadequate. Try again. With steel. Or get a picture when the thing snaps with Josh on it. CRRRRACK thud splat.

mmmorley (author)2011-04-12

Well intentioned, but woefully ignorant.


Technical Officer @ Circomedia, Bristol, UK
I make trapezes. I rig trapezes.

jamesvs400a (author)2011-04-10

yes i agree. nylon nuts don't come undone on there own so they would be a lot saver. if you cannot get any you could at least double nut the end of the bolt, tightening each bolt into eachother

:P :)

doneitagain (author)2008-08-09

I hate to be this dude but, please do not do this. A real static trapeze is made of 1" steel pipe and is bound in hemp (or the like) rope that is properly attached around structure (not into super-structure as pictured) with span-sets, not eye hooks. As a rigger I beg please please do not do this. It will work like a dream until the day it snaps and breaks a neck, I'm sorry to say I've seen it happen and permanently change lives.

boocat (author)doneitagain2011-04-10

I totally agree! If you look at the bars used at your local gym, you'll see these are parrot-perch inadequate, man!

All the pull-up bars and lifting gear are all made out of huge steel pipe-type pieces.

Use chains to hang it, and this would be fun for a couple of parrots.

_soapy_ (author)doneitagain2008-09-08

Agreed. Pretty much a lethal trap if you don't set that up safely. Get a steel clamp and put it around the ends and drill through so that the wood cannot split. At the very least, bind the ends with cord, over the nut, which should also be over a drill recessed washer. Wood tends to split under high loads, and then the person on it will break something when they hit the ground. Only having that little nut there will result in the wooden bar only having perhaps 20% of the strength that a capped or bound end will have. In fact, thinking about it more... put those eyes in and pass the rope through the eye, loop the rope around the bar twice and back through the (other side of the) eye and then tie it off. This will make it so the eyebolt ensures the rope cannot slide off the end of the bar, and if it somehow does, it will still be attached via the eye. This will support the wood so that it is under a bending load through the entire bar, rather than a shear load that would tend to split the wood.

foobear (author)_soapy_2011-04-10

This is great information thank you.

criggie (author)foobear2011-04-10

No - its awful. Darwin is waiting with an award for someone to say "hold my beer and watch this."

How about raise it up so its purely decorative - that would make it a bit safer.

trapezegirl (author)doneitagain2008-08-25

I've been a professional trapeze artist for over 10 yrs and this is so unsafe, people have said it before but not only could the eye hooks come out without warning the wood could break. When you are rigging a piece of equipment you have to eliminate all the possible fault points (where the equipment could fail resulting in injury). There are too many to eliminate in this design. If you are going to do this regardless please put a mat underneath you if you are ever going to go upside down. I love the people at Instructables and I don't want you to hurt yourselves...

I love Instructables! where else do actual trapeze professionals stand up for our well being.. let alone , who woulda thought there was such an active population on here.. love it love love it

I would also like to stress all of the points doneitagain mentioned. This is really not safe. None of this equipment is designed to safly hold your weight. That is kind a ok if you are just hanging from your hands or doing chin ups but if it breaks when you are upside down. You won't have time to even think about fliping yourself over.

foobear (author)2011-04-10

This is very good. I always wanted to install a zipline through a hallway. Then you could get a running start, grab the zipline and propel yourself all the way through the hall without your feet touching the ground. Ah... I don't have a hall but I can dream.

foobear (author)foobear2011-04-10

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that then you could do a power kick through the door at the end of the hall to really make an entrance.

Of course ridiculously unsafe for the workspace, but maybe for the home of a crazy person such as myself.

ploomus (author)2011-03-26

That's just totally awesome! I have one like this at home, but mine is metal and with chains, i really love it. It's totally awesome idea to add one like this in the office.

Xerillum (author)2008-12-07

This seems like a way to ninja ambush co-workers...

Wasagi (author)Xerillum2009-02-14

"Hey want to go get us some coffee?"


nimitz (author)2008-12-22

I'm in agreement with a lot of people here in that the wood could break under stress.

Best spend at least $20 for the bar itself here...

Then get some decent chain from the local big-box hardware store for about the same amount of money. $40 - $50 is worth it to help keep yourself and others safe in my book.

jongscx (author)2008-08-08

where the hell do you work that they let you do this? my office is too stiff-455 to even consider such a stunt...

Xerillum (author)jongscx2008-12-07

Instructables, of course.

zako (author)2008-11-23

heheh i have a problem. i have a trapeze but no were to hang it, my house isnt big enough to put it in there, and ideas?

domJS (author)2008-11-17

Personally as a climber i would use a double figure eight know in step 4 as it is muck less likely to slip and come loose

digitalbuzz (author)2008-08-08

You should put some washers on before the nuts...

Saga (author)digitalbuzz2008-08-09

And use nylock nuts.

themonkeyz (author)2008-08-08

Just to be safer I'd use four eye-bolts on the ceiling. Two of 'em you have already put, then two more but unweighted. That way if one of the hooks works it's way out, the other, still "freshly put", should catch your fall. You can also try using dynamic climbing rope as it's made to absorb the energy of a fall. Since you attached at two points you could use "double" rope, which is thinner and gives more elasticity.

For the knots, you have a great choice at your disposal but I'd use these.

On the bar, either a clove-hitch with a long tail backed by a (double)-overhand or a münter-mule-overhand, for ease of adjustability.

At the weighted eye-bolt, I'd put an alpine butterfly, as it handles loads coming from three directions.

I'd then back this up to the other bolt using either a figure-eight-loop-follow-through or a double-half-fisherman (basically a double fisherman on it's own strand).

You should ideally leave as little slack as possible between the two bolts and think about were you're gonna sway if/when a bolt is gonna fail.

Oh and most of the knots will be a lot easier to do if you use some rapide-links (screw-links). If you don't i'd suggest replacing the alpine-butterfly with a figure-8-follow-through.

You can find most of the knots used in climbing on this page:

GorillazMiko (author)2008-08-08

By the way, I skipped the step of asking the landlord first. Because we didn't.


:P Josh looks pretty funny.
+5/5 stars.

Weissensteinburg (author)2008-08-07

Nice idea. The Figure 8 and double overhand are what we use at the local rock climbing you know they're good!

Kiteman (author)2008-08-07

Er, those eyebolts need nuts.

They're not threaded to bite into wood, so they're going to slowly work their way out, until they suddenly just slip straight out, most likely just as you hoist yourself up.

Same problem for the upper bolts, but you can't fit a nut on those, so they should have a broader thread, similar to this image:

fungus amungus (author)Kiteman2008-08-07

I actually did add the nuts later. I can change the picture when I get back in the office As for the ceiling bolts, the ones you mention are what were used.

Kiteman (author)fungus amungus2008-08-07

Cool - no danger of a fungus purée, then.

fungus amungus (author)Kiteman2008-08-07

No. While zach is upside down and sitting on it, the main use is for stretching and pull-ups.

And by Zach I of course mean Josh. The intern names got crossed in my brain!

Kiteman (author)fungus amungus2008-08-07

Ah, so just a sprained ankle then... ;-)

=SMART= (author)Kiteman2008-08-07

Fungus purée doesn't sound very appetizing :P

Kiteman (author)Kiteman2008-08-07

Forgot to add - you still need to drill a hole for these eye-bolts, but only a pilot hole, say half the diameter of the bolt, to stop the wood splitting.

zachninme (author)Kiteman2008-08-07

(I have a feeling they just don't like muffin) By the way, which room did you do this in? Doesn't look familar...

trebuchet03 (author)zachninme2008-08-07

In the unfamiliar room, of course!

Kiteman (author)Kiteman2008-08-07

(I didn't add the picture to the second post!)

bumpus (author)Kiteman2008-08-07

Yeah, a Bolt is nothing without the Nuts.

Dorkfish92 (author)2008-08-07

Very cool! I wish i had somewhere to make one of these. I have a pull up bar in my door frame, but I bought it making it not as cool. Nice instructable!

CameronSS (author)2008-08-07

*sigh* When I saw the title of this on the RSS feed, I immediately thought, "Oh, great, another one of those crazy Instructables staffers ransacking his office again..."

Brennn10 (author)2008-08-07

This is perfect for my room. I am in the attic, so I have rafters that I can hang from. I smell a project for the weekend. I also got a paycheck today... its perfect!

Lithium Rain (author)2008-08-07

Dude, that's sweet!

asitcomestome (author)2008-08-07

Cool idea. Just thought I'd also mention one should use eye bolts with cast eyes with a 10:1 safe working load rating. The ones shown are just bent wire and highly likely to fail under human load.

theRIAA (author)2008-08-07

good job on the knots, although I would have used a double figure 8:

and how those bolts are biting into that wood is beyond me, you should have fallen already. You need to add some little washers and bolts on the end NOW!

bumpus (author)2008-08-07

Awesome! Yet another reason to work/intern at ibles! "Whats next?, an inverted balance beam?!"

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at You'll like it.
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