Introduction: Kettlebell for Almost No Money
I built a kettlebell for nearly free & so can you!
Step 1: Gathering Supplies (AKA Git Yo Sh*t!)
As you can see from this lovely picture, stuff is needed for this 'ible.
Here's what you'll NEED:
-1 Old or new basketball, soccer ball, kickball, cantaloupe wrapped in duct tape (don't use a fruit for this...bad idea! lol)
-1 Bag of concrete or cement
-Access to water (faucet, hose, shower, drooling dog)
-1 PVC pipe I used 1/2" but you can use 3/4" if you want more rigidity
-Random width/length screws (>1.5" length is best)
-Knife or scissors
-Aluminum foil wrapped cookie sheet
-1 Bag of sand
-Scoop or cup for scooping sand
-Funnel or rolled up paper in the form of a funnel (roll it up the long way, stick one end in the PVC, widen the end NOT in the PVC)
-Small flat weights (type used for barbell)
-Paper towels for clean up after
Step 2: Making the Handle (AKA to Have N' to Hold)
There are unfortunately not too many pictures for this 'ible as I just found these pics again in the bowels of my phone's SD card...sorry!
Use a pen or Sharpie to mark a spot with a few inches on either side of your hand in the middle of the PVC (enlarge the pic and you'll see the black lines that I made at the corners).
Take your PVC pipe and place it on a cookie sheet that is covered in aluminum foil (unless you never want to use that cookie sheet again, cover it with foil...the plastic can leave a nastiness on the sheet if not careful).
Place that into the oven after preheating to 230°F. I put mine in for about 5 minutes, checked & rotated, another few minutes same deal. What you're looking for is the PVC should be barely able to bend but not break nor be super floppy. (if it's too hard to bend, leave it in...conversely if it's too spaghetti-like, take it out to cool & try again)
Only bend the 2 points you made earlier. Put the pipe back on the sheet and set the whole thing somewhere to cool off.
Step 3: Adding the What-nots to the Handle (AKA "Put the Screws to 'im Johnny!")
Is it cooled off? No? Go back to the last step!
Glad you're back...in this step you need the sand or cement dust, funnel, duct tape, and screws with drill in hand of course. I will be referencing this pic a bit so keep up.
Now that you have the shape of your handle, it may need to be shortened because if you're like me you bought a ten foot section and had to cut it just to bring it in the house. Cut the, what I will call legs (not the curved handle but the 2 straight parts), so that there is about a foot on either side.
Grab your drill and screws now! DO IT NOW!!! Ok, so tiny crazy episode over...and start drilling them in semi-random places all over the place IN THE LAST FIVE INCHES OF PVC ON THE LEGS. Make sure they go in enough to not wiggle a whole lot but are out enough to give the concrete something to hold onto when you put it in the ball.
Snag some sand or cement (not mixed with water) and start filling the PVC with it. I used a funnel and cup to scoop into the funnel. Fill it to the top and make certain there is sand in the top of the handle (curved section).
*This step is important as it gives further structure to the PVC while doing exercises and swings. If it isn't done, the handle could snap and kill your cat named, Jebediah.
Duct tape the ends to cap it off and keep sand from falling out. It is that easy, I suppose you could use PVC end caps instead but honestly that's just an unnecessary expenditure.
Step 4: Making the Ball (AKA an Original Cinderella Story Now on QVC Shopping Network)
Cut a line into the old basketball using the knife or sharp scissors. (I cut perpendicular to the lines on the ball as I figured it would allow a little bit of flex...it didn't matter) You may need to cut a bit more later.
Step 5: Making Cement (AKA Rock Juice)
Following the instructions on the bag of cement/concrete, mix the concrete in the bucket with water, and your stirring implement (I used a drill attachment because I am really lazy).
Step 6: Filling the Ball With Cement (AKA Rocky Ball Juice...you Knew It Was Coming)
This is as straightforward as it gets, the title says it all. Do not fill it to the top because when you stick the handle in, it might overflow. I have an optional step below but I truly think you should read and consider it...it was super helpful to me but some people may not care.
OPTIONAL: If you so choose, you can put your ball on the weight scale and while filling see how much it weighs so you can stop it when you feel it's heavy enough. I made mine 25 lbs. without additional weights and if you absolutely want it heavier, when it is curing or even at this step you can add some small 2.5 lbs. or 5 lbs. flat weights.
Step 7: Putting It All Together (AKA 2+2=Fish)
Take the handle and insert the legs with the screws in an equal depth but far enough down that the legs either tough the bottom or are really close. Make sure that you have enough space for your hand to move in all directions on the curved part of the handle (rotate your hand and whole arm on the handle because if your knuckles hit the cement, it's going to hurt when dried and hardened...if they hit just pull the handle out a little bit and test again).
Let it sit to cure for 24 hours or if you are impatient like me, overnight (7-12 hours).
Step 8: OPTIONAL STEP (AKA U No Gotta Dooz It)
So, don't do it if you don't want to, or do, I don't mind really I'm just trying to help you out.
You can if you find that the PVC is too slippery whilst using it, wrap it in a few layers of athletic tape (on the left, Google it if you don't know it is usually used for grip on baseball bats, hockey sticks, golf clubs...good stuff and cheap too, got mine at dollar tree) or go super cheap/free and use the duct tape from earlier!
Enjoy your awesome new kettlebell my friends!
P.S. It was almost free for me because I had an old basketball with a whole in it from the dog, I had cement and sand already from a different project (my front steps needed to be fixed and my mom wanted a pond in the backyard), I had enough screws on the basement floor that I could have made 80 of these things, duct tape was laying around, PVC was the only thing I had to buy and it was super cheap anyway.
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