Introduction: Mini Dead Lift Jack

I am new to power lifting and have developed to the point that changing plates on the bar was almost a workout in itself.

I have seen metal jacks used in gyms, and there are some very good looking ones online (Rogue Fitness's is one that I would like to have). I also saw one made from plumbing pipe by End of Three fitness.

As I have a wood shop, and scrap plywood, I decided to make my own out of laminated plywood (for strength), as well as use it to make my first Instructable.

Step 1: Tools Used

Basic tools used:

Table Saw (71/2 Power Saw would work)

Jig Saw (Handsaw and chisel would be an alternative)






Screws and lag bolts

Step 2: Step 1: Proof of Concept

All of the dead lift jacks I have seen are made of metal. As a proof of concept, I found a piece of scrap wood, cut a notch in the top, rounded the bottom, and tested it. It worked in lifting the bar, but was unstable and needed refining.

Step 3: Plywood and Lamination

Knowing the base would need to be wider than the 3/4 proof of concept, I found three pieces of plywood in my shop that I would be able to use. One 3/4 and two 1/2 pieces. Each was cut to 11 by 16 inches.

I laminated these together using Gorilla Glue and a few screws. The 3/4 piece made up the middle, and the two 1/2 inch pieces the outside. The squeeze out from the glue was scraped and sanded off after it dried.

Step 4: Rounded Corner

The corner was rounded to make a pivot point. A spray can lid was used to trace the curve.

Step 5: Layout

The height of the notch needed to be at least 9 1/4 inches in order to have the weights off of the floor enough to slide onto and off of the bar. Measurements were taken and compared to the proof of concept piece.Final piece was cut to 10 1/2 by 16 inches.

Step 6: The Cut

Using the jigsaw, the notch was cut out.

This is what will receive the bar.

Step 7: Test Fit

The photos show the test fit of the laminated plywood and that it effectively lifted the bar high enough to swap plates on and off.

Step 8: Making It Pretty

The square with the notch was not the work of art that it could be. I added a curve to the one end.

Step 9: Increasing Stability

The jack was 11/4 inches wide at this point. As it would be lifting a up to a 100 lbs, and I had extra plywood, I made two outriggers to increase it's footprint and add stability. I am not sure if these were needed, but they do assist in making it more stable in use.

Step 10: The Workout

I used the jack during a workout. It worked very well and made changing the plates easier.

I did not like the aesthetics of it, and went back to the shop.

Step 11: Finished

I opened up the interior of the shape and stained the jack.

Removing the interior wood has not compromised the strength, and has made the jack a little lighter, and easier to use.

Step 12: Thanks

I hope that this has inspired you to not only create something, but to look into power lifting or Olympic lifting. Many things can be built to assist with lifting. Other projects I have done are:

1. Lifting Platform

2. Plyo Boxes

3. Plate holder

Unfortunately, I had not found Intscrutables when I had made the above.


seamster (author)2016-08-13

Very interesting project, thank you for sharing the details.

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