Introduction: No Screws or Holes Pull Up Bar / Door Gym

Picture of No Screws or Holes Pull Up Bar / Door Gym

This is a tutorial on how to make a doorway pull-up bar that does not require holes in any door frames or walls to mount it; which makes it perfect for college dorms or other temporary living quarters. It pushes against the door at two different points when weight is applied to safely wedge itself into the frame without the use of screws or bolts. It has an estimated maximum capacity load of 300 lbs. It allows for wide, regular, close, and hammer-grip pull-ups and chin-ups. Some of the work for this instructable are inspired by Shenandoah of and other commercial products on the market.

Step 1: Measurements

Picture of Measurements

We need to measure the width and depth of the door to be used. Most door frames will more or less have the same general dimensions, but it is important for weight distribution. Look at the pictures for more details.

Step 2: Materials

Picture of Materials

Now that we have our measurements, we need our materials:
-3/4" galvanized steel pipe (Length will be determined from door measurements)
-2 x 4-directional coupling
-2 x 3-directional coupling
-2 x 45 degree coupling
-4 x 90 degree coupling
-2 x close nipple (meaning no pipe between threads)
-2 x 3/4" x 3" nipple
-2 x 3/4" x 4" nipple
-2 x 3/4" x 5.5" nipple (Length will be determined from door measurements. This is dependent on the depth of the door.)
-6 x 3/4" x 6" nipple
-duct tape
-detachable links
-Pipe wrench
-measuring tape
-pipe insulation
-athletic tape*
-painters tape*

NOTE: I could not find any stores that would cut and thread pipe in lengths shorter than 12". That is why I had to purchase individual nipples. If you can find a store or are capable of cutting and threading pipe in small increments, the cost of the project can be cut significantly.

Step 3: Construction

Picture of Construction

A couple of things to keep in mind before constructing this build is that it takes a lot of leverage to put these pieces together so using baby-oil or WD-40 or some other type of lubricant may be necessary. I also used a longer pipe to use a leverage while constructing the pull up bar, just be careful not to strip the threads.

1) I started with the two 4-way directional pieces. I started by fitting one of the closed nipples to the 4-way directional coupling and then attached a 45 degree coupling to that piece. Make sure to align the 45 degree appropriately. The pictures show better detail. (Picture 3)

2) Then I attached 6" nipples to the 45 degree sections. These will be the wide-grip handles. (Picture 4)

3) I took 3" nipples and attached it to the top of the four-directional couplings. Apply a 3-way directional coupling to the end of the 3" piece so the perpendicular feeder points outwards. Another 6" nipple will be installed here. (Pictures 5 and 6)

4) Then I took two of the 90 degree couplings and attached 5.5" nipples to them. (Pictures 7 and 8)

5) Taking the pieces from the above step I then attached 4" nipples with 90 degree couplings on top. (Picture 9)

6) I attached the pieces made in steps 4-5 to the pieces from steps 1-3. This finishes the majority of the project. (Picture 10)

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Picture of Finishing Touches

1) I put pipe insulation on the two 6" nipples that are positioned parallel with the floor, then wrapped it in duct tape to prevent movement. Masking or painter's tape on top of the duct tape could help with preventing marks on the door frame. I did not choose to do this however. (Picture 1)

2) I took an industrial sponge and ripped it in half. (Picture 2) I shoved the sponge into the 90 degree coupling that will hook onto the door frame lip. (Picture 3) Then I secured it with duct tape. (Picture 4)

3) Then I added the last two 6" nipples to the 4-way coupling to finish off the hammer-grip handles. (Picture 5)

4) You can choose to add athletic tape to the bar to improve grip.

Step 5: Conclusion

Picture of Conclusion

This is my first Instructable. I would appreciate any input that anybody has in order to help me improve my future Instructables. My future Instructables will include peripherals for this pull up bar to make it an entire home-gym system. I look forward to contributing more Instructables in the future.

UPDATE: I've included a picture of my pull up bar with athletic tape added for grip and comfort.


EdgarJ13 (author)2016-12-09

You have inspired me and I thank you for it.

Recently visited a site about best wall pull up bars of 2017 I love to share this page with you I'm really confused whether to buy or create my own pull-up bars? can help me out !

jaleem (author)2014-09-25

Great work.! Been looking for a no fuss bar

afrances (author)2014-04-12

Was your frame 3.5 or 4.5 and does that still allow for clearance in the depth of the frame where about a half inch of the frame comes outward?

afrances (author)2014-04-12

Cost? Approx.

abadfart (author)2011-08-22

you could also hang a old military duffel bag full of cloths off of it for a punching bag

dismissie (author)2011-06-09

this is great- I've been wanting to put up a bar-

mwhit13 (author)2011-03-11

Very awesome man. i gota give you props on that. a little expensive compared to the 25 bucks at walmart but i will probably build it anyways just to say i made it. but of course i wont take credit for your ingenuity.

Thanks for the idea.


mr.squeakers (author)2010-11-22

how much did this cost

rodrigoslima (author)2010-10-17

Great instructable! i print it, write down the parts and went to the hardware store... but it was way to expensive to build! (at least here in brazil...), they dont sell small pieces of stell pipe, only the full 236inches piece, for around U$ 60, not nomentioning the joints..., I would spend more than U$100 and still need to pay some one to cut and prepare the pipe pieces, I even tried an alternative, with two sets of a flange bolt attached to the ceeling, with a L curve attached to it, an 3 way joint on the end, with another L curve, but even that would be to expensive... i will need to stick to my old doorframe bar... :-(

allorem (author)2009-11-02

Just put 2 flanges on end of pipes and attach flanges to ferring strip to distribute weight on wall

bassclarinet23 (author)2009-10-13

This is a great instructable, but I could never trust my construction skills...I'd be afraid I'd fall or rip the trim off of the wall.

daniel4383 (author)2009-09-17

Great instructable. I used this because i have a 42 1/2" doorway and nothing they offer commercially will fit it. Works like a charm.

wwlaveck (author)2009-02-28

Great idea . . . when I get ready to redo my weight room (i.e. start to work out) I plan to build this. What about using semi hard rubber balls cut in half for wall protectors?

H3xx (author)wwlaveck2009-09-03

tennis balls.

Divendren (author)wwlaveck2009-08-22

Sounds like a good Idea, but it would probably do something to your wall after a little bit of long term usage. Like a little rounded indent, nothing serious.

freerunnin1 (author)2009-07-23

its almost exactly like that iron gym thing there advertising from Argos... yours will probably last longer

Transquesta (author)2008-08-27

Don't get me wrong, this is an excellent idea (and a not-too-shabby Instructable to boot), but I prefer the sto'bought variety simply because I want somebody I can sue into oblivion should the whole mechanism fail and I find myself on the floor in searing pain. I know, I know, call me picky. :-)

strykker5400 (author)Transquesta2009-07-08

you are whats wrong with america.

Transquesta (author)strykker54002009-07-08

What? Little old ME is what's wrong with Amurrhicuh? I thought it were 'dem towel heads 'r somethin' Dude, get a grip (and perhaps a little education). I was JOKING.

DEFDOM DELTA (author)Transquesta2008-08-27

haha, I completely understand! Falling on the ground is usually not pleasurable at all! :P

smithy813 (author)DEFDOM DELTA2008-09-13

especially with a pipe assembly and part of your wall coming down on top of you

DEFDOM DELTA (author)smithy8132008-09-16

I assure you that this is a solid build as long as the instructions are followed properly.

smithy813 (author)DEFDOM DELTA2008-09-16

i have complet confidance with your assembaly, pipes don't usualy break, no, i just don't trust strength of completegeek and defdon delta's walls

DEFDOM DELTA (author)smithy8132008-09-17

The door is supported by pressure on the door frame and wall. It acts like a fulcrum when there is weight applied to the bar. It does not simply hang off of the moulding on the doorway. There are several commercial products with this similar construction. I myself have suspended 210 lbs. of dynamic load off of this setup with total confidence; as i'm sure people have gone past this weight.

completegeek (author)Transquesta2008-09-02

If you weigh enough to break the 3/4 galvanized pipe I doubt you can do many pull ups anyways.......picky. lol.

ironforger33 (author)2009-05-24

Thanks for the great idea, I made one from 3/4" black pipe from Lowe's for about $55. My door was a bit narrow, so I added a 3" nipple on each side between the 4-way and the 45 degree to make the wide grip a bit wider. Thanks again for the great instructable!

thoraxe (author)2009-04-24

you can do crunches with this too, just put it on the floor in the door and hook your feet under

AnarchistAsian (author)2009-03-30

no no you guys, it's all about the IRON GYM

Hellchild (author)2009-03-22

haha, this is the cheaper way to get an Iron gym.

erich06 (author)2009-01-18

Thanks for a very good idea built one for my son he works out on it every day. Thanks once again. Erich (South Africa)

joat_mon_99 (author)2009-01-10

How much do all the materials cost?

talonsblade (author)2008-10-15

question, would it not be better to put a bar across the back side of it(the part that goes onto the wall above the door frame). that way it distributes the weight across the entire length, not just two points. I am not being mean or anything, just trying to ensure I don't damage my landlords drywall, obviously you would pad the bar.

DEFDOM DELTA (author)talonsblade2008-10-16

I didn't get the sense you were being mean, I took it as constructive criticism. That does bring up a good point, but the problem that I foresee is that the couplings are slightly thicker in diameter than the actual pipe itself, so even if you did have a cross-bar in the back, it would be resting on the couplings in two points as opposed to the entire length of the bar. If you are really nervous about the drywall, make sure that there is sufficient padding and you should be fine. Hope I helped. If you need further description with my explanation or anything else, please feel free to ask. I could send you pictures of what I am referring to.

cahodge (author)DEFDOM DELTA2008-11-03

not only that, but it would not be possible to assemble. You run into a "closed circuit" and the last connection would not be possible to assemble (without a wielding torch). The piece you suggest would form a circle with piece for chin-up bar, making it impossible to complete

DEFDOM DELTA (author)cahodge2008-11-05

Actually, if one assembled the horizontal bar with the 90 degree coupling and attached nipples, it should be possible to slowly secure each leg one half-turn at a time to the rest of the rig. Of course, the same problems I mentioned above would still be evident.

talonsblade (author)DEFDOM DELTA2008-10-16

good point about the couplings, i didnt think about that.

moreyrd (author)2008-09-20

This is great and I am really thinking of making one. One question for all....If I damage any part of my door openings with this, my wife will kick me out. Has anyone had any issues with damage after using it for a while? I am about 195lbs. Thanks, moreyrd

DEFDOM DELTA (author)moreyrd2008-09-26

OH btw on an added note, overtime I've noticed the insulation foam becomes compacted on the side that is against the door, just be mindful to check it every so often and make sure it is still offering cushion. Perhaps replacing the insulation foam with sponges as I used on the other contact point would help. I'm thinking of doing a 1.5 version of this instructable with improvements to the design with other excercise options as well.

DEFDOM DELTA (author)moreyrd2008-09-25

First of all, I'm glad you like the instructable. Second, I weigh 135 lbs but have hung a dynamic weight of 210 lbs (me plus 75lbs of weight in a backpack hanging off of my back), from my pull up bar and have not experienced any damage to my walls. Note in the pictures that the wall I use is an exterior wall of the house. It connects the garage with the side yard; there has been no damage. I have also used it in one of the bedrooms inside, with no damage as well. Just be careful with the tape as it may get dirty overtime and smudge the wall or make the wall sticky from the tape adhesive. Perhaps covering the contact points with a more plasticy type of tape that will not squeeze out adhesive when under stress will be safer. Just a caution. Hope I answered your question. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.

LudaChri5 (author)2008-09-08

this is hella sick man. as soon as i have some extra money and make myself one. and i might take a cue from ritchie7 below me and go with 1/2 in pipe. i checked out your "final" product with the all the wrappings; very clean. cant wait to do mine.

DEFDOM DELTA (author)LudaChri52008-09-08

Glad you like it!

ritchie7 (author)2008-09-06

Thanks, this is great. I just built one from 1/2 in pipe instead of 3/4. Two different home depot's did not have the 4 way (cross coupling). I way 210lbs at least, and even the 1/2 in. pipe is fine. I used black pipe (like gas pipe), which was slightly cheaper, but not much. Except for the cross coupling, which they only had in galvanized. I bought all the parts to make a 3/4 rig as well, but will have to wait to find the cross coupling. The 3/4 will fit my hands better, and on both I will probably add another 4 to six inch nipple to make it even wider, because the 45 is hard to hold for me, although the 3/4 version will probably be a little easier. This is dirty work, as the pipe I bought was lubricated. Initially I thought I may be able to build this by just hand tightening, but I had to use the pipe wrenches and fortunately had a couple. Thanks again. ... this is cool. Now I just need to use it! Oh, btw 24in only fits into one of my door frames which has two swinging doors, because on a normal one, the door gets in the way. I may be able to tighten it down more and get it to fit in my normal doors.

DEFDOM DELTA (author)ritchie72008-09-07

Awesome! Post some pictures! Yeah I used the galvanized steel instead of the black iron because I wanted the leaset amount of weight with the most strength. That's awesome though! Oh and in the instructable I wrote to make sure to measure the door from the two outside points to make sure it will fit the door. Anyway, tightening down all that pipe is a workout in itself huh!? haha.

ritchie7 (author)DEFDOM DELTA2008-09-07

Here are the pics. I admit that I didn't read it fully, because I rushed off to home depot thinking they were closing soon. I just printed out the parts page. But I had measured the inside of the door jamb which was 28 inches. Fortunately, I just bought the 24" bar that you listed. The thing is, I didn't account for the open door protruding into the door space, and the couplings and threads take up some space, and for me it is the side of the couplings, that are slightly wider than the bar. So, be aware that an open door will take up some space; measure from that to the other opening, and so do threads and couplings. In my case I have a 28" door opening with two swinging doors that reduce the opening to 26 inches, and then threads and couplings make it so the 24" bar just barely fits while rubbing on the open doors and scuffing them slightly. You can see the 90 elbows touching the open door. It made it though;)

DEFDOM DELTA (author)ritchie72008-09-08

Awesome! Looks great!

completegeek (author)2008-09-02

I did something very similar to that, except I am fortunate enough to be able to devote an entire quarter of my garage to my home gym. I use the same 3/4 pipe with just a single 90 degree elbow then a flange that screws into the ceiling joist. Good enough for rock n roll.

Right on! Yeah, this is geared more towards people with living conditions with limited space like college students and apartment renters. Do you have other homemade gym equipment ideas?

Nothing I've come up with myself really. I got a lot of ideas for equipment I'm going to build in the future from Lot of DIYers on that site too. The forums are like instructables except they are all about workout equipment. Pretty cool.

Interesting. I'll definitely give a look through.

swimer4life116 (author)2008-08-27

would love to make one....idk if my ceilings are high enough tho lol

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