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The Kettlebell swing is an awesome exercise for improving overall fitness, strength, and endurance.  The only problem?  Kettlebells are expensive and not particularly portable.  There has been a high barrier to entry into the wide, wonderful world of kettlebell swinging.  Until now.

There's an easier way to experiment with kettlebell swings for only $11.  You may have read about the T-handle in the Timothy Ferriss Four-Hour Body book, or maybe you learned about it from a frugal strongman at your local gym.  Either way, putting together a T-handle is quick and easy and customizable for your weight-training needs. 

I know that Instructables has some great guides for building kettlebells from concrete and inexpensive rubber balls ($10 DIY Kettle Bell and DIY Kettlebells for under $10, two alternatives to this project with two different techniques for putting a handle on some weight.) But I am not going to mix concrete, bake some PVC, learn to weld, or sacrifice my balls just to make a kettlebell that I might not use more than a few times.  But I have $11 and access to some rusty old mismatched weights in the basement of my apartment building.  So let's start the swinging party.

Step 1: Parts list

This project requires nipples of steel. 3 of them. And a wrench.

The main vertical bar
One 3/4" by 12" steel nipple

The handle
Two 3/4" by 5" steel nipples
One 3/4" steel T-joint
Tape (so your hands don't get destroyed by the threading on the pipes) OR
Gloves (so your hands don't get destroyed by the threading on the pipes)

The base
One 3/4" steel floor flange

You can use galvanized steel if you're fancy, but I went for inexpensively hardcore with black steel. All told, $11. For me, the floor flange was the most expensive component at $4.50 from Ace hardware. The T-joint and the five-inch nipples each cost about $2. (Compare that to buying several different-sized kettlebells at around $60 a pop.)

I already had some tape on hand, but if I were to do this again I'd throw on some of that rubber handle-coating stuff that they sell to restore damaged tools. Plastidip. I would also use something to keep the bottom from flying off. Not that it did, but after doing some swings in a room filled with giant mirrors and a sliding glass door and cabinets full of fine china*, I got to thinking that maybe I should do this someplace with cinderblock walls rather than inside of my apartment.

Given how this device is to be used (repeatedly heaving it into the air), I recommend using a wrench to really tighten that floor flange. Seriously. Maybe use some Loctite or JB Weld. Something that will keep your weights from flying off the handle. Also, use it someplace where nobody is standing directly in front of you. And where the floor is sturdy. If you're a member at a grimy boxing gym with brick walls and a plywood-covered concrete floor, that'd be perfect. I make no promises that you won't get kicked out of a 24 Hour Fitness for using this.



*I don't actually have any fine china. But I do have a television that I quite like, so no more kettlebell swings in the house.

<p>Instead of the threads on the end, I may drill holes and use cotter's pins. </p>
<p>For the clamp get a split-ring pipe hanger for $2.</p>
Nice, now only to get a a handle for one-handed work.
I used this idea to a build a one handed version. I used a couple of elbows and nipples to build kind of a &quot;J&quot; shaped handle. The part of the J is the handle itself and the short part attaches to one side of the T that wilgubeast used. It is so similar to this that I don't know that it needs its own instructable.
Thanks for sharing.
No wonder you beat me in Nitro Coffee with equipment like this at your disposal!
How exactly does this tea kettle work?
<br> it's not a tea kettle, it's a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kettlebell">kettlebell.</a><br>

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Bio: I'm an English teacher and former Instructables staff member.
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