Convert One-inch Weights to Olympic Bar




This instructable is for those people who have a mixed weight set, and want to find some use for their one-inch (inside diameter) weights. This instructable contains directions for building an adjustable apparatus which will rack one-inch weights onto a two-inch olympic weight bar.

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Step 1: Price, Secondary Materials, and Primary Materials

It should cost around $20.00(USD) in order to complete one of these weight converters. However, this price assumes that you already have some WD-40, a towel, a used toothbrush, and a pipe wrench. The rest of the materials can be purchased at Home Depot, OSH, etc.

Here's the breakdown of what you will need...

Secondary Materials (not a part of final construction)

1. WD-40
2. Toothbrush
3. Towel/Clean Cloth
4. Pipe Wrench

Primary Materials

1. One - 2" Galvanized Tee ($7.84)
2. One - 2"/0.5" Galvanized Hex Bushing ($3.90)
3. One - 0.5" Galvanized Floor Flange ($3.56)
4. One - 5" x 0.5" Galvanized Nipple/Pipe ($1.13)
5. One - Container of 5min Epoxy Adhesive ($2.97)

Another note...the picture below has a (12" x 0.5") pipe. I was using a longer pipe in order to stack a greater amount of weight. I would suggest the 5" pipe if you intend on using the weight converter for deadlifting. Anything longer will exceed the height of your 45lb weights as it rests on the ground/on the bar.

Step 2: Cleaning


1. WD-40
2. Toothbrush
3. Towel/Clean Cloth

The purpose of this process is to make sure that the pipe threads engage each other correctly and smoothly. The step that follows this one will involve putting epoxy on some of the threaded areas, so it is important to make sure that extra elements do not impede the pipe connection process (in the form of dirt, grease, etc).


1. Spray all threaded areas with WD-40
2. Brush with Toothbrush
3. Wipe excess with Towel (wipe very well)
4. Check to see if the threads are clean (repeat process if not)

Step 3: Practice Your Assembly


1. Pipe Wrench
2. Galvanized Tee
3. Pipe Nipple
4. Floor Flange
5. Bushing

Why practice?

...because epoxy only sets once.

You are going to want to make sure that the process is well rehearsed (unless you want to make another trip to Home Depot).


1. Lightly screw the [2" bushing] into the [2" tee]---(see picture #1).
2. Adjust the pipe wrench so that it will be ready to firmly adjoin the two pieces (but don't do it until the epoxy is ready)---(see picture #2).
3. Lightly screw one end of the [5" x 0.5" pipe nipple/pipe] into the floor flange---(see picture #3).

Step 4: Mixing Epoxy and Final Assembly


1. Epoxy
2. All materials from step 3.


1. Following the manufacturer's directions, mix about 2 tablespoons of epoxy onto a disposable surface (newspaper, paper plate, etc)
2. Quickly mix the epoxy using the plastic mixing stick that comes with the epoxy container.
3. Repeat everything from step 3, but make sure to apply a liberal amount of epoxy to the threads before tightening. In addition, make sure to tighten the pieces as much as humanly possible.
4. Let the epoxy set for at least an hour (24 hours is best though).

Step 5: Racking Up Those Weights


1. One-inch (inside diameter) weights.
2. What you just made.


1. Connect the remaining end of the [0.5" pipe nipple] to the [0.5" bushing]---(see picture #1). You should not use epoxy on this connection. This is what makes it adjustable.

2. Remove the connection, place the flange on the floor, and put a few weights on---(see picture #2).

3. Reconnect the top connection (pic #3) and mount onto your olympic bar (pic #4).

Step 6: Get Buff.

That's it!

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    10 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is a cool idea-it lets you combine Olympic plates with other standard plates you may already have. Additionally, if these are left to swing freely, it should give the same lateral control challenges that lifters currently resort to heavy chains for, allowing a more complete workout as you control the swing of the converted weights.

    I also see no reason why you could not shoot a bead of weld in place of epoxy if you were so equipped, but I realize many of us don't have a welder handy.

    Finally, I have found recently that I can currently get Olympic and standard plates, cast one-piece hex dumbells, and bars and associated equipment, at my local scrapyard-as scrap prices go up, weight sets are apparently being scrapped along with other steel and iron. I can currently get as much as I can carry for around $.18 a pound, but the price is fluctuating.

    Mister Dude

    8 years ago on Introduction

    This is cool, I basically made my entire home gym DIY. Howver, I would like to point something out. Obviously this depends on individual circumstances but, you can generally buy used oly plates at 50 cents a lb. To make a pair of these fittings would cost almost $40. You could arguably but 80 lbs. of oly plates for that. Not to mention if you want these for deadlifts, you can only fit so many on the smaller pipe. In my situation, I only have 80 lbs. total of 1" plates and that's about all I would be able to fit on for DLs anyway. But for the cost of making these fittings I could go buy a few used 45's. I would deem it better to just do that and sell off the 1 " plates if you don't want them.

    This is not a criticism. Just pointing out that the cost of this can make it not viable for many situations, not all situations, but many. Anyway, good job, I love to see creative ideas regarding gym equipment..


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, This is a darn good idea. I can't wait to build two of them for my gym. Danny M. O'Dell, MA. CSCS*D


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Why did you epoxy the fittings they were threaded. They're not just gonna unthread themselves.

    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I initially used this apparatus without the epoxy. However, when I tried to adjust the weight during my workout, the wrong section unthreaded. More specifically, as I tried to unthread the bushing/pipe connection, the pipe/flange section came loose. The epoxy is meant to permanently secure the flange/pipe connection and the bushing/tee connection. The lack of epoxy on the bushing/pipe connection allows for the user to adjust the amount of weight that they put on the apparatus.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    JB weld has about a 4000 lb shear strength and would work very well. However, because new olympic weights are expensive, I wanted to make this project as inexpensive as possible. I went with the 2000lbs shear strength. 1000lbs would work fine as long as you apply a liberal amount (and quickly).


    11 years ago on Step 4

    Locktite sealant is more convenient than epoxy, because you don't have to mix it. There are various forms, but the strongest is the "Stud and Bearing Mount", which is designed for permanent assembly.

    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago on Step 4

    I initially used loctite, but the trauma of repeated use caused the threads to back out. Mixing epoxy isn't really much of a chore, and it will ensure that the threads stay locked.