Tuesday 27 July 2010

Homemade Parallettes

As with all homemade equipment, this is merely a guide, and if you decide to follow it to make your own parallettes, it is done at your own risk.

I attempted to make parallettes out of PVC piping, which seems to be a common choice for the homemade versions. In the UK, this is not so easy. Two main problems I ran into:
1) PVC pipe is not overly strong in the UK compared to say, the US. So strength is an issue.
2) The construct relies on using "tees" which need to be at 90 degrees. However in the UK, they come in either 88.5 or 92.5 degrees (when I was looking for tees for 40mm pipe). Thus the uprights of the parallettes will be at an angle (if only slight).

So I decided wood was the way forward. End product was this:

The feet were simply 2"x4" timber, one on top of the other (4" tall), glued and screwed. I cut 45 degree angles to make slanted sides to allow me to transition from l-sit to handstand without the feet getting in the way.

The rails are made of lengths of wooden hand rail I found at my local timber merchants. It is about 40mm in diameter. I cut this to 24" lengths, then glued/screwed them into the feet, like so:

The great thing about this rail was that it has approximately a 15mm flat part, allowing me to easily attach it to the feet and stop it from wanting to move. Not sure I explained that very well, so here is a picture:

The whole lot cost me about £7.50. I have started with low parallettes, but these would be very easy to raise by gluing the feet to more lengths of 2"x4".

Despite my initial concerns about the strength of wood, these are very strong. I would like to add though that you should check the strength of your parallettes firstly by training a low move like an l-sit before trying something like a handstand, as I can only vouch for the strength of the wood I purchased.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your design. It looks very easy to make and strong. Personally I prefer the feel and look of wood compared to plastic anyway.

Unknown said...

looking good, I have had a look at doing out of plastic worried about what it will hold. Your design looks real simple. I think I will have a go at the weekend.

Unknown said...

Far better than Plastic. Agreed the plastic stuff in the UK is just robust enough. Have you ever hit it with a hammer, it shatters can leave pointed bits as well. Wood is the way to go.