Celtic Kane


I’ve always wanted a pullup bar, but I didn’t want to drill any holes in any walls or ceilings. I’ve seen some pieces of equipment that fit in doorways or closets, but I didn’t really trust that it wouldn’t ruin the wood or frame. I finally decided to just go make my own, and by utilizing the I-beam in my basement, I was able to create a pullup bar that did not require any drilling.

What You’ll Need

I went to Lowes’ to buy all the parts for this. I used 1 1/4″ galvanized steel pipes, and the total was about $60. You can probably get 1″ pipes and save a little money. Here are the parts that I used:

  1. 8 x 90 degree elbow ($20)
  2. 1 x 18″ pipe ($7)
  3. 2 x 10″ pipe ($13)
  4. 2 x 6″ pipe ($7)
  5. 2 x 4″ pipe ($7) — the depth of the I-beam
  6. 2 x 3″ pipe ($5)
  7. Electrical tape
  8. A pipe wrench or something for leverage


It should be fairly self explanatory of how to put this together. Nevertheless, here’s a few tips to help you put it together:

  • The 18″ pipe is the portion that you’ll actually grab onto — wrap this in electrical tape last, once everything is in place
  • The 10″ pipe provides the elevation to get over the I-beam
  • The 6″ pipe provides the backing/support on the opposite side of where the pullup bar is
  • The 4″ pipe is the portion of the pipe that is on top of the I-beam
  • The 3″ pipe extends the pullup bar away from the I-beam

I will tell you right now — you’ll get a really, really good workout getting this thing together. The pipes fit together easily, but it’s difficult to tighten them. You’ll need to use a lot of leverage to get the tight…I would recommend using a wrench or smaller pipe to get better leverage. Be careful not to grab the threading on the pipe — it will cut you.

Because I am not going to take my pullup bar to show you how it works, below is an image that should help you to assemble your own pullup bar

Additional Views

If you’d like to get a better view on how the pullup bar works, look at the images below

  1. Cricket
    April 11, 2009

    Nice! I’ll try to make one myself. I also don’t want to drill holes on my wall.

  2. Phil
    April 14, 2009

    I have to wonder why you would spend so much time and money to make something that elaborate. Why not just run a rope around the beam and tie a clove hitch to a pipe or dowel underneath the beam? It would probably cost $5.

  3. May 10, 2009

    Nice! Very original approach! I’ll try to make it. Thanks!

  4. p90-nick
    May 19, 2009

    a door clip pull up bar sells for 30-40 dollars on amazon. This is cool if you are more interested in having a unique looking pull up bar, but not very practical.

  5. WJBaxter
    May 25, 2009

    Nice pull up bar,..I made a similar one in my basement. I have been trying to find foam grips to go over the bar, but have not had much luck finding anything on the web. Any ides? WJB, DE

  6. celtickane
    May 25, 2009

    Not really sure — what about the foam/tape that is sometimes used on tennis rackets?

  7. miguel
    May 27, 2009

    I have a bean that is attached to the ceiling…how can I create a pull up bar for it…?

  8. May 28, 2009

    used one like that hung on a tree.the added instability only adds to the workout.plus you can add thick or thin pipes.instead of rope i like heavy webbing

  9. Dave
    June 1, 2009

    I would just use pipe insulation for a grip and wrap tape around the ends to hold it in place. I’m not sure how much it is, but its pretty cheap.

  10. Jerry
    June 2, 2009

    As far as foam here are a couple ideas. Pipe wrap like on an A/C refrigerant line but it is frail. They do make a foam tape that is available at home stores for wrapping pipes that may work. There is a rubber electrical tape that stretches and vulcanises to a solid piece that would work well. About $15 for a roll

  11. Cliff
    June 3, 2009

    Hey what are the dimensions of your I-beam?

  12. billy
    June 14, 2009

    we’re not all as smart as you phil. some of us like to be a bit creative. i did not use a rope around my ibeam. i prefer to not have to keep my knees from hitting the floor. maybe you keep your feet on the ground when you do pullups?

  13. TJ
    July 15, 2009

    Thanks for the plans. Made one last night. Much better than the doorway bars (too narrow, walls in the way), and better than a rope and bar (more stable – better form).


  14. mike1980
    July 18, 2009

    You can probably get some foam tube at a bike store. i remember having foam on the handle bars of my racing bicycles when i was younger

  15. joe
    July 29, 2009

    cool! I might do something like this. for some grip, one can apply tape used trainers.

  16. Paul
    August 23, 2009

    Why on earth would your knees hit the floor? The nice thing about rope is that you can tie it off wherever you want.

  17. dushy
    August 24, 2009

    dude y dont u just use gloves??? or if it is so difficult to get a foam grip then just tie an old towel arnd the pipe…sounds silly but it works….

  18. September 3, 2009

    Just by some bar tape for road bikes. The adhesive is very sticky and would provide just enough cushion and grip. You can find this at any local bike shop.

  19. Jay
    October 5, 2009

    Made one today…I used 1″ pipe and made the bar 48″ instead of 18″. I used pipe insulation on the pipe and then tightly wrapped that with electrical tape. So I suppose the bar is around 1.25″ now. Also I changed the 3″ pipe out to a 6″ just to get further out from the i-beam. Thanks for the good idea. I was planning on spending round 200 for a VKR.

  20. N8dog
    December 15, 2009

    I made one of these yesterday using 3/4″ pipe and spent about $48. I used a 36″ pipe for the main bar so I can do wide grip pull ups. Thanks for the great idea! I’ve been looking at other options like power towers, but they take up too much space and cost too much. Needed this for P90X.

  21. Mark
    December 28, 2009

    I just made one with 3/4″ pipe and wrapped it with foam insulation then taped it. Works great! Cost about $47. Thanks!

  22. Salman
    March 2, 2010

    I knew it there has be a better way than the door pull up bars.
    Great I dea and I will build one. Thanks!

  23. Terry
    October 21, 2010

    Simple. Elegant. Thanks!

  24. Rahul
    February 24, 2011

    Thank You.. This is a cool n simple concept..

  25. Brandon
    February 26, 2012

    Just wanted to say thanks – built one of these today based upon your post. I used 3/4 pipe, extended out 6″ instead of 3″ from the beam and used a 24″ bar instead.

    Since I don’t have a finished basement where our home gym is getting put together this was a great solution.

  26. Steve
    April 23, 2012

    This is a great solution for an I beam or glu-lam as shown however the grey cast iron is brittle and notorious for sudden failure especially at the elbow which is being torqued at the 5″ extension piece. the true force exerted particularly if you jump up and grab it is probably around 500-600 lb/in^2. Make sure you have padding below!

  27. jay
    June 22, 2012

    its actually a LVL Steve

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