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Old 02-19-2010, 09:30 AM   #1
Lawrence "Bo" Boland III
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Default Choice of dimensions for building Lifting Platform?

I have a similar thread over on CF.com, but I figured I'd get the opinions from the real Oly lifters...

I am building a platform in my basement next week, and I'm looking to get supplies soon. From the research I've done, I've heard that a 4ft center piece is too big.

I'm thinking that 3'6" is plenty large, but what I'm wondering is what about the rest of the platform? The only stall mats I have available to me are 4'x6', which can result in the following configurations:

- 2'x6' Rubber + 3'6"x6' Wood + 2'x6' Rubber = Total Width 7'6, Total Length 6'.
- 2-3'x4' Rubber + 3'6"x8' Wood + 2-3'x4' Rubber = Total Width 9'6", Total Length 8'.

Is the first option wide enough for a bar to actually land in the rubber pieces? I don't think it really matters to me if the bar hits the wood, the 4' center piece just seems like theres no room for error when dropping it.

Ugh.
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Old 02-19-2010, 04:20 PM   #2
Garrett Smith
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4' works for me.
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Old 02-21-2010, 08:19 PM   #3
Tyler Micheli
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Initially my platform was 4'x8' MDF with a 4'x6' stall mat on either side. Left a 2' outcropping of MDF on which I set my squat stands. After about a year I narrowed the 4' wide MDF to 40"+-. The narrower width promotes good rubber on rubber contact, but either width will be fine. I didn't (and don't) have any issues when the bumpers land off the rubber.

I didn't want to mess with cutting the stall mats so I've left them intact. It makes the platform more spacious.
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:43 AM   #4
Michael McKenna
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When you buy the plywood, get three inches cut off each side, and that will give you an outside broder for the platform. 3'6" works best for me and for most platforms, as the rubber plates will often hit the border between the plywood and rubber with the full four feet wide. My first two platforms were four feet wide, though, and did fine; I did get enough damage to the plywood that after six months I changed it, so I'd go with that fromt he beginning.

A 4x6 sheet of rubber is standard. You can either get another sheet of rubber and cut the extra pieces from it, or get a half sheet of plywood and cut one foot by 2 foot rectangles from it and use them as a broder on the platform. I did this when I first built my platforms because I didn't have any rubber to cut, and the half sheet of plywood was only about $10 or less. I'd have them cut that in the store, too, since it'll be easy to assemble when you get home. and they can do it in less than a minute on their saw. Often they say they'll charge you for more than one cut per piece of wood, but it's never happened to me.
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:52 AM   #5
Erik Traeger
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I have a couple of Power Lift platforms that have a narrower center piece and the overall width is narrower ~7.5'. I built two more platforms by using 4 sheets of 3/4"x4'x8' OSB (Orient Strand Board), overlapping crisscross screwed together ~every square foot with a 3/4"x4'x8' sheet of AC plywood in the center, screwed around the perimeter. I drove 1/2 hour to get a couple of 3/4"x4'x8' stall mats from a livestock supply company, which I cut in half using a stanley knife and a very long straight-edge that I borrowed, and screwed them on around the outside edges of the platform. The rubber actually cuts very nicely, but it takes quite a few strokes to get through 3/4". Total cost for each platform was ~$155.00. I happen to like the wider platforms over the Power Lift dimensions. Of course, your other option is to go with a 6'x8' platform. I have only lifted on 8'x8' platforms, so I might feel a little cramped on a 6'x8'.
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:06 AM   #6
Lawrence "Bo" Boland III
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I decided to buy 2 stall mats, and will be going with a 6'x8' platform with a 40ish" center piece, and the rest occupied by stall mats.

Seems a bit silly to buy an extra stall mat for what amounts to 6-8" of extra rubber (width-wise), but I figured I wanted to do it right the first time.

The one thing that sucks is the freakin' OSB I bought came with this blue spraypaint or something on the edges of it... and it's been getting all over my basement. I'm going to have to wrap the "base" part of my platform in plastic to keep it from staining my freakin' carpet. Such is life.

I'll be putting it together this week while my wife is out of town... I'll post my results.
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:36 AM   #7
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looking forward to seeing how this goes, Bo. I've got mental plans for building a home platform as well, so it would be good to see your end results.
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:24 PM   #8
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I switched to 6x8 platforms for a year or two and they were fine; it takes some getting used to.
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:36 PM   #9
Lawrence "Bo" Boland III
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To anyone interested, my platform came out pretty nice.

http://img175.imageshack.us/i/img1890d.jpg/

It ended up being 6'x8' with a 3.5' center cut-out. I used OSB for the base of it. The annoying part was that the OSB had some weird blue spraypaint on the edges that was getting all over the place, so I wrapped the whole thing in plastic before putting the nice piece of birch and stall mats on top.

I used a polyurethane/stain 2-in-1, and it doesn't seem to be too slick (some people warned me).

The thing has got to weigh 400lbs... I cannot move it without using a wall to squat the damn thing.
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:49 PM   #10
Yuen Sohn
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Just tagging along here.

A bunch of us put together a couple of platforms this past weekend. Ours' ended up being 8'x8', with a 42" centerpiece. We fortunately had 4 mats laying around, so were able to devote two per platform. Each mat was cut into two 2'3"x4' sections (plus scraps). We used AB plywood for the centerpiece and CDX for the base layers.
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