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Old 05-27-2007, 02:43 AM   #1
Rick Deckart
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 554
Default Olympic lifting platform

I wanted a small (2200mm x 2200mm x 80mm) olympic lifting platform, durable enough to cope with weights in exceed of the current master records, which can be deassembled with little effort and does not cost more than 300--400 EUR.

That rules out any platform I could buy, besides a professional lifting platform goes for north of 3000 EUR over here... So it's construction time; first let's see how the base layer of a professional platform looks like and lets estimate what a platform build on this design would cost.

Usually the base layer is build from as many 100mm x 50--60mm x 2200--4000mm wooden beams (connected with iron rods) as needed to cover the area of the platform. For a 2200mm x 2200mm platform that would translate into approximately 100m of 100mm x 50mm beams---which cost around 8 EUR per m, so the ground layer would cost approx. 800 EUR alone... Not an option for me, so out with this design...


Unfortunately I could not use the simple solution: two layers of rubber with a center layer of wood, everything hold together with an outer wooden frame---the ground the platform will stand is not level. Also I may move in a couple of years and indoors a solid fundament will help to dissipate the impact of the dropping weights.

Therefore I opted for a durable fundament made from wood board layers. I did not opt for big wood cheets as I may need to store these and big wood cheets may warp when stored. Using smaller boards has finally the advantage that in the unlikely case one breaks it will be easy and cheap to replace it.
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Old 05-27-2007, 05:46 AM   #2
Rick Deckart
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 554
Default A model of the platform scale 1:10

The title says it all, here's a cardboard model of the platform, scale 1:10, explanations and exact dimensions follow in the next post...

The base layer plus parts of frame:


The second layer:


The third layer plus one of the rubber plate layers:


The top layer and both rubber plate layers:

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Old 05-27-2007, 06:31 AM   #3
Rick Deckart
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Posts: 554

The material:
  • Ground layer (MDF): 8 x 1100mm x 550mm x 22mm
  • Second layer (V20 presswood):
    • 3 x 1100mm x 550mm x 22mm
    • 6 x 550mm x 550mm x 22mm
    • 2 x 1100mm x 275mm x 22mm
    • 4 x 550mm x 275mm x 22mm
  • Third layer (V20 presswood): 4 x 1000mm x 550mm x 28mm
  • Top layer (MDF): 4 x 1100mm x 500mm x 12 mm
  • Professional rubber plates:
    • 2 x 600mm x 200mm x 40mm
    • 2 x 600mm x 1000mm x 40mm
    • 2 x 400mm x 1000mm x 40mm
    • 2 x 200mm x 1000mm x 40mm
    These were cut from 3 x 1000mm x 1000mm x 40mm b-stock rubber plates, and as I wanted at least 600mm wide rubber plates some cuts were in order. I bought b-stock; fully functional but cosmetic faults, like colour shifts and the like. These will arrive next week.
  • Outer frame: 5 x 74mm x 24mm x 2000mm
    These were cut to appropriate length to build a frame around the platform, i.e. 4 x 74mm x 24mm x 2248mm with 45 degree cuts on both ends. Each of the four 2000mm beams was thus elongated with a 248mm long beam. The frame was attached with torx wood screws to the MDF base layer.
  • Approx 150 x 4mm x 35mm torx wood screws

The tools:
  • Power drill
  • Countersink
  • Tape measure
  • Water level
  • Lots of scrap wood

The procedure:
  • Baselayer:
    If the ground is level you can simply lay the base layer on the ground, but if the ground is not level, which was in my barn sadly the case, you have to address that first. Using chalk, mark the size of the platform on the ground and draw parallels (approx 500mm) in both planes. This allows to build up the ground till its completely level:

    To level the ground simply use a long straight wood beam and the water level, identify the corner of the platform place which is the highest and start from here... You see in the photo above it's the upper left corner which is the heighest. Place as much scrap wood on the marked crosspoints as necessary to get one level ground...

    Level the ground first in one plane than in the other...

    It doesn't look very trustworthy but it works, the free space inbetween is later filled with small wooden beams, so that the platform is supported over the whole surface.
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:16 AM   #4
Rick Deckart
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Posts: 554

Procedure continued...:
  • Baselayer
    Once the ground is level, simply place the wooden boards of the base layer at there respective places. Take care that there are no gaps between the boards:

    If the ground was really levelled they will lay just fine and you can already walk on top.
  • Second layer
    Now arrange the boards of the second layer on top of the ground layer:


    The most important point is now to secure the second layer on top of the baselayer which is done which lots of trox screws, drill holes of slighty less diameter than the screws, use a countersink, so that the screws can be countersink in the second layer. With a cordless screwdriver it's a job of 15--20min to connect base- and second layer.

    While not ready the platform is now almost fully operational...
  • Ground support
    Use lots and lots of scrap wood, preferably longer wooden beams to fill in the empty space between the support points below the base layer, I put around 12m of wooden beams under the ground layer. The platform is now fully operational, but loud when you drop a weight, almost like a drum.
  • Third layer
  • Top layer
  • Rubber plates
  • Outer frame
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Old 05-27-2007, 05:37 PM   #5
Allen Yeh
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Wow, really cool!
"And for crying out loud. Don't go into the pain cave. I can't stress this enough. Your Totem Animal won't be in there to help you. You'll be on your own. The Pain Cave is for cowards.
Pain is your companion, don't go hide from it."
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:59 AM   #6
Rick Deckart
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Posts: 554

Thanks Allen and sorry for the late reply, those rubber plates took a while till they arrived at my home and the included a surprise...
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Old 06-04-2007, 11:05 AM   #8
Rick Deckart
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Almost finished...
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Old 06-04-2007, 11:08 AM   #9
Dave Van Skike
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Nice. Looks to be a quality pull saw you have there with the bamboo handle.
Practical Strength
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:41 AM   #10
Rick Deckart
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Default Signs...

Finally finished:




Had to improvise a little bit as the rubber plates were considerably thinner than expected (36mm vs 40mm). Simply bought four masonite plates, which I used instead of the MDF top layer. Works like a professional platform, what a difference...
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