Steel Tube DIY: Parkour Gym Equipment
Written By: ayam
September 29, 2017
How do I make my parkour structure sturdy?
- Choose the correct steel tubes: larger diameter for the base and corners; smaller for better grip and movement; everything must have thick interior walls.
- Use triangle structures on the corner to improve stability and strength.
- Mount the structure to the wall and/or ground to improve stability and strength.
- Connect the steel tubes with socket tees or other connectors.
If you plan to build your own parkour gym/urban training ground and you live in the Philippines, then steel tubes will be the easiest key component to get your hands on. Get yourself a whole bunch of steel tubes and some tools and you’ll be able to create parkour obstacles to practice on.
Keep in mind that these need to be incredibly sturdy and able to take a lot of abuse since they will be supporting the weight of multiple fully grown adults; not to mention the momentum from all the running and jumping. In this article, you will learn how to make your DIY parkour gym equipment sturdy.
Choose the Correct Steel Tubes
When it comes to choosing pipes, primary points to consider are the diameter and the thickness of the interior wall. Larger and thicker tubes are more stable BUT can be more difficult to grip. The tubes with smaller diameters are better for movement and grip. Combining various sizes is the key to achieving a perfect structure.
The tubes with larger diameters must be used for support and foundation, such as in the base and corners. These parts will barely be used for contact so they don’t really need to be the perfect size for gripping. These will provide the smaller tubes with support. Generally, size 6-7 tubing is good for gripping while size 8 is good for support.
As for the interior walls, thicker is better. It is recommended by many parkour gyms to use a “Schedule 80” thickness in any parkour structure. Using something like the Single Socket Tee will allow you to join two different sizes of tubing together.
Adding triangles – made from steel tubes as well – to the corners and base of your structure will definitely make it much stronger and more stable. You can easily add these by using angled socket tees such as this one.
Use Wall Mounts and Ground Mounts
Finally, anchoring your structure to the ground or a nearby wall will make your structure capable of standing on its own. It also won’t move when someone runs then jumps onto it. Flanges can be used to securely fasten your structure to a wall or floor.
Connecting the Steel Tubes
You can have as many steel tubes in the Philippines as you want, but they won’t do you any good if you’re unable to securely attach them to each other. Yes, there is the socket tee, but there are other options as well that you may want to consider. These are the following:
- Threaded Pipe fittings: These are the the usual fittings you would find in plumbing. While they do provide snug fits, there are not so flexible.
- Scaffolding Clamps: These are easier to use and are flexible. The downside is these usually have big bolt sticking out which makes it dangerous to add to a parkour structure. But covering these with tennis balls can solve this problem.
- Kee Klamp fittings: These use set screws in order to tighten and loosen and come in 80 different types to fit any kind of structure. However, these can be expensive.
Parkour structures must be strong in order to avoid injury. Follow these guidelines and gather all the steel tubes in the Philippines you can get your hands on (legally!) to create your own practice space or even your own parkour gym! In fact, why not DIY other gym equipment as well?