Building Pro Style Dumbbells
Building Pro Style Dumbbells
Often we are asked about building pro style dumbbells, so we wanted to take a moment to go over the breakdown of a pro style dumbbell and what were some choices.
When building a set of Pro Style Dumbbells, you need to first choose what size handle grip you want. The sizes available on the market are 28mm (1”), 30mm (1 1/16”), 32mm (1 1/8”), 35mm, & 38mm (1.5” thick grip). I wrote in 35mm and Ivanko used to make them, but I am not sure anyone makes them anymore.
Next, the finish; SDH Dumbbell handles come in 5 different finishes. You can build a chrome finished SDH Dumbbell handle, black powder coated SDH Dumbbell handle, hard chrome SDH Dumbbell handle, stainless steel SDH Dumbbell handle, or I have even seen chrome with a urethane coating where you grip. Personally, I am partially to stainless steel. The knurling does not get washed out because it is not getting powder coated, chromed, or receive any other coating. Second, because the dumbbell handle is not coated, it will not chip, flake, or the finish will not where off. Third, the obvious reason, chrome, hard chrome, black oxide; these will all rust after a while, whereas stainless steel will not.
Next we move on to the plates. Typically people will make there pro style dumbbells with either steel, rubber coated, or urethane coated standard 1” hole weight plates. Remember, that is you are using anything other than steel, you have to account for the extra space the rubber or urethane will take up, so you want to be sure to measure the thickness of your plates or handle or get dimensions from a manufacture before you purchase something you do not need. Most SDH Dumbbell handles were made to be used with a plate that is ¾” thick. You also want to be sure you are using a pancake style weight plate. This means that it is flat on both sides; without a ridge around the rim of the plate, making the plate too thick.
Last, do you want to use the thick washer at the end of the handle to secure the weights, or give it a nice clean finish with a rubber or chrome end-cap? If you are using the end cap, keep in mind that they weight 1.25 lbs. each. They are however a great way to get your dumbbells to be as accurate as possible.
Last and probably most important, use blue Loctite on the bolt you are using to secure the end of the dumbbell. You do not want your dumbbells to come apart while you are lifting as well as always tightening your dumbbell s is a pain. This is not to say if you do use Loctite you will never have to tighten them, but Loctite helps tremendously to keep them secure and tight.
So for the purposes of this article we are going to build our dumbbells with the 38mm grip, stainless steel dumbbell handles from CFF FIT. We will be using rubber end caps; they weigh 1.25 lbs. each, instead of the washers. The weights we will be using will be steel powder coated plates. At the end of assembling them, I will use a rhino liner spray to coat the dumbbells, protecting the steel weight plates from sweat, which will oxidize your weights.
|CFF FIT Pro Style Dumbbell Build Chart w/CFF FIT Stainless Steel 38mm Grip Handles (1.5″ thick Grip)|
|Dumbbell Size||Size Handle||Weight Per Handle||Weight of (2) End Caps||Weight Needed to complete Dumbbell||Qty of Each Plate Needed to complete dumbbells|
Remember, don’t forget too use Loctite to assure your bolts remain tight as can be.