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DIY Standing Frame

by eliot on November 12th, 2010

Here’s my Mom in a standing frame I built for her:

Mom in Custom Standing Frame

I made it using:

  • Gold’s Gym Standard Gym Bench I got from Walmart for $77
  • A 2 ton bottle jack that my Dad had from a an old vehicle which is nearly identical to this one on Amazon
  • Some miscellaneous steel scrap: angle lengths (from a bed frame), some thin gauge tubing for the adapted jacking handle and some 3/16″ plate

Altogether my cost was the $77 (+tax!) for the bench but if you need to buy the jack as well as some of the additional steel, it would still only cost $110 or so. Of course not including the labor ;-) I spent probably 15 hours on it. But a lot of that was figuring things out and trying things out (and then finding out I needed to do something else!). I think I could probably do it again in a day. But that of course doesn’t include any finishing work. My Mom refers to the one in the photos as “industrial style”.

I needed to cut, grind, and weld some of the steel pieces from the gym bench to make the standing frame components.

Here are some more pictures of it:

From → Projects

  1. Bucky Webb permalink

    How do you have the bottle jack attached to the bench?

  2. eliot permalink

    I got back to Bucky via Facebook but in case everyone else had the same questions, here’s first both questions:

    “How is the jack attached to the seat/bench? Did you have any issues with the arm of the jack being too short to raise the seat up into the standing position?”

    And here is my reply:

    So to connect the top of the jack cylinder to the seat I first welded some tube (recycled from the bench set I believe) to the top. You can see it in this photo:

    Next I welded the same diameter tube to the square tube that frames the bottom of the seat which you can see here:

    Here’s another photo of that w/ the frame piece off of the bottom of the seat:

    And then to join the two with a linkage, I took some angle stock and welded two tube pieces of a smaller diameter to each end and it looks like this:

    And then that piece links to the tube on the top of the jack and the tube on the bottom of the seat like this:
    (note though w/ that photo that I haven’t attched the jack to some plate and the stander which I found necessary)

    Here’s a shot looking down at the linkage w/ the jack extended:

    So yea I definitely had a similar challenge w/ the length of the jack and rigging it to the seat. At first I started with a much taller jack but it becomes more cumbersome w/ positioning it. So that’s why I ended up going the write of using a shorter jack (I forget the travel length I used) and then using the linkage to connect it to the seat. And also positioning the seat connection close to the pivot point makes it so you don’t need as much travel. The one downside about that is that the linkage and seat are stressed more having the force so close to the pivot point which I’m confident isn’t a safety concern but there is sort of a bending feel experiened when you first start jacking from a seated position.

    You can actually see more photos I took of the build if you’re interested here:

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