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How to figure out how much weight an object can support

  1. Sep 2, 2016 #1
    Hi, I need to figure out how much weight a 5 foot steel pipe will support before becoming unsafe. I am building a series of out door pull up bars for my neighborhood as an eagle project. I need to buy the right pipe/tube that will be sturdy enough but not have too big of a diameter that you cannot do pull ups on it. The pipe is supported at each end. Here is a picture of a diagram I made.


    I was planning on using a pipe like this: http://www.homedepot.com/p/1-in-x-10-ft-Galvanized-Steel-Pipe-565-1200HC/100576427

    The pipe must be strong enough to withstand 600ish pounds. If this pipe/tube is not adequate could you direct me to one that is? --Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 2, 2016 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Congratulations in advance on your Eagle Scout achievement. :smile:

    I had the privilege of being an adviser to an Eagle Scout prospect on his project (EMS related), and I learned a lot about the process that I did not know before. Like, you are the supervisor for the project, and organize others to do the work. You also raise funds for the project, and look into things like safety issues that are involved.

    So, I have a few questions for you... Where are these pullup bars going to be installed exactly in your neighborhood? On private plots of land? On public land like in city parks? At schools? And for the locations you have in mind, what insurance agency covers those areas? You should consult with them on your plans, to get them approved by any covering insurance agency. That should be part of your planning process.

    Also, what have you found by researching the industry standard for such pullup bars? What height, width and bar materials are normally used in public pullup bars?

    Finally, are you planning on putting any shock absorbing material on the ground under the apparatus? in playgrounds there is commonly tanbark or foam rubber under each apparatus where someone could fall, but in other places like par courses, pullup bars and other apparatus are generally just placed over bare ground.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  4. Sep 2, 2016 #3
    The pullup bars are going next to a park. The park is built and maintained by the home owners association. The land is publicly access by every that is under the HOA.
    I have not found an actual standard, however most people seem to be using around 1 inch pipe, 4x6 or 6x6 pressure treated wood, and the height is usualy based on what the person needs. For this project I am planning for three different heights planned: 9ft, 7ft, and 5ft. Also I wasn't planning on placing any shock absorbing material.
  5. Sep 2, 2016 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    Good. So you need to contact the HOA (maybe through your scout council -- do any of your scout leaders live there?).
  6. Sep 3, 2016 #5
    No only I live there. Also I have already met with them a couple times. Liability and how much weight the bar can take in the middle is what they want to know before I can get their approval.
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