So I built my farmer handles a while back

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So I built my farmer handles a while back

Postby Justin_P » Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:59 pm

I didn't totally make these all on my own. I don't weld but I can work with metal and I have decent scrounging capabilities. I also don't have a lot of money to sink into buying strongman equipment so whatever I build needs to be:

1. cheap, capable of being sold for sort of what I put into it
2. versatile. I'd like be able to use it for as many things as possible
3. heavy. I don't have a ton of weight plates so I don't want to be dragging them outside...then back inside.

While working in Wisconsin, I happened to find a piece of 16" tall, 7" wide I beam that was part of an enormous gantry crane at a salvage yard north of Madison. Doing some quick research I found that a 7'6" piece of beam likely weighed around 380 lbs. I was able score it for $100. So, that was well below what used weight plates per pound would cost. Cut in half, this would yield two 190 lbs handles, empty. SOLD

I wasn't interested in leaving these simply as farmers handle though. More on that in a moment.

The beam had five hooks that needed to come off. I cut those off, cut the beam in half, and used an angle grinder with a cut blade to cut a 4" deep x 5" long notch into the I beams to mount handles into the middle of each piece of I beam. Since I don't weld, nor had the time to weld them in if I did, I turned them over to a welder who put some feet on the bottom of the beam, welded a handle in, and made me some removable weight stack that I in turn drilled holes into the top of the handles and bolted on.

What I ended up with was a 185 lbs per handle empty set with a 19" pick. A couple of things I researched that I find significant to pass on, for safety's sake are:

1. Top loaders should have at least two inch high feet attached to the bottom. this prevents the handle from crushing the foot if they are dropped (I've heard of this happening)
2. Should the handle be cut in, as I opted for, should be at least 4" deep.

When I started using these, I quickly realized there was too much metal on the insides of the handles. This caused my thighs to get caught on the handle area. So, I ended up cutting a 3/4" notch on each handle, tapering the cut at a 45 degree angle. I figured the area that need to come out by coloring the edge of the handle with a dry erase marker and walking with them. Then I cut where the marker had rubbed off, plus a bit extra.

Eventually, these handles will be the base for both attachments which will allow me to turn them into a frame (I scored another piece of I beam for free for the task) or a yoke. The latter will simply mount over the top of the handles. The former will attach to the same bolt holes that hold the weight stacks (the stacks will remount on top of the frame piece).
275 lbs for 50'
I love the end product. These are, without a doubt, the hardest farmers I've ever run in my life. Even Bigg Doggs are easy compared to these.

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Kalle Beck
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Re: So I built my farmer handles a while back

Postby Kalle Beck » Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:13 am

Thanks for the write up

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Re: So I built my farmer handles a while back

Postby Lashley » Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:32 pm

Very nice and sounds like you saved a lot of money too.

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