Make PVC Gym Rings For Crossfit

Gym rings are an essential part of a crossfitters gym. There are many different kinds of rings – from metal to wood to plastic.  They all have one thing in common – they are round, and pretty damn expensive. I set out to find and alternative and did.  Here is how you can make your own set of gym rings for less than 5 bucks.

Things you need:

  • 1 stick of 1″ PVC Conduit – gray, not for plumbing
  • Handsaw, hacksaw or some tool to cut the PVC
  • Drill and 1/2″ bit
  • Duct tape
  • Dirt – sand is preferred
  • Heat gun
  • Oven mitts or welding gloves
  • Regular Oven
  • Large Pot or Skillet
  • An Understanding Wife -very important


Turn the oven on, set to bake at 350 degrees and set the pot or skillet on the stove top.

Take your stick of 1 in. x 10 ft. PVC Conduit and cut it into pieces about 38″ long.  It has to be the gray electrical conduit, not plumbing pipe.

Next grab some duct tape and tape off one of the ends.

Head out into the backyard and steal some dirt from the kids sandbox to fill up the pipe you just cut.  Fill the pipe up completely and pack the dirt in pretty good, then tape off the opening. The dirt will keep the pipe from collapsing or kinking when we go to bending in a minute.

Chunk the dirt filled pvc in the oven for about 5 minutes. My oven was not big enough to fit the pipe in at first, so I had to put one end at a time in, then bend it to put the whole thing in. Leave it in for a minimum 5 minutes. You want the the pipe to be completely flexible to keep the pipe from getting flat, but you aren’t trying to make it molten. Once it gets warm it will be like a noodle.

Make sure that you have your mitts or gloves on for this part. Pipe will be extremely hot and stay that way for a quite some time after you take it out.

Using gloves, take out the noodle and slowly form it into a circle in your pot.  Let the ends of the pipe overlap, and make the whole length into a circle.  I messed up on my first set and tried to cut the pipe to the circumference I wanted and then shape it.  You cannot close the circle completely doing it this way.  You have to let them overlap and cut them after it cools.

Keep holding the pipe in the circle shape until it cools.  Dirt is a decent insulator and will retain the heat in the pipe for several minutes.  Do not squish down where they overlap.  You may flatten the ends a little, but the point in the middle where they overlap will be full and round.

Once the pipe cools, take off the tape and knock the dirt out of it. Now, take your saw and cut straight down where the ends will line up. Next, take your heat gun and heat up a small portion of the ring on the far side away from the cut. Do not heat near the ends or you will have a hard time getting them to line back up. Once the pipe softens up, bend the ends to meet and hold it until it cools again.

After your rings are in the right shape, you need to cut out where your rope is going to go through the rings now. Its hard to drill, since these two sides are separated. With the rings pulled apart, I used a sharp bit, and started the drill. Then, I wobbled it around to finish making the hole.

Lastly, Take a rope and tie a small loop in one end. Feed the rope through the rings and pass the rope through the loop you tied in it. Tuck the loop inside the rings and tie another loop to hang them up.  The rope going through the rings and looping on itself, will ensure that they will never be able to pull apart at the joint as long as there is any weight pulling down on them.  I used cheap tie-downs from Harbor Freight to hang them so I could adjust the height quickly.

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