really sorry for a posting a noob question (I did try to specifically see if this was answered somewhere else and couldn't see it).

Anyway, I'm doing a simple home DIY project to build a squat rack in my garage gym. It will be mostly made from 2x4 except the main uprights taking the weight will be 4x4. I've seen a design that I like elsewhere (but they used ONLY 2x4).

My problem is, I'm not sure how to join two specific pieces of the 2x4 to the 4x4. I've included a really basic drawing (again sorry for how basic this is) which shows the set up as if you're looking from the side. The Black lines are 4x4 timber posts and the red and blue are 2x4. I'm trying to figure out how to join the top and bottom red 2x4 pieces to the 4x4 upright and the (blue) 2x4 that will be fixed to the wall. I don't want to (more like can't) screw into the end grain of the 2x4 (to be honest don't have screws long enough to get through the 4x4 first!) and I don't own a pocket hole jig.

FYI, there will also be two 2x4s placed side on (like the one in the middle) at the top and bottom of the frame for extra stability, but I need the inside bits to attach the angled braces to.

Any ideas? One thought is to not do the inside pieces at top and bottom, do away with the top angled brace and screw the bottom angled brace directly into the concrete garage floor.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Hiya, welcome to Woodworking. I'll be frank here, if you're building a squat rack and you're asking this sort of question I don't think you're ready to be building a squat rack. I don't know how much you lift, but with any significant weight you could be putting yourself at great risk if you don't build this right...... and by that I mean overbuilding the hell out of it ;-)
    – Graphus
    Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 1:33
  • The diagonal 4x4s may not be needed. It would be helpful if you provided a more detailed sketch including a front elevation, some dimensions and information on how you will maintain the spacing at the vertical 4x4s away from the wall to avoid them shifting to the sides and away/towards each other. I am also concerned about how you are supporting the weight on the 4x4.. I agree with Graphus. If you are new to woodworking you may need assistance to properly design this. I suggest that you search online for images/ plans of what others have done to better define your own setup.
    – Ashlar
    Commented Jan 7, 2021 at 19:52

1 Answer 1


can I ask why the choice of wood? Is the reason for the 4x4's and the 2x4's because that is what you have on hand or you like the look of the 4x4's in the front, or is it something entirely different? The reason I am asking is there are many ways you could do this. First if you've never built a squat rack, then your ready to build one, don't let any one discourage you on this.

Most of what your trying to do only requires a hand saw and a combination or speed square tape measure and a pencil. You need good joint construction for this type of project, and one of the most effective and simple joint types in basic carpentry you can make is a full and half lap joint. There are many other stronger joints designed for load bearing but for what you are trying to do these should work well.

enter image description here

If you can use 2-2x4's in place of the 4x4 then you can nail them together one shorter in length gives you essentially a pre-made half lap joint. screw them, best would be to through bolt them with Carriage bolts nuts and washers.

Many people have forgotten how easy and quick it can be to cut lumber with a hand saw you can almost find them for practically no cost at a local goodwill thrift store. Another great tool is a wood chisel. You can make one cut and hit your end grain with the chisel and you have your half lap having a chisel cuts down on the amount of saw cuts required . enter image description here Take a look at window construction in carpentry both the Header and the sill are reinforced with an additional 2x4 the result is a half lap!

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When you go through the process you'll be proud of your accomplishment. If you get stumped just reach out on this site, I'm sure there is someone who will want to help. It sounds like a fun project, Have Fun and share a completed photo if you can!

  • Thanks for this answer, really appreciate it. That is some really good tips and advice. I went ahead with the build yesterday and today. Slightly different approach to what you suggested, but for stability and sturdiness I used a lot of heavy duty brackets to anchor into concrete floor and brick wall as well as angle bracketed for the joins that I was asking about. Reason I went with 4x4 was less aesthetic and more that I felt it would have better strength when holding the weights (the supports for the bar are 3/4” steel pipes mounted through 28mm holes in the 4x4)
    – SteveMalyj
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 22:31
  • I’m really glad it worked out! Commented Jan 11, 2021 at 17:45

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