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I live in a high-rise that utilizes metal studs. My roommate wants to hang this pull-up bar above a door frame. Is it possible, and via what options, to hang this without a high chance of ripping out drywall?

The door frame itself appears to be painted metal, guessing by the sound it makes when I hit it with my finger nails and looking inside the latch. I am not sure if there exists a wooden header on it, but my stud finder does not seem to indicate anything solid behind the top of the door, except a slugger in the middle. The door frame is flanked by two metal studs as expected.

Here's some options I've considered:

  1. Place two 2x4s behind the bar. Toggle bolt the 2x4s into the studs and drywall, then lag bolt the pull up bar to the 2x4s. This will give some distribution of the weight and give me more points to bolt onto drywall, as well as some horizontal support. Per this question, it sounds like it won't make a major difference if I toggle bolt into the drywall between studs.

    Option 1 will hold the bar up (about 33lb), and potentially the weight of my roommate (~120lb, so 155lb altogether). However, it does not seem safe for handling the torque caused by lifting one's self up on a bar that extends ~6 inches from the wall.

  2. Use the 2x4 method in option 1, but also add an exoskeleton to the sides that extends vertically down (basically, two 2x4s going a few feet in each direction vertically. Toggle bolt these 'skeletons' to the studs and mount the outside of the pull-up bar to them, and the middle to the interior 2x4s. This will distribute the torque vertically and give more mounting points.

    Option 2 is inspired by this other style of pull-up bar that I think my roommate should have bought instead. Not clear if it would work with just drywall either, though.

Is this workable with some clever mounting technique, or are we SOL?

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    What size are the metal studs? What spacing? What height? – Lee Sam Mar 27 at 6:38
  • You could just run carriage bolts all the way through the wall, use a backing board with large washers on that back side wall. They make pull up bars for doorways that do not require any bolts or fasteners. They use gravity to sandwich the the bars to the wall. – Alaska Man Mar 27 at 17:09
  • I'm not sure what the size of the metal studs are, but they're 2ft apart (plus the slug in the middle of the doorframe, so 1ft) and run floor-to-ceiling, about 12ft. – Jaxbot Mar 27 at 21:57
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My in-laws bought my son a pull-up bar last year and I found that, despite, their insistence on the box that we needed 16" studs, the fully assembled bar had holes 17" apart. With there being a major math problem there, I took to solving it by adding a 2x4 behind the top and bottom. I attached the bar with a 4" lag bolt on the top of both sides (to limit roll) and added 3" screws on the side I couldn't put their large lags into. It holds me up just fine. If you want to go the 2x4 route, I think it could work.

The bar you linked, however, has 6 lags on a track for lags (which is smarter). With 3 anchor points available for top and bottom, you shouldn't need 2x4s, unless you're worried about the top rolling and want to better anchor the 2x4s themselves (which shouldn't be necessary)

Your Option #2 won't work at all, because if it falls, it will roll off the top (the force is cantilevered so the top will come forward first), not fall straight down.

  • The major concern I have is that the studs themselves are metal, and from what I've been told, not intended to be loud bearing for much besides drywall and conduit. – Jaxbot Apr 7 at 22:31
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Mounting a pull-up bar on drywall and metal studs? : No.

Both of your suggestions are the wrong kind of bar. Assuming the door has casing trim on it, you want one of these:

enter image description here

They're also like $30, instead of the unreasonable price of $150+ for a piece of pipe attached to two mounting brackets.

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