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My apartment has 8x10 beams running across the ceiling spaced about 64" apart. I realized recently that this would be a great place to install a 1" galvanized pipe with flanges at the end to be used for weight bearing purposes (pullups, gymnastic rings, hanging chair, etc) in one corner of our living room. In other words, there would be a 1" inch pipe spanning the 64" gap, with 4 fasteners at each end for the flanges.

1) Is there any reason this project wouldn't hold up to the activities I've described?

2) What fasteners should be used? Obviously not drywall screws, but would nails be better than wood screws given that there will predominantly be shear forces involved?

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  • J hirsch is correct that a larger diameter pipe may be better and Ack is correct on the fasteners. Cut your pipe just barely shorter than your span and you thread your flanges back to the beams for a snug fit. ( like a shower curtain rod ) It can not pull away from either beam because the other beam is stopping it.
    – Alaska Man
    Apr 12, 2020 at 17:53
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    Galvanized will leave marks on your hands - better to paint, or simply polish, at which point skipping the galvanized and starting with plain steel should be cheaper and will not rust any quicker unless your apartment is awfully wet inside...
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 13, 2020 at 1:01

2 Answers 2

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1" over 64 might deflect by over an inch or so. I'd go to bigger pipe.

https://8020.net/deflection-calculator

(I don't have a quick calculator, so here's 8020)

Also, that's drywall, so you won't be going directly into wood. You should consider placing a large piece of plywood and ensuring it screws into the wood behind the drywall (top and bottom) in several places (say, 4 on top and 4 on bottom), then bolting through the plywood using bolt/nuts or a T-nut instead of screws.

Is a pullup bar really only 1"?

Edit: Here, I was looking for this- Simpson Strong Tie Structural Connector.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Simpson-Strong-Tie-9-x-1-1-2-in-External-Hex-Flange-Hex-Head-Structural-Connector-Screw-100-Pack-SD9112R100/202071152

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  • "Also, that's drywall" You can see steel brackets up in the corners at the ends of the wood beams as noted in the question.
    – Alaska Man
    Apr 12, 2020 at 17:43
  • I see them but... not very well. Didn't think it was safe to make assumptions without declaring them all. But yeah, wondered if that was just a whitewashed beam.
    – J.Hirsch
    Apr 13, 2020 at 13:23
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Much better to go with screws for several reasons, especially that they can be adjusted tight and will stay there, while nails will only set until the head hits the surface of the metal flange and also they have low withdrawal strength. Yes, most of your force is shear but because there is not much preventing the nails from pulling out, over time the nails will tend to loosen.

I suggest using a structural lag screw with around 2" of embed into the wood after accounting for the thickness of the flange. I suggest Simpson SDS x 2-1/2". A good quality #8 or #10 screw would work too. I strongly suggest not using cheap or low strength screws such as those used for dry wall.

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  • The wood beams are painted white but you can see the grain of the wood and the steel brackets in the corners.
    – Alaska Man
    Apr 12, 2020 at 17:47
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    @AlaskaMan I've updated my answer
    – Ack
    Apr 12, 2020 at 18:01

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