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I want to install a 100 lbs heavy bag in my finished garage. I don't want to cut into my ceiling and also my daughter's room is directly above the garage so I'd rather not disturb her.

I was wondering if I could put a 4x4 between the two walls (which are just over 10 feet apart), supported on each side by 2x4s screwed into two studs. Then I could hang the bag from this 4x4 with an eye bolt.

Is this workable??

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  • Have you considered getting a pre-made heavy bag stand? No drilling and complete isolation from any structure under your daughters room—even anchoring to the walls will likely transmit some noise. – statueuphemism Nov 18 '20 at 14:32
  • Yes, I used to have a stand. It tends to move too, and doesn't let you move around the bag much to practice foot work. I do like the idea of the Century Cornerman: centurymartialarts.com/cornerman-15164k, but from the demos I've seen on youtube, it tends to move quite a bit. – M0_81 Nov 18 '20 at 22:20
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100 lbs. jostling about creates quite a bit of force. I'd consider a 4x4 adequate up to about 8 feet of span. After that it's going to quickly become a rubber bad. Or worse, it could fracture and come down (hard).

For spans of 8-12 feet, I'd put a 2x10 oriented vertically in a pair of joist hangers, and I'd put another flat on top of it, screwed every foot or so. This creates a rigid T configuration that should be stiff enough. On the wall, span a section of 2x10 across several studs to create a robust surface on which to mount each joist hanger.

For spans longer than that you'd need something even heavier, such as four 2x10s in a double I beam configuration ( like II, which would maybe be good up to 16 feet). Instead, consider spanning a shorter distance between two adjacent walls using 45 degree joist hangers.

  • Just one vertical 2x10 for your "standard" configuration (as opposed to the four in the heavy duty config)? – FreeMan Nov 17 '20 at 17:21
  • One vertical for under 12 feet, two for the longer span. – isherwood Nov 17 '20 at 17:22
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Instead of all that wood, just bolt the 2x4's on each side and measure the exact distance then have a plumbing supply place cut you a 2" iron pipe and thread each end, screw on some flanges, then drill a hole through it for your eye bolt.

  • You sure a 2" iron pipe would take all the weight and movement? I don't know, I'm just asking. – FreeMan Nov 17 '20 at 17:22
  • It would, but it would flex. A larger pipe would flex less. I would be more concerned with the anchoring points letting go than the pipe. – Ted Mittelstaedt Nov 18 '20 at 14:23
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I think your plan is basically sound but I'd beef it up a bit.

Number one, I'd definitely use a spring when you hang your heavy bag, that's going to take a lot of the shock off the support.

heavy bag spring

Unlike a floor joist, where you want a big enough joist that it's stiff, with a heavy bag, some flex is a good thing. The more the timber flexes, the less the shock on your walls. I am concerned that the strain will mess up your walls - and it could mess up the drywall on the other side of the walls.

Your idea to use 2x4 ledgers is probably undersized, too hard to get a solid attachment to the 4x4 beam and to the studs. I'd use a 2x6 or 2x8 lag screwed into the studs. Try to hit three studs with a ledger 36" long.

My first choice to hang the beam would be to rest the beam in 3.5" x 3.5" notches cut in the top of the ledgers. My second choice would be a hanger type bracket like the Simpson U44:

Simpson U44

If you want to be extra protection for your walls, I'd put 3/4" plywood under the ledger, all the way to the floor, screwed into the studs all the way down. That will stiffen the wall so the drywall doesn't get messed up on either side of the wall.

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