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How to make concrete kettlebells

DA KETTLEBELL MOLD KIT INSTRUCTIONS


Step 1: Gather materials you need to make your kettlebells (KBs)

INCLUDED:                                       

  • DA Kettlebell Mold
  • DA Kettlebell Handle

OTHER THINGS YOU NEED:

  • Silicone spray or paste wax
  • Concrete – recommend Quikcrete High Strength or Commercial Grade +5000 PSI Concrete
  • Two 5-gallon buckets (to mix in and to hold the mold)
  • Weight scale
  • Large nails (60D) for anchors
  • Drill (with a bit ≥ the diameter of your nails)
  • Tie wire or rebar
  • Water
  • Duct Tape
  • Gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE) as needed
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Towel
  • Materials to protect & personalize (3-in-1 oil, paint, plasti-dip, truck bed liner, permanent marker, etc.)

OTHER ITEMS YOU MAY WANT:

  • Angle grinder with cutoff wheels or saw (for KBs lighter than 35lbs)
  • Wood block (2.5in tall or the height you want for handle clearance)
  • Sand (to fill the handle)
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Agitator (e.g. back massager, oscillating tool)
  • Sandpaper

Step 2: Prep the mold

  • Use your isopropyl alcohol and towel to clean and dry the mold.
  • Lube both sides of the mold with paste wax or silicone spray.

Step 3: Prep your handle pipe

  • The DA Kettlebell Handle is made of raw steel and will rust with contact with liquids. To care for it, you can paint it prior to pouring the concrete with whatever color or texture you would like or sand and oil the handle once you’re ready to use it.
  • If you are making a kettlebell lighter than 35lbs (16kg), use the angle grinder or saw to cut the pipe handle as instructed in the Quick Reference Guide (see back) for the weight of the KB to keep it from protruding out of the bottom of the concrete when poured.
  • Drill through both ends of the pipe handle – twice on each side in an X pattern – with a drill bit big enough to allow your nails to fit through and anchor the pipe into the concrete securely.
  • You can fill the handle pipe with sand and tape it off to make the handle heavier, or tape it off empty to keep it lighter to help make lighter kettlebells.

Step 4: Setting the handle and mold

  • Find the distance you want the handle to be set inside the mold. The average KB handle window height is 2.5in from the top of the body of the KB to the bottom of the handle. Once you have the height marked where metal meets the plastic, duct tape the mold shut and tape the handle in place to seal the edges.
  • For extra sealant, you can apply a small amount of hot glue to where one side of the mold meets the handle. Press until the glue sets, then repeat for the other side. Once the glue has set and the mold sides fit together, use duct tape to pull the mold sides together all along the seam.
  • To keep the handle at the right height in the mold, you can use a wood block cut to the clearance of your handle and tape it inside the handle window to keep it rigid while pouring the concrete.
  • Once your tape is set, put your mold – handle down – inside a 5-gallon bucket, placed on a level surface for an evenly balanced weight.

kettlebell handle height (2.5in)

               kettlebell mold placement in bucket

Step 5: Measure the concrete

  • Weigh your pipe and anchor materials.
  • Solve for the difference. Calculate how much concrete you will need by taking the goal weight of your kettlebell and subtract the weight of the handle and anchor materials. (Reference guide on back.)
    • Total KB weight – (handle & anchor weight) = Dry mix weight [Ex: 50lbs KB = 50-3 = 47lbs of concrete needed]
  • Weigh dry concrete to total difference weight calculated.

Step 6: Mix the concrete

  • Wearing gloves and other PPE as needed, mix your concrete following the directions on the bag.
  • You can make a portion of the concrete slightly wetter for detailing in the mold and minimizing bubbles to make a smoother surface.

Step 7: Pour the concrete

  • If you made a small portion of wetter mix, rub it into the KB details, then add the drier mix into the mold.
  • Insert the wire or rebar mid-way through into the mix as you layer to make for a good bond.
  • With each layer, vibrate the mold to release the air bubbles from the face of the mold to give a smoother surface.
  • Make sure the mold is level and even in the bucket to make for a level kettlebell.

Step 8: Wait and demold

  • Wait 2-3 days to demold.
  • Remove the duct tape from the mold and lift the lipped side of the mold from the KB first. (Remember the concrete is at its weakest right now, so treat it with care while demolding.)
  • Flip and lift the second side. If you lubed the mold well it will release easily.
  • Once the kettlebell is released, wipe out your mold with isopropyl alcohol to remove excess concrete and store until your next pour.

Step 9: Continue curing & touch ups

  • Now that the KB is out, let it rest and cure for at least another week before heavy use. Concrete gets to 50-70% strength after about a week and full strength after about 28 days. (Keep this in mind if you choose to use the KB before it is fully cured.)
  • While you’re waiting, you can rub a slurry of extra concrete into any bubble holes left on the surface to create a smoother face of the KB.

Step 10: Finishing steps

  • Once the kettlebell is cured and dry, check the weight of the kettlebell with your scale. If heavy, get a flat sanding disk on your angle grinder and go to town until it reaches the desired weight.
  • Sand the edges or seams to make it more comfortable to lift.
  • Be creative and make it yours – using paint, plasti-dip, truck bed liner, etc. You can also label the weight of each kettlebell on the inset rectangle spaces provided which is inset so that whatever you use to label the weight will not rub against you and fade over time.
  • Get to work on the gains and enjoy.
  • Follow and tag us on Instagram @stix_and_stone_ with your build process, final weights and workouts. Looking forward to seeing your great work!

To Repeat: Start back at Step 1

The mold gets more cost effective with each pour. For more KB handles, visit us at www.stix-and-stone.com. While you’re there, be sure to check out our build plans and other molds for weight plates and dumbbells. We hope you enjoy making numerous kettlebells of different weights to build on your own badass gym.

*Kettlebell Quick Reference Guide*

Goal Weight

Dry Concrete

Pipe Handle

20LBS/9.1KG

18LBS/8.1KG

cut 2in off

30LBS/13.6KG

28LBS/12.7KG

cut 1in off

40LBS/18.1KG

37LBS/16.8KG

full size

50LBS/22.7KG

47LBS/21.4KG

full size

60LBS/27.2KG

57LBS/28.5KG

full size

70LBS/31.8KG

67LBS/30.4KG

full size

Kettlebell guide is based on Quikcrete 5000 PSI and DA KB handles

This chart is a general guideline to make your kettlebells. Make sure to weigh your own pipe and handle material to make the best judgement on how much dry mix to use for each kettlebell. Variables like type of concrete, amount of water and amount of anchoring will change the outcome of actual kettlebell weights and sizes.