How to make concrete weight plates
DA Plate Mold Kit Instructions
Step 1: Gather materials you need to make your plates
Included in the DA Plate Mold Kits:
- DA Plate Mold
- Metal sleeve – 2” rigid steel conduit pipe (two 3” long sleeves are included in starter kits)
- Chopped fiberglass reinforcement – to create fiber reinforced concrete (1 oz bag included in starter kits)
Other items you will need:
- Spray silicone lubricant OR paste wax
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks OR 100% silicone caulk
- A way to mix your concrete (e.g. electric mixer, mixing tub and shovel or mixing bag)
- 50-80lb concrete mix – recommend Quikcrete High Strength or Commercial Grade +5000 PSI Concrete
- 5-gallon bucket
- Food or bodyweight scale
- Plastic trash bag
- Spring clamps
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Angle grinder with cutoff wheels and sanding discs
Other items you may want:
- Agitator (e.g. random orbit sander, reciprocating saw, back massager, etc.)
- Oil-based paint AND/OR foam numbers
- ½ inch rebar bent into a circle (not necessary with fiberglass reinforcement but also doesn’t hurt)
- Scrap steel (to make the weight heavier without making them as bulky)
- Other materials to personalize your plates – paint, water sealant, flex seal, plasti-dip, etc.
Step 2: Prep the mold
- Use your towel to wipe out your mold, making it clean and clear of debris.
- Place mold on a level surface for an evenly balanced plate.
- Use hot glue or silicone caulk on the inside of the end of one metal sleeve. Slide it onto the center nipple of the mold and twist to create a seal and keep the concrete from leaking into the collar area.
- Apply your lubricant (spray lube or paste wax) lightly across the entire inside surface of the plastic mold. You want full coverage but don’t let it pool in any one area.
Step 3: Mix the concrete and weigh
- Put on your gloves and mix concrete, following the directions of concrete you have purchased.
- While mixing add ½ a bag (.5 oz) of Fiberglass Reinforcement fiber into each 50lbs of concrete evenly to help strengthen the mix.
- Portion your wet concrete into your bucket and weigh on your scale to the desired weight of your plate. Be sure to account for the bucket weight and overshoot by about one pound, to account for water loss once cured. If you are using steel, factor in its weight as well.
- Remove a small portion of the concrete from the bucket, adding a little more water to get a slightly wetter mix for detailing the face of the mold and minimizing bubbles to make a smoother surface.
Step 4: Pour concrete
- Take the small portion of wetter mix and rub it into the details of the plate face, then add the drier mix into the mold, a few handfuls at a time, layering until you reach the desired weight you want for the plate. With each layer, twist the mold to release bubbles within the concrete.
- If you are using steel, make sure to place steel in a circle mid-layering to keep the plate balanced.
- If you choose to use rebar in addition to or in lieu of fiberglass reinforcement, take its weight into account on the total plate weight and center the rebar halfway during the pour for a balanced plate.
- There will be water loss during the curing process, so make sure to add a pound or two more than the final weight so you can sand it down to the final weight.
Step 5: Get rid of additional bubbles and voids
- To create a smoother surface across the rim of the plate, tap the sidewall with your hands and lightly shake the mold to bring more bubbles to the surface.
- If you have it, use an agitator to further reduce bubbles and voids in the mix. Lightly place agitator against the outside wall and top edge of the mold, vibrating the mold bring bubbles to the surface.
- Stop when the bubbles slow. (Be sure not to be too violent with this step, as it can break the seal between the sleeve and the mold center which could leak concrete into the collar area.)
Step 6: Smooth the back face
- With your hand, wipe a flat surface across the concrete to smooth the back of the plate.
Step 7: Cover and clip
- Cover mold with a plastic trash bag and clip it down with spring clamps. This slows the curing process, which strengthens the concrete.
Step 8: Be patient
- Concrete takes 24-48 hours to set. For optimal results, de-mold after this time. If it’s a deep pour, you may wait 72 hours until trying to de-mold. If you think you waited long enough, wait a bit more.
Step 9: Demold and continue curing
- Once your concrete is set and it’s time to de-mold, tap on the side of the mold to make an air gap.
- Lay down a folded towel to cushion the metal sleeve as it drops and flip the mold over on to it. (Use a friend in this process if necessary.)
- Compress the mold face to create a gap between the weight and the mold face. The seal of hot glue or caulk may be tougher to break off than the rest of the mold.
- Remember at this stage the concrete is solid but not strong. Set the plate face up in the sun and let it continue to cure. The metal sleeve is a bit longer than the concrete thickness so it will sit on the ground and air can pass under and over the plate to help with drying and curing time. 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 these plates before they are fully cured.)
Step 10: Final things to do
- Wipe out your mold to remove excess concrete and store until your next pour. (Isopropyl alcohol works well.)
- Flip your plate over and use an angle grinder and cutoff wheel to remove the excess metal sleeve.
- Check the weight of the plate with your scale. If heavy, get a flat sanding disk on your angle grinder and go to town until it reaches the desired weight. While doing this, round over the back edge of the plate.
- Make them yours – using paint, water sealant, graffiti, flex seal, plasti-dip, etc. – whatever you feel like doing.
- After you throw your own twist on your new plates, weigh them again and stencil in the pounds (LBS) and/or kilograms (KGS) with an oil-based paint (or other outdoor paint).
- Get to work on the gains and enjoy.
- Tag us on Instagram @stix_and_stone_ with your build process, final weights and workouts. I look forward to seeing your great work!
To Repeat: Start back at Step 1
The mold gets more cost effective with each pour. If you need more sleeves and fibers, check out our Refill Kits. I hope you enjoy making numerous plates of different weights to build on your own badass gym.