How to Level a Sloped Platform

Here’s the basic instructions from our video on Alan Thrall’s YouTube channel. We decided on this method because it’s inexpensive, requires only a few simple tools, and doesn’t need master craftsmanship to construct. Anyone can easily adjust this design to their specific needs whether it’s for a professional facility or a home gym.



Weightlifting/Powerlifting Platform (8×8 ft)

Supplies

  • 2 (3/4-inch) particle board 8x4ft
  • Sheets of approximately ¼-inch plywood (actual number will depend on the slope of floor)
  • Liquid nails, likely between 4-6 large tubes
  • Wood screws — you’ll need some of different lengths depending on the number of layers of plywood under the particle board
  • Depending on what type of platform being built there will be another layer. Possible options include:
  1. One 8x4ft piece of hardwood (e.g., oak or redwood) and some rubber
  2. For heavy duty workout platform another layer of 8x4ft (X in) particle board can be added perpendicular to the other pieces of particle board
  3. For a competition platform, a thin layer of carpet or rubber are good options on top

Tools

  • Circular saw
  • Power drill
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Utility knife (optional if using carpet or rubber)

Steps

  1. Determine the slope of the floor to determine how many layers of plywood will be needed to level the platform.  Take one of the particle boards (or another 8 ft long board) and lay it along the floor where the platform will be placed.  Put the level on the board and lift the end of the board at the low end of the floor until the board is level. Measure from the bottom of that board to the floor.  The example in the video was 1.5 inches.
  2. Divide the needed measure from step 1 by ¼ to determine how many sheets of plywood will be needed at the low end of the floor. In our example it is 1.5 inches divided by ¼ inch leading to 6.
  3. Figure out the lengths of the ¼ inch pieces of plywood by dividing 96 inches (the length of the 8 foot board) by the number of sheets needed.  Note that you will use the number found in step 2, then add 1 to that number since the first section of the particle board on the high end of the floor will be directly on the floor.  So in our example we’ll divide by 7, and each board will be 13.7 inches shorter than the one before it. Note that these boards do not have to be exact and many times you will find that the shortest one and the longest one can be made from the same piece of plywood.  Then the second shortest and second longest can be made from the second piece of plywood. You will be making two layers of 8x4ft plywood stacks for the entire 8x8ft platform. 
  4. Cut the boards into the lengths needed:
    1. 13.7
    2. 27.4
    3. 41.1
    4. 54.8
    5. 68.5
    6. 82.2
  5. Glue the plywood together using liquid nails creating two wedges of plywood to go under the particle board. To make sure the liquid nails had completely dried before adding the next layer of the platform, we set weights on top of the wedges and let them sit overnight.
  6. Attach the particle board to the wedges using wood screws. Start with the perimeter of the platform. We recommend setting some screws along the seams of the wedges to help prevent them from separating.
  7. Optional: attach another layer on top of the particle board depending on what the platform is being used for (see supplies above for ideas). Most of our platforms are topped with oak hardwood in the center with rubber along the sides. This makes for a professional looking platform, but high-end hardwood and rubber aren’t cheap. Also keep in mind that every additional layer makes the platform substantially heavier thus harder to move.
  8. Start lifting!

Got a question about the design? Anything you’d do differently? Let us know in the comments below!

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