Dirty DIY with Drew Episode: 4 – DIY Spreader Bar

January 31, 2013 in Inmate: Thatdrewlion

Hello internet, drew here with another episode of DirtyDrew’s DIY:

Today’s topic is how to make an easy spreader bar at home, this is a easy and cheap ($10) project that will only take an hour of actual work and some time while you let the paint dry. 

There are alot of ways to customize this project from styles/types of hardware to the materials involved. While making this project I was actually thinking of making another using acrylic and lighting it up using some LEDs for a cool neon glowing-bar effect. 


The completed spreader bar

This is the final spreader-bar that I made, lets see your projects!



  • 2 Screw-Eyes ( I used 3/8″ by 4.5″ Lag-Thread Screw Eyes but you can use smaller ones if you don’t have access to power drills)
  • 2 Eye-Bolts (I used 2 3-7/8″ with 3/8″ Nuts – you will only need these if you plan to add wrist attachments in the center)
  • 1 Hardwood dowel rod
  • (Optional)Sandpaper/tack-cloth and spray-paint for finishing – or any other finishing materials you may want, like stains or varnishes


  • A drill with associated bits for making pilot holes – you may need 2 bits (one very small the other only slightly smaller then your hardware) to do stepped pilot holes as explained in the video
  • Saw for cutting the dowel rod to length – and hacksaw if you wanted to trim any excess bolt
  • Large screwdriver or heavy rod for assisting in installing hardware
  • (Optional) clamp or vice to assist holding the rod while you saw/drill – or a really faithful sub will do ;) 


  1. Measure your stance and mark your dowel rod to your desired length — Don’t forget to include the additional size your screw-eyes will add to the finished piece
  2. Cut your dowel rod to length using the saw
  3. Use a straight edge/table edge/tape measure to draw a straight line down the length of your wooden dowel rod, and then draw 2 X’s on either end. 
  4. Measure out where you would like your wrist attachment points to be and mark them on your rod. 
  5. Start drilling your pilot holes, paying special attention to keep them as level and consistent as possible — if your using large hardware like I am in the video, you may need to start with a very small bit rather then going right for the large one, this will help keep your holes more in line with what you want. The bigger the bits, the harder they can be to handle  ;) 
  6. Sand your wood down till the wood is smooth and soft, then use the tack-cloth to prep the surface for painting. 
  7. Spray paint your wood carefully and let it dry going back to step 6 as many times as you’d like to get a good finish —  I finished up at 4 coats, but depending on what your wanting to do it may take more
  8. Install the hardware, being careful to limit the nicks and scratches to the finish, use the screwdriver, breaker-bar or rod  through the eye of the hardware to gain more leverage if your having difficulty. This can be a difficult process and again you may need to use the vice or an extra pair of hands to really install if your using larger hardware.
  9. Touch up any nicks in your finish and then go tie somebody up with it! 

And there you have it folks! Your own spreader bar that didn’t cost cost the $30-$100 I’ve seen them go for before and I can tell you that mine feels sturdy enough that I know I wouldn’t be able to get out of it anytime soon! So who’s going to volunteer to help me test it? 

As always, let me know if you have any questions or comments! I’m always looking at new potential projects!


Comments are closed.