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Cheap Fractional Plates: Mcmaster-Carr Washers


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#1 Kilim

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 12:59 AM

Going to show below how to get a cheap version by using steel washers which is what I use.

Where to get them: McMaster-Carr (http://www.mcmaster.com/#91081a046)
Product #: 91081A046
Amount to buy: 6
Cost: $11.10 Total + Shipping ($1.85/ea)

That is a FRACTION (pun intended) of the price if you buy the commercial type of Fractional Plates! They also fit perfectly on 2″ Olympic Barbells!

Below is what the washers look like:
Posted Image
McMaster-Carr Washer Dimensions

Fact: McMaster-Carr Washers DO NOT come in uniform thickness (as shown above) so their weight can vary slightly.

The 6 washers I bought have the following weights

  • 0.60 lbs
  • 0.616 lbs x 2
  • 0.622 lbs x 2
  • 0.642 lbs
I just consider them all as 0.625 lbs each either way. The weight not being EXACTLY 0.625 lbs each is not a HUGE problem. I don’t think your body will notice the +0.017/-0.025 lbs difference.


Here’s how the poundages work out:

1 washer PER SIDE= 1.25 total pounds

2 washers PER SIDE= 2.5 total pounds

3 washers PER SIDE= 3.75 total pounds

4 washers PER SIDE= 5 pounds


That is why you only need 6 washers total.


Originally posted at: http://mannixcastro....r-microloading/




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#2 Kilim

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 12:59 AM

Posted Image

My 6 washers + chain to carry them with.



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#3 Michael

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 04:05 AM

Nice work Mannix, very informative post!

Another option is the ankle/wrist weights that you can find in the "suburban housewife powerwalking" section of many department stores, though they're only good for weights of 2lbs and up and may be in fruity colours.
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#4 Art

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 08:26 AM

Look like the washers I bought at my local bearing shop, but mine are pretty well all .726 pound, so I call em .75
Those ankle weights they sell at dept. stores , some come with removable weights, so they can be lightened, but only on 10+ pound sets (2.5+ pounds per weight) Mine are from wall mart, I've got a 10lb set, and a 20lb set
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#5 Neptune

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 02:57 AM

Ordered. Thanks Kilim.

Where's the shipping charge? Are they going to ask for it at the door or will it just charge the credit card?
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#6 Subdeacon

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 03:46 AM

My ankle weights have removable 1 lb lead slugs. Empty and with a cheap Olympic clip attached, they weigh 1/4 lb each. Add one weight on each side and clip on the ends of the bar, and you advance by 2.5 lb increments. Might get some of those washers if I have to move up in smaller steps.
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#7 Guru

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 05:07 AM

Nice work Mannix.
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#8 Neptune

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 06:31 AM

I've received an email:

Due to the complexity of U.S. Export regulations, McMaster-Carr only accepts orders from our established customers in Canada. We’re sorry we can’t help you.

The hell? Why is it so damn hard to get fractional plates here. I can't even get fake microplates.
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#9 Guru

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 07:04 AM

I've received an email:

Due to the complexity of U.S. Export regulations, McMaster-Carr only accepts orders from our established customers in Canada. We’re sorry we can’t help you.

The hell? Why is it so damn hard to get fractional plates here. I can't even get fake microplates.

If you want only 1.25 kg plates, you can do what I did - Get hold of 2" pipe flanges - British standard, Table "E". They weigh around 1.2 kg each.
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#10 Boola

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 08:36 AM

That's very nice, i believe microloading can be very beneficial for your lifts. It's just that the mind is stupid and want to add 5 or 10 pounds all the time even if it's too heavy lol.
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#11 Kilim

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 12:53 PM

I've received an email:

Due to the complexity of U.S. Export regulations, McMaster-Carr only accepts orders from our established customers in Canada. We’re sorry we can’t help you.

The hell? Why is it so damn hard to get fractional plates here. I can't even get fake microplates.

I am sorry, I am in NY so only know of US Stores.
Just use the dimensions supplied above and find a hardware store in your state/country of residence that sells steel washers with those dimensions.
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#12 Culican

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 02:18 AM

Went into a used sporting goods store ("Play it Again Sports"), found two 1.25lb plates for $0.63 US each. The gym I go to has 2.5lb plates so this was all I needed.
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#13 Subdeacon

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 08:59 PM

Went into a used sporting goods store ("Play it Again Sports"), found two 1.25lb plates for $0.63 US each. The gym I go to has 2.5lb plates so this was all I needed.


Play It Again in my area also sometimes has good chalk for cheap.
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#14 MarcioTheGreat

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 02:06 AM

thanks for posting! I really need to get some as my overhead press is reaching a point where I don't think I will be able to continue 5 lb increases
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#15 JohnR

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 05:46 AM

I don't mind spending a bit of money on things that are probably going to last longer than I will, so I got a couple of 0.5kg plates at the same time that I was ordering some other stuff from Pullum Sports in the UK. Excellent service! A friend here in NZ ordered some lifting shoes a couple of Thursdays back and they arrived on his doorstep the following Tuesday! Shipping rates are fair and a nice touch is that they credit overseas purchasers with the VAT. Most leave it up to the customer to claim back.
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#16 MarcioTheGreat

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 05:41 AM

thanks again OP, got these in the mail today, $16 total for 6!
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#17 Subdeacon

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 02:16 PM

Another option (slightly more expensive) is 2" washers from Fastenal, each weighing 5/8 lb. They're $3.64 USD each, but Fastenal has stores all over North America plus (according to their website) Hungary, the Netherlands, the U.K., China, Singapore, and Malaysia. (Thanks to adamwathan for the link.)
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#18 davidyochim

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 11:58 AM

An alternative to the washers would be to go to your local hardware store and buy a couple of pounds of nuts. You can run an elastic band through them to create the weight you desire. And when ready to for use, just simply slide them onto your bar.
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#19 Steve

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 02:37 PM

Thanks Kilim and others who posted above

 

Yesterday on the way to the gym,  I picked up four washers at Fastenal http://www.fastenal....sPunchout=false for $14.

 

IMAG0125.jpg
 
The guy there asked me what I needed them for...if they were for the "washer game".  I told him it was for weightlifting in getting 1.25lb increments for overhead pressing because my gyms smallest plates were 2.5lb.  I told them I read online if you used two of their washers, it is 1.25lbs.  The other guy said he had to check that out and he weighed a pair and said, "SOB...it is 1.26 lbs."  I said close enough to 1.25 for me.  The guy game me some decals to put on them to "advertise" at the gym.  haha

 


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#20 Whiteboii

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 02:01 PM

Damn, that's genius..


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