Common Sense sometimes escapes all of us

Like many of you, I am a project guy. For some things, why buy it when one can expend inordinate amounts of time in the garage or on the patio making the same thing? Invariably, all project involves several trips to Home Depot. The end result of what I have made will probably land me on Double Secret Probation from the American Kettlebell Club. Fortunately, I was able to borrow a friend’s pressure washer to remove the remaining metallic evidence from the patio.

Everything below is for entertainment purposes only – I would not recommend trying this at home. You can fill your heavy kettlebell needs more economically from the good folks at the American Kettlebell Club any day now.

Scott Helsley was the inspiration for this project, but my temporary insanity coupled with my desire to occasionally press heavy objects did me in. You can read about Scott’s successful endeavors to make hollow kettlebells heavier at the following links:

Making a 36kg from an adjustable 16kg Before you go an purchase a bell from the supplier cited in here, do a little checking.

Making a 12kg into a 29.5kg bell

Making a 12 into a 46kg bell

Here is how a professional metal worker accomplished the same in a much cleaner manner. Once again, do what I say and not what I do – don’t try this at home.

Here is where my temporary insanity came into play. I thought the recent AKC sale on 32kgs would be a good opportunity to try this experiment to make a heavier kettlebell. They are hollow, right? Err, yeah, but they are two inches thick. To drill through high quality steel two inches thick, you need a drill in which you can control the speed, a good hole saw (or two) and some patience. Using Scott’s melted lead technique and thanks to his generous offer of the use of his hot pot, I was able to make this 32kg bell’s sister:


Into a beautiful 36kg bell that is regulation AKC gray for this size.


I can swing this weight, jerk this weight when my knee is healthy, and I can press this weight at maximum effort with good form.

I had some extra lead, and ordered some more off the internet. Here is where I totally lost my senses. I decided to see how heavy I could get a 12kg bell. My math indicated somewhere between 46 and 48lg. So, I took this 12kg bell’s sister:


And filled it with lead – a lot of lead. I got to about400 grams short of 44 kilograms before deciding to stop. I think the regulation color for the AKC bell of this size is gold. However, I decided to take a different approach which is probably going to get me put on double secret probation for contemplating such a paint job.


In retrospect, maybe I should have painted this thing black with red flames. On the subject of painting kettlebells, you can read about my methods here.

Happy lifting.


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