Restoration of a 45 degree Leg Press and a Leg Curl Leg Extension Machine

So I ran that fast 5k yesterday.

I ran a 10k trail run a couple of weeks before that.

I’m still watching what I eat.

But I need to improve my leg strength.

I need that lower body work to get the extra kick I need to get my 5k down to 27:00 by year’s end.

And yes, I need to get my BMI down to normal, but I’m close.

Original Botendaddy Central Park Photo

A good leg routine for me is:

  1. Squats
  2. Deadlifts of some sort
  3. Calf Raises
  4. Leg Press
  5. Leg Extension
  6. Leg Curls

I sold my old leg press and leg extension about three months ago.

My home gym was lonely and melancholy.

I found an ad on an {unnamed site} where a guy was selling a rusted-out old leg press/leg extension machine and an old-school, rusty 45 degree leg press.

Costs and supplies are as below, you could obviously do it cheaper, but whatever.

Purchase price for both: $180.00

$60.00 for delivery.

Paint: 12 cans of white primer and white gloss: $48.00 (Home Depot, Walmart™ and Lowe’s)

Leg Extension/Curl after initial cleaning

Friction tape and foot grip strips (Lowe’s): $10.00

Plastic 2″ end caps (Sears™), washers and brass flanges (Sears and Lowe’s) (expensive but keeps the bolts from riding against the bare metal frame): $80.00

The primer on the leg extension/curl

Sandpaper, Clorox™ cleaning cloths, WD-40™, Brillo™ pads and wooden dowels $25.00 (Lowe’s™ and/or Home Depot™)

New 3-1/4 caster wheels from Grainger™: $70.00

Painting the frame of the leg press

One inch collars from Dunham’s™: $3.99

OK, roughly $500.00 total

Almost the final step

Long story short: TL;DR

Order the parts needed, buy the supplies needed.

Take apart the equipment by removing the pads and every part that can be unbolted and disassembled.

1. Step one: Remove as much rust as possible from the frames, footpad, rocker arms and bars with a power sander, sandpaper sponge and a sandpaper hand tool. Jam Brillo through the tubes with the dowel a few times. Doesn’t need to be perfect, just done. Then wipe it down with the Clorox cloths.

2. Step two: Any nuts, bolts, Allen bolts, washers etc., that are rusty, throw in a pan and cleanse with WD-40. Screw and unscrew all bolts when you are done, so they thread smoothly.

3. Step three: in a very ventilated area with exhaust fans, use the white primer until the frames and other painted parts are white everywhere. Spray into the tubes as much as possible. Top, bottom, inside, outside. Wait until dry, repeat with white gloss or flat paint. Hand paint instead if you like.

4. Step four: Once it is solid white everywhere, wait for it to dry. Next, clean the leather as much as possible. My finishing touch will be to restore the leather – clean and repair tears. I’m going to buy leather cleaner. Maybe in another post I will tell you how it went. I only cleaned the leather with Clorox cloths and I removed the biggest splotches of paint. I washed the leg curl/extension pads with soapy water. I cut off the padded hand grips as they were too tattered to be saved.

Awesome ‘Jack Reacher’-style urban Pittsburgh machine-age street scene

5. Step five: reassemble. Use bronze flange bearings so that the bare bolts of the smaller casters don’t rub against the bare metal holes on the leg press frame. Get all the casters on in the correct place on the foot pad. Make sure everything moves smoothly.

6. Step six: use friction tape on all hand grips. Use the grip strips on the leg press foot pad in a symmetric pattern so that it looks professional gym-quality.

7. Step seven: Insert all the end-caps where you can. Put plates on each machine. Put the one inch collars on the leg extension/curl plates.

The corrected leg extension/curl

Step eight: don’t screw up the reassembly like I did.

I’m using the machines right now.

The leg press was super-smooth.

The leg extension was ‘slown’ down by the paint, but it should be OK in due time. I may put some graphite in to smooth the motion.

Manhattan Winter Solstice

Peace be the Botendaddy



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