In February of 2019 I built my first platform for the simple reason of wanting to protect the floors in my garage. It didn't seem like a good idea to me to be dropping 300-400lbs and only have a single layer of rubber between the steel and the concrete floor. After doing some research I found some deadlift platforms online, but at the time they were a little too expensive for me. I understood the concept, though: Create a barrier between the plates and the floor. I took that and ran with it. After a few hours, a can of spray paint and 3 trips to Lowe's, the platform here came into existence.
After some time I began looking into more advanced clear coat systems to protect the center insert from being scuffed with shoes and how I could get logo's on the platform without the high cost of decals. Now, I use a clear Epoxy coating and a CNC machine to apply the design.
These pictures show a little bit of how I get the logo onto the platform. I use a CNC machine to carve the design into the wood. Once it's carved the design is painted by hand and then filled with epoxy so that it is flush. Then I apply epoxy over the entire center insert and let it cure for 3 days. This process has opened up a plethora of possibilities with designing logos and has cut costs immensely. Prior to using the CNC machine, I would have to incorporate the cost of a decal into each platform, as that was the only way I was able to apply a design.
The process of going from raw plywood to a finished center insert is what takes the longest in creating a platform. The wood has to first be stained. I offer a couple of options when it comes to wood stain that are my most popular choices, but I can do pretty much any type of stain. Once it's been properly stained, it must dry for 24 hours before I apply a mid-coat. A mid-coat is a barrier between the wood stain and epoxy. Epoxy cannot bond properly straight to oil based products, so I use a water based polyurethane as the mid-coat. Two coats of the water based polyurethane creates enough of a barrier for the epoxy. Once the epoxy has been poured on and leveled out, it takes 3 days to fully cure. The whole process can take up to a week to complete.