Martial Arts Belt and Weapons Rack




Introduction: Martial Arts Belt and Weapons Rack

About: wow, writing things about myself is hard. Modded Leatherman wave always at my side, ill dive into repairing a computer, a diesel truck or a doorknob with the enthusiasm that confuses people. Knowledge of a &…

Hello and thank you for looking at this instructable!

If you're like my family, you're in Karate,Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido or, well you get the idea. The problem is, you have all these belts that you've graduated through, with all these weapons that you just can't seem to display well, and you are proud of your achievements. To make matters worse, a "decent" pine belt rack costs anywhere between $60 and $100, and a good weapons rack will set you back $100-$300. Thats a lot of scratch! Combine that with $100-$300 a month for classes, AND another $300-$500 for your starters weapons. So you start looking at ways to save SOMEWHERE!

I have two family members in the same Dojo, and my son just became a black belt. Because of this, he needed a good way to display and store all his karate items. Nothing was fitting the bill, and then, inspiration struck. I will MAKE one using off the shelf components that will exactly fit his needs!

The list of parts is relatively simple and easy, and all-in it could cost $80-$150 depending on if you choose to make it a floor or wall display with no shelves or with shelving.

Cost $80-150 model chosen to make.

Tools used: 18" and 6" Steel ruler, corded drill,(optional but easier) drill press, 3/4, 1 1/8, 1/2, 1/8, 1/4 drill bits, screwdriver bits, tape measure can be substituted for 18" steel ruler staple gun.

Time: not including driving to store and shopping, 1.5 hrs.

Difficulty level: Middle School with supervision due to tool usage.


I went out and bought everything including a few drill bits for this, it cost me $81, and the BIGGEST expense was the two shelves.

2' x 4' x 1/4 sanded birch plywood

(2) 24" mantle shelves

(2) 3/4" x 48" birch dowels

(2) 1 1/8' X 48" birch dowels

(2) packs of small brass cup hooks

(3) two packs of broom and tool holders

(1) two pack of tool (fork style) holders

Wood glue


DVD press-board shelving unit. I had a full wood rack just laying around saved me some money.

Step 2: Mantle Shelves Turned Into Cap and Base

Take your two mantle shelves out of the packages, turn them upside down so that the bottom of the shelf is facing up.
Measure out 20mm (sorry, I only have a mm small steel ruler) from the front and side lips. This will give you enough clearance for the 1 1/8 dowels.

Drill through the first level, and while keeping the drill bit level, just begin to pierce the other side. This will be the guide for your screws to hold the dowels later.

Repeat 3 more times.

Next, measure in APPROXIMATELY 80 MM from the edges and make your marks for your 3/4 dowels. (this will put you almost 12" apart small dowel to small dowel, and about 2" from large dowel to small dowel)

Drill through the first level, and while keeping the drill bit level, just begin to pierce the other side. This will be the guide for your screws to hold the dowels later.

Repeat 3 more times.

Turn them over so that the shelf is sitting what used to be correctly, and countersink drill the 4 screw holes on one, but only the TWO inner ones on the other one.

You now have a "top" and a "bottom" cap. All 4 screws are countersunk on the "bottom" to prevent scratching or snagging on the carpet.

The "top" cap will have the screw in tool hooks on the large 1 1/18 dowels and must NOT be countersunk. You must drill the outer holes to 1/4" to screw the tool hooks through.

Step 3: Dowel Preperation

Drill the ends of the dowels so that they do not split when you screw everything together. There are various methods to do this, however "horse shoes and hand grenades" on this one, I just eyeballed it, keeping it as straight as possible.

Drill the 3/4" dowels with a 1/8" bit on both sides

Drill the 1 1/8" dowels on ONE side with a 1/8" bit and a 1/4" bit on the other side. MARK THE SIDE WITH THE 1/4" HOLES AT THE END OF THE DOWELS!!! I used a sharpie and wrote "top" on them.

Now that the parts have been prepared, you can begin putting it all together. Put wood glue on one end of each dowel, and screw the dowels and into the bottom sill, making sure the 1 1/8" dowels with the large holes are both facing up.

Step 4: Sword Holder (top Sill)

On the top sill, you will place glue on all the dowels again, screwing the 3/4" dowels in first, then you need to screw the larger tool forks into the 1 /18 dowels.

After everything is good and snugged up, it may be a bit warped because of the dowels, we'll take care of that in the next step.

Step 5: Backing Plate Support

Place the assembled unit together on something flat (I used the plywood that I was using for the backing) and measure the distance between the two thinner dowels. (in my case 12 3/4")

Measure the plywood, to that length and cut. I ripped mine so that my panel is 2' x 12 3/4"

Place glue down the back side (wall side) of the dowels, just under the full length of the back panel.

This is the chance to straighten any warpage in the dowels to keep the top and bottom level. I did this by putting a run of staples down the side that was higher, then stapled the other side down.

Since its birch, your staples may not fully seat. If that happens, tap them lightly down while supporting the dowel from underneath.

Step 6: Sand and Finish If Desired

Sand the unfinished wood to a smoothness that you need for the finish you desire. It needs to be smoother if you are planning on staining it, it can be a little rougher if you plan on painting it.

We chose to leave it raw and unfinished, I lightly scrubbed it down with a green scrubbie I found on the floor, just to knock off the splinters.

Step 7: Build DVD Rack Base If You Want the Shelves

Since I already had this completed, I have no pictures or steps for this. If you plan to mount it, you must make sure that your DVD shelf is as wide or slightly wider than your bottom plate which is 24" wide, by 4" deep.

On the sides of the shelf, place to spring clip tool holders so that the screws go through the side and the top.

Step 8: Hanging Weapons and Decorate, YOURE FINISHED!!!

Plan where and how you would like your weapons, and screw the small brass cup hooks where you need them.

We chose to put 3 in the top sill for his medals and punch pad, and two more on each large dowel for his nunchaku and kamas. Since your weapons may be different, this is where you can be creative and experiment!

To wrap the belts around the dowels, start with one side, and wrap it clockwise and tighten as needed. Use stick pins to hold them in place, and bend the exposed pin on the inside so that you don't get stuck and so the pins wont come out.

One last thing, Congratulations Sensei Dante!

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    7 years ago on Introduction

    This a fine looking custom display rack! The dowel idea to hold and display the belts is especially clever and well done. Very nice work!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you, Ive seen them before just for belts, but we needed something to hold all his practice weapons as well. Things like that I've never seen before.
    If this helps 10 other parents struggling to find the balance between room, storage and price, I consider it a job well done. Cmon martial artists! Show me how this inspired you!!!