How to Build a Tactical Gear Stand - ITS Tactical

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How to Build a Tactical Gear Stand

By The ITS Crew

Tactical Gear Stand 04Today we’d like to show you how to build a cool way to store and display your gear.

This idea originally came to us after viewing the Marc Lee and Michael Monsoor memorial a few years ago on the SEAL Team Three Quarterdeck.

Under glass cases, they have Lee and Monsoor’s gear prominentley displayed for all to see.

We thought this kind of wooden stand would be the perfect way to hang up heavy body armor that typically breaks normal hangers, and also easily access your gear.

We’ve been wanting to write this article for awhile now, showing you how to build your own.


For our gear stand we chose to go with Cedar for the wood. Why? Well, Cedar smells great, it resists the natural tendency of wood to crack, and naturally resists moisture and pests. Plus, it looks great!

The project requires the following:

  • 1 – 48″ 4×4 Post
  • 2 – 24″ 2×4’s
  • 4 – 18″ 2×4’s
  • 16 – 2.5″ Deck Screws
  • Small Drill Bit for Pilot Holes
  • Counter Sink
  • Saw
  • Measuring Tape / Yard Stick
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • 2 – Sawhorses (optional, but will help)

We went to Lowe’s and Bought a 4x4x8 Cedar Post, which was the smallest length they sold in a Cedar 4×4, but you’ll have enough to make two of these if you go in with a buddy.

Also, when we bought two 2x4x8 we were able to save some time by having Lowe’s cut our 2×4’s down into 18″ and 24″ pieces.


Tactical Gear Stand 01Since we already had the 2×4’s cut, we were able to just throw the 4×4 on the Sawhorses, mark off 48″ and get the last of the cutting done. The Lowe’s we visited didn’t cut 4×4’s because their saw wasn’t big enough to handle that dimension.

We really wished they would have, because our 4×4 cut was less than stellar. We attempted to use a mitre box and a regular Backsaw, and quickly ditched the mitre box idea. The 4×4 wouldn’t fit very well inside of it.

Our suggestion is to cut slowly and try to be precise. It doesn’t matter too much though, because your cut will become the top where your helmet rests.

Once all the wood is cut, give it a light sanding and drill your pilot holes. We put two pilot holes in each of the 18″ pieces that make up the base, and four holes in each of the mid-section pieces.

After the pilot holes are drilled, use the counter sink to enlarge the holes so the deck screws fit flush.


Tactical Gear Stand 02Start by taking one 18″ base piece at a time and screwing the two screws into the 4×4 base. You’ll be able to see in the photos how we staggered the base pieces.

Once the base is together, it’s time to assemble the mid-section.

We measured down approximately 13″ from the top of the 4×4, to the top of the horizontally placed 2×4 of the mid-section.

Use a level as you screw in the four screws in the first mid-section 2×4.

Turn the stand around and place the last 2×4 at the same 13″ distance from the top, double checking yourself by placing the level across the two mid-section 2×4’s. Ensuring the last 2×4 is level, screw in the last four screws.

Your Tactical Gear Stand is now complete and ready to hold all your gear! You can purchase adhesive-backed loop velcro to stick on your stand, and store all your patches on it too.


Tactical Gear Stand 03Provided you have all the necessary tools for the job, the stand should only run you around $30 for the wood and deck screws. It will be much less if you use regular wood instead of Cedar.

Please feel free to ask any questions if there’s a step you don’t understand, or would like us to elaborate on.

Hope you enjoyed the article!

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  • Tim

    Pretty wicked, i wonder how it could be modded to show off a warbelt for those of us who have them

    • Tim,

      You can add another section between the mid-section and base to hold a war belt.

      Thanks for the comment!

    • Jason

      Awesome article; I’ve seen these before but never got around to building one. Saw the article on saturday and had it built on saturday.

      Do you have some recommended dimensions for the warbelt addition?

      And, +1 for a followup article on how to make a primary weapon stand like the link to the MM article.

  • Brock

    The stands work great. Several of us built some in Iraq to keep our gear readily accessible and not piled up all over the floor.

  • Jesse Krembs

    Japanese samurai used a similar stand to hold their armor when on display (or not being worn). It sat on top of a trunk which was used to transport the armor to the battle area. I find that a Pelican 1650 case is an nice modern replacement for said trunk. (see below for a reproduction stand
    Finally these are pretty cool for 1911
    I want one for an AR now.

    • Jesse,

      Very cool! I’ve always been heavily into Japanese art and history, but have never seen this kind of stand. It would be really neat to create a modern day stand that could collapse and fit into a Pelican case as you’ve said, to make a modern day equivalent of what you linked to.

      The 1911 stand reminds me of the photo our friend Cass of Military Morons put together I’ve always thought that was a great way to display an AR.

      Thanks for sharing those links, and for the great comment… It’s got me thinking now!
      ~ Bryan

  • Jeremy

    Great article. I used one of these for months in Iraq and cannot stress enough how important it is to use the screws vs. nails. These things are naturally top heavy and the inevitable swaying when you load and unload the stand will work nails loose. With good screws in place that doesn’t happen.

  • Zach

    Any problems with splinters from one of these?

    Also, I recall reading that storing armor vertically somehow reduced its effectiveness; is that only for soft armor, and is it even true?

    • Zach, as long as you spend the time sanding you won’t have to worry about splinters 🙂
      As far as storing armor, soft armor should be stored flat to avoid wrinkles. We’ll have an article soon on storing armor.

      Thanks for the comment!

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  • Nathan Reim

    I like my big cast iron 10th Mountain Division one but these are the kind we made. Very nice work.

    • Chuck Schara

      Nathan, do you have a pic’s of your 10th Mountain Division one ? I am also in 10th Mountain, and looking to build my first stand for my gear. Looking at different plans now before I make mine.

  • I just built one and added the pics to the ITS page. Thanks for the idea and article.
    I ended up using a pre-cut 4×4 rail post that they have at Home Depot. It has a notch at the bottom which you cut off and its the perfect height. Its also “finished” at the top with a design cut in it.

  • Guys, you’re invited to visit my website for another tactical gear stand design and photos:

    Only costs about $10 build. It’s easier to mount gear on the stand and the stand itself takes up less floor space than the one described above. If you build one, please send me a photo of your project and I’ll post on my blog. Thanks.

  • Jon

    I used one of these on my first rotation thru Iraq and have wanted to build one ever since but I couldn’t remember exactly how it was built. I was cleaning out my “War Room” where I have a Woodland Camo IBA, Coyote Tan Paraclyte, ACU RBAV and now a Multicam plate carrier and decided it was time to build an armor/ trophy room. Went down to Lowe’s and got the same answer you got…”Our saw is too small”. Then went over to Home Depot and they cut it all down to the dimensions I wanted. Thanks for the DIY.

  • Bob G

    That 4’X4′ can be cut very easily with a circular saw. Just make your cut mark and saw it through, when you’ve cut it all the way from one side to the other simply turn the piece a quarter of a turn and, using the same kerf, continue cutting. Do the same thing when you finish that cut and you should have it completely cut in two.

  • Psybain

    If you are getting your wood from lowes for this project, and you don’t want to bother cutting the post, you can always get a 4″x4″x48″ pine deck post instead. I just noticed them today when I was there for an unrelated project.

  • Bob Darnell

    I built one this past week, really like it, Thanks for doing the article.

  • Talih Talih

    First of all, I am a big fan of ITS Tactical, you helped me with a lot of DIY projects, knots and gave me good tips and advice. I used this stand to store my dive equipment and it works perfectly for that purpose.

    Support the troops 😀

    Talih Talih

  • Nickcharettecanadian

    I just use a chainsaw it works great to. Go big or go home lol

  • Nickcharettecanadian

    Ive built one but for my paint ball gear great design

  • bozzy343

    If you have the ability, cut a 2×4 hole through the 4×4 where the two would be and that way you could slide the 2×4 in and out to collapse it. For the bottom you could use large pins or bolts that run all the way through both 2×4 each way and just pull them out to detach the base.. have one set high and one set low so the clear eachother.

  • bozzy343

    You can take a square of 1inch thick board and screw it on underneath to have somewhere for you ammo cans to sit and that will help make it more stable.

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