When I start a new project I often dive in head first and make a big mess in the process. Paint splatters, sawdust, motor oil, spilled glue, calf’s blood, dismembered limbs–you know the usual workshop messes. So after I’m done digging wells and building hospitals for the underprivileged in Africa, I need a bunch of paper towels to clean up the aftermath of my construction destruction.
Sure I could just buy a cheap plastic paper towel holder for my workshop and be done with it, or I could build an everlasting testament of testosterone for my man cave. Using 3/4″ iron pipe and some rust preventative you can build a beefy bar for your towels that will one day be discovered by future archeologist, inspire them to power down their construction bots, rediscover their masculinity, build something awesome, and stop making babies in the lab and start making them the old fashion way, thus reintroducing genetic diversity to the world and saving the future of mankind.
So for the sake of humanity I need everyone to to build their own beacon of badassery, to ensure they are found for future generations. Here’s how you do it.
- Material: 3/4″ Iron pipe: Flange base, 12″ pipe, 2 1/2″ nipple, 90º elbow, cap. 1″ Fender washers
- Hardware: Toggler wall anchors, Screw (wood, metal, concrete),
- Tools: Pipe Wrench, Power drill, pencil.
- Miscellaneous: Scott’s Paper Towels, E6000 glue, JB Weld Epoxy putty, Rustoleum spray paint or clear coat.
1. The first step is to secure the fender washers to the end cap and base so the paper towels don’t move around or slide off the bar. I used a combination of E6000 automotive glue–which works great on metal–on the contact surface of the washer and cap. Then I wrapped a bead of JB weld epoxy putty around the outside. The last step is overkill for the amount of stress put on this project, but hey, if you’re building something to survive the apocalypse why not? Make sure you clean any glue over run out of the pipe threads before it has a chance to set, otherwise you will have a hard time fitting the pieces together later. Clamp the parts overnight to let the glue and epoxy cure fully.
2. I advise coating the iron pipe with a protective finish to prevent rust. Either a clear acrylic finish or rust-inhibiting spray paint (black is the only acceptable manly color). Tape off the thread areas of the pipe before you spray or it could interfere with joining the pieces.
3. Next you’ll want to determine how you want to mount the towel bar. There are several options, the first is a free standing holder that you can place on your work surface. The other two are wall-mounted, either a bar that come straight out of the wall, or with the use of a 90º elbow and spacer, and angled towel rack that fits more flush with the wall.
4. Using the flange base, mark the locations of the holes where you want to mount the holder. When wall mounting, if you can hit a stud, great, but if not I recommend using Toggler wall anchors. Each wall plug can hold 143lbs; so with 4 anchors you could hang a V8 engine block off it–a roll of paper towels should never be an issue. Pre-drill the holes for the anchors, then fold the anchors inward and insert into the wall. I found a few light hammer strikes helped seat them fully. Next you insert the plastic tool supplied to open the wings inside the wall. Now you can mount the flange to the wall using the supplied screws, or wood screws if going directly into the stud. If you are table mounting you can permanently attach it with the appropriate screws for your surface, or alternatively use museum putty, Velcro, or double sided tape to secure the holder while still letting you move it around.
5. Now you can assemble your towel holder. For the free standing or straight wall mount you simply thread in the 12″ iron pipe and use the cap and washer to hold the towels in place. For the angled mount you will need about a 2 1/2″ pipe nipple to set the paper towels far enough out from the wall, then use the 90º elbow with washer to turn the 12″ bar to the position you want. Use a pipe wrench to tighten everything down; on the elbow I suggest using a dab of Loctite as you may not be able to tighten it all the way down to achieve the appropriate angle for holding the paper towels.
6. Ok, so now you have the beefiest paper towel holder in existence, what paper towels do this marvel of manliness justice? Scott’s shop towels or roll of Rags are the only acceptable product. I don’t know who Scott is, but I assume he beat up the Brawny man and took his lunch money, and he squeezed Charmin’s ass whenever he damn well pleased while attending absorbency school. These towels can handle anything you throw at it: motor oil, paint, glue, and if you dismember a digit with a power tool just duct tape a few sheets over the stump, wrap the finger up and put it on ice, then get back to work and finish your project.
So there you have it, your own monument to masculinity that can hold your paper towels and save the future of humanity.