A paper towel rack can be easily made out of a one inch dowel rod and re-purposed platters from a fixed disk. A dowel rod costs on the order of one dollar, and obsolete fixed disks need to be properly decommissioned to reduce destroying our environment.
The only needed parts are:
1. wood glue
2. one inch dowel rod
3. two re-purposed fixed disk platters
The only needed tools are:
1. one inch drill bit, hole saw, butterfly bit, or similar tool
2. drill motor or brace to fit the one inch drill bit
Step 1: Cut a Piece of Dowel Rod
Cut a piece of the one inch (1") dowel rod a bit longer than the roll of paper towels. Mine is about six inches (6") longer than the roll. The roll is eleven inches (11") long, so my rod is about seventeen inches (17").
Step 2: Drill a Hole Where You Want the Rod
Drill a one inch (1") hole to TIGHTLY fit the dowel rod. Generously cover the end of the rod with wood glue, and squish it into the hole so it is good and tight. Let the glue dry -- you are going to press hard on the dowel to slide the re-purposed fixed disk platter down it, and if the glue is only set, not dried, you may break the joint and need to start all over.
Step 3: Slide One Re-purposed Fixed Disk Platter Down the Rod
Slide one re-purposed fixed disk platter down the dowel. Leave some space at the end so that the paper towel roll does not conflict with (touch, get dragged by) other nearby items on the work area. You can adjust this distance as needed. Note: the re-purposed fixed disk platter will fit very tightly, which is what you want. Work it onto the rod patiently.
Step 4: Slide on the Paper Towel Roll
Slide the paper towel roll onto the rod.
Step 5: Slide the Other Re-purposed Disk Onto the Dowel
Slide the other re-purposed disk onto the dowel. Make it tight enough that the towels play off the roll to your liking. Adjust the tightness with which the roll of towels is held to your liking by pressing the outer fixed disk platter tighter or pulling it away from the paper towel roll.
Step 6: Done
It is done. You now literally have a roll of paper towels held in your shop by two platinum disks. Brag on it.
LIFE HACK: If you have a cat, to prevent the cat from unrolling the whole roll of paper towel, use some masking tape -- one strip all the way around the roll and back about 6 inches onto the tape. First time you need a towel, peel off the sheet to which the tape is stuck: if you do it right you will have about 6 inches of tape hanging off the end. Simply wrap this back onto the roll to cover the roll and stick the tape back on. When kittie does his exercise thing spinning the roll of towels none will come off and kittie will loose interest.