Introduction: Make a Paper Towel Holder/dispenser at TechShop!

A tragic day in TechShop, we were out of z-fold towels.  We had to rely on paper towels to hold us over until we got more z-fold style paper towels in.  Unfortunately, we did not have enough paper towel holders or dispensers for all the paper towels people needed to use in a shop area.  I decided to make a paper towel holder out of random things laying around the shop (yes, you can make this paper towel holder for free if you happen to stumble upon the proper things).

Step 1: Find a Steel Rod

I found a length of steel rod in the scrap yard (in the back of the shop).  It was a little rusty so I had to clean it up (next step).  Make sure it is thin enough to fit a paper towel tube over it.

Step 2: Wire Wheel to Clean Rust

I decided to use our desktop mounted wire wheel to clean the rust off of the rod.  You can take the "Basic Metal Shop SBU" to learn how to use the wire wheel.

Step 3: Horizontal Bandsaw

I used the horizontal bandsaw to cut all material in this instructable to the proper length.  You can learn how to use the horizontal bandsaw in the "Basic Metal Shop SBU".

Step 4: Find a Tube to Fit Over the Rod

I wanted to have an awesome topper on my paper towel holder so this tube will hold a gear logo on top of the paper towel holder.  I used the horizontal bandsaw to cut it to the proper length.

Step 5: TechShop Logo

I found this gear made of mild steel in the hot shop.  If you can't find one laying around, you can learn how to make one in our "CNC Plasma Cutter SBU".

Step 6: All the Parts Are Cut

This is what all the parts look like before being welded.  I used the rotary punch (also part of the Basic Metal Shop class) to make that little piece of round sheet metal.

Step 7: TIG TIME!!

I used the TIG welder to stick all the pieces together.  You can learn how to TIG weld in the "TIG Welding SBU" class at TechShop Menlo Park.

Step 8: Welding the Base

I decided to weld the base first.  Here is the base waiting in position to be welded.

Step 9: Finished Welding

After I welded the base, I welded the center rod.  After I welded the center rod, I welded the towel topper together.

Step 10: FINISHED!

Its all done and now people can wash their hands with the confidence that they can dry off afterwards.

Comments

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)2012-07-25

Awesome! So does the gear on the top come off so you can change the paper towel roll then?

author
jbleazy made it! (author)jbleazy2012-07-25

Yeah, the gear thing on top comes right off. It's just sitting on top. Thanks for the comment!

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2012-07-25

Cool, I thought that might be the case. It's great because it adds to the look and has a purpose :)

author
jbleazy made it! (author)jbleazy2012-07-25

Yeah, unfortunately our TIG welder was running low on gas so the welds on that part of the holder are kind of ugly :( Oh well, function over form.

About This Instructable

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Bio: My background: -over 10 years of welding experience and an AS degree in welding technology. I am also a welding instructor at TechShop Menlo Park ... More »
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