My wife paints. In the course of her art she uses paper towels. She usually keeps these on the floor next to her work table. However, she recently requested that I find a way to make a paper towel holder that could clamp to her work table. This way the paper towels would be within easy reach and she could reposition the holder as required. Being a good husband I happily obliged her. The best part was it took only 20 minutes and cost me nothing.
Step 1: Tools & Materials
I only used a screw driver (not pictured). However, I could see you needing a drill, a die to cut threads onto a metal rod, various saws, measuring devices and...well I can't think of anything else, but I'm sure you will as you try this.
- Metal rod or wooden dowel
- 2 screws
- 1 metal flange of some sort
- 1 washer (optional)
- Super glue
Step 2: Attach Bar to Clamp
Check to make sure your clamp can open wide enough to grip your table. Be sure you take into account that the clamp may be harder to open with a rod mounted to it. Due to this consideration I chose a one of my largest clamps.
The essence of this project is attaching a bar that a roll of paper towels can rotate around to a clamp. To do this I passed a screw through a pre-exsiting hole in the handle of a large clamp. I then threaded the screwed into a hole that had been tapped into a piece of aluminum bar stock. I applied super glue to the threads and tightened the screw with a screw driver.
Now I'm sure some of you are saying "Hey asshole not all of us have an aluminum rod with threaded holes in the ends." If this is the case I would suggest using a wooden dowel . You could drill a hole in the clamp handle and pilot holes (one in each end) in the dowel. Then you can screw the dowel to the clamp.
Or you could use a die to cut threads into a metal rod and then secure it to the clamp using appropriately sized lock washers and nuts.
Step 3: Assemble Top Flange
I decided to add a piece of metal to the top to keep the roll on the rod in the event of vigorous dispensing. I used a mounting bracket left over from a light fixture. I had to add a washer to this in order to prevent the screw from passing through the hole in the bracket. I then threaded the screw into the tapped hole on the other end of the rod. I only made this finger tight so it would be easy to remove when the towels run out.
As in the last step I'm sure something similar could be done to a wooden dowel or metal rod.
Step 4: Add Towels and Secure to Table
The title of this step says it all. I could also see this as being useful when working in the garage, outside gardening or just any time you need paper towels within easy reach. You may also be able to make a similar contraption based on a powerful magnet. This way you could mount it in your cubicle at work or use it to win the refrigerator magnet challenge. :)
Step 5: Addendum
Well my better half didn't like the 4 or 5 inches of metal bar sticking out of the end of the paper towel tube. So I cobsidered developing and elaborate spacer to raise it, but then settled for the easier step of just remaking it with a shorter wooden dowel. So this addendum with be a quick summary of how I did it.
Cut the dowel to proper length. I thought I had done this but the damn thing still protruds about 2 inches too far so I'll probably be cutting that down later.
Cut the head off a bolt or screw that you possess a matching nut for. I did this by securing itin my bench vise an whipping out my Dremel. It just woulnd't be a RadBear instructable w/o using a Dremel and bench vise. :)
Drill hole large enough to accept decapitate screw in one end of dowel.
Glue decapitated screw into hole.
Attach other end of dowel to clamp w/ a wood screw. I chose to add another flange to the bottom in an attempt to raise the towels up. Doesn't appear to have helped. Oh well.
Now attach to table, load towels and secure top flange w/ nut to retain towels in case of vigrous dispensing.