My apartment needed a place to put our paper towel roll. It didn't have a permanent home and would always wind up moving around and never was in one place. I decided to make a paper towel stand using my CNC laser cutter. In this tutorial, I will walk you through making the parts and assembling the stand.
CNC laser cutter
.25" x 10" x 16" plywood
.125" x 6" x 6" plywood
Step 1: Laser Cutting the Pieces
This tutorial assumes you have access to and operator's knowledge of a CNC lasercutter. As each machine's software and interface are drastically different, I'll have to assume that you know how to operate the laser cutter you will be using. The laser I used accepts illustrator files, which is why I uploaded the design as an .ai file. However, I also uploaded the .pdf for people who use a different software. Open the .pdf file in your laser's software, as pdf's are very standard file types and should be accepted by your laser's software.
Using your cnc laser, cut out the two long pieces on the 1/4" plywood, and cut out the circle on the 1/8" plywood. You can also cut out all the pieces on the 1/4" plywood, but I liked the circle being thinner. After the pieces are all cut out, bring them over to a work table with your wood glue and some clamps.
Step 2: Gluing the Pieces Together
The way the pieces assemble is pretty straightforward. Apply some wood glue inside both slots, and slide the two pieces together. You'll want to make sure the ends stay straight though. After the wood glue is on the two long pieces and they are slid together, slide the circular piece down the shaft. This piece will hold the bottom in place, then you can clamp the top together until it dries.
You can also clamp the two body pieces together until they dry, then slide on the bottom piece. Don't forget to add a little bit of glue to the bottom of the circle so it stays on. Let the wood glue cure for about 24 hours, then you're ready to use it. If you want it to look nicer, you can add a stain or wood polish to give it an extra edge. But if you're a college-apartment life kinda guy like me, then just plop a roll of paper towels on there and set it on your counter.
Hope you enjoyed the tutorial! If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment and I will respond. If you have any cool ideas about home improvement, I'd love to hear them and I'll even try to make some of them.
If you enjoy projects like this, check out my profile for more DIY home improvement projects to come.