Introduction: The $5 PVC Shaving Stand
Corral your shaving paraphernalia and keep your brush and razor dry with this manliest--and cheapest--of shaving stands.
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Step 1: Introduction and Justification
I had recently begun shaving with a double-edged safety razor and brush, and felt the need to corral my rapidly expanding pile of shaving junk as well as providing my razor and brush a safe place to dry. "Real" shaving stands cost from about $10 to upwards of $100, but I felt I could do better--and enjoy the fun of a project as well. And what better material to use for a manly shaving set than that most manly of materials, PVC pipe? (in truth, PVC is non-gendered, of course; it was just funny in this context).
Step 2: You Will Need:
- A good lengthof 1/2" PVC pipe; get the sturdy stuff (schedule 40 is good). I just bought a 10' length for $1.74 and used less than half.
- Four 1/2" elbows
- One 1x1/2" 90-degree elbow
- Three 1/2" Tees
- Two 1/" caps
B) Your shaving junk
Step 3: Measure Your Junk!
Your SHAVING junk. Yeesh, people.
Cut one length of PVC to be the "back rail" of the stand (the part that sits on the counter). You're going to take the back rail, like Gaul, and divide it into three parts--and insert a few Tees into it. So you will actually want this back rail to be a bit shorter than your measurement. Luckily, since PVC is forgiving stuff and easy to trim, I'd just cut it full-length and trim to fit later.
Cut two more pieces to be the side rails.
Cut two MORE pieces to be the uprights--I made them the same length as the side rails, and it worked pretty well.
Finally, cut two short pieces, about 1-1.5 inches or so (these will be the horizontal supports).
Step 4: Assemble!
Assemble the PVC pieces with the elbows, tees, and caps. One 1/2" tee will be used for holding the razor; the other (with the 1"x1/2" elbow) will cradle the brush as shown in the picture below.
Okay, yes: there is something wrong with the current state of the stand. Can you say what it is?
What? You say it's a problem that the badger-hair brush is standing bristles up and it will hurt the badger hair? Are you MAD? Have you ever met a badger? Badgers don't mess around. Badgers could take down bears. Chuck Norris's sensei is Badger Badger-san. Ever see a badger take a bath and then dangle from a brach by its teeth so that its hair dried the right way? Of course not! If shaving brushes weren't meant to dry bristles-up, why would they make the ends of them flat so you could stand them that way? The badger can handle it! DON'T DISRESPECT THE BADGER, YOU DISTRAUGHT PINK-CHEEKED BADGER-PAMPERER!
(sorry for the outburst--I just wanted a chance to use the phrase "distraught pink-cheeked badger-pamperer")
However, having said that, the stand DOES have a serious problem: the 1" round section of the tee is simply too small to offer proper support to the badger. Something more stable is necessary. Either get a larger diameter elbow (if you're okay with a bristles-up stand) or see the next step to rectify the situation.
Step 5: (optional): Cut the Brush Stand
We can give the badger a more stable base by cutting a slot in the elbow for the top of the brush (the flared end). You'll have to base this on your particular brush, but in general we want something so that the flared end of the brush fits into a slot and won't fall out.
You can do this pretty easily with a hacksaw or miter saw, and it will probably generate a lot of PVC shavings, so do it outside (yes! Sawing on PVC pipe, outdoors, to make a shaving stand! It doesn't GET more manly than this!)
Two cuts will make the slot; drilling the ends of the slot with a large bit should give you a rough cut of what you need.
Step 6: (optional): Smooth the Brush Stand
PVC cuts very well with a PVC cutter, but when you have to saw it like this, it produces pretty rough edges. You should smooth these down with an abrasive; if you're not concerned about a perfect finish, I recommend rasping with a file.
It's best to use a half-round bastard file. There is no true reason for this, and another file would probably get better results, but in truth I think there is no more manly phrase than "rasp the rough edges with a half-round bastard."
No, seriously. "Quench the red-hot metal in water" is pretty manly, I'll grant you, as is "hold the arc until the alloy melts", and such. But they just don't have the resonance of "rasp the rough edges with a half-round bastard."
I like it. It's got a ring to it.
Step 7: (optional): Dangle Your Badger.
Test fit your brush; the flange of the brush should fit nicely in the slot you just cut, cradling the brush so that the bristles hang down (which should satisfy the hordes of badger-pamperers out there). You're looking for a good but easy fit--you want the brush to be easily removed and replaced, after all.
And yes, I will grant you that "dangle your badger in the rasped PVC elbow" is almost as manly a phrase as "rasp the rough edges with a half-round bastard." But I still feel the latter has a better cadence.
Step 8: The Final Stand
And there you have it, the final $5 shaving stand. It's not the most beautiful thing in the world, but it does work just fine. If you have very hard water, as I do, it's also nice not having something else that you'll feel bad about when it gets all crusty and scummy from water deposits.
In all seriousness, though, I think an all-copper version of this (with a bit of cushion around the brush so that it doesn't get scored by sharp edges) would actually look pretty nice--and could either be left clean (to tarnish to a nice patina) or scoured, shined, and shellac'd for a shiny pipework shaving stand.
There's probably a better way to mount the brush, too--but this is what I came up with at first blush, and as mentioned--it works; it's just not pretty.