Paper Towel Holder

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Our paper towel holder in the kitchen is at least forty (40) years old and brought it from the old home place when we purchased our current home in 1989.  It would be shocking to know how many rolls of paper towels has unraveled off that paper towel holder while raising three children and later my bride keeping our two East Coast Grandboys until they entered the school system and then picked them up from school until she went back into the job market again.

Above is the paper towel holder with the spindle made from what appears to be poplar wood and at least one of the ends is made from white pine.  The base and other end I believe is made from poplar wood also.  I have driven the two brad nails that attaches the base to each end piece in a number of times and the holder is very flimsy to say the least.  It is made from 5/8 inch thick material and one of the end pieces has an extra flat spot on the outside edge where there wasn't enough material to complete the circle. 

Below pix of the paper towel holder disassembled:

The spindle is still in very good shape and plan to use it for the new curly maple paper towel holder since I don't have any 6/4 curly maple material in stock and do not currently own a wood or metal lathe to turn the spindle anyway.  I am sure I could figure out a way to turn a spindle using one of my routers but that would take some fixturing, noggin work and doing it the hard way.

I have been wanting to replace the above paper towel holder but could not find one that I liked or one that was available that I did like, therefore decided to make a new base and end supports using scrap pieces of curly maple wood that I have on hand from my serving tray project.

Above is a tracing from one of the original paper towel holder end pieces.  The curly maple scrap material that I have for the end pieces is 7/8 inch in thickness and have a piece that is about 1 inch thick for the back frame member.  The back frame member is 2 1/2 x 16 x 1 inch with 11 1/2 inches between the inside of the end pieces, however 11 1/4 inches would be a snug fit on some rolls of paper towels and have a little more eye appeal.  The spindle size is 20 1/4 inches long x 1 5/16 inch diameter and has a 5/16 inch diameter pin 2 3/8 inches in length through one end to prevent the spindle from dropping through the paper towel holder end pieces.

I personally favor the vertical mounted design because it frees up valuable counter top real estate but you have to have enough upward clearance to allow for the spindle to be removed.  Our counter top is definitely crowded and there seems to be never enough room for small appliances that you only use ever so often and/or on a regular daily basis.   I believe the paper towel holder was originally for horizontal mounting under overhead kitchen cabinets only and installed the stop pin in the spindle where it would work for a vertical installation but not absolutely sure since it has been many decades ago.  I did have a woodworking shop at the time with my musical instrument repair, parts and accessories part-time business.  

I used my DeWalt 3 1/4 HP plunge router and a straight two flute carbide bit to cut the two circles and used the belt sander to make the flat portion on each end piece that is screwed into the back frame member.  I drilled the 1.5 inch center out using a Forstner drill bit.  The back frame member was cut to size using the table saw and cut a 20 degree slope on the edges for eye appeal, whereas the original back frame member had a slight radius on it.

Click on below thumbnail pixs for a larger screen view:

I used # 10 Phillips flat head wood screws 1 1/2 inches long, predrilled the holes and countersunk them from the back of the back frame member.  I used a tapered 9/64 inch diameter drill bit to drill pilot holes into the end frame members.  The table saw was used to cut a channel that was about 1/8 inch deep to fit the flat portion of the end pieces for extra stability and keep the end piece and the back frame in alignment while I drilled the pilot holes into the end pieces using a portable hand drill.

A light brown color walnut alcohol based stain was applied to the end pieces and back frame member followed by several coats of Deft gloss lacquer from a spray can.

One thing is for certain, this paper towel holder is as solid as "The Rock of Gibraltar" and the curly maple wood with the light walnut stain pops out pretty good in my humble opinion in contrast to the honey color of the knotted pine wood cabinets. 

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 09-27-16.

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