How to Make a Bathroom Towel Rack

Free Woodworking Plans from Lee's Wood Projects

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Hand made, wooden towel racks will compliment other country bathroom decor. They are inexpensive, and can help fulfill that rustic look desired. Also, bathroom towel racks are simple to make: even the novice woodworker can achieve success with this project.

Technical Information for Building a Bathroom Towel Rack

A. Materials List:

1 A Bath Towel Rack 3/4" x 4 1/2" x 28" White Ash
1 B Hand Towel Rack 3/4" x 4 1/2" x 22" White Ash
1 C Paper Dispenser Rack 3/4" x 4 1/2" x 9" White Ash
1 D Bath Towel Rod 3/4" Diameter x 24 1/4" Oak Dowel
1 E Hand Towel Rod 3/4" Diameter x 19" Oak Dowel
1 F Paper Dispenser Rod 1" Diameter x 5 1/2" Plastic
6 G Rod Holders 1 1/2" x 2 1/4" x 3" Metal
H Hollow Wall Anchors 1/4" x 1 1/4" Metal
12 I Phillips Wood Screws #10 x 3/4"


White Ash


Red Oak

B. Cutting Procedures:

  1. All three wooden racks can be cut from a 3/4" x 5" x 60" board.
  2. Joint one edge of the board.
  3. Adjust the table saw fence 4 9/16" from the blade. Place the jointed edge next to the fence and rip the board.
  4. Joint the sawed edge of the board to remove the saw marks.
  5. Use a radial arm saw to cut the bath towel rack (A) 28"; the hand towel rack(B) 24 1/2"; and the paper dispenser rack (C) 9" long.
  6. Use a hand router and a 3/4" Roman Ogee Bit to shape the top edges of each rack.
  7. Use a band saw to cut the bath towel rod (D) 24 1/4" long and the hand towel rod (E) 19" long.
  8. Use a disk sander to slightly bevel the edges on both ends of the rods.
  9. Use a drill press to drill two 1/4" diameter holes 2 1/4" from the top edge and 1 3/4" from each end in each wooden rack.

C. Sanding Procedures:

  1. Rough sand all parts with an orbital sander and 80 grit sandpaper.
  2. Intermediate sand all parts with an orbital sander and 120 grit sandpaper.
  3. Finish sand all parts with an orbital sander and 220 grit sandpaper.
  4. Hand sand all edges, details, with 220 grit sandpaper.

D. Finish Procedures:

  1. Use plastic wood dough to fill all holes, cracks and imperfections.
  2. After wood dough has dried, hand sand flush with 220 grit sand paper.
  3. If stain is desired, apply with a brush to the wooden racks and the rods, and allow to penetrate for 5-10 minutes, and then remove with a clean rag.
  4. Allow stain to dry 6 hours and then repeat with a second coat.
  5. Apply a clear finish coat such as Lacquer, Varathane, Polyurethane, etc. using a pure-bristle brush. Allow to dry 12 hours.
  6. Lightly had sand finish with 220 grit sandpaper.
  7. Apply second coat of clear finish.
  8. If additional clear coats are desired, be sure to allow the finish to dry properly, then lightly hand sand with 220 grit sandpaper between coats.
  9. Allow final coat to dry 24 hours before using the racks.
  10. If stain is not desired, continue with steps #5-9 after step #2.
NOTE: Be sure to use a tack rag to remove all dust after each sanding procedure.

E. Bathroom Towel Rack Mounting Procedures:

  1. Place the bath towel rack (A) in the desired position on the wall, and use a hand drill and a 1/4" drill bit to drill through the drywall. Be sure to drill though the previously drilled holes in the rack. Also before drilling into the wall, place a level on top of the rack to make sure it is perfectly level.
  2. Use a hammer to tap a hollow wall anchor (H) through the hole in the rack at each end and into the wall. Use a screw driver to tighten the anchors. The rack should be securely attached to the wall.
  3. Repeat steps #1 & 2 to mount the hand towel rack (B), and the paper dispenser rack (C).
  4. Measure 1 3/4" in from one end of the bath towel rack (A) and mount a rod holder (G) onto the wooden rack with the round head screws. Place the 24 1/4" bath towel rod (D) into the rod holder. Place another rod holder on the opposite end of the rod and mount the rod holder to the rack.
  5. Repeat step #4 to mount the 19" hand towel rod and the 5 1/2" paper dispenser to their respective wooden racks. NOTE: The paper dispenser is spring loaded so that a new paper roll can be easily installed.
1. Metal rod holders can be purchased at most hardware stores. 2. The rod holders you purchase may vary in size compared to the ones specified in the materials list. This should not create a problem; just be sure the rod openings are round and will accommodate a 3/4" diameter rod.

*Congratulations, your bathroom towel racks and paper dispenser rack are finished and ready to use!

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