How to Build a Bathroom Towel Rack
- Safety glasses or goggles should be worn whenever power tools are in use and when chiseling, sanding, scraping or hammering overhead. This is very important for anyone wearing contact lenses.
- Wear ear protectors when using noisy power tools. Some tools operate at noise levels that damage hearing.
- Be careful of loose hair and clothing so that it does not get caught in tools; roll your sleeves up and remove jewelry.
- The proper respirator or face mask should be worn when sanding, sawing or using substances with toxic fumes.
- Keep blades sharp. A dull blade requires excessive force and can slip which causes accidents.
- Always use the right tool for the job.
- Repair or discard tools with cracks in the wooden handles or chips in the metal parts.
- Don't drill, shape or saw anything that isn't firmly secured.
- Oily rags are spontaneously combustible, so take care when you store and discard them.
- Don't abuse your tools.
- Keep a First Aid Kit on hand.
- Do not work with tools when you are tired. That's when most accidents occur.
- Read the owner's manual for all tools and understand their proper usage.
- Keep tools out of the reach of small children.
- Unplug all power tools when changing settings or parts.
KNOW WHERE YOUR HANDS ARE AT ALL TIMES!
Most Common Mistakes
The single most common mistake in any do it yourself project is the failure to read and follow the manufacturer's instructions for any tool or material being used. Other common mistakes include taking the safety measures that are laid out for a project for granted, and poor project planning. Here is a list of hints to successfully complete this project and to do it safely.
- Follow the "Golden Rule" of measuring: "Measure twice, cut once."
- Provide yourself plenty of time for each step.
- Understand your plan. (if you have questions, review that part of the videotape).
- When finishing the wood, keep dust and dirt away from the table.
- Follow the application instructions for your choice of finish.
- Allow an extra ¼" inch when cutting the stock.
- Experiment with scrap wood before you work on the real piece. This will help with finishing touches.
Before you begin your project, you will want to become familiar with the woodworking terms shown below.
- Miter Cut - Angle cut across the width or thickness of the board
- Rabbet - L-shaped cut
- Dado - Channel cut across the board, into which a second piece of wood is fined
- Kerf - Width of the blade
- Countersink - To set a screw head at or below the surface
- Dowel - Wooden pin used to provide strength and alignment
- Chamfer - Corner of a board beveled at a 45 degree angle
- Laminate - Composed of firmly united layers of wood
The two basic categories of wood used most often in wood working projects are hardwood and softwood. Hardwood is more durable and less prone to dents and scratches. It is also more expensive but will finish to a better advantage. Soft woods, like pine, are more prone to dents and scratches and do not have the durability of hardwood. Softwoods are much less expensive and easier to find.
Ask your lumber supplier to show you "Class 1" or "Select Grade" lumber. Make sure it is properly dried, straight, and free of knots and defects. (It may be impossible to be completely free of defects but be sure you understand how to cut around these.)
Ask your Lumber supplier for assistance when purchasing your wood. Similar to laying a pattern out on a piece of cloth, often you can cut several different pieces of the same thickness of wood out of a single piece. It is a good idea to add up the total number of board feet, being careful to make sure you group short pieces in a board with long pieces to minimize waste.
This project could be built out of scrap wood already in your workshop. If you choose to use new stock from the lumber yard, both hardwoods and softwood are good choices.
Note: Developing a good relationship with Your lumber suppliers is important. They can help guide you in making material selections as well as making special orders for a type of wood you may desire for a project.
Now that you have reviewed safety hints, learned the mistakes to avoid, reviewed the basic components and gathered your tools and materials for your projects - you are ready to BEGIN!
Steps to follow:
- Cut the wood to size
- Cut the dadoes for the shelves
- Band saw the design
- Drill holes for the rack or racks. (Depending on the size of your sides you can have one or two towel bars)
- Assemble the bathroom rack
Cut the Wood to Size
For this project there are two sides, two shelves, and the backs for the shelves. Wood from a lumber yard may not be square so square the ends before cutting the stock.
1. Crosscut the stock to length using a table saw with a stop block. Guide the wood through with the miter gauge. Note: Do not use a miter gauge with the rip fence as it may cause the wood to bind.
2. Rip the stock. Measure from the rip fence to the inside of the blade so that the cut is made on the scrap side of the wood and is the proper dimension.
Cut the Dadoes for the Shelves
Check your plans for the exact location of the dado cuts.
Use a table saw with a dado set to make the cuts. A miter gauge with an extension fence and stop block will assure an accurate cut. A router with a guide board clamped at the correct distance can also be used to make the dado cuts. Note: Always start the router away from the wood and ease it up after the bit is on speed to make a clean cut.
Cutting the Curve
1. Measure and mark the wood for the design that you wish to make. The one shown is two straight lines using a coffee can top to join the ends of the marks.
2. Using a band saw or a jig saw, cut the two straight marks first, then on the waste side of the curve, cut in and make short curved cut first, then going slowly cut the long side of the curve.
3. Repeat this process on the other ends.
Drill the Holes for the Towel Rods
Use a drill or a drill press to make the holes.
1. Measure according to the plans for the hole locations and mark them.
2. Set the depth for the hole to be drilled. A depth gauge can be made with a piece of tape wrapped around the bit if you are not using a stationary tool.
3. Drill the holes for the towel bar.
Assemble the Bathroom Rack
1. Sand the pieces before assembling.
2. Assemble the unit dry to check for proper fit.
3. Apply wood glue to all edges and rod ends. Then use clamps to hold tight while drying.
4. Apply finishing nails while drying for additional strength.
5. Sand the rack and apply the finish you have selected according to the manufacturers instruction.