Assemble a towel bar

Quality materials make a simple design stylish

By Paul Lewis

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To build this project you’ll need some 1/2″-thick hardwood; I used some scrap walnut and a length of 3/8″ aluminum rod. The tools required are a good handsaw (I used a small Japanese pull-saw), a drill with a 1/2″ Forstner bit, a #6 countersinking bit and a hacksaw.

Start by laying out the pieces on the wood. Use a carpenter’s square to make sure all the corners are 90 degrees. Cut out the rectangles for the backs and sides of the brackets first then make the diagonal cuts that complete the sides.

Next, drill the holes and countersinks to receive the screws that hold the project to the wall.

The aluminum rod that eventually holds the towels sits in two flat-bottomed holes on the inside of the brackets. Mark and drill these now. Use a piece of masking tape wrapped around the bit to act as a depth gauge. The tape prevents you from drilling too far into the sides.

Sand all the pieces before assembly using some 100-grit paper. Knock the sharp edges down as well. Attach the sides to the back with screws driven in through the back: hold the side to the back with a clamp to drill the pilot holes and countersinks. Finish the brackets by wiping on a coat of stain with a soft lint-free cloth followed by two coats of satin polyurethane. To install the towel bar, screw one bracket to the wall first, then fit the aluminum rod–cut to length with a hacksaw–into the hole. Capture the other end of the rod in the second bracket, level and install the screws.

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