I like my towels to be completely dry when I need them, but I'm not a fan of traditional towel bars. So, I sat down with a pile of towels and a bundle of copper plumbing pipes and came up with this design. There's enough space to fully hang-dry two regular-sized bath towels, a couple of hand towels, and a shelf for what-have-you.
Things You'll Need
24 1/2 feet 1/2-inch rigid copper plumbing pipe, cut to the following:
5 pieces at 30 inches long
2 pieces at 26 inches long
2 pieces at 12 inches long
6 pieces at 7 3/8 inches long
10 pieces at 2 inches long
1/2 inch 90° copper elbow fittings (6)
1/2 inch copper T-fittings (12)
1/2 inch copper end caps (2)
1/2 inch copper tube straps (4)
Steel wool pad
Gorilla Multi-Purpose Glue
1 x 8 inch pine board, 33 inches long
Sanding pads (220-grit)
1/2 inch wood screws (10)
To cut each piece of copper pipe, measure and mark a cut line on the pipe, using a pencil or marker.
Slide the tubing cutter over the pipe, aligning the blade with the cut line. Tighten the knob on the bottom until it is snug—enough to hold it in place but not so much that the cutter can't be rotated around the pipe.
Turn the pipe and, with each revolution, tighten the knob a half turn. Each time this is done, the scoring mark should become clearer.
After a few revolutions, the copper should come apart easily.
Shine the copper with steel wool.
This is not a necessary step, so if you prefer the tarnished look you can skip the polishing. Copper pipe usually has factory printing on it, so I polish it away with the steel wool and then let it tarnish naturally.
To join the pipe segments to the fittings, apply the glue in a thick ring on the inside of the fittings.
When joining the pipe with the fittings, give the pipe a few turns to more evenly disperse the glue.
Join together six pieces at 2 inches, two pieces at 30 inches, and four T-fittings, as shown.
Add two 90° elbow fittings to the front and two T-fittings to the back, as shown.
Add to the back two pieces of pipe at 7 3/8 inches, one piece at 30 inches, and two T-fittings.
Add to the front two pieces at 7 3/8 inches, one piece at 30 inches, and two T-fittings.
Add to the top four pieces at 2 inches, four 90° elbow fittings, and two pieces at 7 3/8 inches.
For the legs, attach two pieces at 12 inches, two end caps, two T-fittings, and one piece at 30 inches.
Add two pieces at 26 inches.
Set aside the copper to let the glue dry.
Sand the 1 x 8 with an orbital sander.
I happened to have this piece leftover from a previous project. Any scrap that you might have that is at least this length and width will do. If not, you can easily get this from your local hardware/lumber store. Sometimes they have their own scrap pile that you can look through and get smaller pieces, such as this one, for a low price.
Use a piece of sandpaper to "break" or slightly soften the sharp edges.
Wipe away all sawdust.
Apply one coat of polycrylic finish.
If you wish to apply a second coat, give the board a light sanding in between coats. Be sure to wipe the board clean before applying the second coat.
Once the polycrylic finish is completely dry, center the copper assembly on the board.
Attach the copper assembly to the board using four copper tube straps and 1/2-inch screws.
Flip the rack over and attach to the legs. Bask in the glory of your accomplishment.
You can attach this rack to your bathroom wall with 8 to 12 1/2-inch copper tube straps.
The HomeMade Modern Team
Ben and Jessie Uyeda are a brother and sister team who teach people how to make affordable modern furniture by publishing DIY design videos online. Ben brings a professional background in architecture and digital media while Jessie pulls from her experiences as a former lumber jack and mill worker.