Towel Bar

Towel bar.


Constructed from the solid brass foot rail off a bar. 2" tube. Found this off craigslist for $50 and used half the parts.

Normally I leave copper and brass bare to let a natural patina form. In this case, with wet towels laying directly on the brass, I put on a few coats of lacquer. It's been 4 months as of this writing and it has held up against the dampness.


Being a foot rest the angle of the brackets held the bar way too far out from the wall. I had to create wood base with an angle the brackets could be mounted so the bar was a good distance from the wall.

The base is quarter sawn white oak. The bracket screwed into the base with four 2" brass flat head wood screws. I had to remove the wainscoting in order to apply more ¾" plywood between the drywall and paneling it make sure the wood bases would have something to connect into.


End caps are turned white oak from 100+ year old door trim. Cut with a hole saw and then turned in my drill press as I don't have a wood lathe. I used reciprocating saw blades as a gouge. Then sandpaper, keeping pressure on opposite sides as drill presses can have problems otherwise. Worked pretty well.

There is ¼" threaded rod inside the tube, bolted to each end cap to keep the end caps in place. I also used a few spacers or standoffs inside the tube to make sure the rod didn't sag in the middle and touch the brass. There is no electrolyte present but I am overly protective against galvanic corrosion when using dissimilar metals. Condensation could occur inside the tube providing an electrolyte. Better safe.

To cover the threaded rod holding on the end caps I inlaid Mexican coins. A one peso coin, worth about 8 cents, and a 20 centavo peice worth about 1 cent. Both are beautiful coins, nice and large. And the most inexpensive art work a person could hope to find. Steel washers would have cost more.

I duplicated this detail in the toilet paper dispenser with smaller coins. When using found materials it can be a challenge to hold a design together so small details like this can help.