We show you how easy it is to make a towel rail and adapt the design to your personal style.
- 10mm aluminium tube (with an 8mm internal diameter)
- plastic plant pot
- 3m length of 8mm steel bar
- 12kg bag of ready-to-mix cement
- lacquer thinners
- spray paint (in a colour of your choice)
- cordless drill and 10mm drill bit
- tape measure
- duct tape
- bucket for mixing
- metal file
This easy project will teach you the basics of working with ready-to-mix cement, as well as techniques you can use to shape steel bars and copper pipes for your own projects.
1 Use the hacksaw to cut a length of 10mm aluminium tube to the same depth as the container you will be using to cast the base. Our container is 250mm deep so we cut a 250mm length. This tube will form a permanent part of the base and will hold the towel-rail structure in place.
2 Drill a 10mm hole in the middle of an off-cut strip of wood. This will be used to hold the short section of tube upright and in place while the cement base dries. Insert the length of aluminium tube into the hole.
3 Use a tape measure to measure a length of 8mm steel bar that will be sufficient for your towel rail and then cut it with the hacksaw. We used a 1 400mm section for our romantic ‘orchid inspired’ towel rail and a 2 500mm length for our contemporarystyle towel rail and clothes hanger.
4 Use duct tape to close the drainage holes in the bottom of the plastic plant pot.
5 Use a bucket and mix the entire 12kg bag of ready-to-mix cement. Add water to the cement and sand mixture and mix it to a firm but moist consistency.
6 Position the wooden strip with the section of aluminium tube inserted into the hole over the centre of the pot and pack the wet cement carefully around the tube until you have filled the pot to the top.
7 Tap the container on the side until the cement has settled into the container and all the bubbles have risen to the surface. A thin layer of water will form on top.
8 Cut two short sections of steel bar and position these in a bench vise. Place the long piece of steel bar between these short sections and then use this to bend the steel bar according to the shape you require. We created a gradual curve with the end rounded neatly to form our ‘orchid inspired’ towel rail and created a squared zigzag rail section for our contemporary-style ‘clothes horse’ towel rail.
9 Use the hacksaw to cut off any remaining part of the steel bar at each end to finish off the shapes.
Tip: When you start the project make sure that the initial steel bar is longer than the design you are creating as this will help you to bend the last section of the design more easily.
10 Use a metal file to round off the ends and remove any burrs.
11 Wipe the steel sections with a rag soaked in thinners to remove any dirt.
12 Finish the towel rail shape(s) with spray paint in the colour of your choice. We used silver for our contemporary towel rail and white for the romantic ‘orchid inspired’ version.