Towel Bars
Demonstration by James Joyce.
December 1, 1999

J-J :

We have had quite a few demo that dealt with making a leaf. And with christmas coming a made a few simple towel bars to show how you could use the leaf.

J-J :

towl14.gif (9847 bytes)

towl15.gif (14763 bytes)

towl16.gif (14716 bytes)

J-J :

In the left pic you see a straight towel bar, which we will start with. Then a ring style bar in the center of the pic we'll do.

J-J :

Time permitting we can do the decorative j-hooks. if not, next week.

J-J :

For stock, use 1/2" round that is 14" longer than the distance between the wall studs you want to hang the towel bar on.

J-J :

Most studs will be 16" or 24" on centers.

J-J :

towl01.gif (1847 bytes)

towl02.gif (1708 bytes)

J-J :

Draw a dull, flat chisel point on one wnd. Then fuller back 1 1/2" FROM THE TIP WITH THE SPRING FULLER. (sorry)

J-J :

don't go more than about 1/4 through the stock with the fuller groove.

J-J :

towl02.gif (1708 bytes)

towl04.gif (1803 bytes)

J-J :

towl03.gif (1063 bytes)

towl04.gif (1803 bytes)

J-J :

widen the flatten part in front of the fuller groove with the cross pien, and shape it with the ball pien hammer.

J-J :

Once shapped to your liking, reheat and clamp in the vice. You a chisel and point intothe front of the edge and away from the point to dress the edges.

J-J :

Sorry, use you chisel to dress the dege, pointing your chisel intothe front edge of the leaf and angling toward the back end of the leaf. This will give a texture to the leaf edge.

J-J :

towl05.gif (1578 bytes)

towl06.gif (1935 bytes)

J-J :

chisel cut the veining into the leaf, under the treadle hammer or on the anvil face. Cut the center vein first, tip to butt. then the side veins

J-J :

The flatten a ball pien recess for the mounting screw, centered about 3/4" behind the leaf. Use the ball pien for a fuller. If you are not using a treadle hammer for this, be sure your glasses are in place with you use another hammer againstthe ball pien.

J-J :

towl07.gif (988 bytes)

J-J :

Form the bend on this end over the horn of the anvil. You can see i like a nice curve here, not just a 90 degree.

J-J :

towl08.gif (3018 bytes)

J-J :

repeat steps 1 - 7 on the opposite end, keeping in mind the required distance between the screw points for the studs.

J-J :

towl10.gif (2005 bytes)

J-J :

Now make the bend that will move the bottom of the bar away from the wall. If you want this exact and don't have a jig, place two pieces of angle iron in the vice and put the leaves and fuller grooves down in to the angleiron as a holder.

J-J :

towl14.gif (9847 bytes)

J-J :

your towel bar is now ready to cool and finish.

J-J :

To make the ring style towel bar....

J-J :

Follow all the same steps in making the leaf end and the ball pien fuller grooves for the mounting screw.

J-J :

I like to use 3/8" square stock and chamfer all edges well bvefore beginning anything else.

J-J :

I use about 18" to 24" of stock depending upon size (i prefer the smaller one)

J-J :

The ring bend is simple and i'll show it in the next two drawings.

J-J :

towl11.gif (1628 bytes)

towl12.gif (2127 bytes)

J-J :

start the bend over the horn and complete by sliding the ring around the anvil. Bend the ends back on the ring slightly.

J-J :

I prefer not to bring the tips together at the same point vertically, offset them a bit. They can look like rabbit ears if not and have a nasty tendency to split wood when installed.

J-J :

Now place the ears and about 2 inches of the rings, straightened a bit, into the vice and tap downward with the hammer, flattening the base of the ring a bit.

J-J :

You are ready to collect $25 - $35 for the straight bar and $17.50 - $22.50 for the ring, ljust like i did today :)

J-J :

Questions ? Rocks?

Glenn :

What finish would you use?

J-J :

Glenn, i like to brass brush the leaves. Usually a flat black paint or wax finish, rubbed very well.

J-J :

on the bar itself, i mean for the black.

PoorBoy :

You give two lengths of bar and said you like the smaller loop approx. what sizes are the two finished loops respectively

J-J :

4" and 6" ring size with 18" and 24" stock.

J-J :

quite often, i sell these made from stainless steel. The coal forge is necessary to get a black color down in the leaf marks in that case.

travis :

What do you like to use to brass brush leaves with? Good demo

J-J :

I have used clear laquor as a finish. Don't especially like cause it looks worse if/when it peels.

P-F :

JJ ; about striking 2 hammer faces together....

J-J :

Pete, i don't strike 2 hammer faces together, i use a treadle hammer with a mild steel plate.

J-J :

Bill suggested last week the use of a mild steel driver head welded to a handle for this purpose.

Jock-D :

Mild steel works fine for short use dies for hot work but would be a disaster installed in a hammer.

Paw-Paw :

The one time I tried clear Krylon, I didn't like the way it looked, wire brushed it off and went with paint.

J-J :

Krylon works ok on interior stuff, but won't hold up outside. If i'm worried, i use a zink primer coat, followed by gloss paint, whose finish i dull down with laquor thinner to a flat.

Sharon-Epps :

Gents, Bill found a good clear coat that doesn't flake off, It is ValOil. It is clear, can get satin or the glosses, It is a type of polyurthane, is expensive, but works on outside stuff as well an indoor furniture. We buy locally at Hardware store. May have to ask yours to order it. Valoil is made by Valspar.

iForge is an Andrew Hooper Production
Copyright © 1999 James Joyce
HTML Copyright © 1999 Jock Dempsey,
Webmaster email:

Page Counter