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Thread: Super Simple PVC Towel Pole

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Super Simple PVC Towel Pole

    So I decided that draping our towels over the wrought iron (and rusty) safety fence is getting old and decided to build myself a towel rack out of PVC. I have three (3) 1-1/2" deck sleeves that are design to accept 1-1/2" umbrella poles, so I decided to use one of those. A nominal 1" PVC pipe has an outer diameter of ~1.3" so I figured the pole could be easily constructed from different sizes of PVC pipe along with fitting to make the arms. Here's the parts list -

    Two (2) 10' lengths of 3/4" SCH40 PVC pipe (for the main shaft)
    One (1) precut length of 1" SCH40 PVC, ~ 2' length (for anchoring in the deck sleeve)
    One precut length of 1/2" PVC pipe, ~2' length (so that 3/4" PVC fitting can be slid on to them)
    Various 3/4" PVC cross fittings and pipe reducers to put it all together with

    Total material cost - ~$26

    Tools needed -

    Miter saw and miter box to make straight cuts (substitute a ratcheting PVC cutting if available)
    Pipe end dressing tool (to clean up rough cut ends)
    Measuring tape and marker

    Eventually I will need some PVC glue and some spray paint but this post will just show the rough, dry-fitted end result.

    So here's some pictures of the cuts -



    The plastic miter box has followed me around for years. It's cheap but boy have I used it for everything (I don't have a radial saw or bench cutter).

    I decided to cut the first 10' section of 3/4" PVC into 16" lengths (total of 8) for the towel arms. Here's the first cut -



    Eight more to go.....

    So now, to make the arms rotate, I used four 3/4" cross fittings threaded over a 1/2" PVC pipe with the appropriate 1/2 to 3/4 adapters. Here -



    Next, I measured and cut the 1" PVC pipe to fit into the 1-1/2" deck sleeve -



    I finally press fit all the parts together and, viola!



    Total time spent cutting and assembling, ~ 1 hour.

    I have not glued anything together yet as I may make some changes. I think I might use some SCH80 1" PVC instead of the 3/4" SCH40 PVC for the main shaft; with wet towels on the arms, the pole is going to bend a bit. I also may shorten it a little OR spread out the cross arms. Once I get it to my liking, I'll glue and paint.


    Anyone have any thoughts on best practices for painting PVC? Does it need a good white primer coat first? I have some very expensive exterior Dunn-Edwards Paint that I used on my house which is designed to hold up to Arizona's high heat / UV environment. I was thinking of using that instead of just cheap spray paint.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Super Simple PVC Towel Pole

    I have found PVC to be the "duct tape" equivalent solution to many DIY projects at my house. Nice job Matt.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Super Simple PVC Towel Pole

    Krylon Fusion or the Dual Paint & Primer from ACE is what I would try.

    I use the later on metal for my off-road vehicles often, the Fusion is more for plastics so might be better.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Super Simple PVC Towel Pole

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    I have found PVC to be the "duct tape" equivalent solution to many DIY projects at my house. Nice job Matt.
    Yeah, it's amazing. I have a bunch of pool floats and noodles lying around and I have another PVC project in mind to make a holder for them that I can hang on my block wall. A little PVC and duct tape and you can do wonders....

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Krylon Fusion or the Dual Paint & Primer from ACE is what I would try.

    I use the later on metal for my off-road vehicles often, the Fusion is more for plastics so might be better.
    Thanks, Jason!! I will definitely grab some next time I'm in ACE.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Super Simple PVC Towel Pole

    Great idea Matt. I think I might try this in a nice sturdy umbrella base.

    Dom
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Super Simple PVC Towel Pole

    Quote Originally Posted by domct203 View Post
    Great idea Matt. I think I might try this in a nice sturdy umbrella base.

    Dom
    Thanks. Sadly, things have been so busy for me that I have yet to paint the pole. I need to modify it a bit (shorten the height about 6") and bulk up the 1" PVC section that plugs into the deck sleeves with a little 20mil pipe tape. The OD/ID mismatch between the sleeve and the pipe is enough to make it a bit too wobbly. Unfortunately there's no perfect fit solution in standard SCH40 PVC so it needs a little tweak/hack to make it work.

    Also, the 3/4" PVC main pipe feels a little flimsy to me so it might have been better just to use straight 1" PVC or maybe SCH80 PVC. Something with a slightly larger wall thickness.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Super Simple PVC Towel Pole

    Here's my PVC "Clutter Killer"






    16K In-ground, Free-form 16'x30', 3.5'/6'/4', Gunite, Original Build ~1996, Renovation 2016, Wet Edge Luna Quartz (Aruba), Travertine Coping, Pentair Globrite LED light, 1 Skimmer, Pentair WhisperFlo 2.0Hp Pump, Hayward Sand Filter, Pentiar MasterTemp 400K BTU Heater, Hayward Variflow XL Multiport Valve, Pentair 320 Clorinator (mostly unused.. Thanks to BBB!), Kreepy Krauly Cleaner, TF-100 Test Kit

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Super Simple PVC Towel Pole

    Quote Originally Posted by DeanG View Post
    Here's my PVC "Clutter Killer"






    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Awesome-sauce!!
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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