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.