Turn a Paper Towel Holder & More with Tim Yoder

paper towel dispenser

This paper towel holder is just one of the projects on this new compilation.

I came to the Popular Woodworking team with an interest in woodworking, but since working here, I seem to have been drawn specifically to woodturning. I find it fascinating, and as with any craftsmanship, it is inspiring to see the passion and care someone puts into a piece, regardless of its use or size.

In fact, ever since Editor Megan Fitzpatrick offhandedly mentioned bringing in an experienced turning teacher to show me and a few other interested folks the basics, I’ve been pestering her about it (Megan, are you reading this? Nudge Nudge.)

But she’s too busy working on Woodworking in America stuff right now, so it’s going to have to wait until after the conference, I’m told.

In the meantime I’m learning quite a bit about turning by watching Tim Yoder’s entertaining “Woodturning with Tim” videos. On the newest collection “Woodturning with Tim Yoder Season 2, Ep. 1-6.” I think my favorite is the Paper Towel Holder (pictured above).

I find that something is more satisfying when you create it yourself, and knowing that it will be in your house and be able to use it daily, makes it that much more practical and fun. With Tim’s paper towel holder project, I was able to learn proper tool use, and how to plan efficiently – good to know before cutting into wood. (Tim’s design takes into account that when the roll gets smaller, sometimes the holder gets in the way.)

So while Megan won’t let me turn on the Oneway until I’m properly trained, at least once she lets me at that switch, I’ll have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to make. And thanks to Tim, I’ll already know the tools and techniques.

If you would like to get meta on woodturning and turn your own handles for your turning tools, check out this article by Alan Lacer.

— Jake Motz