A paper towel dispenser.. one of my first projects, from 20 years ago….. or so

I confess: this project is not a fine woodworking piece… not at all! However, it is one of the first projects I crafted as a young adult. That said, I have to mention that while in elementary school I built a few other projects in woodworking class. One of them is a cooking spoon my mother still keeps in her kitchen to this day. Perhaps in the future I will show some more of my early work on this blog.

I built this dispenser before entering architecture school, during a four-month period when I was employed as an apprentice-woodworker in the wood-shop of a family friend. I did not learn much woodworking there since I mostly sanded stuff, or carried tools, or mauled toolboxes for the more "professional" woodworkers. In retrospect, the greatest advantage of that job was having free access to the shop's scrap-bin. In that bin I found short pieces of mahogany, ash and oak. It was while working there that I developed an interest in woodworking and bought my first set of tools: a corded drill, drill bits, one really cheap chisel and a small saw.

The Dispenser: As you can see in the pictures, I built the paper towel dispenser by connecting four small pieces of oak together. Two of them I connected lengthwise (If you look at the pictures you can see small pieces of veneer (and wood filler) I used to fill the gap in the sloppy joint). To this beam I connected two arms which carry the paper towel axle. The arms are connected to the long beam with dowels. A very simple design and a crude craftsmanship but this object serves me to this day.




American Woodworker Blog
Yoav Liberman

About Yoav Liberman

Yoav S. Liberman is a woodworker and a teacher. His pieces have been featured in several woodworking books, most recently in Robin Wood’s CORES Recycled. Yoav teaches woodworking at the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan, and also frequently guest teaches in craft schools across the country.  Between 2003 and 2011 Yoav  headed the woodworking program at Harvard University's Eliot House. Yoav’s articles have appeared in American Woodworker and Woodwork Magazine. He frequently contributes woodworking web content to a number of digital publications   Yoav has a degree in architecture and later held two competitive residency programs: at The Worcester Center for Crafts in Massachusetts, and the Windgate Foundation Fellowship at Purchase College, New York. He lives in Chestnut Ridge NY.