Industrial wood + pipe toothbrush holder

We love to get our DIY on every chance we get, and we have a special
guest today visiting and sharing some sweet DIY goodness with us.

Yep, it’s industrial & fabulous too!!

Matthew Lyons  and his family are busy making their home their own,
one step at a time and saving
a ton of money along the way.
Way cool, I know.  Check out the fabulous project he is sharing with us today!

 

 

I love free stuff. I also love rustic industrial furniture. But you know what I don’t love? Paying a fortune for rustic industrial furniture that looks like someone just found the parts to make it in a junkyard. This pretty much sums up my relationship with Restoration Hardware.

Recently, my wife and I have been engrossed in a complete rustic overhaul of our guest bathroom. We love the faucet that the previous owners left us, but the faux-ritzy vanity and tiled backsplash and Doctor’s Office Beige walls don’t really fit in with what we consider, erm, attractive.

Suffice to say, we’ve been doing a lot of shopping lately. We picked up some new paint for the walls, we’ve looked into antique vanities and I even built a shelf/towel rack out of industrial pipes. But for all the work we’ve put into planning the renovation, we have had one heck of a time trying to find little kitschy accessories that work with our vision – like toothbrush holders, for instance.

There are cool industrial toothbrush holders for sale all over the place. The problem is, they all cost like $50 and I’m the type of person who would literally have a heart attack if I had to drop that kind of money on an obscure piece of bathroom décor.

Imagine my joy, then, when I found out that my wife’s office had a contractor dumpster on the property. We’re talking scrap wood, old doors, lengths of pipe, stacks of bricks and more. It was like a treasure trove. After getting permission from the property owner, I filled the ol’ minivan with as much loot as I could fit in the back and sped back home to figure out what the heck I was going to do with it all.

First and foremost on my list was a toothbrush holder. So I grabbed a length of scrap pine and some pipe fittings and got to work. I did a little cutting, a little assault and battery on the wood and a little bit of staining and ended up with this neat little toothbrush and razor holder that’s going to look great on the sink when the bathroom makeover is finished.

 

Now since you’ve read this far, I’m going to go ahead and assume that you probably want to know how to build one of these bad boys for your own bathroom. Well you’re in luck because this project is seriously super easy. All in all it took me about an hour to make and cost me less than $20 in supplies. So read on and prepare to be amazed – or at least amused. Whatever, I’m not picky.

The Materials

Since this is a reclaimed project, I totally understand that your materials might not be the same size as my materials. For the sake of consistency, though, I’m going to go ahead and list exactly what I used just in case you want your toothbrush holder to look exactly like mine.

  • 1x Section of 1″ x 6″ White Pine
  • 2x Pipe Floor Flanges (3/4″)
  • 1x 3” Long Metal Pipe Section (3/4″)
  • 1x Pipe Close Connector (3/4″)
  • 1x 90° Pipe Elbow (3/4″)
  • 4x #8 1/2″ Screws and Washers
  • 160-Grit Sandpaper
  • 220-Grit Sandpaper
  • Wood Stain (I used this can of Minwax from Home Depot)
  • Polyurethane Clear Coat (Again, Minwax)
  • A Power Drill with a 1/2″ Drill Bit

Instructions

There’s not much prep work involved with this project. However, you may want to clean off your pipes and wood before you start working with them. Because, you know, dumpster stuff is gross and you probably don’t want that on your clothing/children (I have a strange child).

When all your stuff is de-ickified, you should start your build by cutting off a section of wood. The section should be long enough that you’ve got a 1″ margin from the top and bottom of your floor flange. Don’t worry too much about making the cut neat or super straight. We’re going for a rustic look here, remember.

With your section cut, it’s time to plot and plan. Since we’re boring into the end-grain of the wood, I cannot overstate how important it is to determine exactly where your screws will go before you even pick up the drill. Accidentally driving a screw into one of your toothbrush silos will make that silo useless and could also potentially destroy the face of the wood.

I found it easiest to plot my holes by lining the flange up on the wood so that the top and bottom screw holes were centered on the vertical axis. I marked the screw locations then drew a line down over the end grain so I could see where I shouldn’t drill. Then I plotted out four 1/2″ holes on the end grain so that they were spaced evenly apart without running into the danger zone.

Now it’s time to grab your drill. Secure your wood section with a vice or clamp. Set your drill to turn at medium speed and high torque. Mark your desired depth on your 1/2″ bit with a sharpie so you know when to stop, and then unleash havoc. Apply constant but gentle pressure so that you don’t accidently make your silo crooked. When you finish your first silo, run the drill in revers to auger out the wood chippings and then move on to the next hole.

Pro Tip: This kind of work devours drill batteries. If you’re smart, you’ll fully charge your battery before you start boring into the end grain. Otherwise you’re going to get stuck halfway down a hole with no juice in your drill.

After you’ve drilled your holes, it’s time to artificially age that wood. The key to getting that rustic weathered look is to beat the wood up before you sand it. This is both easy and fun, or at least it was for me. Go ahead and gouge it with a screwdriver. Stomp it into gravel. Hit it with a hammer and slice up a few edges. Pretend it’s your boss or that sweaty guy at the gym who never cleans the machine when he’s done with it. Listen, I don’t know your life but I’m sure you can find the righteous anger within you somewhere.

When the wood is sufficiently traumatized, sand it with the 160-Grit and 220-Grit sandpaper in that order. Then apply your stain using a brush or paper towel. The stain should soak in more darkly to the scratches and gouges that you made, hence the weathered look. Cool, right?

Let the stain dry for a few hours and then coat your wood section with the polyurethane. You don’t need much, just a thin coat to waterproof the wood against sink splashes and that gross drippy toothpaste drool stuff that your toothbrush seems to drip. Paint it on with a brush and let it dry for another couple of hours.

When the poly coat is dry, it’s time to put everything together. Your assembly should look something like this: Flange -> 3″ Pipe -> Elbow -> Close Connector -> Flange -> Wood.  I’m just hand tightening the pipes here. If you want to use grease to lube the threads up or some sort of fixitive because you believe in overkill, be my guest.

Remove your top flange and place it back on the wood so that the screw holes are aligned the way you planned them. Grab two screws, attach washers and drive them in to the top and bottom holes of your wood section. Leave the side holes alone.  Finally, screw your section of wood on to your completed assembly. Then do the happy dance, because you are now the proud owner and builder of a new reclaimed pipe and wood toothbrush holder. How great is that!?

Fill that bad boy with toothbrushes and place it in your bathroom. Or stage it in a photo box and post fancy pictures of your new project on Pinterest and Instagram. I don’t really care. The only thing that matters is that we both took a journey together and we came out as better, fully-developed people. Or at least that’s what I’m going to choose to believe.

I certainly hope that you enjoyed reading this tutorial as much as I did writing it. I’d like to thank Tanya for being awesome and allowing me to share this project on twelveOeight. Pin this thing and make her famous. To see more cool stuff I’ve built, visit us over at HomeDaddys.com. To see cooler stuff than the stuff I’ve built, keep browsing all of Tanya’s projects and features.

 

Matthew Lyons is a self-proclaimed handyman and blogger for HomeDaddys.com. An Oregon native, he now lives in Eastern Texas with his wife and son. He once chopped down an entire maple sapling using nothing but his bare hands and an axe.

Thank you SO much for sharing your creativity with us Matthew!!

Have a blessed & wonderful day friends, love you SO!

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  1. […] Okay so this has taken me way too long to post, but I built a nifty little toothbrush holder for Tanya over at the wonderful twelveOeight blog. Yes, this is another piece of rustic minutiae that will be going in my new bathroom. Yes, it is super easy to make. Yes, you should stop what you’re doing and go check it out RIGHT HERE AT twelveOeight. […]

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