Standalone Toilet Paper Dispenser

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Project by George Gilbert posted 01-10-2008 01:05 AM 1987 views 8 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Standalone Toilet Paper Dispenser
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We awoke one summer day in June, 2000, to find that our toilet had been overflowing all night. In addition to ruining the bathroom floor, the water seeped into the utility room next door. The water also drained through the floor into the downstairs. It was a mess; but, as is true with many disasters, it turned out to be a blessing. A friend spent 3 1/2 months doing repairs. We took advantage of the project to do a little remodeling as well. When the work was done we were pleased with the results.

There was one lingering problem, however. The toilet in our new bathroom was backed against the middle of a wall with nowhere to conveniently mount a toilet paper dispenser. My solution was to design and build a standalone dispenser. The objective was to create an elegant addition to our bathroom that complemented the decor and was light enough to be moved while a person was engaged on the thrown. It also had to hold two rolls to prevent any embarrassing moments caused by running out while inconvenienced.

As pictured, the finished dispenser is made of oak with an open framework design that makes it quite light. The six cross members make the unit exceptionally sturdy. People have asked why I didn’t close the bottom so it could be used for storing spare rolls. That would have made the unit too heavy. Besides, with two rolls on board, it doesn’t matter where the spare rolls are stored.

Every part of this standalone TP dispenser (with the exception of the plastic roll holders and rubber feet) is hand made from oak including the handle on the top. The buttons showing on the side hide screw holes. The finish is a Golden Oak stain under two coats of water based polyurethane. To give the unit a very smooth finish, the entire piece has sanded with a Fine 3-M sanding pad. This removes the shine and leaves a finish that is as smooth as a baby’s behind. All finishing was completed before final assembly.

-- George ... my other passion is software development (

15 comments so far

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3960 days

#1 posted 01-10-2008 01:41 AM

How terribly convenient having a spare roll right there. A neat design and an attractive implementation.

-- Working at Woodworking

View TreeBones's profile


1827 posts in 4045 days

#2 posted 01-10-2008 01:45 AM

Another great piece born of necessity.

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4010 days

#3 posted 01-10-2008 01:52 AM

Alright! A two roller.

Good job.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4328 days

#4 posted 01-10-2008 02:12 AM

Cool, could even double as a cane, like if your leg falls asleep or something.. Nice job.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View Grumpy's profile


23997 posts in 3872 days

#5 posted 01-10-2008 03:34 AM

Great design George, very practical. Just fo interest, which way does the paper roll over the top or underneath??, everyone seems to have a different idea on that.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4422 days

#6 posted 01-10-2008 04:35 AM

Grumpy: I like the paper falling down on the front side of the roll. That way it is easy to find.

Great design George. I guess with a design like that you could put in the 1000’ rolls that they use in commercial water closets. Other than the paper is like cardboard.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View George Gilbert's profile

George Gilbert

4 posts in 3811 days

#7 posted 01-10-2008 05:13 AM

RobS … You are right on. I have used the dispenser as a cane many times since I like to read while on the thrown. Legs falling asleep is a condition with which I am intimately familiar.

Grumpy … The paper rolls either way. However, Lois and I are firm “over the top” people.

Karson … I’m not a fan of commercial paper. Nor am I a fan of Charmin. I’m somewhere in the middle. (No pun intended.)

-- George ... my other passion is software development (

View rpmurphy509's profile


288 posts in 3876 days

#8 posted 01-10-2008 05:20 AM

I need one of those :)

-- Still learning everything

View Marge's profile


145 posts in 3975 days

#9 posted 01-10-2008 05:35 AM

The design is great – and to admire it you have a captive audience:)

-- Marge, Colorado

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4087 days

#10 posted 01-10-2008 11:03 AM

Great solution to a very necessary piece of equipment. I’m an over the top guy too.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4012 days

#11 posted 01-10-2008 11:37 AM

Elegant…Yes! Very nice.

There’s probably some personality disorder for people’s preference on how the TP flows off the roll. Mine is “going postal” when I discover that there is no roll! But I had this friend one time, who used to be a janitor, and said that “people use less TP if it comes off the top of the roll”. I don’t know where in the world she gets this info…probably some million dollar government research project from the 60’s!

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4182 days

#12 posted 01-10-2008 11:46 AM

over the top.

great idea. Well done.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3896 days

#13 posted 01-10-2008 01:27 PM

Over the top. Why put it on wrong?

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4268 days

#14 posted 01-11-2008 11:06 PM

Great idea George, you have my blessing. Nothing worse than trying to twist backward grappling for some s….. paper and then to run out. You have managed to solve both problems and do it in an elegant way, kudos.. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4058 days

#15 posted 01-12-2008 12:46 PM

Keeps it at the ready! A lot of detail and work in that piece.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

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