The best advice you'll ever get for cutting in half a roll of paper towels

I can think of nothing to blog while I’m deep in mangling the look of my site on the side. I’m that kind of dedicated sort of person. But I came across this over at Cupie’s and had to share. You too can make your own baby wipes. Think of the money saved. And all you need is a roll of paper towels, baby soap, baby oil, water, plastic container, measuring cup, tablespoon and table saw.

The first thing that must be done is cut the roll of paper towels in half. I’ve tried doing this with serrated knives or hand saws, but I’ve found that they either squash the roll or produce a very ragged, chewed-up end. The best solution I have tried is the table saw. A band saw would probably do as well, but I don’t have one to test on. First, put on your safety glasses, then raise up the blade as high as it will go. Then, with the plastic wrapper still on the roll, cut the roll down the center. You will probably have to spin the roll to cut all the way through.

Haven’t used baby wipes in years but who can resist saving 2 cents a wipe? The lowest price table saw I’ve found so far is at the link, $110. The “table” space is minimal. The next model up is nearly $300, also with minimal table space, and then the next is $315 and the table area looks like it would be able to accomodate three diners. Important to consider with three individuals living in an 800 square foot apartment.

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Juli Kearns

Juli Kearns is the author of Thunderbird and the Ball of Twine and Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin. She is also an artist/photographer, and the person behind the web alter of "Idyllopus Press".

4 thoughts on “The best advice you'll ever get for cutting in half a roll of paper towels”

  1. I’ll have to send this to my stepdaughter, who has a baby in diapers and lives in DC in an apartment they can’t afford. They don’t have a table saw (it’s not a table saw sort of neighborhood) but I can see her sawing up paper towel rolls by hand, regardless of ragged edges. (She doesn’t worry about ragged edges.)

  2. I just love penny pinchers who come up with stuff like making one’s own baby wipes! Back in the day when I read Woman’s Day all the time to find new ways of making salmon loaf with a can of tuna and cream of celery soup, they would often have articles on women who were major penny pinchers, including one who had six kids and published something called The Penny Pincher Gazette (or something to that effect).

    I always find this stuff fascinating, but, frankly, I’m glad I don’t have to pinch things all that tight anymore.

  3. I’m just not that homey industrious. Not to mention that I don’t have a table saw. I used to occasionally watch the carpentry shows where you can save a lot of money if you do-it-yourself furniture and house remodeling, that are showcases for all the state-of-the-art woodworking equipment. The ones where the workshop costs about as much as the home. Have to say I was in total awe of the table saw. All of it. “Look how easy….!”

  4. lol! which reminds me of another “do it yoursef” funny–years ago, working in a local craft store (call that “crap store”) two women came in looking for some funky little smoothing tool they saw on an episode of Martha Stewart Living. Martha was making mirrors by pressing together sheets of mylar and some sort of adheaive, then smoothing them out with a bookbinder’s tool. Thing is, the only place one could get the bookbinder’s tool was from a specialty company that made hand-crafted bookbinding instruments. So, the couple of bucks you saved on mylar and adhesive from the crap store had to be funneld towards the tool, which cost quite a penny.

    The woman were extremely disappointed that the local yokel crapstore didn’t carry that sort of thing. Oh, well. Nobody ever said being a domestic goddess could be achieved on the cheap.

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