Are you a beer enthusiast looking to add a personal touch to your home bar or kegerator? One way to do that is by making your own custom beer tap handle. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of creating a wooden beer tap handle that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Step 1: Cut the wood to size
The first step in making a beer tap handle is to select a suitable piece of wood and cut it to the desired size. The dimensions will depend on your personal preference, but a typical tap handle is around 10-12 inches tall and no wider than 2.625 inches to fit comfortably on a bar. Use a saw to carefully cut the wood to the desired length.
Step 2: Drill space for the threaded insert
Next, you will need to create a space for the threaded insert that will attach the handle to the faucet. Determine the size of the threaded insert you have and drill a hole of the corresponding size into the top of the tap handle. Make sure the hole is deep enough to securely hold the insert.
Step 3: Glue and let dry
Apply some wood glue to the threaded insert and carefully insert it into the hole you drilled. Allow the glue to dry completely before moving on to the next step. This will ensure a strong and secure connection between the handle and the insert.
Step 4: Rough turn it on the lathe
If you have access to a lathe, now is the time to use it. Mount the tap handle onto the lathe and begin shaping it to your desired design. Start with a roughing gouge to remove excess wood and gradually refine the shape using different turning tools. Take your time and pay attention to details to achieve the desired result.
Step 5: Sand to perfection
Once you are satisfied with the shape of the tap handle, it's time to sand it to a smooth finish. Start with a coarse grit sandpaper and gradually work your way up to a finer grit. This will help to remove any rough edges or uneven surfaces. Be sure to sand the entire handle, including the top where the insert is located.
Step 6: Coat in walnut oil and let drip dry
To enhance the natural beauty of the wood and protect it from moisture, apply a coat of walnut oil to the tap handle. This will give it a rich, deep color and a smooth finish. Allow the oil to soak in and let the handle drip dry for a few hours.
Step 7: Cure the finish with friction polish
To further protect the tap handle and give it a glossy shine, apply a layer of friction polish. This is a combination of shellac and friction that creates a durable and attractive finish. Apply the polish using a clean cloth and buff it to a shine with a soft rag or a buffing wheel.
Now that your custom beer tap handle is complete, all that's left is to attach it to your faucet and enjoy a cold, refreshing beer. Whether you choose to display it proudly in your home bar or give it as a unique gift, your handmade tap handle is sure to be a conversation starter.
DIY Beer Tap Handle Ideas
If you're feeling creative and want to go beyond the traditional wooden tap handle, here are a few ideas to inspire your DIY project:
1. Vintage-inspired: Repurpose old items like vintage doorknobs, bicycle handles, or even antique tools to create a unique and eye-catching tap handle.
2. Personalized: Use a piece of wood and carve or engrave your initials, favorite beer logo, or a custom design onto the handle. This will give it a personal touch and make it truly one-of-a-kind.
3. Theme-based: Choose a theme that reflects your interests or the style of your home bar. For example, you could create a tap handle shaped like a surfboard for a beach-themed bar or a miniature guitar for a music-themed bar.
4. Upcycled materials: Get creative and repurpose materials like bottle caps, beer cans, or even old beer tap handles to create a unique and eco-friendly tap handle.
Remember, the possibilities are endless when it comes to DIY beer tap handles. Let your creativity shine and have fun with the process. Cheers!
How Do You Make A Beer Tap Handle?
To make a wooden beer tap handle, follow these step-by-step instructions:
1. Cut the wood to size:
– Choose a suitable piece of wood, such as hardwood or exotic wood, with a length of about 6-8 inches and a diameter of around 1.5-2 inches.
– Use a saw to cut the wood to the desired length, ensuring it is straight and even.
2. Drill space for the threaded insert:
– Mark the center of one end of the wood piece.
– Select a drill bit that matches the size of the threaded insert you will be using.
– Carefully drill a hole into the marked center, making sure to go deep enough to accommodate the insert.
3. Glue and let dry:
– Apply wood glue to the threaded insert and insert it into the drilled hole.
– Allow the glue to dry completely, following the manufacturer's instructions.
4. Rough turn it on the lathe:
– Mount the wood piece onto a lathe, securing it firmly.
– Using a roughing gouge, shape the handle by removing excess wood and creating the desired design.
– Take care to maintain a balanced shape and smooth transitions between different sections of the handle.
5. Sand to perfection:
– Once the rough turning is complete, switch to finer grit sandpaper and sand the handle thoroughly.
– Start with a coarse grit and gradually move to finer grits to achieve a smooth and polished surface.
– Pay attention to details and remove any rough spots or imperfections.
6. Coat in walnut oil and let drip dry:
– Apply a generous amount of walnut oil to the entire surface of the handle.
– Allow the oil to soak into the wood for a few minutes.
– Wipe off any excess oil using a clean cloth, and let the handle drip dry for several hours.
7. Cure the finish with friction polish:
– Apply a small amount of friction polish, a mixture of shellac and rubbing alcohol, to the handle.
– Using a clean cloth, rub the polish onto the wood, applying pressure and generating friction to create a glossy finish.
– Repeat this process several times, allowing the polish to dry between applications, until you achieve the desired level of shine.
By following these steps, you can create a beautiful and personalized wooden beer tap handle. Remember to take your time, be precise, and enjoy the process of crafting your own unique piece.
What Size Thread Is A Beer Tap Handle?
A beer tap handle typically has a thread size of 3/8″-16. This means that the diameter of the thread is 3/8 inch, and there are 16 threads per inch.
There are two main sizes of hanger bolts commonly used in the beer tap handle industry – the 3/8″-16 size and the smaller 5/16″-18 size. However, the larger 3/8″-16 size is often used for displaying tap handles because it matches the thread size of a standard American beer faucet.
To clarify further, here are some key points about the 3/8″-16 thread size for beer tap handles:
– The thread diameter is 3/8 inch, which is the measurement of the threaded portion of the hanger bolt or stud.
– The number 16 indicates the number of threads per inch. This means that there are 16 individual threads that wrap around the hanger bolt in one inch of length.
– The 3/8″-16 thread size is the most commonly used size for tap handles as it is compatible with the thread size of a standard American beer faucet.
– This thread size allows the tap handle to securely attach to the faucet without any wobbling or instability.
The thread size of a beer tap handle is typically 3/8″-16, which refers to a 3/8 inch diameter thread with 16 threads per inch. This size is commonly used in the beer tap handle industry to ensure a secure and stable attachment to the faucet.
Making a wooden beer tap handle can be a fun and rewarding DIY project for any beer enthusiast. By following the steps outlined above, you can create a custom tap handle that not only looks great but also fits perfectly on your beer faucet.
One important aspect to consider is the size of the hanger bolt used. The 3/8″-16 size is commonly used for tap handles as it matches the thread of a standard American beer faucet. This ensures a secure and stable fit.
When designing your tap handle, it's important to keep in mind the dimensions and weight. Tap handles are typically spaced 3″ apart at the bar, so the maximum width should be 2.625″. The height should measure no more than 10-12″ tall to ensure easy usability. Additionally, it's recommended to keep the weight under 1 lb to prevent any strain or difficulty in handling.
Once you have cut the wood to size and drilled the space for the threaded insert, it's important to properly glue and let it dry before moving on to the next steps. Rough turning it on a lathe will help shape the handle, and sanding it to perfection will give it a smooth and polished finish.
To enhance the appearance and protect the wood, coating it in walnut oil and allowing it to drip dry is recommended. Finally, curing the finish with friction polish will provide a glossy and durable surface.
By following these steps and taking into account the necessary dimensions and weight, you can create a unique and high-quality wooden beer tap handle that will add a personal touch to your home bar or enhance the branding of a commercial establishment. Cheers to your DIY beer tap handle creation!