Posted by Dillon on 17th Jan 2022
Why would you want to make your own beer tap handles for the kegerator or jockey box when there is plenty of readymade tap handles you can purchase online for a relatively modest sum of money?
Well, for a number of reasons. First of all, some people are just that passionate about draft beer and they’re willing to go that extra mile to make sure they’re getting exactly what they have in mind. Other people are just DIY pros who like to challenge themselves with various projects.
Finally, sometimes you can’t find the tap handle you’re looking for - so why not make it yourself?
In this little DIY guide, we’re going to cover the main steps of the process of making beer tap handles.
Wooden DIY Tap Handles: Preparation
The materials and tools that you are going to need for the job can be commonly found in most households or purchased at your local hardware store if needed. The bare essentials for making tap handles include:
- A wooden blank or an appropriate size and condition
You may not even have to purchase one - if you look hard enough, you will probably find a wooden palette lying around in your basement/garage or simply ask your friends if they have one.
- Brass insert
Easily purchased online or at a hardware store - just make sure you get the right size (3/18’’-16 UNC).
Obviously, has to match the size of the insert.
- Hand saw/Table saw/Band saw
Using a band saw will save you plenty of time (and mess) but any of the above options are acceptable for homemade tap handles.
- Lathe and a turning tool kit
If you don’t want your DIY beer tap handles to all have the same boring rectangular shape, you’re going to have to do a bit of chipping.
How to Make a Beer Tap Handle: Process
As we’ve mentioned earlier, there’s nothing rocket “sciencey” going on here - it’s a DIY project you can complete within a few hours, if not less. Here are the main steps of creating custom-made beer tap handles.
Step 1. Cutting wood
Take the wooden blank, mark it up, and cut it into five-inch sections (depending on how many tap handles you need to get) using a hand saw or (preferably) a band saw.
Step 2. Drilling holes
Using a drill with an appropriately sized drill bit (½-inch should do), drill a hole at the bottom of your future custom-made tap handles. Fill the hole with a bit of glue to secure the fit (optional).
Step 3. Inserting the brass insert
Insert your 3/8"-16 UNC brass insert. Basically, this nomenclature means that the diameter of the threaded feature is ⅜’’ and there are 16 threads per inch.
Step 4. Shaping
Technically, you can stop right here because your homemade beer tap handles are 95% ready now. All you have to do is get a piece of sandpaper and smooth out the sides of the tap handles.
However, if you’re not happy with a rectangular shape, you can take it to the lathe and, using a turning tool kit, create a uniquely shaped tap handle.
Step 5. Painting/lacquering (optional)
This is completely up to you. If the standard wooden tap handle isn’t good enough for you, you can always cover it with a coat of paint of your choice or simply lacquer it.
As you can see, making DIY tap handles is not such a difficult thing to do if you have the right skills, parts, and tools. Speaking of parts - if you need spare parts or accessories for your tap handles, you know where to get them. Here, Xpress Taphandles, we sell everything tap handles and we do it at very competitive prices. Be sure to check our selection here.