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General Category => Pimp My System => Topic started by: rbowers on November 21, 2011, 09:15:44 PM

Title: Tap Handle Project
Post by: rbowers on November 21, 2011, 09:15:44 PM
Got pretty bored with the standard black tap handles so I undertook a new project to carve some tap handles.  I have the luxury of having a DIY woodworking shop in town and got to use a wood lathe.  Had a lot of fun doing this.

(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6113/6378808659_8f56f9e50c_m.jpg)
Raw Materials- did away with the hockey puck idea after splitting 3 or 4 of them
(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6103/6378803447_70a33e0854_m.jpg)
Lathe work- lucky enough to have the shop guy show me a thing or two but surprisingly easy to do
(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6100/6378809485_9f9c623460_m.jpg)
Pre Stain
(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6037/6378804445_31146edfe1_m.jpg)
Post Stain- added a little polyurethane for a finish
(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6113/6378805597_83a97c50fa_m.jpg)
Top-less handles- drilling the holes in the top of these was probably the hardest thing about all this, not perfect but it will do
(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6235/6378807939_6759f227fe_m.jpg)

(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6059/6378812223_cd8194c305_m.jpg)
New handle top idea was much more simple and in the end far better.  I cut out 4 equal planks of wood, drilled a hole in the bases; rounded out the sharp corners with sand paper and stained them after mounting them on some wood dowels.  I then used some magnetic primer on the fronts to allow for switchable labels to be made- I recommend taping off a square to limit the area for the primer and use at least 3 coats of this stuff, even after 4 coats the magnetic force is still a little weak but will do.  Covered it all in polyurethane and glued them down to the handles.

(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6047/6378810819_f380bc7605_m.jpg)
(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6226/6378806463_b3ddc4951c_m.jpg)
Finished product turned out well.  The magnetic labels switch out easily.  Got all this stuff at a local craft store.  I used Adobe Illustrator for my first effort at label design- insanely expensive software but you can sign up for a free trial month (I am going to have to find numerous other uses for the software prior to justifying the expense of buying a copy).  Added bonus for the magnetic labels - when not in use the labels can just stick to the front of the keezer.
Let me know what you guys think
Title: Re: Tap Handle Project
Post by: weithman5 on November 21, 2011, 10:27:13 PM
nice work.  i like the exchangable labels
Title: Re: Tap Handle Project
Post by: roguenationpatriot on November 21, 2011, 10:29:24 PM
The magnets on the labels are definately a smart idea.  As far as label making software you should be able to find a cheap option if you search the internet a bit.
Title: Re: Tap Handle Project
Post by: tschmidlin on November 21, 2011, 10:45:45 PM
I like the magnetic primer idea, I didn't know it existed.  Nice looking handles.
Title: Re: Tap Handle Project
Post by: Jimmy K on November 22, 2011, 02:50:45 PM
Try Adobe Photoshop Elements, which also has a trial.  I use photoshop (full version) for my labels, but elements is $79. I'm not sure what it is missing.

http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop-elements/features._sl_id-contentfilter_sl_solution_sl_Explore%2Bwhat%2Byou%2Bcan%2Bdo.html
Title: Re: Tap Handle Project
Post by: beersk on November 22, 2011, 08:23:41 PM
Sweet tap handles!  I wish I was crafty like that.
Title: Re: Tap Handle Project
Post by: bluesman on November 22, 2011, 10:23:20 PM
Fabulous work!

I need to replace my standard black tap handles someday. I often forget which tap is which when I'm pouring.
Title: Re: Tap Handle Project
Post by: ullarsskald1989 on November 26, 2011, 07:39:12 PM
2 alternative paints exist for the top part...besides the magnetic:

Chalkboard: http://www.rustoleum.com/CBGProduct.asp?pid=110
Dry-erase: http://www.rustoleum.com/CBGProduct.asp?pid=128

The store where I work carries both, should be available at most larger Rustoleum vendors...Benjamin Moore and Valspar make similar products.
Title: Re: Tap Handle Project
Post by: euge on November 26, 2011, 08:21:46 PM
Good to know about the magnetic paint. Nice work BTW.
Title: Re: Tap Handle Project
Post by: WDE97 on December 05, 2011, 09:50:54 PM
Great looking tap handles!  Love the custom labels for each beer as well.  Really nice touch!  I just finished using the Adobe Illustrator trial version myself to design a brewhouse logo and labels.  Yes, there are cheaper tools out there for making labels, but AI is an awesome graphic design tool if you want to get carried away. 
Title: Re: Tap Handle Project
Post by: Jimmy K on December 06, 2011, 02:06:06 PM
How did you do the threads on the bottom to screw onto the tap? Drill a hole and glue a nut in? Or something else.
Title: Re: Tap Handle Project
Post by: bo on December 06, 2011, 03:02:17 PM
You can buy inserts, but they are very big for 3/8-16. My handles are made from oak, so I just tapped the wood. Been that way for a couple of years now and no problems.
Title: Re: Tap Handle Project
Post by: rbowers on December 22, 2011, 09:26:28 PM
I drilled a hole in the base and dropped in an insert with threads- in retrospect the hardest part was centering the hole and making sure it went in the right direction.  Not perfect but works out ok.
Title: Re: Tap Handle Project
Post by: tcanova on December 23, 2011, 04:30:14 PM
Very nice work!
Title: Re: Tap Handle Project
Post by: duboman on December 31, 2011, 04:16:16 PM
There is a free version of a photoshop type software called GIMP, it works the same and can do all the cool things photoshop does but it takes a little work to understand it, you can find it here: http://www.gimp.org/

The tap handles look great and I love the idea of magnetic labels, makes swapping things out a breeze!
Title: Re: Tap Handle Project
Post by: Beertracker on January 02, 2012, 11:36:51 PM
Nice job man!  ;)