I have been doing a fair amount of beer festivals lately and needed a tap box to serve from. In the past I was simply using a cobra style dispenser and often filling pitchers from the keg. I also wanted to have a bit more class, as I am often serving alongside professional brewers who have nice looking boxes in which to serve. My requirements included at least 4 taps, portable, light weight and something that had my name/ brand on it.
I drew up some dimensions and came up with this Irish Coffin Box, here some pictures of the quick and easy build:
I started with some 3/8" "Birch plywood"
To cover the ugly ends of the plywood, I used some iron-on banding , also made of birch
trimming off the excess with a razor blade:
In the theme of keeping this box light, I used some simple pressure treated frame pieces:
Here's a shot of the corner bracing, glued and nailed for strength:
Then I added some molding to the top collar and footings here:
Pretty plain still , I added from fancier molding to add more depth and character:
Now for a finish, to set the birch apart from the molding , I first tapped off the surface:
A finish I like is called "french polishing" , which is several layers of 3lb shellac cut with denatured alcohol and using a figure eight pattern, it adds depth and clarity to any natural grain patterns. It's a very old style technique for finishing furniture.
To highlight the wood, I painted the molding black:
I added my brewery name from some cut-out letters obtained at a craft store, these are cheap and time saving:
French Polish by itself isn't really waterproof, but adds a great under-finish, I then coated the whole box with PolyU, spilling beer on this box is a given, the poly adds much protection to the project:
Lastly, I added my four taps and finished the box:
Got to use it this past weekend and it worked very well , light , strong and decent looking.