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Author Replies
SteveG
10/17/05 09:46 AM  
Anyone into tap handles?
I just love making them, Halloween parties are a particularly good excuse to start thinking of wacky names for a beer and accompanying tap handles. My second Roeselare beer, Rodenbruin, has been renamed for an up coming pre Halloween party. There is a nice presence of oak in the beer, so now it is called "Beast of the Wood". Here is the tap handle from which it will pour:

http://ww2.babblebelt.com/taps/beast.html

bstill
10/17/05 10:00 AM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
very cool, did you make that?

b...

SteveG
10/17/05 11:13 AM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
I found a cheap imatation of a classic wolf head handle cane. It packed a sword, so I sawed that off, tossed it and the cane and filled the piece that connected the handle with the cane with a drillable wood puddy. Drilled it and screwed in a threaded insert.
SebastianP
10/17/05 02:09 PM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
That is a really cool tap handle Steve.
Jim Keaveney
10/21/05 04:15 PM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
Nice job, Steve! Next time you come to a party bring that. Maybe you will accidently leave it behind and take your hat back!
Jim Keaveney
10/27/05 01:03 PM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
Steve:

I would love to learn how to make tap handles. I imagine that even a mechanically challenged person such as myself could "handle" this if I know what parts and tools were required. The best thing would be if you could help me with my first one or two.

SteveG
10/27/05 01:03 PM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
I doubt you are any more mechanically challenged that I am. By and large my approach is to find things to make handles out of. The trick then is just how to adapt the thing you want to be a handle to accept the threaded top of the tap head so you can screw it into place. Find an old hardware store and look for threaded inserts. It is this little piece of metal that is threaded on the outside and inside. Make sure the inside accepts the specific thread of a tap head. I did this by bringing the stock black handle that come with the taphead with me. I used that to find a bolt that would screw onto it. Then I used that bolt to test the insert.

You drill a hole in your thing that is to be a handle just smaller than the insert then screw the insert in (it has two gaps on the top that lets you use a really wide screwdrive to screw it in). That works great for taps with a wooden base, other substances may call for other approaches. I think the best first step is to give me an idea what the handle you want to make looks like in your mind. Then you find something that someone else made that captures this, or maybe a couple things that when combined do the trick. Then get the insert in there and you got yerself a tap handle!! Personally I do better naming the beer first then thinging of some item that reflects that name.

Jim Keaveney
10/27/05 01:04 PM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
Yeah, that is what I am looking for. now to find those threaded inserts. Not available at Loews, etc?

SteveG
10/27/05 01:05 PM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
Not impossible, but I associate that sort of seldom sought after thing as not being in the Lowes mainstram way of stocking shelves. I found some in a old time hardware store down the street and bought them out. If you have a problem I'll see if they have more or can get more. They like me, I bring them cider!
SebastianP
10/27/05 06:58 PM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
Jim Keaveney Wrote <<Yeah, that is what I am looking for. now to find those threaded inserts. Not available at Loews, etc?>>

You can also purchase the threaded inserts online from

http://www.williamsbrewing.com

http://www.williamsbrewing.com/TAPHANDLE_THREADED_INSERT_P1152C136.cfm

SteveG
10/27/05 08:08 PM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
Score!! Yes Jim, Sebastians link points to the exact piece of hardware I was talking about. That makes things easier! Thanks Sebastian, Steve
Jim Keaveney
10/28/05 02:56 PM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
Awesome! Thanks guys, I just ordered 20 (and I needed another thermometer too). Might have a coupla 3-legged chairs at the house in the near future ;)
SteveG
10/28/05 04:18 PM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
A great base for a tap handle that will involve falling over in your chair way less (at least till you start using the handle) are stair spindles. Those thing things that hold up a stair case banaster. You get them at Lowes or Home Depot. I have a few handles that are some relivant object screwed to the top of a spindle section, then you paint the section accordingly. Here is an example (this one was polyurathaned, not painted:

http://www.babblebelt.com/images/taphandl.gif

I was running this contest, the first and - to my knowledge only ever - virtual contest. I'll explain that another time, but the picture above was a category first prize. The globe part was a 3D version of our logo, the "gold plaque" had Michael Jacksons signature on it. cost like 3 bucks each to make, people would have stepped over their own mothers to get one. Oh, attached to the handle via threaded insert.

Chet
10/28/05 04:46 PM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
I need to get a kegerator so I can play too...
Jim Keaveney
11/01/05 09:20 AM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
wow, they got here fast from Ca! i am in business. heading out to look for some cool handle material today.

thanks again,

jim

Jim Keaveney
11/01/05 10:14 AM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
Steve:

Do you ever use a wood burning tool or a wood engraving tool to make your handles?

Jim

SteveG
11/01/05 01:30 PM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
I wouldn't know what one was if it burned and engraved me! I tend to do little variation on the item the tap is to be made from.
SteveG
11/01/05 10:58 PM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
Jim, can you tell me what you're looking for in a tap? Do you have some sort of picture in your head of what you want to see?
Jim Keaveney
11/04/05 01:15 PM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
Steve:

I thought I would start out simple. I found a pretty cool table leg at Lowes and made my first one already, tho it is not painted yet and has no place to really engrave anything. To get started, all I was hoping for was something like what I found except I would like a squarish wooden base into which I could engrave the names of my brews. I would then paint them all the same color and paint the engraving some other color (prob black).

After that, I just thought I would keep my eye open for cool things that could be made into tap handles appropriate for my beers (something like the one you displayed above). Heck if I find something really cool, I would put the cart before the horse and create a new beer to match the handle. I have some new faucets coming so I don't want to go too crazy until I see if the clearance is the same (I think it will be).

Here are the names of some of the beers I have fermenting or on the brew schedule:

"Golden Deceiver" (a cute golden retriever but with an attitude - red eyes, fangs or something would be cool)

"Lights Out" Belgian Stout (maybe just a blackended light bulb but many possibilities here)

"Road Rage" IPA (Car theme? Middle finger?)

"Space Monkey" (Gleek)

"Red Head"

"Bubba Stout" (named after my rotweiller)

If I had any kind of talent, I could engrave these type of things on flat, wooden handles, but...

SteveG
11/04/05 01:42 PM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
<<If I had any kind of talent, I could engrave these type of things on flat, wooden handles, but...>>

Engraving sounds hard unless it is something you do a lot of. You mentioned using a squarer shaped base, I think that is a good idea. Why not try going to an awards/trophy shop? Trophies always have little plaques at the base that names the award and winner, those are engraved. Maybe you could have "Golden Deceiver" engraved on a small plaque and screw it onto the side of your handle.

Jim Keaveney
11/04/05 02:56 PM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
Actually Steve, I am considering an oval type attachment common on other taps that could use labels, etc. But I am not looking for something as delicately engraved as a metal plaque type thing. I am pretty confident (haha) that I can engrave the beer names into a wooden surface. It may not look perfect but that may look kinda cool. Anyway, I have a wood engraver so I am definitley going to give it a go. It's the designs I can't see myself engraving but you never know (stencil, engrave, easy right?).
SteveG
11/04/05 04:57 PM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
Well there ya go, it looks like you have a greater skill set for this than I do. I got the idea to make them from going to Brewers Art. The have these great tap handles in their bar, the one that mostly comes to mind is a big ole pitch fork. Not a pressed or formed replica of one, but an actual pitch fork! The thing really kicks ass, it was seeing that which made me realize there are ways to make tap handles where the only real skills involved are imagination and a knack at finding odd things. Let 'er rip Jim!
Jim Keaveney
11/05/05 01:16 AM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
"it looks like you have a greater skill set for this than I do."

highly doubtful. at least you may get a good laugh next time you come over for a brew.

"there are ways to make tap handles where the only real skills involved are imagination and a knack at finding odd things"

true enough and i think i mentioned that is a great idea. you have inspired me to start down this road. the wood engraving thing may or may not work out. i didn't type all that beer name stuff for nothing. i am hoping that you will alert me if you spot something appropriate.

cheers,

jim

SteveG
11/05/05 06:40 AM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
<<"Lights Out" Belgian Stout >>

That was the name of an old horror radio show around the time of "inner sanctum". Matbe there is some sort of memorabilia regarding it out there.

<<"Golden Deceiver">>

<<"Bubba Stout" (named after my rotweiller)>>

It would not surprise me if there were some sort of bust-type statues of dogs out there. I once used a "little big head" for a handle. They are these statues like 3" high with proportionatly really big heads. I found one of the creature from the black lagoon for my halloween brew "creature from the black legume" made with black beans. Maybe a bobble head like they have at nodding head, remove the head and mount it to the handle.

<<"Road Rage" IPA (Car theme? Middle finger?)>>

Half the fun there would be in telling people they're "cut off"! Something with two matchbox cars might be fun.

Jim Keaveney
11/05/05 11:34 AM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
Good stuff, Steve!

Thanks

ErikH
11/05/05 11:41 PM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles? (OT)
Hey, Steve -

Would it be too off-topic to ask you to tell us a little bit more about the black bean beer? Very curious! Your punful name had me chuckling as well . . .

SteveG
11/06/05 03:03 PM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
I should mention that I thought of doing it before I first heard of Heavyweight Perkuno's Hammer! I worked out a recipe for a dark beer with black beans to pump the protien profile. About 2 weeks later I was at a Place called Andys Corner Bar in NJ and he had Perkuno's Hammer on hand pump. I would say Tom stole my idea, but of course being served a pint of the stuff it was obvious he stole it at least months before I thought of it! Creature from the black legume was a good beer, but Tom's is really fantastic. If you ever get a chance to try the Hammer (basically an imperial porter) on pump do it, a real masterpiece.

Jim Keaveney
11/09/05 07:25 PM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
well whadya know, the new faucets came and there is less of a "stem" so that i have less clearance. My taphandles will all have to be flat on the backside. And if they are somewhat wide or protrude too much in the front, i will have to remove the faucet to put the tap on (not a big deal, i can clean it while i have it off)

i could rig something up to give me more room (like add a piece of wood to the collar).

SteveG
11/09/05 08:27 PM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
To each his own Jim, there may be another solution though. You could use your chest fridge to condition and store your beer, but come time to serve to a crowd have a different provision. Some kind of enclosure to mount your tap heads, a few containers and some ice would give you an option that would not only allow tap handles but also offer you versatility with where you serve your brewskis.
Jim Keaveney
11/10/05 11:30 AM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
very true, steve, but wouldn't that violate your rule of not moving the keg for at least 2 weeks prior to serving? ;)

also, keep in mind that i do serve beer other than for all out parties, generally i have 4 or 5 going all the time.

i did take a look last night and i have just over an inch of extra shank space. i could easily attach a 1" thick piece of wood to the existing collar to give me add'l room for tap handles. the new faucets have 3/4" less clearance so i would actually have ~ 1/4" more than the prior system if i add the piece of wood.

now that you have me thinking, i could rig up something like you proposed for parties using the old faucets. they are still in excellent condition tho i would need shanks for them.

SteveG
11/10/05 12:03 PM  
Re: Anyone into tap handles?
<<very true, steve, but wouldn't that violate your rule of not moving the keg for at least 2 weeks prior to serving? ;)>>

Only across town by car, if you tiptoe you can move them upstairs!

<<now that you have me thinking, i could rig up something like you proposed for parties using the old faucets. they are still in excellent condition tho i would need shanks for them. >>

When I set up either thingy I use to mount taps (is there a word for those?) I canabalize my beer fridge. I yank the tap(s) as needed, mount them in the thingy and put a piece of duct tape over the hole(s) in the fridge.

Here's a fun question, do you have any less than conventional taps? Like a stout tap, a creamer tap or something odd? I have one tap that was extracted from an early 20th century fire truck. I'm not sure the thing was designed to screw in a hose, I think maybe it was used more to fill up buckets.

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