Friday, May 6, 2011

Custom Beer Tap Handle

I love custom orders, especially ones that give me a challenge. Some friends asked me to carve a tap handle for their brother-in-law, a beer hobbyist with a home tap system. Never having made one before and being wholly unfamiliar with how a tap handle attaches to a tap, I said "You bet!"

My friends specified that they wanted the name "Williams" painted on, but other than that I was free to carve whatever.

After some pencil sketches on paper, I selected a piece of wood and cut out the general shape with a coping saw. I envisioned a simple chair leg spindle for the body, with a frothy mug perched on top. Somewhere along the line the plan expanded to include a flat shield and a hop bud.

I opted to leave it mostly unpainted, preferring to let the wood speak for itself. I gave it four hand-rubbed coats of linseed oil and sanded it between each coat with finer and finer sandpaper. Finally it was buffed with a cotton cloth. The name on the shield was applied with acrylic paints and sealed with a few coats of spray shellac.

The brass ferrule is from, as is the combination metal/wood screw with which to attach it. They have a nice selection of hardware for tap systems.


  1. Looks awesome. Maybe I need to set my keg up like that.

  2. Thanks Brent! It's good to see you stopping by.

  3. Thanks, Abo! I hope you're enjoying spring over on your side of the pond.

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