Instructables
Picture of Turning a custom beer tap handle
In this instructable, I will walk you through how to create a basic wooden tap handle that can be used on any kegorator or serving faucet where a tap handle is found.  The design possibilities are endless, but you should follow a few basic steps to end up with a great handle.

Wood lathes are typically used to turn things such as spindles, bowls, pepper mills, pens and bottle stoppers.  This makes it the perfect tool for turning something like a tap handle.

Unlike most woodworking tools, the lathe is not based on precise measurements or straight cuts.  It’s the artists’ favorite tool in the wood shop – which is why I love it.  It is about working the wood and not fighting it, creating something that flows with the shape of the wood.

That being said, there is definitely some technique to learn.  You’ll have to learn how to make the basic cuts on a lathe, such as beads and coves, and you’ll need to learn how to use a few tools – a spindle gouge, a roughing gouge, and a skew are all good ones for using on a tap handle.  Obviously, there are others, but those are the basics.

You can learn the basics in a couple hours at a class, or from some YouTube videos, then it’s just taking the time to practice.  I made it at TechShop, which is a great place to get started, especially if you don't have a wood lathe readily available.
 
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WilsonR20 days ago

Thanks for the info!!! Great advice! Where do you get the thread inserts? Are they standard enough to go to the local home improvement store to get them.

Also on the turning end... if you have a drill chuck for the end of the lathe you could put a 1/2" bit and drill on absolute center on the pull. :)

Mine is coming along nicely thanks to your info and Ill post pics after its done.

what do the female tap threads need to be???? 1/4-20???
They are 3/8 - 16
Aleator7771 year ago
These look great! My roommates just splurged on an old Kegerator with a boring off brand beer tap handle. If I had access to a lathe I would totally do this! If only the Tech Shop weren't 100 miles away.
Lifeisgoodman (author)  Aleator7771 year ago
BYO magazine ran a good article about custom tap handles that don't require a lathe. There are lots of other options using spindles and scrap wood as well. Several on homebrewtalk.com as well.