Repairing the Handle of a Refrigerant Can Tap.




My Handy can tap for r134a bottles had its plastic handle broken the last time I used it. I can't understand why the manufacturer didn't use a metal handle. Anyhow, I have to fix this handle issue and this is how I went about it.

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Step 1: Disassembly.

Using a Spanner I removed the top holding nut then unscrewed the puncturing pin. This pin has a seal on it that I also removed.

Step 2: Getting a New Handle.

I cut a short length of copper tubing to use as the replacement handle. Using my birdbeak pliers, I crushed the centre a bit to make it flat.

Step 3: Preparing the New Handle and Puncturing Pin.

I filed the flat surface of the puncturing pin where the original handle went. Next I wet that surface with electronics grade solder. The same I did for the copper tubing. Now both are ready to be joined.

Step 4: Joining the Handle and Puncturing Pin.

I put the seal back and shaft nut onto the puncturing pin shaft. Next I used a metal clamp to hold the copper tubing and pin shaft together while I soldered them permanently together.

Step 5: Reassembly and Completion!

Once I reassembled the can tap, I took a pic showing the new handle giving shame to the old cracked one.

Hopefully my repaired can tap should last me many years to come!

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    4 Discussions


    3 years ago

    It would be cool if you could use a dremel to grind out the center of the old plastic handle then put a bunch of JB Weld or some sort of epoxy in the middle and press the hollow shell of the old handle over your new stronger metal handle. That way you would have a very strong handle which was also nice to look at.

    3 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    You know, I like your idea. I like it alot! I hope you don't mind if I use it for a future instructable?


    Reply 3 years ago

    Better yet, why not ask some woodshop if you can have a small scrap of some sort of really exotic wood like teak. That would look much better than the plastic and probably be easier to work with. Grinding down plastic generally is a slow laborious procedure if you don't want it to melt or crack. I think wood is the way to go, either that or melt down plastic bottles (as featured in a million other Instructibles.)