24 August 2007
You don't have to go out and plunk down $40 on a new tap handle. You don't even have to spend $10-15 on eBay. You can make 'em yourself. Granted, some may require some tools most don't have in their workbench (myself included), but if you have access to 'em or know someone that does, a little homebrew barter can go a long way.
I grabbed an old aluminum spanner wrench that was dumpster-bound and decided to give it a second life, delivering hoppy and malty goodness. First it needed a little cleanup, so 5 minutes in the sandblasting cabinet made it look brand-new. Aluminum's a soft metal, of course, so drilling it and tapping it was a piece of cake. Add a light spray of acrylic to protect and voila! Ready for the faucet.
Short of that route, there's always the Tap Handle Insert, but it's probably best used for wooden or plastic items. It requires you drill a 1/2" hole, and in my case that was way too big. Still, it's a good low-tech option at $1.70.
Weight is a concern, so bear that in mind while you perform your search. I'm not sure exactly how much a given faucet can handle, but in reality the faucets aren't mounted 100% vertically and a little unsupervised movement in the wrong direction could mean an empty CO2 tank, an empty keg, and a large mess of beer on your floor---not to mention the loss of the beer! In my situation, my bar is being constructed in a fire department theme (go figure) so axe and sledgehammer heads aren't exactly practical. But aluminum is nice and lightweight so it fit perfectly.
Posted by OSBC at 9:13 AM