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How To Make A Beer Tap

Most beer taps are made from plastic or glass. But, pub style beer taps are made the old fashion way. They are made from wood.

I love the rural initiatives that are placing grant money into small businesses to make it possible for trucking companies to clean up fallen trees from the local area. Four or five trees on a truck make for a very good day because they are hauled to the mill where they get cut into shape.

It depends on the size of the taphandles being made, but normally a two inch by two inch cut will do just fine. So letís just have some fun and do a little math. Letís say that the average tree that falls will have a three foot diameter. Plus, letís say that they are normally cut into eighteen foot sections. So, how many taphandles can be made if these trees are cut down into two inches by two inches by one foot sections?

The area of the tree I just described is 1018 inches. If you want to do the math for yourself, area equals pie times the radius squared. Remember, keep the measurements the same. If itís in inches, stick with inches throughout the math problem. So, 1018 inch area means that 254 handles can fit in one section of the tree. With an 18 foot tree, 18 sections would give us 4,581 taphandles just out of one tree. 22,905 taphandles can be made from a truck load carrying five trees. Not a bad day indeed.

Once they are cut into shape, they are hauled off to the manufacturer of the taphandles. Again, this is not the standard operating procedure for all manufacturers of beer taphandles. But, many use a software called AutoCad that allows manufacturers to see the beer tap handle on the computer with a complete mock up before it goes to the floor. Some manufacturers even have machines that utilize the AutoCad software to make cuts and trims like what you might see at Orange County Choppers where Paul Teutul Sr. builds some of the most famous choppers today.

But, some old school manufacturers will put the wood sections through a series of calculated cuts that will first cut them down to size. Then, trim off excess. Run through a lathe where they will get formed. Then, given a shot of paint and lacquered for the shine. Final stage is when they put labels on the handles.

A more detailed process will include actually embedding the label into the wood. Something like that can be done with AutoCad as well. But, thatís more for a mass production of handles or a more precise design that comes out perfect every time. Of course, a team of highly skilled woodworkers can produce very high quality work.

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