Prototyping Beer Tap Handles

Just getting to grips with my new toy, so haven’t had a chance to get involved in the community much other than to lurk and read up on some best-practices.

This is primarily made from Redwood purchased at Lowes…8ft long for about $9. The top logo and faceplate is pf Cherry plywood which looks nice enough, but since the brewery logo is really white text on black it actually reverses it out. I’m now trying to see if I can Make it from black acrylic and spray the etched parts white before removing the masking. The faceplate is inset on the reverse with neodymium magnets as is the handle itself (it was fun making sure they were all aligned and at the right polarity) so the beer can be changed out for another without having to remove the entire handle.

This is also an experiment in keeping costs down, since you have to give handles out to places you distribute to, and they very often ‘go missing’. For the moment, I have figured my material costs including the magnets, adhesives, sealer and 1/8 16th thread should come in around $4.50 a handle.

Thoughts and recommendations would be TRULY appreciated.


You might want to get acrylic that engraves white.

Lot less work.


another option would be painting the wood black, masking, engraving, and painting white in before removing mask. then you keep it in wood.

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Thanks. I did think of that, but with that particular material it would drive the cost up too high per handle.

I’m impressed at the quality of the engraving on that cedar. I might have to give it a try. Does it smell good when it burns?

Very nice engraving and love the interchangeable parts.

Looks good.

I made these handles from scrap as each side was part of a box but even made deliberately they could be very inexpensive.


Further experiments move the project forwards. This time I started by laminating three sheets of 1/4" draft board, just as a test.
I did a rush job on sanding down the burn marks around the edge and tapping in the thread, but sprayed it with acrylic lacquer and think it turned out ok for the most part.

I then also cut an ‘anniversary’ handle out of laminated black plastic that looks like brass. This I simply adhered to the front of another.



Nice! (Thought that plastic one was brass!) :grinning:


@gjuk I have a question or two for you if you don’t mind… do you design those? if so what software do you use? and what kind of jig do you use? My sister is opening a pub and wants me to do some things for her and these were on the list. Yours are beautiful by the way

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Those are absolutely Gorgeous!I am about to attempt the impossible! NICE WORK!!

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I am just in complete AWE!!

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Would you advise about the material used in the last picture? The one which looks brass?

He covered it above:

… although I would caution against just finding any material - you need to ensure it is safe to use in the laser. Even one cut with materials containing PVC/Vinyl (and others) can release gas that will destroy your machine.

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