Cave Project: Worthy Tap Handles

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You’d think custom tap handles would be a project that comes through the Cave often, but this was the first time we had the opportunity to partner with a local brewery on such a project! Owner, Dave Danek and Worthy Brewing worked to create a unique tap handle for a beer they produced for Brasada Ranch.

Learn more about the project tools used, and roadblocks Dave worked through to get the job done.

How did this project make its way to the Cave?
We worked with Tyler from Worthy on a previous creative project, and he came to us with some very well realized designs for the tap handles and asked if we could help him get them made.

Does the Cave take on custom projects?
Yes, although it hasn’t been our focus as a DIY workshop, we often take on custom fabrication projects. Sometimes people come to us with projects they need help with but don’t wish to tackle themselves. With our diverse collection of equipment and skills, it makes a lot of sense for us to offer fab services. It’s a part of the business that we’ve recently been putting a lot of thought and effort into developing.

The projects are submitted, and we figure out the best way to manage them. Often we (owners) work on them ourselves. My partner Aaron and I worked on the tap handles along with some people from Worthy.

For all Fab projects, we find the best people we know to work on the project at hand. Sometimes it’s DIYcave Stewards, sometimes we reach out to craftsmen we know around town. Something I’ve heard my partner Tim say is, “I get a lot of questions about problems I don’t know how to pesonally solve, but I rarely find myself not knowing who CAN solve the problem.” That’s one of the best parts of being involved with DIYcave and the Central Oregon community of Makers.

What skills do you have to know to complete this project?
The actual making of the tap handles required basic woodworking skills along with a bit of creative thought about how to make the shapes, metal parts, and lasered logos.

The biggest challenge in this type of fabrication project is usually working through the ideas with a client and figuring the cost of the project. Good communication with the client is the number one priority for fabrication projects.

Did you learn any new skills?
I’m always learning new skills or finding new ways to incorporate the skills I already have. On this project, I had no idea how to create and attach the tiny metal bands framing the logos. I looked around and used the items I had available to make them work. The metal strips are made of old bandsaw blades with the teeth ground off and some tacks I found leftover from a previous project. I would have loved to be able to create the laser-etched logos but I didn’t know how to do it so I asked for help from Aaron to get that part of the project completed.

What Cave equipment did you use to make this project happen?
It didn’t seem like a lot but… planer, wide-belt sander, bandsaw, laser… Those are tools many people don’t have available to them. I also used regular tools and supplies like cordless drills and bits, sandpaper, small nails that I cut shorter, super glue…

How many hours did this project take?
If I were making something like this for myself, I could pull it off over a weekend. Working through it with a client took a couple of weeks start to finish.

Did you come across any roadblocks during this project? How did you get through them?
One of the problematic parts of this type of fab job is figuring out how to manage the creation of a unique object that someone else thought of and has a budget for producing. This wasn’t a roadblock on this project, per se but it’s often the most difficult part for makers and artists and clients to figure out. We put a lot of thought and effort into that idea while working through this project with Worthy. Good communication about the project helped eliminate roadblocks and make the project work for them and for us.

Have a project you’d like to work on? Interested in becoming a member of our makerspace? Learn more and stop by for a tour.

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