I'm trying to build a bunch of tap handles, and am a little confused on what I need.

Do I need both of these:

hangar bolt ferrule

Hangar Bolt and Ferrule

or just this:

enter image description here

Tap Handle Insert

Or something else / other things entirely?

  • Brad from Steel City Tap gave me free advice on creating tap handles when I called him. I know that's not a typical answer but they make insane tap handles and were willing to provide feedback on making my own which was cool since I only bought a single tap from them.
    – Michael H.
    Dec 16, 2020 at 18:57

3 Answers 3


Well...yes :)

If you want to have a ferrule on your handle like this:

enter image description here

then you need the hangar bolt and ferrule. The hangar bolt has 5/16"-18 male threads on the ferrule side, while the ferrule has 5/16"-18 female threads on the top, and 3/8"-16 female threads on the bottom.

If you want only wood at the bottom of your handle like this:

enter image description here

then you want the threaded insert (3/8"-16).

Protip: if you're planning on doing several, order your inserts in bags of 10 from a place like McMaster-Carr. It's a lot cheaper that way.

If you want to see how I make taphandles on my lathe, check out my videos here.

  • nice videos. I'm not very good with wood, but with the right tools and craftmanship you made it look easy.
    – mdma
    Feb 14, 2012 at 22:14
  • dang. great answer. how about these guys? mcmaster.com/#90016a031/=g909ta Feb 14, 2012 at 22:36
  • Thank to you both. @hooked, when I clicked that link it said 3 packs were ordered 04/18/11 underneath them, so I guess they're the right ones :)
    – JoeFish
    Feb 15, 2012 at 2:03
  • Also I edited the answer with thread sizes for the ferrule.
    – JoeFish
    Feb 15, 2012 at 2:10
  • @JoeFish I hope so! I never heard back and just assumed they'd work. Already have them in hand. Fast! Feb 15, 2012 at 20:34

I have always preferred the Chrome Ferrules over the brass inserts. For one it is easier to install the ferrules correctly. The inserts can sometimes go in a little bit crooked which really throws it off and then the handles is pretty much done fore.
With the ferrules it's just a matter of drilling a smaller hole and screwing in the bolt. Also I find the ferrules will go a lot longer before they come loose, if they do at all. Then it is an easy fix compared to trying to re drill a hole for a brass insert.
You can buy the ferrules and hanger bolts


I made a few from different scrap pieces of wood and bought some chalk tape. I found the hardware at Lowe's. Check out my blog for pic and details.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.