Draft Tower Concept

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DJP00829

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So I have this idea for a custom draft tower and I cant seem to find anything similar, so I was hoping to get some input on how people think it might work / if it'd be worth pursuing. The MSPaint Concept:



Yes, those are bones, but dont worry, they're plastic. My main concern with the project is stability and making everything fit/work. I was planning on securing the bones to each other where they cross - thinking about lashing them together with some stronger fishing line because I doubt there would be enough room for a screw and wouldn't want to ruin the aesthetics by using a bracket.

A big issue is that I don't currently have the bones in my possession. But I've been told they're about an inch in diameter at the thinnest, solid plastic, fairly sturdy. So given that the OD of vinyl tubing is 7/16", I was thinking 1/2" copper tubing for a heat sync (should give me about 1/32" of wiggle room on the inside). And then I was debating if I could get away with a 9/16" hole. Schematic:



I feel like this would leave me with the most stability while shoving everything in to the limited space.

Another difficulty with not having the bones is that I dont know if a faucet shank will fit in the head. As for anchoring the towers, I was thinking of mounting the bone over a PVC flange, maybe some angled elbows, since there's a little more room at the bottom.


These would be at a bit more of an angle, but you get the idea.


Any suggestions?
Cheers! :mug:
 

Faub007

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Maybe do a brass base plate with some solid metal dowels that come up from the bottom an inch or 2 to hold it secure. That would require a welder buddy though. I think that's the only way you can get it to look like 2 bones standing up like you said you wanted.

Hope this helps. Awesome idea btw.
 
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DJP00829

DJP00829

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Maybe do a brass base plate with some solid metal dowels that come up from the bottom an inch or 2 to hold it secure. That would require a welder buddy though. I think that's the only way you can get it to look like 2 bones standing up like you said you wanted.

Hope this helps. Awesome idea btw.
Yeah the stability/security is my biggest concern, I'm just not sure how much room I'll have at the base. The welding part might not be too hard to accommodate.

501irishred said:
Do you have a plan for cooling the "bone tower"?
The plan was for the copper to extend into the fridge serving as a heat sync. I was also thinking about adding some spray foam insulation outside of the copper, and possibly wiring up a small fan with flexible tubing to push some cold air up into the copper.
 

Rivenin

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everything can work just fine.
However, as simple as that looks, in my opinion it'll take a bit of building to make everything completely stable with just 2 bones sticking up at angles.

If you had another bone and made it kind of a pyramid/triangle it would make it more simplistic of a build because of stability.

However... i'm more or less thinking like, if you had a fridge, take off the top plastic piece and reenforce the hell out of it with wood... possibly put a tube inside the bone up to the faucet and fill the rest of it with resin outside of the tube to make it completely sturdy.

Then maybe plastic weld both the bones together as well? this kiind of thing is going to be a bit tough without someone who can weld..
 
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DJP00829

DJP00829

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Instead of fishing line to lash the two bones together what about using barbed wire or something piratey like rope?
Thought about it, but I'm trying to avoid the pirate motif as much as possible.

Rivenin said:
everything can work just fine.
However, as simple as that looks, in my opinion it'll take a bit of building to make everything completely stable with just 2 bones sticking up at angles.

If you had another bone and made it kind of a pyramid/triangle it would make it more simplistic of a build because of stability.
I thought about doing the pyramid set up, but I wanted to keep it as minimalist as possible. 3 bones wouldnt be bad, but I think it might be more awkward.


Rivenin said:
However... i'm more or less thinking like, if you had a fridge, take off the top plastic piece and reenforce the hell out of it with wood... possibly put a tube inside the bone up to the faucet and fill the rest of it with resin outside of the tube to make it completely sturdy.
That was my thought process as well, just wondering out loud if I could reinforce the bones and keep the lines cool at the same time as making it look awesome.
 

gstrawn

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How do you propose to drill the holes for the line? I used a hickory stump for my tower and that was a b****. Granted plastic is easier to drill but you'll need some extra long bits
 

BlackDogBrew

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This is a really cool idea....

for strength, how about using stainless tubing instead of beer line?
This is highly recommended.

In addition, as for the faucet shanks, they do have short ones, like used in regular towers. That is what I would use rather than the longer ones. However, all that being said, I really don't know how you will be able to tighten the nut on the shank without having an access hole/door at the top of the bone.
 

Stealthcruiser

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How do you propose to drill the holes for the line? I used a hickory stump for my tower and that was a b****. Granted plastic is easier to drill but you'll need some extra long bits

They make them.......Called "extension bits".

Depends in how long the bone is.........(thats what she said.....).

Still, the problem of securing the shanks with the nuts.
 

amandabab

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This is highly recommended.

In addition, as for the faucet shanks, they do have short ones, like used in regular towers. That is what I would use rather than the longer ones. However, all that being said, I really don't know how you will be able to tighten the nut on the shank without having an access hole/door at the top of the bone.
if he had 2 pairs of bones, he might cut a diagonal in the top/hip to give access to the beer nut, then cut a "cap" out of the other plastic bone leaving enough material to make up for the saw kerf and fit is so the seem isn't too noticable.

or:
assemble the whole faucet/shank/SS line assembly , feed it through and add set screws to hold the shank.
 
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Go to an old carpet furniture store and see if they have some large bamboo lengths for rolling rugs and carpet on still in basement. Half lap part of them and lash with leather strips epoxied to bamboo. It would make a great tower. I like the tripod idea. KISS (keep it simple) Good luck!
 
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DJP00829

DJP00829

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outside92129 said:
for strength, how about using stainless tubing instead of beer line?
I like this idea - it addresses both the stability and space issues. Would I still need a copper jacket around the SS to cool the beer in the tower, or would the SS cool it enough?

Also, I'm assuming I'd be able to go keg -> beer line -> SS tubing -> tiny beer line -> shank/faucet, right? And in doing so, I'm also guessing I'd use the same ID between the two, and hose clamp the beer tubing to the SS. I'm relatively inexperienced in the realm of plumbing, so any help is much appreciated and sorry if these are rather simplistic question.

BlackDogBrew said:
This is a really cool idea....

In addition, as for the faucet shanks, they do have short ones, like used in regular towers. That is what I would use rather than the longer ones. However, all that being said, I really don't know how you will be able to tighten the nut on the shank without having an access hole/door at the top of the bone.
Thanks for the support and ideas! I was also thinking an access door in the top would be necessary. Here's what I'm thinking:



The yellow lines being the beer, the red lines being the hole for the shank. If I can make a little roof with the green cuts (#1) , and then clean out a little area around the sides and below (#2), I'm thinking I'd be able to tighten the nut on the shank.

As for securing the top back on, I'm thinking something simple like some small screws and hooks (and in keeping with the theme):



Thoughts?

Thanks for all the feedback thusfar, keep it coming!
 

kev

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Hey, that would be one bad ass tower. I am in the process of custom building a two tap tower out of copper. The potential problems I see with your idea are: size - your bones will need to be a minimum of 1.5" inside diameter to accept the shank nut. Don't bother with the fan unless you, a) vent the top of the tower, or have space inside the tower for the cold air to return, b) make sure that the fan can overcome the static pressure inside the tubing to actually move the air. If not the fan will appear to move air but in reality it won't, unless you feel air coming out the top of your tower. My only other advice is research. That way you only do this project once not 15 times. I hope this helps. Good luck. I am interested to see how you make out.

Cheers
Kev
 
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DJP00829

DJP00829

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Finally got my hands on the bones, so I at least have a better idea of what I'll be working with.

First, an update to the design idea:



This is kind of how the bones ""fit together"" so it only seems right. By flipping the bones around and moving the taps down and in, it should allow for more room for the shank nut and allow the faucet to sit pretty flush on the bone. Additionally this would allow me to throw a screw or two across the femoral heads (red line), adding to the stability.

The bones themselves are pretty hefty, but that is without a huge hole down the middle. You might have also noticed that they also have a little curve to them. The plastic is soft enough where I was able to straighten the bones out without feeling like I was weakening the plastic. After letting it sit for 30ish minutes I noticed the curve started to come back. I feel like the stainless steel tubing inside should be able to resist that molding force and keep the line straight.

And a digital high-five to whoever can tell me what is wrong with the bones (other than the couple defects left from their manufacturing).
 

kev

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Hey, I'm not sure as to why they are curved. Could be that they sat crammed up in a hot place or there was weight on one end for an extended period of time. What you might want to try is to heat up some water ( like in your boil kettle), once the water is hot turn off the flame and submerse the bones in it for a few minutes. Once the plastic is hot enough you should be able to straighten them out. The only thing is that you will have to hold them like that until they cool down. That way they should be straight enough to drill. If they aren't straight it will be tough to drill them out and not come out the side. Also it looks like you might need another hole drilled into your kegerator to make it work.
Check out kegconnection they have real short stainless shanks for a good price. I just got some from there. And maybe a couple of 90* tailpieces to keep it all in the bones. Good luck. Hope this helps.

Cheers
Kev
 

byfbo2000

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Why dont you cut them in half length wise? A band saw and plenty of care you could do that. Then hollow them out. You would be able to tighten the shank pretty easy at that point, and lay the lines thru them. Then you could drill holes in the back of the bone and use screws to re attach?
 
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