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Cider Press


I was at a sale in October, of 2012, and saw an old cider press that was rotted down to almost nothing. However, the steel parts were in very good condition, but rusty, and I thought I might watch it sold to see if it went reasonable and if so, bid it in. Well, someone else had the same idea and run it up on me to $225.00. I wasn't able to bring it home with me that day but had to go back to pick it up. When I got there someone had stolen one of the press baskets and a couple buckets of other stuff I had purchased at the sale. I brought the press home and left it on a skid. In December of that year , I decided to start on it's reconstruction. I had already sawed out the white oak materials for it and had them drying, I got out the planner and planed all the pieces to the correct size and thickness and along with the old rotted press I brought it all into the workshop. I started to disassemble it part by part so I could get as much of the original size and shape of each piece as possible.

I have not done much wood crafting, especially this type. It was all mortise and tendon with the wooden dowell pins. Nowhere but start with one of the pieces and lay out a new one to duplicate it perfectly. The first one was the first one I had ever done, ever. Can't be all that hard, I told myself, so I started, figuring I could always make another one if I messed up. I done the big upright post first and mounted the cast iron screw press to them for a trial fit. I then decided to go ahead with the rest because I was pleased with the way that much of the project turned out to be pretty good. I selected one of the pieces with the mortise and tendons, cut a new piece and laid out the details to be worked. That one went pretty well so I done the rest and started the assembly.

As I progressed it all seemed to get easier but with limited tools to work with I had improvise in many aspects. Notice the home made clamp I made to pull the pieces together into the mortises. I didn't have a mortising bit so I just used the drill press with a regular drill bit and a wood chisel to size the mortise slots. I sawed the tendons with the table saw and chiseled and sanded them to size to fit the mortised slots. After making all the different parts I assembled them together to be sure of the fit. If you take notice in the picture, I installed the small framework to the posts on the wrong side. I later turned it around. Well ! --- anyone can make a mistake, hu?

After finishing all the components and complete assembly, I removed the cast iron press parts for cleaning and painting. I also cleaned and painted all the other cast iron parts before final assembly.
The wood was sanded, stained and a top coat of polyuerthane. I installed a 1-hp electric motor and belt for power. I now had a complete press, except for the press baskets.

As I said someone stole one of the press baskets so I had to make a complete new one including the steel bands. I sawed out all the slats for the baskets and drilled the holes ( 152 ) and bolted them to the bands with 3/16 stove bolts and then rivited the end of all bolts at the nuts.

The intire press probably weighs about 500# and was very hard to move around. I came up with a wheel design that would make this task a little easier.

Finished product.