An all-oak cider press with an integrated apple grinder.
It was built in 2012, the same year I started writing this instructable (because I'm clearly a bit of a slacker). But I'm happy to report that as of this writing (2014), it's been working great! The oak has aged nicely and we're all stocked up on cider. No "hard" cider yet, but we'll get around to it one of these days. [UPDATE: **brrrp** yeah... so the hard cider seems to be going okay now, too.]
So here's how it all started:
I have always subscribed to a theory I once heard on NPR’s “Car Talk” (R.I.P., Tom Magliozzi!) in which two people are far less capable of abandoning a silly idea than one person: “One person will only go so far out on a limb in his construction of deeply hypothetical structures, and will often end with a shrug or a raising of hands to indicate the dismissability of his particular take on a subject. With two people, the intricacies, the gives and takes, the wherefores and why-nots, can become a veritable pas-de-deux of breathtaking speculation, interwoven in such a way that apologies or gestures of doubt are rendered unnecessary.” -http://www.cartalk.com/content/andy-scale-0
During the apple season of 2012 John was over and we all got to talking about how many apples were on the tree in our backyard and what we were going to do about them and how cool would it be to have an apple press and we could probably crank one out it a weekend if we applied ourselves. Dammit.
So off we went, researching and doodling, collecting bits on my wife Dawn's shared Pinterest board. Eventually we whittled it all down to a plan in which I concentrated on the easy parts, while John set about building the parts that require knowledge and skill and real tools.