Introduction: Homemade Ravioli Press(es)

Last spring I got into making ravioli.  After the the first session of cutting them out by hand a ravioli press sounded really really good.

We went to the cooking store to scope one out.  It seemed a little pricey at $25 so I thought I’d try to make one.

Molly (My wife) :  Admit it, you wanted to make one from the beginning.  I know how your mind works!

Me:  Come on, $25 for a little piece of aluminum.  It was screaming for me to reproduce it.

We took a bunch of photos of the press to use as a model.

Step 1: Draw It Up

I printed out the pictures from the cooking store to use as a base for my design.  Ok....maybe I completely copied it.  It took me forever to get the zig zag intersections to work.   After that I output it as gcode and ran it on my homemade CNC router.  The router cut and cut and delivered up a beautiful ravioli press.

Step 2: Testing......

Now that I had a press it was time to test it out.  It worked really well.  

Step 3: Testing....

Kinda went nuts with the ravioli....

After the massive ravioli session It was clear that I hadn't made the tops of the zig-zags sharp enough.  We had to go back and cut each ravioli apart by hand.  Also, the size of the ravioli was slightly smaller than the typical ravioli.  Even though the wooden press worked fine I wanted to try making a metal one.

Step 4: Back to the Drawing Board

I re-drew the ravioli press and made a test prototype out of foam.

Step 5: Playing With Molten Metal

I dipped the foam in plaster, packed it in sand and cast it in aluminum.  
Wish you had a metal casting furnace?  You can build your own. Do it!  I show you how here and here.

Step 6: Fail!

This is supposed to be the part where I tell you how the metal press was a great improvement over the wood one.  Well...didn't quite work out like that.  The metal froze before it filed the entire mold.  I didn't go any further with it.  I really like how the zig zags look though.

A couple months later I found a ravioli press on sale so…I ended up buying it.

I know that I can go a little overboard trying to make (most) things.   Like this one, not all projects are a success.  I like the challenge regardless and I always learn something along the way that ultimately will apply to future projects.

Molly: Yum! lobster ravioli!

Like projects? Check out our blog- Mike and Molly's House where we chronicle our mighty projects on our mini farm.

Thanks!!

Comments

author
valgard made it! (author)2012-02-25

It looks like you didn't have enough sprues or perhaps the filling spout wasn't tall enough for the metal to be forced down from the weight of the metal or your mold wasn't hot enough to allow the metal to flow far enough before hardening. This is all conjecture of course as I haven't done very much sand casting myself. But you may want to check out this book from your local library or buy it http://www.amazon.com/METALSMITH-ILLUSTRATED-MCCREIGHT-Paperback-Metalsmith/dp/B0046OUM8G/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1330227303&sr=8-5

I have found this book to be invaluable for basic metalworking techniques.

author
spike3579 made it! (author)spike35792012-02-26

Thanks for the book info.
I'll have to check it out.

I think that because it was a lost foam casting and the piece was so thin that the metal froze before it burnt out the foam all the way too, It probably would be better to have a hollow pre-heated plaster or silica mold but that's a bit much for my set up.

author
barefootbohemian made it! (author)2012-02-23

Congrats,, I have to say that was a great job making that. I seldom make ravioli cuz it is such a pain doing them one by one. I am going to have to figure out a way to make one with tools on hand because I adore a good ravioli :)

author
spike3579 made it! (author)spike35792012-02-23

If you were patient you could chip carve one. That's probably how the first ones were made.

author
barefootbohemian made it! (author)barefootbohemian2012-02-23

Ha ha if I patient I would make ravioli ,ore often hang filing each one :)

author
Mongpoovian made it! (author)2012-02-23

This is awesome. I'm jealous both of your ravioli press AND that sweet CNC router. And of your ravioli. What's the filing in the photos?

author
spike3579 made it! (author)spike35792012-02-23

I made a few- cheese of course, spinach, butternut squash and wild mushrooms from our yard. ( I checked them out w/ an expert first )

author
pezzasaurus made it! (author)2012-02-20

This is really great! What was the price difference with making one versus buying it? It seems it was probably about equivalent or more pricey to make it. Though it's like I say, homemade items seem to last longer (1 layer of flimsy aluminum vs. wood). Good work!

author
spike3579 made it! (author)spike35792012-02-22

Well, it wouldn't cost more than a few cents of electricity to cut one out now. But if you add up the cost of building a CNC machine design, R&D time. Then the kitchen store is sounding pretty good. I don't feel that little boost of pride when I pull out the store bought press. That is, as they say...priceless.

author
Caml^Vacation made it! (author)2012-02-20

why didnt the wooden one work?

author
spike3579 made it! (author)spike35792012-02-22

It works It just doesn't cut all the way through the dough.

author
bajablue made it! (author)2012-02-21

Voted... finally. ;-D

author
spike3579 made it! (author)spike35792012-02-22

Awesome! Thanks.

author
FlatLinerMEDIC made it! (author)2012-02-17

I dont see it entered in shopbot or i would vote..

author
bajablue made it! (author)bajablue2012-02-21

It's entered now. ;-)

author
bajablue made it! (author)bajablue2012-02-19

It probably won't be "accepted" until Monday. That's my guess, anyway.

I love ravioli... and I love this project. ;-)

author
spike3579 made it! (author)spike35792012-02-20

Thanks!
Yeah, I'm thinking it will get accepted on Mon since I entered on Fri.

author
jessyratfink made it! (author)2012-02-17

This is just too neat. I've always wanted to try my hand at making ravioli!

author
spike3579 made it! (author)spike35792012-02-20

You should try it. It's not that hard and the results are worth the effort. Invest in a pasta machine though it's $30 well spent.

The cool thing is you can put what ever you want in them.

author
the_cactus_caper made it! (author)2012-02-17

its the adventure that makes it worth while my friend..good job

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spike3579 made it! (author)spike35792012-02-20

I agree

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rimar2000 made it! (author)2012-02-17

Nice work!

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spike3579 made it! (author)spike35792012-02-20

Thank You

author
canucksgirl made it! (author)2012-02-17

Very nice. :)

Now that's reason #207 for why I need (okay, want...) a CNC machine.

author
spike3579 made it! (author)spike35792012-02-20

No...You need one ;)

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FlatLinerMEDIC made it! (author)2012-02-17

very nice

author
spike3579 made it! (author)spike35792012-02-20

Thanks!

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Bio: I have a compulsion to make stuff, all kinds of stuff. I'm glad to be here...
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