So I really like making wine. And here in Washington state apples are plentiful and ripe this time of year. I decided I wanted to make hard apple cider, but I wanted to get really intimate with the process. So naturally I decided to build my own cider press.

What follows is just a description of how I made mine. I used a lot of scrap I had around the house and fudged it in quite a bit. Your results may vary. And lets get this out of the way. I use a hydraulic Jack with mine and it exerts 10 tons of pressure... should things get out of hand with some over amped jack operator I take NO responsibility.

Step 1: Make a Frame

For this part of the project I took some IKEA slats for a bed (the frame of the crappy IKEA bed had broken) and laminated them into a square. I used 4 layers.

I screwed them together as I went so I did not have to wrangle them into position later.

Step 2: Bolt the Frame Together

At each corner I drilled a 1/2" DIA hole through the frame and bolted together with 4.5" bolts, washers, and nuts.

I tightened until the washers started to sink into the wood!

Step 3: Outfall

For this step I drilled a 1/2" hole in the frame at center to the bottom. Then I used a file to make the hole big enough to fir a 10" piece of 1/2" inside DIA steel pipe. I did it like this as 1/2" was the biggest drill bit I have.

I hammered it in snug.

Step 4: Strap It and Give It Legs

I took the frame and wrapped a 3" nylon ratcheting strap around it. Mostly because the frame wood is a little soft and I like to over engineer things a little bit... I mean we are only juicing apples.

After that I just used some more spare wood to make some legs... Anything will do really.

Step 5: Make a Press Plate

I took some 3/4" Poplar plywood I had left over from a previous project and used the skill saw set at 1/8" and ripped some grooves in a star pattern for juice to flow.

Then I added another piece of the same size to the bottom of the plate and screwed them together.

I then drilled a 1.5" hole in the center.

Next I lined the hole in the press plate up with the pipe and screwed the plate down... and broke for lunch.

Step 6: BOX and Lid

For this step I used some more 3/4" poplar and created a box around the press plate. Screw it all together.

I also made a lid that fits inside the box and slides around without catching on the walls. I doubled the thickness of the lid and left some big screws out to grab hold of if i needed to pull lid out.

And again because I am a little crazy I used another ratchet strap around the box.

Step 7: Now to Get Some Apples

Here it is. Sorry for sideways photo's..
Did you crush your apples before pressing them? How did it work out for you?

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