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Quick Cider Press (sorry about sideways photo's)

Picture of Quick Cider Press (sorry about sideways photo's)
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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.
 
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Step 1: Make a frame

Picture of Make a frame
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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

Picture of Bolt the frame together
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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

Picture of 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

Picture of Strap it and give it legs
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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

Picture of Make a press plate
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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

Picture of BOX and Lid
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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

Picture of 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?