Introduction: Cider Press

Hello my name is jack Thompson, I am a senior at North Kitsap High School and this is my Engineering four project. Due to the large amount apples that are my house I decided to make a Cider press for my father so her can start to learn how to make alcoholic cider. Which seems interesting to me as well, due to the chemistry involved.

This instructables is linked to a my YouTube video of me going over the parts on the press. Feel free to switch back and forth from the video and the instructables.

Step 1: Explanation

Throughout the build of the cider press I will be going over the tips and tricks that I came over from trial and error on the build. Along with the materials I used or could be used as a replacement of the ones I used. Before the fact of building the press we had used friends press, so I made a few tweaks feel free to do the same with mine. My design may not be exactly what you want however having a base plan of what you want is important, find one online. However you can still see what I did to help you make yours.

Step 2: Materials


  1. Oak or ash or any other dense wood of your choice.
  2. Four steel straps for barrels
  3. A motor for the apple crusher
  4. Steel for ground for the Jack
  5. Car jack or boat jack, can be electric or not.

Step 3: Barrels

The barrels the the apples collect in was the first part of the press that I started width due to I would build the parameters of the press would be built around them. I originally found a barrel from another press that was the correct height and width that I wanted for the quantity of apples we would be dealing with.

  1. First I made the rings of the barrels-

I got four strips of steel from home depot, I figured out the distance of the strips of wood for the barrels then drilled the holes before I put them inside the a sheet metal role press. The steel strips were not too thick to be rolled. Next wen I aligned the ends of the steel then welded them together. Later I spray painted the rings red.

Step 4: Slated Plates for Barrels

The Barrels have to sit on top of a slated plate so the apples will not fall out but juice can exit.

I found a press that had a similar design, however it was smaller so I just scaled up the size.

  1. Make sure that all the wood you use is all the same thickness as when I made my first one I accidentally planed one piece thinner, this cause a little rocking in the barrel when it sat on top.
  2. Another thing to note is that you must glue and pin every cross section, if you only pin then the wood will separate from the cider when the wood moves from different weathering.

Step 5: The Base

The base in which the two barrels sit inside to funnel the juice to one end to collect the apple juice.

  1. First I joined pieces oak to make a wider board.
  2. Plained the board down , then sanded.
  3. Joined the edges for the Base on, I did this by pocket holing the base to attach the edges.
  4. Make sure you allow enough space on the sides for leeway for the barrels.

Step 6: The Apple Crusher.

The first step of making the components to crush the apples is the cylinder inside the grinder. I used Oak scraps and glued them into a block the was bigger than the cylinder I would use, for I would lathe the block into the correct size.

From there I found a good hex grid that I would want to use and printed it out and then wrapped it around the cylinder.

To make the process easier I attached the cylinder to the lathe and just pre-drilled the wholes and put the screws in and rotated as I went.

Step 7: The Frame

The frame that I constructed was from looking at different presses for the internet.

There is no perfect frame, so do some research on what design that you would like and will be able to crush the quantities of apple you will crushing. For instance we have multiple big trees that we make our cider from so I went with a bigger frame to fit larger barrels. With going with a bigger frame, the frame was strong enough to hold the two motors and be able to withstand the boat jack force.

Step 8: Apple Press

  • For the apple press I used a boat jack that I found online it was about 100$
  • Normally Jacks are attached to the frame of the trailer as a ground. So to fix this since the jack is attached to wood, you must cut out a small plate and attach a wire to the jack as a ground.
  • On the press side of the cider press we reinforced under the base with two thicker braces.

Step 9: Motors

The two electrical components of the Cider press are the trailer jack and the treadmill motor.

Why these motors?

  1. I choose the treadmill motor because it was free from a friend. With the motor that I had I would go with an AC motor due to being easier to wire to a 120 plug instead of using enough batteries to have enough torque to shred the apples.
  2. The jack wasn't to expensive and had good reviews.

How are they powered?

  1. Batteries

Step 10: Final Product

This is my high schoool project and this instructables is not 100% complete. I had to post it a little early as a progress check for a grade. I will be adding to it soon.