Tortilla Press




Introduction: Tortilla Press

About: My wife and I love making things with wood. We build a musical instrument called a Kalimba or Thumb Piano and Wooden Barn Stars, Barn Quilts and old Rustic Signs.

This Press is perfect for making your own tortillas from corn or wheat flour or any other flour you choose to use like rice, coconut or almond flours. We have tried all of them with success!.

Making your own tortillas at home is surprisingly easy, fun and way less expensive than buying pre-made at the grocery store and always fresh!

I made this a couple of years ago and you can tell by the wear on the handle we have made lots of fresh and tasty tortillas at home and saved a bunch of money doing it!

This little project will pay for itself many times over and today... that's more important than ever!

Step 1: What You Need


  • 1 - 2" x 10" (3 Feet long)
  • 1 ft 1/2" dowel
  • Wood Glue (I like Tight Bond III)
  • 6 - 3" flat head deck screws
  • 2 - 2" x 2 1/4" Hinges
  • 12 - 3/4" flat head screws for hinge installation
  • Sandpaper 120 grit
  • Some kind of oil that is food safe of your choice to use as a finish (I used coconut oil)


  • Table saw
  • Drill Press
  • Sander
  • Screw gun with Phillips driver bit
  • Miter Saw
  • Cross Cut Sled (for the table saw)
  • Ruler or tape measure

Step 2: Cut List

Cut the main parts to their basic overall dimensions with the miter saw and the table saw.

Use the Table saw to cut Dadoes and final dimensions of parts as shown in the drawing.

(Do not drill the 1/2" holes at this time)

Step 3: Making the Fulcrum

The fulcrum is attached to the base and provides a force multiplier to the top by the handle when you are pressing tortillas.

Drill the 1/2" hole in the two Larger parts for the fulcrum on a drill press. Clamp them, stacked one of top of the other, so the holes will line up perfectly when drilled.

Assemble and glue and clamp the parts as shown...

(Use a 1/2" dowel to insure the holes line up true but don't glue it in.)

Allow the glue to set and remove the dowel.

Cut the dadoes in the part as shown. This completes the fulcrum.

Step 4: Making the Top and Base Parts

Top Piece Construction:

Overall dimensions 8" X 7 7/8"X 1 1/2". Sand or router a 1/4" round-over on the top edge of the piece. As shown.

Base Piece Construction:

Overall dimensions 8" X 8 1/2" X 1 1/2"

Use a table saw and sled to cut the wood away from the "end grain" end as shown to the dimensions shown. You will end up with a 8" X 8" piece with a 1/2" x 3/4" protrusion on the front. (This will mate with the fulcrum part later)

Step 5: Making the Handle

Cut the handle to the dimensions shown.

Drill a 1/2" hole at one end

Router or sand a 1/4" radius around the edge of both sides being careful not to router around the the end with the hole.

Step 6: Final Assembly

Base Construction:

Attach the Fulcrum piece to the base with screws and glue.

Insert the handle in the fulcrum assembly and insert the dowel (no need for glue)

Place the top piece into position with a 1/8" spacer or shim between the two pieces to act as a temporary spacer to help align the parts when installing the hinges.

Clamp the top and bottom together and carefully line up and install the hinges.

Remove the clamps and the shim.

The last piece to install is the spacer block on the lid. The thickness of the block is determined by the amount needed to provide pressure to the lid by the handle. Glue and screw the block into position as shown.

Step 7: Tips for Use

There are many recipes out there for tortilla flour so we wont go into that.

I do have some tips for use that we have learned over time.

  • Use a measured amount of dough (we find 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup works well depending on the dough)
  • Cut two sheets of wax paper and use on top and bottom of dough when pressing
  • Make more than you will use at one meal and freeze for later meals.
  • Try lots of different dough types and find what you really like!
  • Don't hog all the fun... let others make some!
  • Don't loan this out... it might not come back!

That's it! Have fun!

Meal Prep Contest

Runner Up in the
Meal Prep Contest

Hack Your Day Contest

Participated in the
Hack Your Day Contest

3 People Made This Project!


  • Backyard Contest

    Backyard Contest
  • Meatless Challenge

    Meatless Challenge
  • Fabric Challenge

    Fabric Challenge



1 year ago

Excellent Instructable. Printed it out and heading to shop later today.


3 years ago

I also grew up with a cast iron press in the house. Not until the other day when I went to the house of a lady who makes food for sale on Sundays, did I notice her prensa was made of wood. I have pricedone them on Amazon and a local Mexican store. Well I have already bought the wood to made my own


6 years ago

Dunkiedoo, I have seen the old cast iron tortilla press which my mother used but I never thought of making a wooden press. This is a good idea and you could take it a step further making it larger for flour tortillas which are normally made bigger. I take it maintenance is just wiping down and using cooking oil to ensure the wood does not dry out? I will add this to my project list. Your instructions, diagrams, and photos were easy to follow and well organized. Good luck in the Meal Prep Contest.


Reply 3 years ago

I also grew up with a cast iron press in the house. Not until the other day when I went to the house of a lady who makes food for sale on Sundays, did I notice her prensa was made of wood. I have pricedone them on Amazon and a local Mexican store. Well I have already bought the wood to made my own. I'll let you know.


Reply 6 years ago

Yes I thinks this would scale up just fine. My engineer brain says on a larger platform I would probably work out a longer handle and the matching extension of the base so you would be able to exert the pressure needed. Hummm.... got me thinking.... Maybe a two step process with a roller type press on the second step.
As to the oil... All I have used on it is coconut oil. It has a lot of beneficial qualities beyond protecting the wood for one thing, it is anti microbial.
We cook with it a lot and find it useful for skin care and many other things. It's amazing stuff really! Thanks for your comments!


Reply 6 years ago

No problem and your roller idea sound like it will work as well. Good luck.


3 years ago

Great build. Just a heads up that some of those hinges have lead from the manufacturing process. stainless or brass would be best. Cheers!