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..