After the apple mill the next thing was the cider press. Again the type I wanted was too expensive, so the tools couldn’t be put away just yet – at least the power tools that usually sit in the shed gathering dust were earning their keep at last.
There are various sorts of presses out there but the two main types are barrel and what’s called rack and cloth, which is layers of apple pulp wrapped in cloth, in between wooden racks, inside a frame.
Rack and Cloth:
So this this was what I had planned.
Yeeeah right, like I could built that – but I did have a design in mind.
Here it is, hope it’s not too complicated for you all.
It was going to need wood, big bits of wood, sleepers in fact, which are pretty big bits of wood. So after visiting several wood-yards I managed to get some wood fairly cheap but the price of wood – OY VEY!
The next thing that I needed to work out was a mechanism for actually pressing down on the racks to squeeze out the apple juice. Lots of examples of presses on line used some sort of car-jack as in the two photo’s above but when used with a wooden top bar the wood could be damaged. Another method that can be utilized is to use a large screw thread. Unfortunately it was not so easy to find the style or size I wanted or to find one cheaply. In the end I managed to get one but it was expensive.
So I had the wood, screw thread and other fittings – time to build. The top and bottom bars were going to sit in recces s in the side bars, so these needed to be cut out.
Then the rest of the wood was cut and a dry run assembly was made to see how the parts fitted together.
Then it had to be screwed and bolted together,long threaded rods were used for some sections and then cut down. Even though the screws were supposed to be trade quality, some of them still sheared and that was fun and games trying to get them out of the wood.
When that was done the screw thread was added.
Finally stabilizing legs were added and the frame was given several coats of wood preserve.
Next the pressing racks would need to be made.