Author Topic: Making a Cheese Press  (Read 658 times)

Offline artguy

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Making a Cheese Press
« on: December 30, 2013, 10:11:20 PM »
I have been exploring cheese by making mozzarella and feta.  I am ready to move up to harder cheeses and I would like to make a press.  I would like to make myself a pneumatic cheese press, Mainly because I am a techie guy and have built many a contraptions for home brew.  I have access to a cnc machine and metals fabrication shop.  I have two questions,

#1  I have seen multiple square stock designs.  What is the recommended square tubing size and interior dimensions of a metal press?  I cant imagine ever making making a wheel larger than 6 inches tall. I am not sure what that interior dimension with enough head space for the follower and piston should be.

#2  What size bore cylinder and stroke should I go with?  I plan on hooking it up to one of those air reservoirs you prime with your air compressor.

I didn't know if anyone had any generic plan dimensions that could get me started so I could take a lot of the guess work out.

Thanks in advance for your help.



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Offline artguy

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Re: Making a Cheese Press
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2014, 08:14:41 PM »
Anybody?...........  Just need to know bore size/stroke and interior dimensions.  Could someone who has a standard cheese press maybe tell me the inside dimensions of where you put the mold and roughly how far down the follower, on average, travels down through the mold?

Offline smolt1

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Re: Making a Cheese Press
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2014, 08:53:13 PM »
I can' t help you on the hydraulics/pneumatics part but The space you need for the mold is about 8 to 12 inches wide by 8 in (one mold) to 14 in (2 molds) high. The travel for the initial press should be about 1 to 1 1/2 inches and maybe 1 inch for the final press. Hope this helps.

Offline flac

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Re: Making a Cheese Press
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2014, 12:08:29 AM »
Welcome to the forum Art!

I can't help much with the pneumatic press, but I can try to point you in the right direction.

1) The search tool will be your friend; there is tons of great info on the forum (https://www.google.com/search?q=pneumatic+site%3Acheeseforum.org%2Fforum)
2) Cartierusm has made a few presses - http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,5702.0.html
3) Post pictures of the build! Always makes it fun.

Good luck!

Offline artguy

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Re: Making a Cheese Press
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2014, 11:38:53 AM »
Thanks Smolt1 and flac.  Exactly what I needed!  Will post pics once i get started! Thanks for the warm welcome to the forum.

Cheers




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Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Making a Cheese Press
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2014, 01:08:49 PM »
Problem with a pneumatic press is that, as the cheese compresses the pressure reduces unless you have a very complicated, read as expensive, automatic regulator.  The one on your compressor may work for you. Much simpler, and less expensive method, is the dutch press design. K.I.S.S.

Offline John@PC

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Re: Making a Cheese Press
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2014, 09:41:25 AM »
... I am a techie guy and have built many a contraptions for home brew.  I have access to a cnc machine and metals fabrication shop.


Home brew, access to a cnc and fab shop!  What more could you ask for except cheese indeed  ;).  Look forward to viewing your creation!

Al:  Air regulators are pretty cheap now a-days (here's a compact one I bought a while ago)and a pneumatic cylinder will give constant pressure over the full length of it's stroke given one.  Your right though if Art is using a tank with no regulator.

Cartierusm's design looks good and there seems to be enough info on that thread to design yours.   My first press was a dutch-style that I made, then I started fiddling with spring presses (trying to make a more compact press) and saw the same drawbacks Cartierusm mentions.  I ended up with an articulated - toggle design that solved the problem with pressure changing during the stroke (I think I posted a pic some time back but I'm too lazy to look up the link  :-[). 


Offline artguy

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Re: Making a Cheese Press
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2014, 08:27:59 PM »
Thanks, I definitely will have a tank with an appropriate regulator and control valve so the plunger doesn't punch down quickly and make a mess. My biggest concern is figuring out hw long of a stroke cylinder to get and making sure the interior measurements of the press are correct, allowing it to accommodate a moderate range of mold sizes.

Offline jwalker

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Re: Making a Cheese Press
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2014, 08:36:31 AM »
John , did you build that press , the wooden one with the interlocking cogs on it ?

That's a fantastic job , as much as I like tech and gadgetry , like hydraulics and pneumatics , I still find the nice wooden presses very alluring.

If you did build that , did you also design it yourself , I would love to see more photos and maybe rough dimensions and have a go at one like that myself.

Very Nice , a cheese for that !
No..........I'm not a professional CheeseMaker , but I play one on TV.