Author Topic: Ted's homemade cheese press worklog  (Read 4074 times)

Offline Worlock

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Ted's homemade cheese press worklog
« on: March 20, 2009, 08:28:56 PM »
List of materials:

1X12x2 Red Oak Board ... $11.92
1" x 36" Oak Dowel (2 each) ... $7.96 (for both)
3" PVC Test Cap ... $0.59
3" x 5' S40 PVC ... $6.57
1 dollar cutting board $1.00

With taxes total was $29 and change

Child in picture ... priceless


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Offline Worlock

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Re: Ted's homemade cheese press worklog
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2009, 08:32:49 PM »
Cut off 6 inches of PVC from my 5 foot length in my miter box.

Oh, and cutting 1/4 inch rings off what's left makes a fun ring game with bottled water for my 4 and 10 year old girls...

Gish... not sure what I'm going to do with the rest of it.  Lot of extra.

Sized up the cap and a can of beans that i'll be using for the press.  Will have to dremel off the lip to make the PVC cap a nice even press on the curds.

Offline Worlock

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Re: Ted's homemade cheese press worklog
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2009, 08:35:20 PM »
Cut the Oak board in half, and the dowels at 12 inches in height.

Offline Worlock

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Re: Ted's homemade cheese press worklog
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2009, 08:37:48 PM »
Measured out 1/2 inch from the corners and traced the size of the dowels.

Clamped them together, and will drill both boards.  Bottom board will be glued to the dowel of course, and the top holes will have to be sanded a bit bigger to allow free movement of the board over the dowels.

Offline Worlock

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Re: Ted's homemade cheese press worklog
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2009, 08:41:30 PM »
Everything came to a complete halt when I realized I only had a 3/4 inch drill bit.  Went ahead and drilled it anyway thinking I can always widen them out.

I was wrong.

Fail worthy wrong.

Ted, that's red oak your working with.  And that stuff is hard as all get out.

Tried filing.  Fail.
Tried super spinny sand wheel on the drill.  Fail.
Tried drywall bit on the drill.  Fail.

I realized that it was later on at night, and you don't go around my neighborhood here in DC at night.  Safer to stay home, will get a 1" bit tomorrow.

To ease my frustration, went ahead and drilled my holes on the PVC...

Work stoppage till I get the bit.


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Offline mako

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Re: Ted's homemade cheese press worklog
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2009, 12:24:03 AM »
I like that cutting board. Dead cheap and seems to solve the problem of where the whey is going to go in one fell swoop. Where'd you find it?

Also, I was going to say you can use some of the extra length of PVC to fashion a couple camembert hoops -- but it looks like you already made your main press into one. I'm pretty sure you're not going to want all those little holes when you've got 100 pounds pressing down on your cheese -- but I've not yet gotten into pressing, so confirm that with someone more knowledgable.

I'll have to check out using a pvc test cap as a follower. I've got no router, and don't want to attempt to cut down a cutting board manually. Ugh. My hands are not precise enough for that.

Congratulations, the press looks great!

Offline Worlock

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Re: Ted's homemade cheese press worklog
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2009, 09:01:21 AM »
Cutting board was 99 cents from the Dollar Tree.

Too many holes huh?  Hmmm... I did notice far far fewer in the commercially available ones out there.  Since I had like 5 feet of the stuff I could always make another.  In this config you can put more than one press in there and just regulate how much weight you put on top. 

Maybe one hole per every 2 inches or so then.  Can make another one and see if it looks more like what's normally used.

Offline Worlock

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Re: Ted's homemade cheese press worklog
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2009, 09:17:20 PM »
Ok.  So I tried to take the 3/4 holes from last night and use a 1" bit on them to widen them.

Fail.

There is something to be said for the phrase "right tool for the job".

I trashed the wood, ended up with oblong holes, nothing nearly the quality I felt was needed for a project like this.

So I went out and got another set of oak, cut it, and repeated the hole process... The following is a dry fit:



Offline Worlock

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Re: Ted's homemade cheese press worklog
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2009, 09:19:08 PM »
Next I'm sizing up feet (from the wood from my previous failure) so that I can give solidity to the vertical columns.

Offline Worlock

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Re: Ted's homemade cheese press worklog
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2009, 09:20:21 PM »
After apoxy'ing them in place, I drilled pilot holes and a wider recessed hole for the screw head.


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Offline Worlock

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Re: Ted's homemade cheese press worklog
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2009, 09:21:10 PM »
Dry fit...



Offline Worlock

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Re: Ted's homemade cheese press worklog
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2009, 09:22:19 PM »
Cutting the test cap so it suits my needs as a follower...



Offline Worlock

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Re: Ted's homemade cheese press worklog
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2009, 09:23:37 PM »
After cutting the test cap, wanted to make sure it evenly followed through the PVC so it ensured even pressure...


Offline Worlock

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Re: Ted's homemade cheese press worklog
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2009, 09:25:25 PM »
Work stoppage for the night... Sanding everything down for tomorrows lacquer finish.  My local BX (Base Exchange) didn't have any varnish or stain... and I'm not traveling off base after dark alone.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Ted's homemade cheese press worklog
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2009, 05:28:08 AM »
Ted, great work, similar to the ones posted here, but with all the details, step by step pictures, tricks and traps that make it way easier for next person.

Love the draining board, better that my system where I just raise my hoop up out of the draining puddled whey. FYI, I built my followers out of cheap cutting boards, but used neighbors band style jigsaw, even still I didn't cut perfect round followers. If you need a longer spacer after your follower than can of beans, I bought section of next size down PVC pipe from local Home Depot here in Houston Texas.

PS: Cute "priceless" daughter, ours girls are now teenagers.