Author Topic: Cheap-skate Cheese Press  (Read 1534 times)

Offline mightyjesse

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Cheap-skate Cheese Press
« on: April 29, 2009, 09:49:24 AM »

I built a very crude cheese press last night (I am NOT what you'd consider a master wood-worker by ANY stretch of the imagination. Give me raw wool and I can give you back a sweater in a month, but I just don't have the right tools for dealing with wood... The little work I did here was done in my friend's metal shop.), based on some of the "in a pinch" cheese press pictures I saw throughout the board. Hopefully this will work with a bunch of my fiancee's barbell plates stacked on top.

My only concern is that:
1.  There is too much room around the follower and that the curds will mush up the sides of the 4" pipe. We'll see how it goes this weekend.
2. The dowel holes on the top board aren't loose enough for free movement. I'll re-drill the holes with the next size up (7/8") bit and see if the movement is smoother.

Opinions?


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Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Cheap-skate Cheese Press
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2009, 10:00:26 AM »
Overall it looks fine
I might be inclined to agree that the follower should match the diameter of your mould a little more closely.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline mightyjesse

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Re: Cheap-skate Cheese Press
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2009, 10:18:29 AM »
I think my follower is 3" in diameter and the PVC is 4". How much room do you have around your follower?

(I think the glass of the jar makes it look smaller than it is in that picture. Here's a better one.)


Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Cheap-skate Cheese Press
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2009, 10:25:03 AM »
Well

Zero to be brutally honest about it.

My moulds are pretty tight fitting.

And you are right, you risk having some curds "leaking" out the  top depending on the gap and the pressure.

i might be inclined if I were you to go get a plastic cutting board and a jigsaw and cut out a properly sized follower. 

But others here use a variety of followers.  You are limited only by your imagination.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Cheap-skate Cheese Press
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2009, 05:27:34 PM »
Jesse looks great, should work well. Like Wayne says, I have round wooden or white cutting board plastic followers that are just slightly smaller ID than the hoop, otherwise with all that weight, the curds get extruded around the side. Above the follower I have an extension spacer that the weight board sits on.

Have fun!


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Offline timnbama

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Re: Cheap-skate Cheese Press
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2009, 05:14:30 AM »
If you're going to try to redrill the holes with a falt-blade spade bit you're going to encounter frustration unless you use a drill press and lock the board in place. I'd suggest either some sandpaper wrapped around your finger or a piece of dowel wood or something like a round rasp or a round Stanley surform tool. If you look around in your stores you might luck up and find a round drinking glass coaster or something similar that will be a closer match to the right diameter.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 05:22:28 AM by timnbama »

Offline mightyjesse

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Re: Cheap-skate Cheese Press
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2009, 09:37:52 AM »
Well I made a new follower out of cutting board, as suggested (I cut it out with my fiancee's newly inherited jig saw.) but I'm afraid that my poor press just isn't rated for cheddar. My hoop keeps tilting to the side a bit and extruding cheese out the bottom during pressing.

I guess this weekend it's back to the store to get threaded rod and wingnuts to hold my hoop in place...

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Cheap-skate Cheese Press
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2009, 03:45:49 PM »
Jesse, for stopping the hoop from tilting to the side, I expect you've already checked:
  • Is the bottom of your 4" PVC hoop cut perfectly at 90 degrees and flat?
  • Is the spacer above the follower almost the same OD as the ID of the hoop to keep it vertical?
  • Is the top and bottom of the follower's sapecer cut at 90 degrees?
  • Are you loading the weights centered?

Hope helps . . . John.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Cheap-skate Cheese Press
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2009, 12:25:09 AM »
In a pinch you could always tie it down.

Offline chilipepper

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Re: Cheap-skate Cheese Press
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2009, 08:52:08 AM »
Looks like some good work there!  I think one thing to consider to help the tilting is to try and keep the spacer on top of your follower as short as possible.  When it gets too tall it will want to push the mold to one side or another as the cheese shifts under the weight.  Otherwise if everything is balanced out fairly well and the bottom of the mold is cut perpendicular to the sides it should work well for you. Maybe just try a shorter spacer and see what happens.  I have a bunch of little wood blocks that I can use to keep the top of the press just an inch or so off the top of the mold.  Hope that helps.

Ryan


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