I wish creating cheese was as easy as making these.
My 2 to 3 pound press is made a 12" section of 4" PVC pipe that I had leftover. I added some extra holes to a PVC floor drain that I never used and bought some stainless steel 3/8" threaded rod, 2 stainless acorn nuts, standard nuts and washers. I cut the rod in half, put the acorn nuts with washers on one end and threaded that through the floor drain and then put the other nuts on the other side and tightened them down.
The threaded rod helps guide/hold the ten-pound weights I use to press.
The follower is a piece of wood I cut using a hole saw and I also used a 3" PVC coupling that I sanded down to fit inside the pipe. I then added a second piece of wood to sit on that. This allows me to use the press for different size cheeses. The press just happened to fit in an 8" cake pan and raised off the bottom without resting on the acorn nuts. I cut a hole in the bottom edge for the whey to drain.
The larger press I made from birch boards and 1 1/4" hardwood dowels. I cut two boards the same size 18" long and 12" wide. The dowels come in 36" lengths so I cut 2 of them in half giving me four 18" followers. Using a forsner bit (flat bottom drill bit,) I drilled a 1 1/4" hole in the bottom board and glued and screwed the dowels in place (I used Gorilla Glue) On the top board I drilled 1 1/2 inch holes all the way through to fit over the dowels.
The cheese goes in an 6" PVC coupling that I cut out the center lip. This fits in the same cake pan as the other press.
Using that plastic cutting board material, I cut a plastic bottom to go in the cake tin. Out of the same material, I also made a piece to go on top of the cheese for both presses. I put this on top of the cheese before I fold over the cloth so I can get a smooth surface on both sides.
I invert the other cake tin, putting them bottom to bottom, and use a ceramic cookie sheet for the whey to drain into. I would have made a wooden follower, but our cookie jar fit just perfectly in the PVC. If the recipe calls for keeping the curd warm while pressing, I fill that with warm water as well.