Author Topic: Curd Cutter - Carter's Build  (Read 7420 times)

Offline Cartierusm

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Curd Cutter - Carter's Build
« on: December 11, 2008, 07:37:14 PM »
So I built a prototype last week of a curd knife. Horrible. PITA. SO today I built 3, 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2". These seem alright I'll try them this weekend. The stringers going across are 1/16" Stainless Steel Tig Wire, which I tigged on of cource. Still once I got a design down it wasn't hard to build them but originally I was going to use smaller stringers but couldn't figure out a good way to secure them. I tried everything. Anyway here are some pics of the finished product. I was going to put a handle on then realized I can just turn them to the side and use them for the entire operation.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Curd Cutter - Carter's Build
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2008, 08:16:42 PM »
Cartierusm,

You are just killing me.
;)

I envy your building skills.


Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Curd Cutter - Carter's Build
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2008, 02:44:29 AM »
Wayne, I gave you a cheese. Don't know what that means but you now have one.

Thanks for the praise. I'm in the process of starting a restaurant and regular work is slow, so I have the time.

Of course I just realized another way I might have made the curd knives. I tried soldering, but realized that the torch was heating and allowing the wire to stretch, I was using .023" SS welding wire for my Mig welder. SO that was out. I tried drilling holes and then cutting notches in the side of the SS frame and everything was a no go. When it came to using the Mig wire I just couldn't get the wire taught enought to stay straight. SO I ended up Tig welding regular tig SS rod 1/16". Then a few minutes ago I realized I could have tried using my regular soldering iron which would melt solder but not damage stainless steel. A little late now as the other ones are built, but if I need to make further alterations I'll keep it in mind. I couldn't solder them now even if I wanted to the dam plastic bottle the SS acid comes in shattered in my hand and all over the shop a friggin' mess. Thank god I was wearing latex gloves.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Curd Cutter - Carter's Build
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2008, 06:54:09 AM »
I actually looked into getting a curd knife made for me.
I contacted Terry at Dairy Fab

He makes great custom knives,  but holy crap they are expensive.  I had no idea how expensive. 
I want one like this:

This starts as about 950 USD.

Looks like i will be taking my lead from Cartierusm, and making my own.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Curd Cutter - Carter's Build
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2008, 12:50:53 PM »
Holy Crap! I was only going to charge you $949, Wayne...LOL I would make you one but I still a ways to go to figure out how to use thinner wire and string it tight. Even Dairy Fab's wires are not completely taught.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Curd Cutter - Carter's Build
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2008, 05:01:45 PM »
I just got back from the store,  I was bored and took a ride to the local hardware store for ideas for my curd knife.

You mentioned something about the wires not being taught.  I'm not sure how to make the wires very tight without requireing a very thick/sturdy knife frame.

That got me thinking. 

How bad is it if the wires have a bit of play in them?.  Not a lot mind you,  but enough that if i were to pull on one, it moves say 1/4in.

That would not really impact the straightness of the curd cut.

And,  I would not have to use a real thick frame.

So again,  how bad is it, if a curd-knife's wires are not under great tension?



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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Curd Cutter - Carter's Build
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2008, 05:22:08 PM »
Well depends the reason for the wires to be straight is so that they cut a certain size cube. Once you start pulling it would probably self align because the resistance of the curd would pull it to it's furthers poin from the frame and equalizing the distance. Should work fine. Actually to get enough tension so it stays relatively straight doesn't take as much forch as you would think.

If you have a nice shop vice all you would have to do is get 1/2" x 1/8" Stainless steel flat bar, here it's $16 for 12', so you probably should just buy an entire stick. Then mark your first bend point, put it in the vice tight and hit with a hammer. That's how I did mine. I did weld it shut, but it you have a propane torch for sweatin copper you do that if you buy the correct flux. It's an aicd base made by Harris. Or just bend the two ends where they meet drill a hole and bolt it shut with a SS screw and nut. Then go to your local welding shop, not store but an acutal welder, and ask for like 20' of .023" Mig welding wire or buy a small spool at the welding supply store and start it off with a wrap and a loose twist, a hard tight twist made with a pair of pliers would break the wire, it's kind of brittle. So twist with your hands then use pliers to pull it taught as you wrap it around the frame. As it goes around each side just wrap it once and so on.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Curd Cutter - Carter's Build
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2008, 07:15:11 PM »
Very interesting.

So, i'm  looking at some SS flatbar here

But I can't help but wonder how you get this knife INTO the curd without just crushing a 1/2 in wide hole into the curd when you initially push the knife into the curd.

I wonder if one could just place the knife in the milk just prior to adding the rennet, and let the curd set around the knife.

I'm curious what the Mig welding wire had to do with the setup?  I was gonna look for SS "safety" wire


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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Curd Cutter - Carter's Build
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2008, 12:40:17 AM »
Sorry I guess I said a little more in my head than in the post. I figured out using SS Mig wire would be way cheaper than finding regular SS wire. I even Priced out SS Guitar Strings and they were like $5 a pop. The wire would be used as the cutting wire.

As for lowering it into the abyss, you kind of lower it in at an angle it really won't hurt anything.

I guess you could start with it in but I would think it's a bit cumbersome to work around.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Tea

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Re: Curd Cutter - Carter's Build
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2008, 02:56:52 PM »
I recently watched a cooking show here, and they were showcasing a boutique cheese factory that was making goats cheeses.  They briefly showed them cutting a vat of curd, and I was stunned at what they were using.
It looked like a large homemade fly swat.  (I hope that a fly swatter in not used only in Aussie and you know what I am talking about??)

They had bent a piece of wire to fit the inside dimentions of the vat, then in the most haphazard way, had strung wire across the frame similar to stringing a tennis racquet.  You could see where the wired had been wound around the edges to secure.  It was rough!  :o

Just thought I would add, as it seems that tight tension on the wires is not necessarily needed.  Althought it is interesting seeing what you both are concocting up.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Curd Cutter - Carter's Build
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2008, 03:06:06 PM »
As i said in previous posts,  much of the allure of cheesemaking/winemaking is the tinkering required. 

I am not the tinkerer that Cartierusm is, but i try.

Right now, my curd knife is only in my head.  As I collect material and make progress, i will post pictures.


Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Curd Cutter - Carter's Build
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2008, 05:02:21 PM »
Just a little update on the curd knives I made. They work!. They worked perfectly. You have to go slower than I thought or the curds move and shift.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Curd Cutter - Carter's Build
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2008, 09:10:21 PM »
Congrats!. 
I will be building mine at some point.  I may follow this style.


Some of the hardware can be found here.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Curd Cutter - Carter's Build
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2008, 06:31:34 PM »
After my seconds batch I don't like the curd knives I built I'm going to redesign. The wire I used is 1/16" which is way too big, I need small wire, which I have, I just have to figure out how to tension.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Curd Cutter - Carter's Build
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2008, 08:36:28 PM »
If you look close at the picture in my previous post, you will notice that the SS wire is held taught by SS eye-hooks.  They are merely screwed in tighter...
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas