Author Topic: Dutch (?) style lever press  (Read 3648 times)

Offline Richard-OR

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Dutch (?) style lever press
« on: March 31, 2012, 12:00:14 PM »
I’ve picked up some great ideas from this forum that I used to recently build this press.  With 60 lbs. of old barbell weights hung from the furthest bolt out on the arm, I get a Mechanical Advantage of 5.73, and using a digital bathroom scale I measured a Weight Applied of 345 lbs.  This amount of force gives me a maximum 8.00 psi applied to cheese in the 7.4” Tomme mold in the picture.  My thinking is that this should be plenty of pressure for making cheddars.

I built the press out of Oregon white oak (Quercus garryanna).  The bottom glue joint between the two horizontal base pieces and the vertical back piece (that holds the lever) was critical, so I used two mortise and tenon joints to make it strong.   With 345 lbs. pulling up on the joints, they were rock solid!


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Offline zenith1

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Re: Dutch (?) style lever press
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2012, 02:33:11 PM »
Richard-that is beautiful- like a piece of furniture. Very nice workmanship.
Keith

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Dutch (?) style lever press
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2012, 04:42:10 PM »
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! Beautiful job Richard! I love it! Cheese fr that one for sure!

Offline Boofer

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Re: Dutch (?) style lever press
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2012, 07:02:39 PM »
Beautiful job and welcome to the forum...now, where's the cheese?

It almost seems too pretty to use for something as messy as curds and whey.  :)

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Offline Cloversmilker

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Re: Dutch (?) style lever press
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2012, 07:57:56 PM »
HI Richard,
That's a very nice press.  Are you making cheddars? 

I'm also in Corvallis and put a cheshire in for its first light press about 20 minutes ago.



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Offline Richard-OR

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Re: Dutch (?) style lever press
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2012, 01:51:13 AM »
I haven’t made any of the semifirm or hard cheeses, until a Leerdammer today.  I’ve been making a variety of cheeses for years that didn’t need more than an antique fruit press.  A cheddar is likely in my future.
   
Boofer, you mentioned the mess.  I made the wood platform the cheese sits on so that it is loose with a wood block underneath so that the platform can slide back and forth along the groove formed by the two wood bottom rails.  This was so that I could take the platform off to rinse it.  Today, I also discovered that it is nice to slide the platform out along the rails, perhaps a foot, so that I can arrange the cheese form, lid, and drain pan without the plunger in the way….and then slide everything back under the plunger when I’m ready to put weight to the cheese.

Offline Boofer

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Re: Dutch style lever press
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2012, 09:39:21 AM »
I haven’t made any of the semifirm or hard cheeses, until a Leerdammer today.  I’ve been making a variety of cheeses for years that didn’t need more than an antique fruit press.  A cheddar is likely in my future.
   
Boofer, you mentioned the mess.  I made the wood platform the cheese sits on so that it is loose with a wood block underneath so that the platform can slide back and forth along the groove formed by the two wood bottom rails.  This was so that I could take the platform off to rinse it.  Today, I also discovered that it is nice to slide the platform out along the rails, perhaps a foot, so that I can arrange the cheese form, lid, and drain pan without the plunger in the way….and then slide everything back under the plunger when I’m ready to put weight to the cheese.
Ah, excellence in design!  ;)

Can you share the recipe for your Leerdammer?

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Offline Richard-OR

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Re: Dutch (?) style lever press
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2012, 12:16:31 PM »
I am following the Leerdammer recipe in Debra Amrein-Boyes’s 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes.  The cheese is now enjoying a nice 20 hour brine soak.

I have to admit that although I can follow recipes well enough; I’d really like to know the biochemical reason for each step and sequence of steps.  I’m not a chemist, but I’d love to find some reference that gives some basic understanding of why traditional cheese makers chose the specific methods for each cheese.

Offline H-K-J

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Re: Dutch (?) style lever press
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2012, 12:34:02 PM »
Yes Richard a cheese to you, very nice I'm hoping my attempt turns out this good :)
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Offline Cloversmilker

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Re: Dutch (?) style lever press
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2012, 01:41:55 PM »
Richard,

Do you have Margaret Morris's book?  It tells a little about the 'why'.  There's a lot on this board if you cruise around and sample different threads. 

I'm in Corvallis as well.  Do you know any other cheesemakers in the mid-valley?  It's felt a little lonely here... 

Mina


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Offline Richard-OR

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Re: Dutch (?) style lever press
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2012, 11:31:07 PM »
Thanks for the cheese H-K-J…I’ll have to figure out what that means!

Mina, I don't have The Cheesemaker's Manual.  You now have me curious about the book.  I found this forum a couple of months ago when trying to troubleshoot some camembert.  You are correct; there is a wealth of information here.  I don’t know any other local cheese makers.  There does not seem to be a lot of turnover of cheese making supplies at Corvallis Brewing Supply, which makes me think there aren’t many of us around the area. 

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Re: Dutch (?) style lever press
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2012, 03:51:20 PM »
Yours is a very interesting design. If the plunger is held vertical something has to slide as the lever goes down. Usually the lever slides at the fulcrum but yours slides the mold.Please update your experience with heavy pressing. Maybe you will need some kind of friction reduction as it slides. What a beautiful press!

Offline Richard-OR

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Re: Dutch (?) style lever press
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2012, 06:12:40 PM »
Smolt1, I built this press with very close tolerances and other than the lever swinging up and down, there is no play in the fulcrum or lateral play when weight is applied.  The fulcrum always stays parallel with the vertical back. 

My experience with a cheese this weekend was that as I dropped the plunger the 1 ¾ “ inches from the top of the round slot in the mold lid, I slid the wood platform (with drain pan and cheese) about ¼” away from the vertical back until the plunger started pressing the cheese.  During a 2 psi press there was so little drop in the cheese height that the movement of the plunger towards or away from the vertical back wasn’t a problem.  If the plunger and mold lid dropped a couple of inches during a heavy press, I think there would be too much friction for the wood platform to move along wooden rails beneath.  This press is so solid that it’s more likely the mold would move a fraction of an inch on the stainless drain pan with whey providing the lubricant.  If the press is in stages, it’s likely that the slight changes in location of the mold with redressing the cheese would solve this problem.  I like your idea (if I’m understanding it correctly) of somehow making the wood platform slip more easily on the rails beneath…perhaps stainless steel strips on the underside of the platform.

Offline Richard-OR

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Re: Dutch (?) style lever press
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2012, 06:38:37 PM »
Or, just some hard Nordic Ski glide wax to make the platform slide....

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Re: Dutch (?) style lever press
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2012, 07:47:58 PM »
Ahh, wax, the cabinet makers solution to sticky drawers and many other things. Just the stainless drip pan on wood may be slippery enough.

As you say the horizontal movement is small and there is almost no friction in the two pieces that hold the plunger vertical.