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.