Author Topic: Curd Cutter - Likesspace's Build  (Read 1774 times)

Offline Likesspace

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Southern Illinois
  • Posts: 773
  • Cheeses: 20
    • Middleton Street Weather
Curd Cutter - Likesspace's Build
« on: February 10, 2009, 09:02:42 PM »
Hi guys...
Well I think I might have gotten the deal of a lifetime...
A friend of mine is set up to weld stainless steel and made me an 1/8", round frame, horizontal cut curd knife.
I was talking to him a couple of weeks ago about wanting to buy a set and he said he would be more than happy to make them for me, other than stringing the wire.
He does run a commercial manufacturing business (that employees about 20 people) so he has to keep his expenses down. Since stringing the knife would be so time consuming he didn't want to do this part of the process.
What he did instead was to "notch" the edges of the round bar so that I could then wrap and twist the wires to the frame which not only worked out pretty well, (the notches aren't exactly perfectly symetrical), but will also make for an easy replacement if and when one of the wires break.
Now here's the good part...
He made me the horizontal cut frame which I just finished wrapping with wire.
He is also planning on working in a vertical cut knife, the next time he sets his wire feed up for stainless.
I did use Wayne's idea of stainless steel trolling line that I purchased from Cabela's. This worked out really well, even though it poked me in the end of the finger several times which really hurt like a b***h.
But wait.....
That's not the good part. I'm not a sadist afterall.
The good part is that ALL of this work is being done for the low low price of  one, two pound wheel of Gouda!
I nearly fell out of my chair when he told me this.
I asked him if he would be willing to do some stainless welding for me and his response was "are you willing to give me a sample of the cheese you make?". Well of course my response was, "you bet".
He initially asked for a 100 lb. wheel of Gouda but said he would settle for whatever I had ready to go. Since a 2 lb. wheel of Gouda was all that I had ready he said that would work.
It will probably be a couple of weeks before I get the vertical knife, but here's a shot of the horizontal.
It just came out of it's first run through the dishwasher.
As I said, the notches (which space the wires) aren't exactly perfect but it's MUCH better than what I've been using for the horizontal cuts.
I can't wait to give it a try this weekend.
By the way...
The spacing of the wires is 1/2". If I need a smaller cut I can simply get a little more agressive with the knife.
Dave


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline Likesspace

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Southern Illinois
  • Posts: 773
  • Cheeses: 20
    • Middleton Street Weather
Re: Curd Cutter - Likesspace's Build
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2009, 09:07:59 PM »
Oh, the really wide gap at one end of the knife will always be above the curd in my cheese pot. This knife is 6" wide x 13" high and my pot is only about 11-3/4" deep.
I did worry a little about the twisted wires, being a haven for bacteria, but I plan on putting this in the dishwasher after each use and of course soaking it in Star-San before each use. I'm pretty sure this will take care of any potential bacterial contamination.
I think this is going to work out really well.

Dave

Offline Wayne Harris

  • Wine and Cheesemaker
  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Cleveland, Ohio
  • Posts: 1,938
  • Cheeses: 53
  • Wayne Harris
Re: Curd Cutter - Likesspace's Build
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2009, 09:23:50 PM »
Dave, you totally missed and opportunity. I would have used that as an excuse to the wife to gear up to a 100gallon batch. Cheese vat, draining table, the works.   "Sorry honey,  i got a 'free' curd knife riding on this.. Do you know what a curd knife costs?"

Other than that,  looks good.  Gotta love when you can barter for things.


Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Likesspace

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Southern Illinois
  • Posts: 773
  • Cheeses: 20
    • Middleton Street Weather
Re: Curd Cutter - Likesspace's Build
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2009, 09:54:45 PM »
Damn, Wayne! Why didn't I think of that?!?
Honestly my wife has been pretty patient with my cheesemaking addiction.
Just this past weekend I bought a 32 oz. container of Star-San (from advice in one of your posts..I had been using bleach before) and a PH meter with several packets of calibration fluid.
Even though this amounted to well over $75.00 she never batted an eye at the expense. The kicker is that she really doesn't like cheese, other than Mozzerella and Provolone.
I think I've got a keeper.
She puts up with my cheesemaking, my wine making, my racquetball and my astronomy hobbies. None of these are inexpensive hobbies but she knows I enjoy them all and gives me room to breathe.
Now, that doesn't mean that I won't be using your advice in the future.  ;)

Dave

Offline Cartierusm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,864
  • Cheeses: 17
Re: Curd Cutter - Likesspace's Build
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2009, 12:18:31 AM »
Good job Dave. Just make sure to rinse in water after Stan San if you're going to use right away. I know the package says you can use it right away but I prefer to know it's clean, plus the bacteria we use is very sensitive to sanitizers.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline Likesspace

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Southern Illinois
  • Posts: 773
  • Cheeses: 20
    • Middleton Street Weather
Re: Curd Cutter - Likesspace's Build
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2009, 08:21:24 PM »
Carter,
Thanks for the advice on using the Star San and thanks for the photos you posted of your first attempts at a curd knife. I'm sure you recognize the design. :-)
Also, I've never used Star San and I'm not really sure what to do with it.
I have a 24 quart bucket with a lid that I plan on keeping the mixture in.
Is this a product that will last for a long time if covered?
I used to use a product called "one step" when I was making wine and I would mix up a batch and it would last for about a month before losing some of it's effectiveness.
I also used to use K-Met a LOT in my wine making and it seemed to last forever.
I'm hoping this will keep for at least several weeks before needing to be drained and changed. That way I can just remove the lid...soak my utensils and then give them a quick rinse before use.
Thanks in advance.

Dave

Offline Cartierusm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,864
  • Cheeses: 17
Re: Curd Cutter - Likesspace's Build
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2009, 09:37:16 PM »
Dave that's exactly what I do. Keep a 3 gallon bucket of it and just dip for a few minutes and rinse.

As far as effectiveness, now that you have a PH meter, just check the solution every month. As long as the mixture is below PH3 it's still good. I've had some for years in air tight containers that is still good.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.