After looking at cheese presses for quite a long time, I decided that we could make our own for a lot less money. So I approached my husband with my usual "I've been thinking..." and got the usual response...."Oh no!, when you start thinking, that means WORK for me...hehehehe...but this was a simple project that most could do...for under 50.00...(if you think that is expensive, check out the prices for a ready made cheese press) But you could make it a lot cheaper if you choose. I just wanted to make it from new supplies because I might make some to sell. The one we made is a conglomeration of several homemade cheese presses that I have seen. I took a little here and a little there and made one that I am completely satisfied with and has all the "bugs" worked out of it... If my instructions are confusing, look at the pictures....it's pretty self explanatory.
Supplies and directions:2 cutting boards.
..here is where you can really cut the cost in half....I bought 2 brand new ones for 11.00 each, and that is where the majority of my expense was...but that is not necessary..I am just a little fussy about certain things...but you could use yard sale ones or even wood that you already have, as long as it is long and wide enough...preferably oak because pine or any other soft wood will tend to bow..4 threaded rods.
..these came in 2 foot lengths, so I had my dad cut them down just a little...8 nuts and washers
for the threaded rods.
Take the cutting board and drill 4 evenly spaced holes in the shape of a square (the holes will be the corners of your square.) Make sure that you place the holes far enough apart that you can fit a nice size bowl inside the square. Drill holes in the exact same place on the other cutting board...these holes can be slightly larger if you want....this board will slide up and down on the rods. Put the rods up through the first cutting board and place the nuts and washers on each rod. You will need one on the top that goes all the way down to the board....then turn the board over and put another nut and washer on the bottom of the board...eventually I will add some 1/2 inch wooden strips along the sides of the bottom of the cutting board to act as "legs" so the nut and bolt won't scratch the counter...I just haven't got around to it yet...Now you need two pieces of PVC pipe.
..one being about 10 inches tall and the other about 5 inches tall...the 5 inch tall pipe should fit loosely inside the 10 inch tall pipe...I think the larger pipe is 6 inches wide...but that isn't really important....whats important is that the smaller one slide nicely down the inside of the larger one....My local pipe supply company was kind enough to cut the pipes for me... Now you drill rows of holes in the taller pipe all around and about 1/2 up the pipe. That was the husbands job...and he did a nice job doing it...once the holes were drilled, I took a small sander and sanded the top and bottom edges of the pipes...just enough to get the "edge" off...and also run sandpaper over the holes on the outside and inside of the pipe.Wooden Press
Trace the inside of the 10 inch tall pipe on to a piece of wood....I did use pine for this...cut out with a saw and sand....don't worry if it isn't perfectly round. This also must slide nicely down the larger pipes inside.Weights
- Now you will need some weights....I bought a 5 pound weight and a 2 1/2 pound weight ....you do not need to buy weights, you could use milk jugs filled with water or bricks anything as long as you know how much they weigh.
Now here is how this contraption works....
Take a glass bowl with a flat bottom or you can use a metal one... (I use a glass casserole pan) and place in the middle of your "rod" square....then put the 10 inch perforated pipe inside the casserole dish. When you are pressing cheese, you would have the cheese in cheese cloth and then you will put it inside the perforated tube....on top of that will go your wooden disk. Then on top of the disk, you will place your smaller pipe (5 inch tall one...) Then you place your other cutting board....and on top of that you will place your weights according to the cheese recipe. The top board is not bowed....for some reason, every time I take pictures, the objects look crooked...I SUCK at taking pictures....