you start dabbling in cheesemaking you are going to want to try your
hand at making "hard" cheeses; to do this you will need a cheese
press. You can spend a lot of money on a pre-made press, or you
can save big bucks and make your own. There are many ways to construct
your own press, just use you imagination. Use quality products
to make your press and it will more than pay for itself with years of
service. Here's how I made my press.
Wood (maple) cutting boards (approx. 16" X 9 1/4")
3/4" oak dowels cut into four (4) 16" long pieces
1 1/4" (#8) stainless steel Philips head screws
stainless steel or nylon 3/8" flat washers
is the size of the hole, the washer should be 1" wide)
- 4- Stainless
steel or nylon size #10 finish washers
metal pie pan
pounds worth of weights
use barbell weights: 3- 10 pound and 4- 5 pound)
and 1" spade wood boring bits
Medium, fine and very fine grit
In the board that will be the bottom of your press, use a 3/4" spade
bit to drill four holes (one in each corner) See Figure 1.
Use the bottom board as a template to mark where the holes go in the top
board. Drill these holes with a 1" spade bit.
Sand the holes smooth and round the edges of the holes.
Sand the lengths of the dowels and round the edges of one of the
ends. Sand flat the other end, but do not round the edges.
Drill a 1/8" hole in the flat end of all four dowels to accommodate
your ss screws.
Place a finish washer on each screw, then the flat washer. And
screw them onto the dowels. This creates the "legs" of your press
with nice "feet". See Figure 2.
Test your dowels and make sure they fit nicely through the holes in the
boards. Sand accordingly.
Rub mineral oil into all the wood surfaces (this protects the wood).
You need to make a "drip spout" in the pie pan. Using some tin
snips, cut down the lip and side of the pie pan to the bottom of the
pan. Move over two inches and make another cut. Trim, cut
and bend to create a spout. (see Figure 3)
You press is now ready to use.
your press together
Slide the "legs" into the bottom board.
(see Figure 3)
Flip the board and set the legs on their "feet" on a raised surface
(for the purpose of draining).
Put the "drip pie pan" on the bottom board.
Position a drip catch pan (I use a bread pan) under the spout.
Place your cheese mold (with curd), it's follower and your "pusher"
(I use the next size down cheese mold for my "pusher") on top of the
Feed the tops of the legs through the holes in your top board.
Balance the appropriate amount of weight for the particular cheese that
you wish to press on the top board. and there you go, you're pressing
Larry Bunton of Fias Co Farm