Here it is… the new apple press for Cambridge Apple Day.
That’s me and Gerwyn in his workshop Hafren enjoying a glass of his excellent home made cider at the end of two days hard work. Gerwyn is a master of his craft and since retiring from the timber-frame building business and lecturing, he’s opened up his home and workshop to teach woodworking skills one-on-one. This is our third project together (earlier ones being a Shaker style stool and an oak dining table).
We thought it might be worth doing a blog on how we made the apple press – hopefully inspiring others to have a go. This is a brief and non-expert description. If you want some more detail, drop Gerwyn an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The design is Gerwyn’s own.
The main material is green oak, which is a joy to work with and can easily take the strain of pressing (especially once it’s had chance to dry out). The addition of a steel u-channel provides rigidity and a nice aesthetic touch. The screw is from a horse trailer with an extra bit of steel welded to the handle to provide a leverage point.
Stage 1 was to build the legs. First the oak needed planing and sizing. Then we made the mortice and tenon joints. This was made much easier (and more fun) with the use of a chain morticer – not a bit of kit that everyone has lying around. There’s some serious machinery in Hafren’s workshop that handles the heavy stuff, as well as a fine selection of traditional and not-so-traditional hand tools.
Stage 2 was getting the laterals sized, starting with the steel u-channel. The metal-work was all new to me and I confess to letting Gerwyn do the angle-grinding, while I concentrated on drilling the holes. Once the u-channel was in place with screw attached, we could get the measurements for the lateral oak beams, check the plastic tray fitted and mark where the channels for the moving beam would go.