How to Build a Homemade Fruit Press

How to build a homemade fruit press from scratch, includes materials list and step-by-step instructions.



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Our frame is made from rot-proofed pressure-treated (PT) lumber, so it should last forever with an occasional dose of deck preservative.
PHOTO: DENNIS BARNES
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Diagram 1: Homemade fruit press.
STEVE KATAGIRI
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Diagram 2: Homemade fruit press.
STEVE KATAGIRI
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For the front legs to hold the iron-press supports, inner faces of two 40 inch lengths of 4 by 4 PT southern pine were notched (3-1/2 inch square and 1/2 inch deep) by making multiple parallel saw cuts and chiseling out the soap. Then they were bored through with a 3/8 inch augur bit under bolt holes cast into attachment flanges of the iron-press supports.
DENNIS BARNES
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Horizontal crusher supports were made of 2 by 4 by 36 inch PT, left long at flee front to support wheelbarrow-style handles if we end up putting wheels on the legs. Here, boards are being notched to fit up into the iron-press beam.
DENNIS BARNES
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In a trial assembly (only the rear hopper has been oiled), the front hopper is left open to show how the iron-press foot fits to the bottom of the screw and pushes down on the wooden follower that tops the bag of pomace being juiced.
DENNIS BARNES
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The rear leg was made of a 30 inch length of 4 by 6 PT, notched at each side to accept a center-mortised, 8 inch-wide T that is also notched out at each side to accept the rear ends of the 2 by 4 grinder support beams. The joint is boxed with squares of plywood fastened with deck screws. The crusher support assembly was originally held to the rear leg with an eye screw that runs down through the T and into the top of the leg beam. The screw was inadequate, and (after this photo was taken) we ran a length of threaded rod through the box sides and leg and bolted it at each end. Next time, we'll make the joint a dovetail.
DENNIS BARNES
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We used eye bolts to fasten press supports to front legs, locating eyes on the outer face of the legs and bolting on supports through the inner, threaded end. Then we ran 28 inch lengths of 1/2 inch steel threaded rod through the eyes. Heavy bolts were tightened behind flat washers at the tap and bottom.
DENNIS BARNES
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The tray (holding a partly assembled hopper) is installed. A lip fastened to the tray bottom goes over the lower press support (sturdy cast iron, but boxed in with plywood to hold it in place better than the screw mounts supplied). The rear of the tray will be slipped up into the notch cut into the rear leg and held in place with more threaded rod.
DENNIS BARNES
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For easy disassembly, crusher support is attached with U-bolts and lengths of 1-3/8 inch-wide prepunch steel strapping. Note the shallow notches inside the 2 by 4s, which we reinforced with 3/8 inch plywood. Unaccountably, support mounts on the crusher were 1 inch wider than those cast into iron support.
DENNIS BARNES
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Notches are fashioned by making parallel saw cuts dose together and chiseling out the scrap.
DENNIS BARNES
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Flanges that fit across the upper press support to connect ends of U-bolts were ground to remove hacksaw burrs and to round corners.
DENNIS BARNES











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