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Plastic Press Juices Apples Fast
Don Peterson doesn’t let any apples go to waste since he built his own cider press. A garbage disposal turns apples into pulp, then a hydraulic ram squeezes the juice through a press made out of plastic pipe.
  “I must have drilled a million holes in the heavy-duty plastic pipe to make the press cage,” says Peterson.
  The apple press and disposal are mounted on a 6-ft. high framework of scrap 2 by 4-in. steel tubing. Mounted on the left side is a small sink Peterson welded out of stainless steel. The garbage disposal unit mounts beneath the sink. “I use a French fry slicer to cut the apples into pieces that will fit the disposal,” says Peterson.
  The 14-in. dia. press cage, hydraulic cylinder, and plunger are centered in the steel frame. The press cage rests on a shallow stainless steel pan that drains into a bucket.
  As the apple slices are pulped, they feed into a plastic pipe that angles down and into the press cage. “I tried just dropping the pulp into a bucket and then dumping it into the press, but that took too much effort,” says Peterson. “I hooked up the pipe, and the pulp drops right in.”
  When the cage is full, he activates a hydraulic cylinder with an extra long ram mounted to the top bar of the frame. It is powered by a small electro-hydraulic pump.
  “The plunger is a piece of plastic that’s sized to the cage and mounted on a metal plate. The end of the ram presses into it,” says Peterson. “The ram is long enough to push to the bottom of the cage and then pulls back up and out of the way.”
  Aside from the disposal unit and the plastic pipe that Peterson bought new, the rest of the cider press system was put together from salvaged parts.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Don Peterson, 827 W 400 S, Heyburn, Idaho 83336 (ph 208 431-7363).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #1