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Bliorg

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Hi all -

I want a basket press. And I want a project. Seems like a good opportunity to combine the two. I've been trolling FB Marketplace for older presses, which come up with surprising regularity. I found this, fairly local:
next press.jpg

It's a Modern Machine & Tool press (also being sold with a Buddy & Westermann iron floor corker, FWIW). The seller tells me the basket is about 16" diameter, so about a #40. On the one hand, it seems a good size. Can go with larger batches in one pressing, it doesn't seem too too large (to me, someone who has never used a basket press). Project-wise, it appears in decent nick. Wood would need replacing, base and rings would probably be bead blasted and powder coated, or at least primed and painted. From what I can tell from this photo, the head seems to be complete. Am I missing anything obvious?

So, for those of you with experience in these things, does this seem like (1) a decent press for restoration, and (2) a decent size for an ambitious home wine maker? I'm thinking this would be a winter project, ready in time for the Chilean harvest.

Thanks for any sage wisdom you may want to share.
Scott
 

Rice_Guy

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I assume there are spacer blocks, I have cut a top round out of acrylic since it will not pick up water/ juice, I also cut a bottom round out of a polyethylene cutting board and peppered it with 1/2“ drainage holes.
looks good, replacing wood is probably more cosmetic than necessary.
 

Johnd

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Looks like a really cool old press, good size, and perfect for restoring. You should have no trouble getting it ready with just a little effort. Other than replacing / rebuilding the press basket and new wood spacers, the rest will just require a little work to clean / brighten or repaint as you see fit. Looks like a fun project, I say go for it!!
 

Bliorg

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Thanks guys! Offer is on the table - wish me luck...
 

stickman

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I don't see any plastic......heavy duty, that's when things were made to last more than a lifetime.
 

stickman

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I couldn't help myself, I was looking at this thing for a while, and I see how it works now. You put the cork into the wider section of the chamber, when operated, as the ram comes down there is a wedge in the back that moves down at the same time. The wedge moves into the slot behind the cork that drives a horizontal ram that shoves the cork into the narrow section of the chamber, compressing the cork just before insertion.
 

Bliorg

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Well, I have to say that my intent, happy with my Portuguese floor corker, was to clean up the iron one and sell it off. But you guys have me kind of curious as to how well this thing functions. I'm going to have to try it out and see which corker stays in the garage.

Picking all this up tomorrow. Bringing along my not-quite-21-yr-old to help me heft it into the truck. The seller said the press and corker are "very heavy". :sh
 

Rocky

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Well, I have to say that my intent, happy with my Portuguese floor corker, was to clean up the iron one and sell it off. But you guys have me kind of curious as to how well this thing functions. I'm going to have to try it out and see which corker stays in the garage.

Picking all this up tomorrow. Bringing along my not-quite-21-yr-old to help me heft it into the truck. The seller said the press and corker are "very heavy". :sh
Bliorg, if you would be so kind, could you take and post some pictures of the corker once you get it home. It has certainly aroused a level of interest here on the forum and I would like to see how it works. I can't tell from the picture what the second piece of equipment to the left is. (Also, it looks like there was a crescent wrench lying on the floor for a while and left its "shadow.")

Thanks.
 

Bliorg

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Bliorg, if you would be so kind, could you take and post some pictures of the corker once you get it home. It has certainly aroused a level of interest here on the forum and I would like to see how it works. I can't tell from the picture what the second piece of equipment to the left is. (Also, it looks like there was a crescent wrench lying on the floor for a while and left its "shadow.")

Thanks.
Sure thing.

Just got home, press and corker in tow. Will be posting pictures once I get everything unloaded and reassembled, but the press (basket wood aside) is in remarkably good shape. Aside from a handle/bar, it seems complete (fingers still crossed on that one). Not even sure it needs repainting. It seems really nice.

The corker is incredible. A video will make everything make sense, but @stickman has it right. It's a beautiful piece of engineering and turn-of-the-century design. And looks like it will work perfectly well. Just need to decide what I want to do with it...
 

Ajmassa

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I couldn't help myself, I was looking at this thing for a while, and I see how it works now. You put the cork into the wider section of the chamber, when operated, as the ram comes down there is a wedge in the back that moves down at the same time. The wedge moves into the slot behind the cork that drives a horizontal ram that shoves the cork into the narrow section of the chamber, compressing the cork just before insertion.
Ah ok. So the 2 levers make more sense to me now. it’s a two part process. One crank to condense the cork. And another crank to drive it into the bottle. Very cool. The fact that it’s in such good working condition is even cooler.

great find @Bliorg. Can’t wait to see the restoration process. Should be fun.
 

Bliorg

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Okay, first the press:
IMG_2592a.jpg

IMG_2593a.jpg

The typical half-round wooden blocks are replaced with cast iron:
IMG_2594a.jpg

The corker is a Buddy & Westermann:
IMG_2595a.jpg

It works thusly:
Corker Video

The press works very well and without any obvious problems. It's entirely cast iron. Assembled, it's a tank. Will likely have to cut and replace all the bolts on the basket, but a good opportunity to upgrade to stainless (McMaster-Carr, here I come!). No rust on this, like anywhere. Not even sure if it's going to need anything more than a good cleaning, though it may get some enamel. Thoughts?

The corker, as well, is cast iron. With wooden legs. Not sure on that. But it's complete, and seems to work exactly as it should. Not sure on if I'm going to keep this though, as cool as it is.

I need to see if the mill I used to go to is still around, and what 5/4 white oak is going for these days.
 

Rocky

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Sure thing.

Just got home, press and corker in tow. Will be posting pictures once I get everything unloaded and reassembled, but the press (basket wood aside) is in remarkably good shape. Aside from a handle/bar, it seems complete (fingers still crossed on that one). Not even sure it needs repainting. It seems really nice.

The corker is incredible. A video will make everything make sense, but @stickman has it right. It's a beautiful piece of engineering and turn-of-the-century design. And looks like it will work perfectly well. Just need to decide what I want to do with it...
Just some thoughts on the press. I have one which is of similar construction. One difference I think I see is how the two basket halves are secured. Mine has a rod and hinge-like mechanism on two sides to secure the two halves. If you are missing the bar, you will need to get a length of iron bar, about 3 feet long (mine is about 1" diameter). Personally, I would just give the press a very good cleaning with a wire brush and hot water. Let it dry in direct sunlight and then spray it liberally with K-meta sanitizing solution. As far as painting it is concerned, I would recommend against it. There is more danger in getting new paint flecks in the wine. Powder coating is another matter. If you bead blast the painted surfaces and have them powder coated, replace the wood with American white oak and add new mounting hardware, you would essentially have a new press. Do not paint or powder coat the center shaft or any of the compressing mechanism. By the way, my press basket is about 14" in diameter and 15" high so it is somewhat smaller than the one you have. I should also note that my press has not been used for more than 20 years and has been kept in a dry basement. Good luck. I think you made a great find with the press and corker.

100_1601.JPG100_1602.JPG100_1603.JPG100_1604.JPG
 

Rocky

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Out notes crossed. Where are you located? If you are willing to part with the corker, I would like an opportunity to buy it. Love the counter-weight on the end of the lever away from the grip. I like older equipment because it gives me a connection to my grandfather, father and father-in-law, who were all instrumental in getting me into making wine.
 

stickman

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Everything looks good. My opinion on the press is that if you are going to use it, the wine wetted iron parts need to be sealed with something to prevent iron contamination. Powder coating would be ideal. In general excess iron in wine should be avoided, increased oxidation and possible iron haze issues are reported.
 

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