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Bliorg

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Thanks @Rocky. Good point on the paint. I'd originally planned on powder coating, but I'll have to ponder on it now.

I'm near Reading, PA, which is a haul from Columbus.

FWIW, I found this about the Modern Machine & Tool Company. Looks like this press dates to somewhere around 1926.

[EDIT] And, Budde & Westermann was marketing corking machines at least as early as ~1900.
 
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Bliorg

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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.
Thanks - good points. I looked into it a few days ago and there are several rim shops semi-local that do blasting and powder coating. I'll have to see if I can get a project quote on the base. I'm thinking the basket straps can be enameled as they aren't in constant contact with the must. Have to decide what to do with the head (paint, scrub and Boeshield, leave raw).
 

Bliorg

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If you paint, be sure to use a proper food safe paint made for wine making equipment, such as available from piwine.com :

Paint and Enamel | Commercial Wine making Equipment and Supplies
Thanks @balatonwine. I have some thoughts about this, but would like to solicit opinions. I haven't decided on finishing for the base and basket rings yet. I just submitted a quote request to a local blaster/powder coat shop. We'll see. I want this to be a great project, but I still have to consider budget. With respect to the base and base of the screw, either powder coat, or blast and paint. Ideally everything will be PC; however, if the latter, it'd be some food safe (technically safe for indirect contact) paint, such as what Presque Isle sells. The rings, though, shouldn't actually see anything more than slight, incidental contact with the wine, if at all. As such, I'm pondering Rustoleum/Krylon type paint after blasting, which dries to a non-toxic finish, though not necessarily FDA food safe. Perfect world notwithstanding, I'm thinking non-toxic is probably appropriate.

Thoughts?
 

buzi

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The basket press is nice. The corner is a work of art! Nice grab on them both! They are both functional and ornamental. I love the old mechanical stuff especially when I can use it!
 

balatonwine

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I'm pondering Rustoleum/Krylon type paint
I looked into this quite a lot. And paint like Rustoleum I would not use anywhere on a wine press. Even when dry, they can leach chemicals, especially from acidic fluids like grape juice, which I do not want in my wine. Maybe in tiny amounts, and maybe so tiny it is not an issue (since FDA rules are for mass production surfaces with a lot of contact), I still *personally* would not use this type of paint since there are somewhat better alternatives avaialble.

But that is just me and my *gut* feeling on the issue.

Hope this helps.
 

Bliorg

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Thanks @balatonwine. After reading your post, I did a bunch of research on this. Then went a different direction. Lemme 'splain:

All spray paints that I can find, Krylon/Rustoleum included, may contain toxic compounds when aerosolized, but dry to be non-toxic. Now, while non-toxic is fine, it does not meet a food safe standard as set by FDA. Food safe coatings can then be further delineated into different acceptable food contact - direct, indirect, and incidental. Trouble is, I can't find any clear guidance from FDA on how those are actually defined. Steel-It, which is widely used in wineries for processing equipment, is only suitable for incidental contact, which (anecdotally) I find to mean possible but improbable, not expected or prolonged contact. The paint sold by Presque Isle is labeled for indirect contact; again anecdotally, contact but not prolonged (the reference I keep finding is that the outside of food packaging is considered indirect contact). I have yet to find a reasonable paint option for direct food contact. And I think the kicker on all of this, and why I can't find any real guidance, is that it would require someone to define residence time as it relates to processing. For example, if the free run juice in pressing is out of the press in 30 seconds, is that acceptable, versus the must/grape contact with the painted parts of the press for, say, 30 minutes? It's a risk question, and depends largely on the hazards presented by what might be making contact with the food.

I had about decided on just going with the Presque Isle stuff and squashing the chemist and ChE in me, when I started pondering surface preparation of the cast iron to ready for whatever paint I ultimately went with (all this still pending the powder coating quote I've yet to receive). Joined a metalworking forum as metallurgy is not my strength. Described the current condition and age of the iron, and that it is completely rust free. One of the replies I got, that was borne out by some further research, is the tannic acid and iron react to form an insoluble, inert complex, iron tannate. Which is also the basis of several "rust killers" on the market. Which is also why iron nails stain oak lumber (which, drat, I knew in a previous life). Tannins react with a couple oxidative states of iron to product this compound, which create a blue/black coating on the metal, which stops any corrosion. And, from what I've been able to find, effectively passivates the iron. The comment I got on the metalworking forum also suggested that, to remove that layer would require substantial material removal from the press.

So, my plan now is to wash the iron thoroughly, maybe coat the head with Boeshield just to help lubricate and protect it, clean the threaded section of the screw and lubricate lightly with some kind of food safe lubricant (McMaster Carr is good for that), and rebuild the basket with quartered white oak. I may get fancy and fume the oak and finish with pure tung oil, which dries to a hard, food safe finish. But the plan now is to leave the iron in its current state, and I'm pretty confident that the tannate, and what I expect will be reasonable residence times through the press, will keep me on the good side of any iron leaching.

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading.
Scott
 

stickman

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I'm sure that most of the typical basket presses that are painted and sold today, are considered only for incidental food contact.

My press is also cast iron and had a similar appearance, though not as uniform black as yours. I had used the press a few times before being painted. I would usually wipe it down with a wet rag and hose it off before use. Even after rinsing, by the time I was ready to press I would find residual yellow water collecting in the pan and bucket, which always bothered me, so that's why I painted mine. Maybe you can passivate it further if needed based on your own testing and preference.



 
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Bliorg

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I'm sure that most of the typical basket presses that are painted and sold today, are considered only for incidental food contact.

My press is also cast iron and had a similar appearance, though not as uniform black as yours. I had used the press a few times before being painted. I would usually wipe it down with a wet rag and hose it off before use. Even after rinsing, by the time I was ready to press I would find residual yellow water collecting in the pan and bucket, which always bothered me, so that's why I painted mine. Maybe you can passivate it further if needed based on you own testing and preference.



Understood. Thanks for your experience. Before I make a decision (and before the winter sets in) I'll hose down the base and let the pan sit full for a while and see what the residue looks like. Very important step. Thank you for bringing this up.

And thanks for the links to the epoxies. When you decided to paint, what surface prep did you do to the cast iron?
 

stickman

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I didn't prepare the surface nearly as good as it should be, wire brush and some light sanding, it was not down to bare metal, I was focused on making it usable. I really never finished the job, the legs and ratchet weren't touched, did only what I thought was needed at the time.
 

balatonwine

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incidental contact, which (anecdotally) I find to mean possible but improbable, not expected or prolonged contact.
Incidental is approved for not prolonged food contact. Which is fine for a press, where contact is very brief, but not for long term contact such as, for example, the inside of a can where food can remain for years. That is basically the difference. Yes, the FDA rules (and EU rules which I deal with) are difficult to understand, but any paint that is approved for industry wine making for the same or similar industry purposes you will use, is then the "best" option for you as well. For example, Steel-it says they have no heavy metal pigments (and is another paint I would recommend if available), but other paints may, so maybe better to go with a paint that will not leech heavy metals into your wine over one that "might". But your use and needs millage may differ and an "okay" solution may also be fine. But I can not recommend any "okay" only option, since I don't want to be blamed if your children start coming out with two heads.... :eek:

Hope this helps.

Side note: I wrote earlier I would not paint any part of a press with something like Rust-oleum, but that only includes any part that may come in contact with your grapes, juice, etc. So it would be fine IMHO, to paint the underside of the pan and legs for example with Rust-oleum.
 
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Bliorg

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Quick question (changing directions): I see a lot of older presses contain a lattice-like grid at the bottom of the basket:

9691309848_ff631b0eb5_z.jpg
(Not my picture)

My press doesn't have this, and I don't think many/most new presses include this either. How necessary is it? I'm kind of missing the point, if it's for anything other than creating channels for the juice to drain. I'd think pressing against a flat, solid surface would be most efficient. 🤔
 

Bliorg

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Incidental is approved for not prolonged food contact. Which is fine for a press, where contact is very brief, but not for long term contact such as, for example, the inside of a can where food can remain for years. That is basically the difference. Yes, the FDA rules (and EU rules which I deal with) are difficult to understand, but any paint that is approved for industry wine making for the same or similar industry purposes you will use, is then the "best" option for you as well. For example, Steel-it says they have no heavy metal pigments (and is another paint I would recommend if available), but other paints may, so maybe better to go with a paint that will not leech heavy metals into your wine over one that "might". But your use and needs millage may differ and an "okay" solution may also be fine. But I can not recommend any "okay" only option, since I don't want to be blamed if your children start coming out with two heads.... :eek:

Hope this helps.

Side note: I wrote earlier I would not paint any part of a press with something like Rust-oleum, but that only includes any part that may come in contact with your grapes, juice, etc. So it would be fine IMHO, to paint the underside of the pan and legs for example with Rust-oleum.
Just for transparency, the reference I've been working of off as far as painting goes is from Food Safety Magazine:

"In addition, the FDA recognizes three types of food contact. Direct Contact substances are those that directly contact food. Substances that might come in contact with food, such as on the outside of food bag or carton, are defined as indirect contact. Finally, incidental contact substances are those that rarely contact food and the contact is not purposeful or continuous. For example, food that contacts an extraneous part of a food processing machine where contact is not expected is considered incidental."

In my work I've dealt with risk analysis and evaluation pretty extensively. Again, I think risk, in this case, is based largely on residence time. I think it'd be okay to use a paint that dries to non-toxic, as it would be inert enough for the exposure and conditions (pH and alcohol) that risk would be pretty low, given the application (for example, the straps around the basket, but not the surface of the pan). Again, based on the definitions above, I think the "food safe" paint from Presque Isle is okay given the same constraints. And, should I end up painting, is probably what I'll use (or the two part epoxy paint Stickman linked).

All that said, my evaluation of risk/benefit of the current condition (non-corroded, surface preserved by iron tannate, which by all accounts is inert and self-renewing if not entirely robust) is such that I'll test the press with no additional coating and see if anything more is necessary. I still haven't heard back from the powder coater, except for additional photos and to confirm if the legs are removable and for weight (the legs, as a side note, seem to be dovetailed into the base pan, but I sure can't slide them out and can't see where they're pinned at all; the base probably weighs upwards of 80 pounds), so if anything, the base would likely be painted with some acceptable enamel or epoxy. Step-by-step though.
 
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stickman

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My old press has the lattice, but it doesn't appear to make any difference if used or not. As you suggested, I believe the intent was to add additional channels for drainage.
 

Bliorg

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My old press has the lattice, but it doesn't appear to make any difference if used or not. As you suggested, I believe the intent was to add additional channels for drainage.
Awesome - I think I'mma leave it out and see how it performs. Can always add later.

I'm thinking, to confirm that everything is copacetic, I'm going to run a small (~1 gallon) batch though it and see how it performs.

Need to pick a day and head over to Talarico Hardwoods and pick up some QSWO!
 

balatonwine

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the FDA recognizes three types of food contact.
I guess my take home message was, there are rules and regulations, and then there is reality. Plenty of times agencies okay a product that is classed as incidental for use in indirect, for example. The agency might have done their own chemical and risk analysis in each case to provide the approval in each "special" case. Which is why I said, if they use it in industry, which is regulated (we hope) and it has been approved, then IMHO it is the best for home use without more data*. And then you will get nothing more in your home made wine that you might get from a bottle you buy from the store. Using other things, that are not even graded at incidental, and making assumptions about their safety, without actual data like chemical analysis*, always adds to the risks by an unknown amount: from zero on up....

Hope this helps.

* Buy some paint, paint some metal, pour some wine over it a few times, send the contacted wine to a lab, get results, then you know. You have the facts. Questions and discussions done. :h
 
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Bliorg

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* Buy some paint, paint some metal, pour some wine over it a few times, send the contacted wine to a lab, get results, then you know. You have the facts. Questions and discussions done. :h
+1 - this is, of course, the best route.

Switching gears again, the basket is slowly coming apart. Partly due to time constraints, partly due to bolts which haven't moved in a l-o-n-g time. Have removed as many of the nuts as possible; the rest just spin the bolts in the wood. Had two thoughts - either cut through the nut with a Dremel cutoff wheel (tried - very slow), or take a chisel to the endgrain of the stave and see if I can't split the wood down to the bolt and free it up. Just tried the latter, which worked a treat. Hopefully make short work of the rest of this now!
 

photoguy

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Awesome piece of equipment ! I have similar one just not as old looking. Gave it a good clean and painted the base tray with apoxy if I remember right. Never had any problems in many years. Also have a smaller one I inherited from father law. Took apart good sanding and food grade wood sealer and it's as good as new..Works great! Sure get a lot of satisfaction from doing projects like this.
 

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