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Bliorg

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Basket is complete disassembled:
Basket disassembly by Scott, on Flickr

What's left:
Basket disassembly by Scott, on Flickr

The two staves under the levers that hold the two halves of the basket were in place with these studs:
Basket disassembly by Scott, on Flickr
They don't move at all. Not sure how they're attached. I'm thinking they'll be cut and drilled out, holes tapped, and new bolts will thread directly in place.
 

CDrew

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Thanks @balatonwine.

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.
I like all of this. Great project, interesting chemistry too. I'd love to see you NOT paint or powdercoat the press. Of the two, only powdercoat would be acceptable-LOL.

Other products passivate cast iron too, like phosphoric acid. Given the active ingredient in Star San is phosphoric acid, I think you're good on many levels. And I'll have to look up the Iron Tannate. That sounds great. And that beautiful 100 year patina should be preserved. I love too that the press plates are cast also. In the day, they went to a lot of trouble to build the press the way it is.

So next fall, you'll have a relic of the past to use in the present for it's intended purpose. That is excellent. This press still has all it's parts. THe plates, the bands, and even the ratchet prawls, which really have not changed much in 100 years.

And one other thing. The Tung oil is a good choice for the oak. Real tung oil, like the stuff from Lee Valley. I rehandled a bunch of our kitchen knives and use Tung oil as the finish. Holds up great to food and washing. I'm not sure how it would hold up to wine, but probably pretty well. It would be a good thing to test and then know.

Subscribing to see updates. Nice work.
 

Bliorg

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I like all of this. Great project, interesting chemistry too. I'd love to see you NOT paint or powdercoat the press. Of the two, only powdercoat would be acceptable-LOL.

Other products passivate cast iron too, like phosphoric acid. Given the active ingredient in Star San is phosphoric acid, I think you're good on many levels. And I'll have to look up the Iron Tannate. That sounds great. And that beautiful 100 year patina should be preserved. I love too that the press plates are cast also. In the day, they went to a lot of trouble to build the press the way it is.

So next fall, you'll have a relic of the past to use in the present for it's intended purpose. That is excellent. This press still has all it's parts. THe plates, the bands, and even the ratchet prawls, which really have not changed much in 100 years.

And one other thing. The Tung oil is a good choice for the oak. Real tung oil, like the stuff from Lee Valley. I rehandled a bunch of our kitchen knives and use Tung oil as the finish. Holds up great to food and washing. I'm not sure how it would hold up to wine, but probably pretty well. It would be a good thing to test and then know.

Subscribing to see updates. Nice work.
Thanks, CDrew. For the record, the powder coater replied that he'd like to meet to discuss how to actually coat this. I'm not replying.

You're right about the StarSan passivation (Ospho?). Hadn't thought about that. There are a few bright spots on the rings that I think I'll dab on some StarSan and see what happens. I do like the idea of keeping the patina developed during use. I agree - this press was designed and engineered to withstand substantial use - it's a beast.

I have a long history with Lee Valley too! Real tung oil (without dryers) will be perfect for this. And fuming the oak is absolutely unnecessary, but let's face it - anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

Have some final work to do on the rings before I do some tapping on them, stay tuned. And thanks for your post.
 

balatonwine

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I'd love to see you NOT paint or powdercoat the press.
That is actually a very interesting idea. To treat the iron like cast iron cookware. Would need appropriate treatment after each use, and a lot of TLC, but is a novel idea.

And one other thing. The Tung oil is a good choice for the oak.
Tung oil is food safe. But there is usually no need to treat the staves at all in fact. Not with oils, stains, or other products. I would not treat the staves, especially with oils, as any oil can wash out into the wine, even if food safe and edible. Natural wood is fine 'as is' if the staves are oak or beech. Simply wash them down, clean them and let them air dry and they are good year after year natural and as is.

Side note: Unless one is trying to do the optimal sympathetic restoration, I would probably myself replace all the staves with new wood. Even if the Ship of Theseus thought experiment may say this is then a new press.... ;)
 
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Bliorg

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Maybe they put those studs in like a rivet.
+1

I think you're right. When I get a minute I'm going to try to cut the back off one and drive the rest from the back through the front. Hopefully that works smoothly. Then I can decide on a tap size and get that taken care of. Need a new punch first though - I don't have any near this size right now...
 

stickman

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Tapping should work fine, another option is using a screw from the inside with rivet nut on the outside.
 

Bliorg

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I'd never heard of rivet nuts before. Look like a good option, except for the $30 installation tool. But, on McMaster Carr I found something similar that looks workable: Binding barrels. Quick and easy. I like the idea of tapping, but these may be easier in practice.

I'll probably not decide until the rivets are out and I'm staring at the hole in the ring.
 

CDrew

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How about a steel bolt, cut off the head and weld it in ? The band is going to be mild steel not cast and welding should be easy.
 

balatonwine

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+1

I think you're right.
A rivet fastened stay is something I have never seen... till now if that is the case.

My press simply has bolts from the outside into to wood. Which is okay since all pressure is outward not inward on the stays (and so has a smooth surface on the inside without bolt or rivet heads). But I have seen others with through bolts from the inside with nuts on the outside (looking like a spiked dog collar).

I guess the solution will depend on how much like the original one wants to be. The older the press, the more ideal to keep with the original design for historical purposes (IMO).
 

Bliorg

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How about a steel bolt, cut off the head and weld it in ? The band is going to be mild steel not cast and welding should be easy.
It's a good idea, but I probably won't go that route. I don't know any welders in the area, and it's not a skill I'd consider myself cabale at.
 

Bliorg

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A rivet fastened stay is something I have never seen... till now if that is the case.

My press simply has bolts from the outside into to wood. Which is okay since all pressure is outward not inward on the stays (and so has a smooth surface on the inside without bolt or rivet heads). But I have seen others with through bolts from the inside with nuts on the outside (looking like a spiked dog collar).

I guess the solution will depend on how much like the original one wants to be. The older the press, the more ideal to keep with the original design for historical purposes (IMO).
This used flat head screws mounted from the inside. The head is countersunk so the surface is flat inside. And, except for every 100 year resto, they don't really need to be removed again after installation. The nuts were on the outside of the rings. I'm doing my install the same way, with black oxide stainless for both corrosion resistance and for aesthetics.
 

stickman

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I just looked at my basket, the point where the rings overlap the flat head screws are inserted from the ring side, the holes for the ring and wood are both countersunk. Basically the the hole through the wood is drilled a second time about half way through with a larger bit to accept the nut. So the screw is shorter than the others and the nut is on the wood side, but is completely countersunk out of the way.
 

Bliorg

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I just looked at my basket, the point where the rings overlap the flat head screws are inserted from the ring side, the holes for the ring and wood are both countersunk. Basically the the hole through the wood is drilled a second time about half way through with a larger bit to accept the nut. So the screw is shorter than the others and the nut is on the wood side, but is completely countersunk out of the way.
That's an interesting option, too. I've inlayed nuts before like that; this would definitely be a simple solution.

Lots to consider - thanks for the ideas, everyone!
 

Bliorg

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Went out and bought a set of punches today. Got home, cut off the back of a rivet, went after it with one of the punches to force the rest through the front. Nada. Did not budge. Decided to go after it with a drill. Started with something smallish, stepped up in size, trying to punch the waste through each time. Eventually landed at 1/4". Only a sliver of metal left, but still some waste bulging over on the back of the strap. Clamped it solid in a vise and went after it with the punch. With some persuasion, the waste folded over, then punched through. Left with a nice, clean, round hole:

IMG_2882 by Scott, on Flickr

(It's the one on the left)

One down, seven to go.
 

Ajmassa

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McMaster is a great site. Will definitely be using that in the future. I had never heard of it before. Curious though where you’ll be getting the stave material from?
My press is in bad shape and is crying for a makeover.

love the thread btw.
Finished drilling and driving out the rivets.
IMG_2899 by Scott, on Flickr

Need to go pick out the QSWO and make some staves. Then can place an order with McMaster for all the hardware.
 

Bliorg

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McMaster is a great site. Will definitely be using that in the future. I had never heard of it before. Curious though where you’ll be getting the stave material from?
My press is in bad shape and is crying for a makeover.

love the thread btw.
There was a time when I could have just sent my paycheck to McMaster Carr to save some time...

There are several mills in the area, but I’ll be getting 4/4 quarter sawn white oak at Talarico Hardwoods, partly on quality, partly on how close they are. All told I need about 4-5 board feet of wood but I’ll probably get a bit more than that.
 

Bliorg

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Quick question: What wood to make the spacer blocks from? I can see something tight-grained like maple, but 12/4 maple is gonna be pricey. OTOH, dimensional SPF from 84 Lumber would be much more reasonable, but I'd almost consider it something that would need occasional replacing, as I'd imagine it would absorb a lot of liquid and be difficult to sanitize.

Thoughts?
 

Bliorg

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And while we're at it...

I was planning on quartered or rift sawn white oak for the staves, as this seems compatible with the process. However, I'm planning to finish the staves with pure tung oil, which provides a food safe, hard finish. So oak's properties and utility in winemaking are reduced to strength. With that in mind, I'm wondering if something even tighter-grained, such as hard maple, would provide a stronger, more easily maintained surface.

I've looked and can't find anything relating the traditional wood used, understanding that that wood was likely unfinished. Short of that, I can't find what woods are used in new presses, understanding that that wood is likely finished.

Anyone have any thoughts or experience? I'm hoping to hit up the mill tomorrow morning.
 
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