Basket press advice...

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wood1954

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I’ve been working with walnut wood for decades and never had a problem. Most wood once dry tends to lock in any chemical, obviously oak leaches tannins when wet but have you ever tasted tannins off an oak cutting board on your food? I believe juglone is a plant suppressant and don’t know of any studies that says the minuscule amount in the wood inhibit human growth, also when I spread walnut sawdust in the weeds it doesn’t impact the growth of the weeds.
 

toadie

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I agree the miniscule amount that might leach out while pressing grapes or cutting food is probably not a major cause for concern but... I really do battle the roots in the garden, especially around the tomatoes. Also horses have problems with their hooves and respiration when black walnut sawdust/shavings are used for bedding.
 

balatonwine

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Also horses have problems with their hooves and respiration when black walnut sawdust/shavings are used for bedding.
Am glad I only have the Capthian Walnut. It still has hydrojuglone, but not so much as American Black Walnut. Leaves compost fine (after 6 weeks in a hot compost bed, any toxicity is over, and grow lots of vegetables in such compost without issues). And might tasty nuts. Ergo .. Not all walnuts (or walnut wood) are created (or compost, or should be judged) equal.
 
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Bliorg

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FWIW, I've seen references that the irritants and allergens in walnut are almost entirely (or entirely, depending on source) restricted to the nuts, leaves, and roots. I've also read that the sensitivity to the dust is a different reaction than to juglone. YMMV.

All this good discussion aside, regardless of the wood that ultimately gets used, it will be finished with a hardening, food safe finish, which will be maintained as needed. So the contact between liquid and wood will be essentially nil.
 

Bliorg

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Okay, question for those of you with experience: The staves on my press originally were tapered back-to-front by about 1/8"+:
IMG_2608 by Scott, on Flickr

I've seen other, newer presses that had no taper at all. Does this matter either way? I have a bit at MLCS that I was going to buy to cut that but not sure now if it's necessary.

Thoughts?
 

stickman

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My press is old and the staves are also tapered. I'm not sure how much of a difference it really makes when in operation, but I believe it makes cleaning easier.
 

Bliorg

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My press is old and the staves are also tapered. I'm not sure how much of a difference it really makes when in operation, but I believe it makes cleaning easier.
Good call! I’ll order the bit. Thanks for the input.
 

JTS84

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When I built a basket I tapered the staves because that left a smaller flat of wood to be in contact with the hoop. When I tried a piece that wasn't tapered, only the corners of the wood would rest on the hoop. Tapering the staves made a better circle on the outside.
 
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