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distancerunner

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Old, definitely. Antique, possibly. Useful, absolutely.

Good size, too.

Clean everything. Lots of water to rinse. Then assess.

Is the wood sound? Cracks? Splits? If they are sound they are usable.

Check to make sure the ratcheting mechanism works. After cleaning, lubricate with grease that is food safe.

Some folks will tell you to seal the staves with an inert, food safe coating. Some folks will tell you to cut new staves and install them in the hoops for the basket. Some will tell you to strip, paint or powder coat the iron/steel. Those decisions are up to you.
 

Fox Squirrel Vin

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The acids in grape juice will passivate the iron with use, I'd just give it a good scrub with soap and water and a wire brush and a good rinse with vinegar a few times when you are done. I wouldn't lube anything unless it is stiff and hard to function, any oil you use will collect dust and dirt over time and act like an abrasive. If it works dry, keep it dry. If the wood is shot, white oak staves are the best, white oak has a high tannin content and it's low PH helps it resist bacteria. It's perfectly fine to use and add to it's vintage history.
 

vinny

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Some will tell you to strip, paint or powder coat the iron/steel.

I'd go at the rust on the sides of the hopper and the threads of press with a wire wheel in a drill. It will knock of anything loose that you wouldn't want in you product. It will also make the press operate smooth as new.

You could refinish, or seal it up with oil after use. If it were me I would clean it up and treat it like cast iron. Use it, clean it up well. Always put it away clean and dry, store it away from moisture. No need to get too carried away.
 

Vlabruz

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The acids in grape juice will passivate the iron with use, I'd just give it a good scrub with soap and water and a wire brush and a good rinse with vinegar a few times when you are done. I wouldn't lube anything unless it is stiff and hard to function, any oil you use will collect dust and dirt over time and act like an abrasive. If it works dry, keep it dry. If the wood is shot, white oak staves are the best, white oak has a high tannin content and it's low PH helps it resist bacteria. It's perfectly fine to use and add to it's vintage history.
I may need to replace a few. I was curious about what wood will be best.
 

Vlabruz

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I'd go at the rust on the sides of the hopper and the threads of press with a wire wheel in a drill. It will knock of anything loose that you wouldn't want in you product. It will also make the press operate smooth as new.

You could refinish, or seal it up with oil after use. If it were me I would clean it up and treat it like cast iron. Use it, clean it up well. Always put it away clean and dry, store it away from moisture. No need to get too carried away.
I was thinking about powder coating it if its reasonable in cost.
 

distancerunner

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I may need to replace a few. I was curious about what wood will be best.

White oak is traditional. Maple works great. Easy project on a table saw.

Part of the cost is stripping to bare metal. They will want to do it. They will sandblast. That's material and labor. Same goes for powder coating. Powder coating cost is location dependent. NYC? Expect to pay. Out in the sticks it will be more reasonable. Whatever hourly rate plumber contractors get in your area is a good way to begin guessing at a price. Calling them will get you a better idea.
 
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ChuckD

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Nice find! I’ve been looking for an old press for a while now. About three years before I have my own grapes so I still have some time. Even some of the old ones with a wooden frame would be good as I can handle replacing wood parts.
 

Fox Squirrel Vin

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I was thinking about powder coating it if its reasonable in cost.
The problem with powder coating cast iron is, if you get a chip or scratch in it and the iron isn't passivated, it will rust and lift the powder coating around the damage rather quickly then you get powder coating chips in your juice. It's also a place where other bacteria can survive. You really are better off to clean it and acid rinse it. Ospho also works really well, you can get it at Lowes. Its phosphoric acid (like what is added to coke) It turns rust (iron oxide) to iron phosphate and helps to prevent the surface from rusting and then the repeated use and exposure to the acids in juice maintains the passivation. Thats why it was made out of cast iron in the first place and wasn't painted or galvanized. Foodstuffs exposed to iron wont harm you or the product, Our cookware was made out of cast iron for centuries. Most older water mains are made from cast iron and older homes had iron pipes. A lot of well water has a high iron content. Perfectly harmless and good for your blood.
 

Rocky

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supposedly antique. I know nothing about them.
Great find, @Vlabruz! I would be more concerned about the hopper of the crusher than the press. As @distancerunner points out, replacing the wood in the press is a simple chore if you have access to a table saw. I would recommend white oak strips if you can find the wood (and I would avoid red oak).

For the crusher, I would do one of two things: a. have a new hopper fabricated by a metal worker in stainless steel, or b. have a hopper fabricated or make it yourself out of wood. I guess you could also have it stripped and painted with a primer and a baked-on enamel finish, but that would be my third choice.

Consider that I got the equipment for no cost so putting a little money into it would be reasonable.
 

tmcfadden932

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The acids in grape juice will passivate the iron with use, I'd just give it a good scrub with soap and water and a wire brush and a good rinse with vinegar a few times when you are done. I wouldn't lube anything unless it is stiff and hard to function, any oil you use will collect dust and dirt over time and act like an abrasive. If it works dry, keep it dry. If the wood is shot, white oak staves are the best, white oak has a high tannin content and it's low PH helps it resist bacteria. It's perfectly fine to use and add to it's vintage history.
Vinegar, really? If any of the "mother" is still present, you risk introducing that into your wine later on. Sand the dry staves, soak in a solution of sodium percarbonate (unscented OxiClean), then rinse with a citric acid solution. Beech is the wood of choice when replacing broken staves. A good hardwood supplier will be able to cut to size.
 

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