Stabilizing a Press

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

David Violante

Supporting Members
Joined
Feb 10, 2020
Messages
475
Reaction score
523
Location
New York
I am the proud new owner of a used stainless steel Marchisio 25# press. Much thanks to @franc1969 for meeting me halfway between our homes, and for swapping some wines too! I'm interested in knowing how folks here keep their presses from swiveling while in the process of pressing. The first thing that comes to mind is bolting it in the driveway using something like a removable anchor. @franc1969 used a pallet. I would also love to bring it up a little to get a bucket or carboy under the spout. I did a quick internet search but not much came up except for one welded frame. It served the purpose of height, but it still needed to be bolted to something. Any ideas?
 

David Violante

Supporting Members
Joined
Feb 10, 2020
Messages
475
Reaction score
523
Location
New York
Thank you for the suggestions, I was under the impression that ratchet style presses would have more rotational force on the legs when manipulating the ratchet mechanism with the handle. It seems like it's not so. That's very helpful... Thank you... Newb Ratchet Press Questions...
 

franc1969

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2018
Messages
408
Reaction score
308
Location
Central Maryland
BarrelMonkey's picture is exactly what I did. I had more rotational movement for the slippery batches- not enough rice hulls in the concord, for example. Once it was screwed down, not much. I don't think I am strong enough to use a dolly, would probably move on me.
 

balatonwine

The Verecund Vigneron
Joined
May 9, 2017
Messages
1,426
Reaction score
1,527
Location
Badacsony wine region. Hungary
FWIIW, I put my #55 press on wheels. My frame is made of wood scrap I had around, (one can even use plywood). I used lockable wheels so the press does not "wonder" when pressing.


Unlike many modern presses, which are often made of formed steal plates, mine has a base made from cast iron (about 250 lbs / 120 kg). And never "rocked".

But since putting it on wheels, the play in the wheel bearings do add a noticeable rock now when ratcheting. Not really a problem, I simply hold on to the basket. And ratchet presses need multiple light pressing, after a short pause between pressing, so there really is no need to worry about rocking or instability as one should not press so hard that the torque becomes an issue.


Does the rock bother me? Not really. Since the benefits of being able to roll around the press far outweigh the rocking issues. And the added height is also a benefit.

I also have a much smaller press (15 L), and that I simply bolted to a sheet of plywood and I clamp that plywood to a raised, stout work bench. For cleaning the entire things, press and plywood, simply gets unclamped and carried outside and gets pressure washed.

Hope this helps.
 

David Violante

Supporting Members
Joined
Feb 10, 2020
Messages
475
Reaction score
523
Location
New York
@balatonwine thank you for the further explanation. For whatever reason I couldn't think of the term 'torque'; that's exactly what I was thinking about.

I saw on another thread that @jgmann67 just had his on a table not screwed or locked down and it worked just fine (great pictures and press by the way). I imagine greasing the space (with food grade lubricant) between the plates on the ratchet and the center screw is also very helpful. Now I just can't wait to use it!
 

jgmann67

Rennaisance Man
Joined
Feb 22, 2015
Messages
4,029
Reaction score
2,609
Location
South Cental Pennsylvania
@balatonwine thank you for the further explanation. For whatever reason I couldn't think of the term 'torque'; that's exactly what I was thinking about.

I saw on another thread that @jgmann67 just had his on a table not screwed or locked down and it worked just fine (great pictures and press by the way). I imagine greasing the space (with food grade lubricant) between the plates on the ratchet and the center screw is also very helpful. Now I just can't wait to use it!
Thanks!! it did move around a bit as I pressed. Just had to maintain a level of awareness to avoid a bad outcome (like a 25L press dumping on the floor). As I got closer to finishing, I kept one hand on the press while I torqued the ratchet with the other.
 

distancerunner

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2019
Messages
166
Reaction score
205
1637617399327.jpeg

Fabricated a block from quartersawn 1x4 maple so that there is a hole in the center. Added a couple of 4 ton hydraulic jacks. Pressure is vertical. The press stayed in place.

N.B. I don’t know how safe it is for the Acme threads on the shaft. It worked fine.
 
Last edited:

JohnT

Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
10,056
Reaction score
5,907
I would consider taking it all apart, replacing the wood, scouring down and painting all metal parts (with food grade epoxy paint).

Sorry, but it does look rather dirty.
 

distancerunner

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2019
Messages
166
Reaction score
205
No apology necessary. Appreciate any help we can get.

The wood is stained. Before we use it, everything gets scrubbed and rinsed until the water runs clear. Then we hit it with some Kmeta.

I've made replacement staves for a press before this. Pretty time consuming, even when you own or have access to the proper tooling. Other than pride of ownership, is there a good reason for replacing the staves?

The cast iron surface the basket rests on (Bowl? Platen? Base?) has a black patina on it from years of contact with tannin. It's my understanding that tannins bond to cast iron creating a durable coating that does not react with fresh wine. If that's not true, I'd certainly like to know.

The legs could use some work.

Respectfully submitted.
 

JohnT

Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
10,056
Reaction score
5,907
Wood is porous. My thinking is that there is a reason doctors do not recycle tongue depressors.

For the sake of sanitation, I would really consider replacing the staves, only this time coat the staves in food grade polyurethane (like EZ-DO). I have used this product and the staves are clean and stain free after 10 years of use.

Here is a pic....

press2.jpg
 

distancerunner

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2019
Messages
166
Reaction score
205
Wood is porous. My thinking is that there is a reason doctors do not recycle tongue depressors.

For the sake of sanitation, I would really consider replacing the staves, only this time coat the staves in food grade polyurethane (like EZ-DO). I have used this product and the staves are clean and stain free after 10 years of use.

Here is a pic....

View attachment 81799
Given the coating, do you have a preference between white oak or maple? Maple is easier to source in my locale.
 

balatonwine

The Verecund Vigneron
Joined
May 9, 2017
Messages
1,426
Reaction score
1,527
Location
Badacsony wine region. Hungary
Wood is porous. My thinking is that there is a reason doctors do not recycle tongue depressors.

For the sake of sanitation, I would really consider replacing the staves, only this time coat the staves in food grade polyurethane (like EZ-DO). I have used this product and the staves are clean and stain free after 10 years of use.
From: Microbial Safety of Wood in Contact with Food: A Review


Wood and Food Safety Assessment:

To date, wood in contact with food has not been found responsible for any food-borne outbreak

And you can read from there, untreated wood is not unhygienic. The idea one needs to add some coating is not supported by empirical research. Simple and proper cleaning is all that is needed.

Edit: Back in the 1990's many governments started requiring restaurants to use plastic cutting board because plastic was considered more hygienic (and because.... well.... politicians said so despite politicians are often the most incorrectly informed mammals on the planet). Then some people started doing some actual research. To get real facts. And...


Last sentence in the abstract: These results do not support the often-heard assertion that Plastic cutting boards are more sanitary than wood.
 
Last edited:

JohnT

Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
10,056
Reaction score
5,907
I don't think that they have old, black, nasty wood in mind (like what is shown)

Would you drink wine out of a cup that looked like that press?

Just my opinion.
 
Last edited:

Bliorg

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2018
Messages
165
Reaction score
255
From: Microbial Safety of Wood in Contact with Food: A Review


Wood and Food Safety Assessment:

To date, wood in contact with food has not been found responsible for any food-borne outbreak

And you can read from there, untreated wood is not unhygienic. The idea one needs to add some coating is not supported by empirical research. Simple and proper cleaning is all that is needed.

Edit: Back in the 1990's many governments started requiring restaurants to use plastic cutting board because plastic was considered more hygienic (and because.... well.... politicians said so despite politicians are often the most incorrectly informed mammals on the planet). Then some people started doing some actual research. To get real facts. And...


Last sentence in the abstract: These results do not support the often-heard assertion that Plastic cutting boards are more sanitary than wood.
I think the issue with the plastic-over-wood debate, as far as food preparation surface go, is that plastic is (at least initially) more robust and easier to sanitize. For example, a plastic cutting board could be sanitized in a dishwasher; wood boards do not hold up to this for long. Also, there is a perception that plastic boards don't have the porosity or crevices that are more difficult to effectively clean and sanitized relative to wood. This may be true initially, but plastic boards are effectively a consumable, and depending on plastic used, are as quickly damaged and worn as wood in use. Glass or metal surfaces are more resilient and easier to sanitize. I used to work in a food testing/micro lab - this is how we approached our testing and sanitation of work surfaces there.

I agree with your assertion that raw wood, properly cleaned and sanitized, is fine, depending on the wood being used. And this doesn't address staining issues, which would be more of an issue with saw raw woods than those that have been finished. My $0.02, worth exactly that.
 

balatonwine

The Verecund Vigneron
Joined
May 9, 2017
Messages
1,426
Reaction score
1,527
Location
Badacsony wine region. Hungary
I don't think that they have old, black, nasty wood in mind (like what is shown)

Would you drink wine out of a cup that looked like that press?

Just my opinion.
The press simply looks well used and thus stained. I would have no problems drinking wine from that as long as it was properly sanitized before use (thus --- looks alone can be deceiving). A bit of Sanaton to clean off the stain, and I suspect the wood would look fine. Look at the wood on my press. Video above. When I got it, the wood even looked worse. But I cleaned it up. The wine output is very good. Wood is a material that many people underestimate, do not understand, and thus maybe irrationally fear.

And also, if one is replacing their wood staves, I was also saying to consider not bothering to coat it, because that may be not necessary. Stains are simply evidence of a well used, and well loved tool. Nothing to necessarily avoid.

Hope this helps.
 

Latest posts

Top