Schmitztech Hard Cider

In 2012 I built a cedar cider press for pressing the copious wild apples in Roslyn into cider. For the most part, I followed Herrick Kimball’s design. However, I had a number of modifications.


The press is made of reclaimed cedar (old deck) and finished with shellac. The tub is finished with pure Tung oil.


The disks are made out of two cherry boards glued together and then routered out. These are somewhat weak and I wish I had food-grade plastic disks that fit my press.

The next year I made disks out of a solid piece of oak. They are much stronger, but still the grain needs t o be oriented opposite the pressing block to avoid splitting the disks.


The tub is made of cherry slats with a brass ring.

Online Metals
2 pieces @ $23.62/piece
Brass 260
PVC 1 side
0.09" (11 ga.)
Cut to: 1" x 48.75"
1 piece @ $2.44/piece
Brass 260
PVC 1 side
0.063" (14 ga.)
Cut to: 1" x 7.125"

My design had a brass capping piece that bridged that joined the brass band ends. This was very difficult. Next time, I would go with the simpler design of having a single brass ring that overlaps. It’s relatively thin metal so the double-thick portion of the band would be hardly noticeable.

I riveted the slats to the bands.



I wish dearly I had countersunk the rivets on the inside so that pressing disks would never get caught on the rivets. I used brass bolts to connect the two bands so the bands could be disassembled.

Pressing Plate This is the disk at the top of the press that distributes the upward force to the press itself. I initially purchased a small 4x4 plate.

1 piece @ $2.40/piece
Mild Steel A36
Hot Rolled Plate
Cut to: 4" x 4"

This was insufficient. We ended up putting a piece of tool steel to press against. This was a pain because it wasn’t fixed. Also, the plate was too small and it was easy to press the jack against the screws instead of the plate itself. My new piece (should be) much better.

1 piece @ $9.60/piece
Mild Steel 1018
Cold Finish Rectangle
0.375" x 4"
Cut to: 8"