Tortilla Press and a Bowl

  • Advertise with us
Project by SPalm posted 11-18-2014 08:46 PM 2772 views 17 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are two projects that I completed recently; a tortilla press and a turned bowl. Both are made out of the cherry that I recently acquired. These will turn into Christmas presents.

I received a note from my daughter that her husband might like a tortilla press. I said ok – neither of us thought that I would make one and I knew nothing about them. I started Googling around and decided to try to make a wooden one. The main plates are about 8 by 10 inches and an inch thick. Routed recesses were added on the top for easy opening. I used my dovetail techniques that I blogged about to attach both the main and handle hinges. The hinge pins are really 1/4 inch steel bolts with the heads sawn off that are then recessed into the cherry/maple and covered with walnut plugs. Before drilling the hinge pin locations I clamped the top and bottom together with two metal rulers in between. This gave a gap of 3/16 inch and determines the thickness of the tortilla.

I also added maple runners for stability when pressing the handle down, and added a maple pressure plate for the handle.

It works great – just mix water and corn, roll into balls, press, and fry in a dry pan. Nummy. A nice trick is to cut the sides off a Ziploc bag making it into hinged plastic and use it to cover both plates while pressing.

The bowl was another attempt to learn to turn. It came out ok. I took a picture of the side to show the form. It does have a small foot that does not show in the pictures. Boy do I have a lot to learn.

Thanks for looking,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

25 comments so far

View Roger's profile


19709 posts in 2223 days

#1 posted 11-18-2014 09:06 PM

Oh yea! Now I’m tasting a burrito and a few tacos..

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2753 days

#2 posted 11-18-2014 09:15 PM

Great looking tortilla press and bowl Steve. I like the way you did the the hinges. That is a very nice gift idea. My Sons love Mexican food. I think I will make one of these for each of them. I doubt anyone in Norway has one.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View SPalm's profile


5249 posts in 3301 days

#3 posted 11-18-2014 09:40 PM

Hey Mike, I agree, it will make a nice gift.
The product might be hard to find – I don’t know. It is Instant Corn Masa Flour which is corn treated with lime. All the grocery stores here now carry it. Pronounced Mah-Say-Cah with the accent on the middle syllable.

Flour tortillas are rolled out with a rolling pin. Kind of like Lefse which is also nummy.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View nonickswood's profile


533 posts in 1806 days

#4 posted 11-18-2014 10:14 PM

Those are Excellent! projects Steve, I also like those hinges.
The bowl turned very nice as well, is that a glue-up of two or more pieces? Thought I was seeing one glue line across the middle hard to tell. Nice work!

-- Nick, Virginia,

View SPalm's profile


5249 posts in 3301 days

#5 posted 11-18-2014 10:36 PM

Yes Nick, there are two pieces so there is a center glue line on the bowl. It is 6 inches in diameter and 3.5 inches tall. The cherry I have is all 3×3 or 3×4 by 7 feet long so I am trying to figure out what to do with it. There are a lot of knots too.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View kiefer's profile


4873 posts in 2086 days

#6 posted 11-18-2014 10:43 PM

Now that is craftsmanship !
The hinge and overall design is most excellent Steve not like a press with the cheap metal hinges .
Great gift idea also .


-- Kiefer

View DonH's profile


494 posts in 2236 days

#7 posted 11-18-2014 10:49 PM

Hi Steve

Very interesting projects and a great job too!!


-- DonH Orleans Ontario

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

9325 posts in 3471 days

#8 posted 11-18-2014 11:05 PM

Looks real COOL, Steve…

I’ve thought of doing that now & then… always thinking of Round plates with a simple hinge and Hand Pressing… NEVER have done anything about it… has just been a back burner for a fun thing to do…

Your design has Lever to get a good press… never thought of that… That hinge is beyond the call of my thinking as well… looks like a brute of a hinge! COOL…

Without the ZipLocs, would you just coat plates with flour to stop any sticking?

Thank you!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Lenny's profile


1469 posts in 2946 days

#9 posted 11-18-2014 11:10 PM

You sure make different and interesting items Steve. Wonderful craftmanship on both and the press will make a wonderful gift.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View lew's profile


11263 posts in 3174 days

#10 posted 11-18-2014 11:13 PM

Love those dovetails, Steve, and the little bowl is super- I find that shape very appealing.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 2406 days

#11 posted 11-19-2014 12:28 AM

I can see version 2.0…. the Double Tumble Tortilla Press .

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Citroentje's profile


20 posts in 705 days

#12 posted 11-19-2014 12:29 AM

Love the design and contrasting wood. I’ve got to build one of these for our kitchen… only a little bigger.

-- James "Lem" Lemon - "When Life gives you lemons... you got a pretty good life!"

View timbertailor's profile


1591 posts in 843 days

#13 posted 11-19-2014 01:00 AM

Great alternative to the cutting board.

Did a great job.

Added to my favorites.

-- Brad, Texas,

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16787 posts in 2524 days

#14 posted 11-19-2014 01:24 AM

Very neat, Steve. many tools can be made of wood! Nice going!!.................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Ken90712's profile


16863 posts in 2607 days

#15 posted 11-19-2014 02:23 AM

Great job Steve as always !!! Love it, might have to try that. Hope all is well with you and your family. Your friend Ken

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

showing 1 through 15 of 25 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics