Walnut and Hickory Tortilla Press

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Project by dlmckirdy posted 01-21-2011 10:59 PM 3419 views 5 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

On each trip I make up to NE Oregon to see my Grandsons, my daughter picks a project for her, the boys, and me to make. Last spring it was a kid sized picknic table, this winter (the weeks before and after New Years) she wanted a TORTILLA PRESS. We searched the web, talked to several friends, and random Hispanics, and came up with this idea. It is made from 4/4 Hickory and Walnut. The handle is two pieces of walnut laminated together with the grain, while the plattens are laminated cross grain for added strength. We placed our favorite brand of tortilla between the plattens to space the hinged side, and then found silicon rubber stick on feet the right thickness to space the other end of the plattens. The same feet were used as feet, and as a cushion under the handle/press lever. The finish was Howard Butcher Block Conditioner from Big Orange.

-- Doug, Bakersfield, CA - I measured twice, cut it twice, and it is still too short!

8 comments so far

View GabrielX's profile


231 posts in 1583 days

#1 posted 01-21-2011 11:10 PM

Mmmmm, quesadillas!!

-- GX

View Jonathan's profile


2605 posts in 1802 days

#2 posted 01-21-2011 11:22 PM

Now that is one fine and fancy tortilla press!

Nice job Doug!

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View dbhost's profile


5387 posts in 1983 days

#3 posted 01-22-2011 12:25 AM

I have recently started making my own tortillas… This looks like it sure beats using a rolling pin…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View KnotCurser's profile


1852 posts in 1820 days

#4 posted 01-22-2011 12:32 AM

Good gracious – that thing looks like it will squash a penny flat!

When in doubt – overbuild! ;-)

That thing looks, and I’m sure works, wonderfully!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View DrDirt's profile


2597 posts in 2494 days

#5 posted 01-22-2011 12:38 AM

Very nice – so does it work as good as it looks?

-- "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." Edison

View cwdance1's profile


1145 posts in 2010 days

#6 posted 01-22-2011 04:04 AM

Wonderful job, I realy need to make me one of those.

View dlmckirdy's profile


195 posts in 1885 days

#7 posted 01-22-2011 09:42 PM

Thanks for the comments, guys!

Knotcurser, I am going to try one a bit thinner to see how it works. This was made of 4/4 S2S lumber at my daughter’s house. She (her husband, actually) has a shopsmith with bandsaw, so we could not resaw the 8” lumber. We laminated the plattens at 90 deg for strength. I will try resawing 4/4 lumber in half then laminating it back together at 90 deg to see if that works. It would save a considerable amount of weight. I will post the next one when I do it (other projects in the queue ahead of it).

-- Doug, Bakersfield, CA - I measured twice, cut it twice, and it is still too short!

View NedB's profile


659 posts in 2317 days

#8 posted 08-15-2012 04:21 PM

Hey Doug, question for you since the press has obviously been around awhile… Looking at it, there doesn’t seem to be ‘any’ room for the tortillas … I realize you want pressure to flatten the Masa but my mind says ‘leave a gap’ of 1/8” or so.

What has been your experience with using that as it stands?

-- Ned - 2B1ASK1

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