Cheese Press

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Project by Derek1980 posted 01-30-2011 07:06 AM 5665 views 9 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is not the most impressive woodworking project I have ever done but I really enjoy making my one tools and this one is a little unique. The cheese mould is an old Stainless pot i ground the handle off of and drilled little drain holes in it, everything else is just scrap from around the shop.

This is my first use of my homemade cheese press and my first attempt at true cheddar. My first cheese was a abbreviated version called Farm House Cheddar. To press the first batch I balanced a 5 gallon canning pot of water on top of cheese. It worked ok but at one point in the process it settled unevenly and the pot fell dumping all the water on my kitchen floor. This press made the process much less of a mess.

just added more pix.

-the pressure is adjustable with the turnbuckle attached to the spring. I have been counting number of turns for a specific weight but i think I am going to make a scale to measure the spring and convert that into a weight. calibrated the spring with a scale.

-the stud in the top of the press block allows me to set the height with out using up all my spring adjustment

-the black plastic disk is part of a old cutting board cut to precisely fit the mould with just enough room for cheese cloth to fit around it.

-the plastic catch pan keeps the whey off the wood

-- Derek

20 comments so far

View AaronK's profile


1411 posts in 2504 days

#1 posted 01-30-2011 07:57 AM

nice! I was thinking of making a cheese press, but all the designs seem overly complicated. i like this one.

is the pressure adjustable? also, where did you get your spring, and do you know how much force it provides?

View AaronK's profile


1411 posts in 2504 days

#2 posted 01-30-2011 07:58 AM

also, can you post more pics?

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 2364 days

#3 posted 01-30-2011 02:51 PM

OMG, if you were going to blog the whole thing I am certainly interested!

View chrisstef's profile


13260 posts in 2046 days

#4 posted 01-30-2011 04:08 PM

MMM i miss living in Wisconsin

Nice work … hope the cheese comes out good!

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Jeff's profile


115 posts in 1954 days

#5 posted 01-30-2011 05:29 PM

I don’t understand how the square block can evenly press the cheese in the round pot? Am I missing something?

-- Jeff

View Bluepine38's profile


3191 posts in 2124 days

#6 posted 01-30-2011 07:21 PM

Very interesting first post, welcome to the site. You definitely have an inventive side, or is it that
necessity is the mother of invention? I can see the adjusting holes on your pivot point, but is that
a coupling nut just above the top spring attachment point that allows for adjustment, or is the rod
going into the top of the pressing block threaded for adjustment? You now have to interesting and
productive hobbies that we know of, woodworking and cheesemaking, Thank you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 76 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Derek1980's profile


31 posts in 1946 days

#7 posted 01-30-2011 09:37 PM


Is should be more clear with the new pix. The square block is is just so i have something with adjustable height that can press down into the pot.

-- Derek

View AaronK's profile


1411 posts in 2504 days

#8 posted 01-30-2011 09:41 PM

wow 100 pounds! that’s more than enough. I like this though – the design is really simple, much better than one with a screw mechanism, i think.

what kind of spring is it and where did you get it?

View MShort's profile


1757 posts in 2458 days

#9 posted 01-30-2011 09:45 PM

Very neat. You have two of my favs covered. Woodworking and Cheese. Looks like it works well.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View Derek1980's profile


31 posts in 1946 days

#10 posted 01-30-2011 10:19 PM

I don’t know where I got the spring but I suspect i salvaged it off of a broken hide-a-bed. I have seen similar ones at almost any hardware store.

100lb is defiantly more than you need for cheese, but it seemed like a good round number for the picture. : )

a softer spring would probably be easier to calibrate as a scale.

-- Derek

View AaronK's profile


1411 posts in 2504 days

#11 posted 01-30-2011 10:31 PM

cool, thanks!

what’s the reason for the disk right above the spring?

also, have you measured the force on the scale when you set the bar at the lowest of the rungs you have?

View Sodabowski's profile


2253 posts in 1872 days

#12 posted 01-30-2011 10:47 PM

I’m also adding this to my already long to-do list!
Nice bamboo cutting board BTW.

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View Derek1980's profile


31 posts in 1946 days

#13 posted 01-30-2011 11:35 PM

the disk allows me to turn the turnbuckle by hand. you can only see half the turn buckle because the top is set into a hole in the arm. You can see the bolt that the top end of the turnbuckle hooks to about 1” from the top of the arm.
to set the pressure I fully extend the turnbuckle so i can hook the spring then tightening the turnbuckle to stretch the spring to whatever pressure the recipe calls for. The different rungs were because i was just making the design up as i went and i was not sure exactly what geometry i was gong to need.

-- Derek

View DrSawdust's profile


315 posts in 3137 days

#14 posted 01-31-2011 06:54 AM

That is really cool.

-- Making sawdust is what I do best

View lightweightladylefty's profile


2957 posts in 2752 days

#15 posted 01-31-2011 07:58 AM


You’re really an inspiration! Just last week my husband was saying he would like to learn how to make cheese and VOILA! there’s the incentive! We, too, would love a blog on this.

Would a torque wrench work for testing your pressure as you tighten the turnbuckle?

Thanks for posting.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

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