|Project by richgreer||posted 11-02-2011 04:39 PM||13485 views||16 times favorited||16 comments|
My wife’s sister and her husband spent most of their lives in Mexico as missionaries. They are now retired and live in an area where they cannot get good tortillas. So, I have made this tortilla press for them and I will send it to them with a bag of maza harina (the flour you use to make corn tortillas).
I had some leftover 6/4 red oak available but it is not high quality material (see underside of lid).
A unique feature is the lift handle and the different wood on the bottom side of the lever. That is lignum vitae, the hardest wood in the world (Janda index of 4000). This is severe overkill. Those pieces will never wear out. Of course, if I had left them as oak they would not have worn out either, but this gives them something to talk about.
Both pieces of lignum vitae are attached with a sliding dovetail since I don’t know how well they would glue up. More overkill.
This is another project that contains not a speck of metal. I like to do that when I can.
The top comes down to 1/8” from the bottom and unlike other tortilla presses I have seen, I put in a spacer at the front so the press is forced to stop when it is a uniform 1/8” everywhere.
I have put on a couple coats of the Watco Butcher Block finish. It is food safe and it seals up the porous red oak. This is the first time I have used this finish and I will be curious to hear how it holds up over time.
Most people in the US put a piece of cellophane on the top and bottom of the tortilla. In Mexico, they don’t. With this press, they have the option of using or not using the cellophane.
As an FYI, homemade tortillas are vastly superior to anything you can buy in the store. I may make a few more of these presses as Christmas gifts.
-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.