The following is a description of how to make a cider press. The plans were posted on the 3rd September edition (#551) of the cider digest by Jeff Summit and are reproduced here with permission. Jeff retains copyright to these plans, please contact him if you wish to reproduce them.

A few years ago I made a press. It cost me about US$20.

The bucket was made from a 7 gallon plastic pail. I used a 0.5 inch drill and perferated it at a 1 inch grid.

The frame was made from scrap 2×3 (inch) pine.

For the press I bought a 1 inch x 3 foot threaded rod, 5 nuts, and 2 @ 4 inch washers. (one of the nuts is larger than the rod and can twist freely within)

I paid a welder $5 to weld 1 nut onto each washer, and the large nut onto a metal plate.

I drilled 2 holes into the washers and metal plate to allow mounting.

The pressing plate was made of plywood coated in polyurathane, with a 2×3 mounted across for support. The large nut and plate were mounted into the 2×3.

The cross member of the frame had a hole drilled into it. The washer & nut were mounted on the underside of the crossmember.

The remaining 2 nuts and nut/washer were used to fasten the prying lever to the threaded rod. The lever is a 2×3 with a hole drilled through it. The washer is mounted on the bottom side and the nuts lock the lever down from the top.

N : nut
NW : nut welded to washer
LN: large nut
R : threaded rod
L : lever
B: bucket
F : frame
P : pressing plate

                 R 
                 N
                 N
        LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
                 NW
                 R
                 R
        FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
        F        NW       F
        FB       R       BF
        FB       R       BF
        FB       R       BF
        FB       LN      BF
        FBPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPBF
        FB               BF
        FB               BF
        FBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBF
        FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

It has worked for 5 seasons so far.