Apple presses cost a lot to buy but little to build.
The basic model is a very strong wooden frame and a jack or screw to push down the pressing plate. The picture shows a very basic model under construction. The wood is thick and heavy and free from large knots which affect the strength.
The wood is held together with thick coach bolts which are strong enough for a 25 litre press. Any more than this and the forces involved would demand some serious joinery.
The car jack (upside down) will shortly be attached to the top horizontal and then all I need is to build a set of lattices to contain the ‘cheeses’ of apple pommace wrapped in sacking, and attach a pressing plate and put together a tray to collect the pressed juice.
Total cost is about £30 but to buy an equivalent volume press will cost about £350
Here is a slightly smaller press.
This is a bought 10 litre press. It shows the tray at the bottom where the juice is collected. The basic design has changed little since the 1600s. The two uprights are known as ‘sisters’ in Dorset and Devon. In a homemade one you probably wouldn’t bother with refinements such as a metal siphon attachement (bottom left). A simple spout would do just fine.