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Thread: New Old Apple crusher

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    New Old Apple crusher

    This project will be ongoing for a while... My dad had an old Apple crusher made by "Fleury Sons of Aurora Ontario" (apparently quite famous for making plows back in the day) that he gave me when I went up to visit this spring. I've somewhat definitively dated it to somewhere between 1880 (J Fleury is renamed Fleur Sons) and 1937 (Fleury Sons is bought out and the name changed again) but haven't managed to narrow it down further. As I got it its a bit of a rotted out rust bucket so there will be a bit of creative re-interpretation on the woodwork pieces. I kept as much of the wood as was there as rough guidelines/templates/ideas for the rebuild.

    The spray catcher/flapper on the bottom with the name highlighted nicely.
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    Yep its a pile of parts! The wood looks yellow because I cut the end of that side off so it'd fit in the rig. The metal portion probably weighs a good 60-75 lbs and is about 20-24" long and the rollers are a good 10" wide plus 3-4 inches on each side so its substantial.
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    One of the mounting brackets was cracked off and fell apart once I released the bolt (the bolt was probably over tightened but there was some innovative shimming in that region and the casting looked like it wasn't perhaps as solid as it should have been there, looked like a bit of a bum pour). The handle is also unfortunately broken. A friend has a friend who's a good brazer so I'll probably try to get him to stick it back together and maybe re-enforce around a few of the weak spots. My brazing skills (and tooling) leave a bit to be desired so I think I'll have to outsource that. This piece can definitely be brazed not as sure on the handle as it has more stress on it, we'll give it a try and see I suppose (figuring some re-enforcing rods brazed in/ground flat). Worst case I'll make a wooden mold copy of the handle and send it out to be re-cast (would be another first ). There is already a fair bit of brazing on the one leg support where it broke at some point - whoever fixed it sure knew what they were doing real clean job.
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    Finally got it mostly apart after a first pass soak in a tub of Citric Acid mix (you can see a bit of flash rust here, but I wasn't to worried about that at this juncture). The Citric acid did a bang up job of knocking the first layer of rust off (even if the boss rolled her eyes a little when the 10lbs of citric acid from ebay showed up - that's enough for years and years of de-rusting ). I took it mostly apart tonight and put back into the bath with a few more sprinkles of the acid crystals to freshen the bath and take (hopefully) the rest of the rust off. You'll notice my small nut splitter there there was one recalcitrant bolt that I had a bear of a time getting the nut off of- no success with the splitter, I ended up drilling that bolt head out - just couldn't get enough of the splitter on it. The rest luckily came undone without much struggle.
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    I also found out the original wooden trough was painted red on the outside once I split the remaining scrap of board off.. So I have one color down

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
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    15,807
    Very cool, I love bringing old iron back to life!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Spitting distance north of Detroit Michigan
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    3,798
    Well hurry up, I've got some whiskey and winter's approaching fast...hot apple cider toddy time Mmmmmm
    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cook View Post
    Well hurry up, I've got some whiskey and winter's approaching fast...hot apple cider toddy time Mmmmmm


    Don't worry Ken I have another apple cidering system already built. I have some suspicions that this might be more for show than function but I'm not really sure until I get it all fixed up it could surprise me. It does show some signs of having been used quite a bit at some distant point in the past (the grease is so dry its like tar).

    My current rig is a special bought garbage disposal set into the top of a small folding table I made for it that is used to crush the apples. Works pretty well but you have to halve or quarter the apples first and it takes a bit of a knack to feed them fast enough it don't over heat but slow enough it don't jam but once you get it rolling it rolls. It also crushes the apples a bit overly fine so I have to use a finer bag than I'd like for filtering which makes the run-off a bit slower.

    The press is made from a handful of 2x10's with an upright on either side, a crossbeam at the top and an # shaped base. The motive force is a hi-lift jack (you can take the boy off of the farm... see pic below) with the upper "foot" hooking into the cross beam and the base traveling down into the basket. I have a small round block that bolts onto the base to make the "press" part.
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    The whole system works pretty well, last time we rolled it out in 2011 we processed about 600lbs of apples (I got a reaaallly good deal on a full bin of seconds) in about 1.5 days with mostly two of us working on it not to hard and a bit of help from another couple for about half a day. I was averaging around 1 gallon per 12lbs of apples which is really quite good.

    You do kind of have to watch it with the hi-lifts, they're about the most dangerous jack to use. The (heavy long metal) handle can fly up at great speeds. When releasing the jacking part it tends to let go in a hurry so don't have your fingers in the way (I keep a block of wood on hand to knock the release lever free).

    A favorite treat on pressing day around the last run or so is to take a shot of bourbon and put in the bottom of a tall boy and fill with fresh cider. Mmmm mmm!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
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    12,251
    This is cool and gonna be good to watch so keep us posted. Hope you get it back to working condition. That's a good bit of Canadiana that you have there.

    BTW when you get down to the rust is off point, it may be worthwhile for you to know if you used some Evaporust (available all over the place now) when it comes out of it, you don't have to dry it and you don't have to worry about rust flash. It coats it such that it don't rust again. Which is good when you trying to get a bunch of pieces together and only some of them are gonna get painted. I used it on a vice I recovered and the non painted parts are still going strong with no protection years later.

    Not a fan of apple cider or apple juice so I wont be thinking of making a press anytime soon. BUt I would like to see this piece of history working again.
    cheers

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    BTW when you get down to the rust is off point, it may be worthwhile for you to know if you used some Evaporust (available all over the place now) when it comes out of it, you don't have to dry it and you don't have to worry about rust flash. It coats it such that it don't rust again. Which is good when you trying to get a bunch of pieces together and only some of them are gonna get painted. I used it on a vice I recovered and the non painted parts are still going strong with no protection years later.
    Its going to need a serious de-greasing before I can paint it so I punted and just sprayed it down with a bit of oil for now.... instead of mixing another fresh batch of evaporust.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Not a fan of apple cider or apple juice so I wont be thinking of making a press anytime soon. BUt I would like to see this piece of history working again.
    I'm just figuring you haven't had the good stuff There can be quite a bit of variation between juices from different apples (and the ciders made from them).

    So the citric acid works pretty darn good but seems to maybe run out of steam faster than evaporust. I was looking for other things to de-rust while I had it in there and the batch seems to be running down a bit. I think you'd do best loading it up as full as you can on the first load for best utilization because it seems to keep reacting a while after.

    The crusher is about maybe half disassembled at this point. The main shaft runs through a cast-in-place "bushing" in the main casting and that is thoroughly frozen in place so have been going out and giving it a daily shot of penetrating oil (which I think is starting to seep through so hopeful but no movement yet). A couple of the pulleys look pressed on so I need to find a press before I chance trying to take them apart (I wouldn't bother but there are a few places that will be a bear to paint if I can't) and one pulley has a drift pin (odd that they're differently assembled) that I think is probably soldered in place gonna try heating that one up a bit once I get the main shaft loose.

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