A More Practical Pressing Tub

Dateline: 10 September 2013
Updated: 18 June 2016
By: Herrick Kimball


Click on pictures to see enlarged views
The traditional-style, wood-slat pressing tub is probably the most time consuming part of the Whizbang cider press to make. And if you choose to make the wood slats out of hardwood, it can be an expensive item. With that in mind, last fall I decided to try making a pressing tub out of a piece of 1/8" thick HDPE plastic. The pictures on this page show the tub I made.

No, it doesn't have the charm of a wood-slat pressing tub, but this simple HDPE tub is totally effective, and relatively inexpensive. Better yet, it is made of food grade plastic that's very easy to scrub clean. The low-profile fasteners are stainless steel.


I should make it clear that this tub is suited only for rack-and-cloth-in-tub pressing. If done as I explain in the plan book, rack-and-cloth-in-tub pressing does not put much (if any) outward pressure on the tub. So HDPE serves the purpose nicely.


The tub shown is 16" high, which is 1" taller than specified in the book. It still worked out fine. I made it 16" because the plastic I had on hand was 16". The holes were drilled with a 7/8" Unibit (see page 39 of the plan book). It was my intention to provide specifications for the length of plastic and the hole layout here online, but I have misplaced my paperwork, and don't have the time to re-do it now. Perhaps for next year. 


But the concept is simple and the pictures make it pretty clear. The interior diameter is 14" and the overlap is 3." You can purchase a 16" by 8ft length of HDPE from The Cutting Board Factory. Eight foot long is probably enough to make two tubs, but that's the size they sell. 


The stainless steel screw posts are a difficult item to find and surprisingly expensive to buy. I found a supplier, bought them in quantity, and am making them available at the bottom of this page.


For what it's worth, I think the 1/8" plastic tub would work just fine with no holes and only some notches around the bottom for the juice to escape.












Stainless Steel 
Screw Posts

I used stainless steel screw posts like these to make the tub shown in the pictures above. These screw posts fit through a 3/16" hole and will grip 1/4" thickness (which is what you have when you overlap the 1/8" HDPE ends). Click the picture for a closer view.

Please Note:  These screw posts are two-toned. The female halves are a shiny silver color, while the male halves have a darker, duller finish. It's the only way I could find them. The two-tone finish does not affect performance. Click the picture to get a larger view.

Price for 10 screw posts: $12.00 (first class, postage paid)


Availability: In stock & ready to ship