I'm in the process of trying to upgrade my grinding and pressing operation and was hoping for some input.
First, for those of you that have made an apple scratter using a wood drum, where did you find the stainless steel shaft, and what diameter did you use? I've been looking for 1" thick and 18"-24" long but have been having problems finding those dimensions. Would a pipe (hollow center) work rather than a solid rod? Secondly, does anyone know of a good source for bearings, or should I just use some solid oak with vegetable oil?
As far as the press goes, I'm planning on using a hydraulic setup and have the frame in very good shape. What I've still to build however is the collection bin/base and individual racks. What are people using in to build their collection trays. If it's wood, what kind of wood did you use / or would you recommend. As far as the racks, I've read somewhere that maple slats would make excellent racks, but my back of the envelope calculation comes up with about $150 for 5 28"x28" racks. Has anyone else come up with a creative/more affordable way to build them?
On a more general note, for those of you who have built either a scratter or hydraulic style press, what recommendations would you have, or what would you have done differently?