This was an all around scrounger mission. I needed to make cider on the cheap and I needed to make it quickly.

Here’s the quick back story: As part of a recent hobby I decided to learn the species of trees I passed on my daily walks with my dog.


Lo and behold, two of the trees on one of my longer walks were weighed down heavily with apples! I have no idea what type of apples they were, but I could tell they were getting ready to fall with how much weight they were putting on the trees, and their size and color. Knowing I wouldn’t be able to eat the apples before they spoiled, and that they were growing in an unnamed park with virtually no foot traffic… I figured making cider would be my most efficient usage for the apples.

Ripe apples on tree

Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to make cider. And after just having our first baby, and being a natural tight wad, I didn’t want to splurge on the expensive “real” equipment. I needed to make something on the cheap, so I headed straight to YouTube. Through my search I found a number of “cheaper” solutions, but nothing that was as bargain basement as I like…So I took concepts piecemeal from the mix of videos I watched with a sprinkle of ingenuity and I created a cheap solution I was proud of. It was effective, and for the most part was made out of things I already had laying around the house. If you wanted to mimic my plans, here’s what you’ll need materials-wise:

1. 1 – 2×4
2. 8 – 3″ deck screws
3. 3 – 5 gallon buckets with 1 clip on bucket top
4. 1 – laundry bag
5. 1 – bottle jack (I used a 4 ton Harbor Freight model that was on sale for $14, that I had actually just bought for my wife’s car…oops)
6. 1 – drill powered paint stirrer
7. 1 – metal paint roller tray

– hammer drill
– drill
– screw driver
– large still bit (~1/2 inch, usually whatever the biggest one your drill will hold)
– saw, preferably miter

Below you will find some still shots of the pressing process along with a video, although once the components are put together it may be pretty self explanatory.

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