Dateline: 2 August 2014
|One of the HDPE pressure plates I make for the cider pressing system I developed. A surprising amount of work goes into making these! (click the picture for an enlarged view)|
Back in 2009 I published the book, Anyone Can Build a Whizbang Apple Grinder & Cider Press and I created the Whizbang Cider web site to promote my improved home-scale cider making system. The book has sold well and feedback has been gratifying. I recently made the plans available in PDF format for $14.95, which is $7 less than the paperback book. Click Here for PDF Information.
One of my business strategies is to create a how-to book and then sell items that help readers make what the book tells them how to make. For example, I wrote a book about how to make a chicken plucker and I sell some of the parts needed to make a chicken plucker. I make far more money selling chicken plucker parts, and processing accessories (e.g., poultry shrink bags), than I do selling plucker plan books. So it is that I have sold various cider press parts for several years now.
|Bottom view of the pressure plate. Stainless steel screws are used to hold the "curb" on the top of the plate in place.|
However, I decided earlier this year to stop making the HDPE plastic cider press parts I've been making and selling. Although the HDPE parts have been precision-cut for me by a computerized machine, I have had to put a lot of hand work into sanding and assembling the parts. The pressure plates, in particular, have been very time consuming to make. Besides that, hand-sanding so many parts has been hard on my median nerve, leading to carpel tunnel issues.
I had a small quantity of the plastic pieces in stock and made it my goal to get them assembled and ready to ship by the end of July, which was two days ago. The last of the HDPE parts are now available at WhizbangCider.com
On the one hand, I hate to stop selling something that I've been making and selling for several years. It's very satisfying to make a product and sell it. But, on the other hand, I'm relieved to have the last of these parts done. I will be able to focus on making other Whizbang products, like Classic American clothespins.
I will still sell high-quality cider press fabric, but the HDPE parts will soon (very soon) no longer be available from me anymore. Last call….
|Some finished pressure plates on the shelf, ready to ship. The pressing discs on the shelf above are easier to make but still a chore. I will be out of the pressing discs before the pressure plates.|