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Piteba Manual Oil Press instructions for assembly and use

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1. Prior to first use

  1. Clean inside of Press Cage and the Press Screw with hot water and detergent.
  2. Mount the Press with lockbolts and butterfly nuts on a vertical timber or directly on a sturdy table. Extracting oil from some nuts/seeds requires greater strength/power, therefore the use of a very sturdy table or vertical timber is critical.
  3. Slip the biggest washer over the shaft of the Press screw and grease this washer immediately with some edible oil – DO NOT use any other oil! NOTE: This washer is exposed to very high pressure and should always be well greased. Reapply lubricating oil frequently.
  4. Insert Press screw into the Press cage.
  5. Turn the cap onto the Press cage.
  6. Depending on the type of seed the adjustment bolt can be turned into the cap.
  7. Prepare a funnel by cutting a plastic soft drink bottle at 15 cm from the outlet. (The outside diameter of this outlet should be 28 mm).
  8. Slip crank over the Press shaft and fixate the crank with the small bolt and nut.
  9. Fill the glass container with lamp oil. The user should obey the instructions on the package of the lamp oil. Place the wick holder with the wick on top of the glass container. Place the glass container on the foot of the Press under the chimney. Tighten the container with an elastic band over the 2 projections on the vertical. Always check the quality of the elastic band before use!
  10. Place a small container under the oil outlet or place a small funnel through the hole under the oil outlet and connect with a tube to a bucket. This means drilling a hole in the table to accommodate the funnel.

The Oil Press is now ready for use.


2. Preparing Seeds for pressing

  1. Seed should be well dried.
  2. Sift the seed through a fine sieve to remove sand and through a coarse sieve to remove particles bigger than the seed such as straw and stones.
  3. Store well dried seed in plastic bags or well closed drums to avoid moisture attraction. Damp seed cannot be expelled.
  4. Coarse seeds have to be broken or ground. Do not prepare more seed than can be processed the same day to avoid decay due to attraction of moisture from the air.


3. Oil pressing

  1. Grease the washer at the end of the Press shaft with edible oil. This is very important!
  2. Verify the use of the adjustment bolt according to the recommendation for the seed type. If the use of the adjustment bolt is recommended: leave the 2 press cake outlets fully open. When the press cake appears, the adjustment bolt can be tightened gradually to obtain a good flow of the oil and increased pressure.
  3. Light the wick.
  4. Fill the funnel with seed.
  5. Wait 10 minutes to heat the press cage.
  6. Start turning the crank clockwise quietly.
  7. The press cake will appear through the 2 holes in the cap. In the beginning some seeds may appear. Lightly stop the seed from appearing by use of your fingers.
  8. The oil will appear through the oil slit in the press cage.
  9. Check regularly the flow of the seed through the funnel. Use a small wooden stick to break any bridge formation in the funnel. Coarse or broken or angular seeds may lead to bridge formation.
  10. Clean the oil slit regularly with a small knife to avoid blockage.
  11. Do not extinguish the flame when pressing is resumed within 5 – 10 minutes. The press cake will remain plastic. In case the interruption is longer, remove the cap and clean out the press cake before the cap cools down.


4. The oil

  1. The warm oil runs during pressing from the press cage head to the oil outlet halfway the press cage.
  2. Collect the oil in a small cup or tin.
  3. Leave the oil at room temperature for a few hours so that solids will settle. Oil with a high melting point, such as oil from oil palm kernel or coconut, should be kept hot or filtered immediately after pressing.
  4. Decant the oil and keep it in a closed container in a dark and cool place until used or sold.
  5. Important: never expel edible oil after pressing inedible oil without cleaning the Press very well.
  6. Indicate type and origin of the oil and date of pressing on the label of the container to keep track of oil stocks.


5. Press cake (also known as seedcake)

  1. The press cake of most oil seeds is suitable as animal feed (protein concentrate). Your extension officer can inform you.
  2. Do not add any oil to the press cake. Only press cake with a low oil content is suitable as an animal feed.
  3. Store the press cake immediately in a plastic bag or tightly closed drum to avoid spoilage by attraction of moisture.


6. After pressing

  1. Extinguish the burner.
  2. Remove and clean the cap at the end of the press cage immediately after pressing.
  3. If the cap is allowed to cool down, the press cake becomes hard like stone and is difficult to clean out.
  4. Pressing with the adjustment bolt: remove the adjustment bolt. Add some seed in the funnel. By turning the crank the press cake will be pushed out of the cap. Clean the thread inside the cap with a small knife without damaging the thread. When turning the adjustment bolt in a dirty thread of the cap, you may crack the cast iron cap.
  5. Pressing without adjustment bolt: remove the cap from the press cage and clean the cap with a small knife without damaging the thread. Clean the thread inside the cap with hot water.
  6. Forgotten to clean cap immediately after pressing: The press cake is hard like stone and cannot be removed easily. Soak the cap for a few hours in hot water. The press cake will soften and can be removed easily.
  7. Wipe the press cage and the Press screw with a slightly oily cloth.
  8. Pour the oil of the day in a closed container and place the container in a warm place to allow any dirt to settle during 1–2 days. Oil with a high melting point, such as from oil palm kernel, babasu or coprah, should be kept quite warm to allow dirt to settle. Decant the oil in a clean vessel for storage.


Questions and answers

(for more information see our FAQ’s page)

Q: The Press screw makes a scraping noise and turns difficultly. Iron filings may be visible at the shaft near the press cage.

Solution: Stop turning the crank immediately. The washer at the end of the Press shaft was not greased or is absent. Press use without greasing the washer leads to excessive wear. Remove the cap, remove the Press screw from the press cage, remove any filings and grease the washer.


Q: The press cake is squeezed from the oil slit

Solution: The press cake runs backwards, because the 2 exits for the press cake in the cap are too small. Release the adjustment bolt to allow a bigger opening for the press cake. Seed may be too damp and the press cake may run backwards. Dry the seed well.


Q: Oil appears with the press cake.

Solution: Reduce the exit openings for the press cake. The Press may be over heated. Reduce the flame of the burner by reducing the wick protruding above the wick holder. In some cases no flame is needed with a high ambient temperature once pressing has started with a preheated press cage.


Q: The Press cage fills up with oil

Solution: The oil slit is blocked. Clean the oil slit with a knife. The seed has a high oil content or is very small. The oil has no time to run to the oil slit. Turn the crank at a lower speed of about 45 rpm or less.


Q: Turning of the crank goes suddenly very lightly.

Solution: There is bridge formation in the funnel. This can be prevented by pushing in the funnel with a small stick. Never put your finger or an iron rod into the funnel.


Q: The adjustment bolt does not fit into the cap.

Solution: The thread inside the cap has not been cleaned properly. Clean the thread inside the cap with hot water. Subsequently the adjustment bolt can easily be mounted inside the cap.


Q: The Press is too hot.

Solution: The heater has not been extinguished after pressing and the Press is overheated. Remove and clean the cap. Cool down the Press somewhat and continue pressing.


Q: The Press is too cold.

Solution: The wick is too short. Extinguish the heater and pull the wick out slightly and light the flame again. (Watch out: the wick holder is hot!) The flame extinguished spontaneously. Fill the container with lamp oil again.


Q: Soot formation on the press cage.

Solution: The wick is too long. Extinguish the flame, remove the wick holder from the bottle and pull the wick slightly downwards. The flame will now be smaller and soot formation will stop.