how to extract oil from seeds at home

Homemade Seed Oil Press

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Most cooking or salad oils you buy in stores have been extracted using pressure or solvents, or both. You can make your own oil by pressing alone, avoiding the solvents altogether and ending up with a fresher and–to some–more wholesome product. Commonly used are seeds including sunflower and sesame and nuts like walnut, almond or peanut (even though peanuts are technically not a nut).

DIY Cooking Oil

Anyone who has made his own nut butter, or even bought natural, unhydrogenated peanut butter, has seen the oil separate and float to the top. The same thing will happen with most seeds, but you can get more oil from them by putting them in a press, either at room temperature or heated to about 170 degrees F. Hotter than that and you run the risk of burning the oils. You can make a press using a metal cylinder with a piston to close off the bottom end. A three-ton floor jack, the kind auto part stores call a “bottle jack,” will provide all the pressure you need to extract the oil from the seeds.

Making the Press

The April 1979 issue of Organic Gardening magazine has an article about making sunflower oil that included the most widely referenced directions for making an oil seed press on the Internet. The system uses a metal frame welded together from three pieces of steel tubing—two of them about two feet in height to make a frame and one center piece of around six inches—with a piece of steel bar for the top crossbar and a pair of pieces of angle iron to bolt the whole thing onto a wooden base. The frame was welded together to withstand the pressure from the jack.

Ground seed meal is placed into a metal tube, about three-and-a-half inches in diameter and a bit over five inches tall, with holes drilled a half-inch apart all around the bottom two-thirds or three-quarters of the tubing. The piston is made from a round piece of ¼-inch steel plate just small enough to slide easily through the inside of the tube, and with a small piece of pipe welded to the bottom so it fits onto the centerpiece of the frame. A plastic collector (made from the bottom of a plastic jug with a hole in the middle for the bottom of the piston to fit through and a second hole for the oil to pour through into a glass jar goes at the bottom of the contraption. When the bottle jack is placed on the top of the tube full of ground seeds and pumped by hand, the pressure forces the oil out through the holes in the side, which runs down into the collector.

Homemade Seed Oil Press Related Articles Most cooking or salad oils you buy in stores have been extracted using pressure or solvents, or both. You can make your own oil by pressing alone,

Oils From Nuts

Oils from nuts and other plant parts is a great way to replace cooking oils that we use today. After the SHTF you will not be able to buy this stuff. So knowing how to manufacture it yourself is going to be important.

The most common method to extract oil from a nut or plant is to place the plant under pressure to squeeze the oil out. But sometimes plants can be dissolved in water to extract their oils. Distillation of oil is also sometimes possible. Oils extracted by this method are called essential oils and are often used for other purposes besides cooking.

Although all plants will have oils to some extent, most will not be of much use. Most vegetable oils are extracted from the fruits or seeds of plants.

Use: These oils are not restricted to just cooking. Other uses depending on the source of the oil include fuel and medical purposes.

Cooking oils come mostly from nuts, citrus or melons.

Here is a list of edible oil sources to consider:
Acorns, Almonds, Beech Nuts, Cashews, Coconuts, Corn, Cottonseed, Common Hazel Nuts, Field Pennycress, Grapefruit seeds, Gourds Seed, Olives, Peanuts, Rapeseed, Ragweed, Safflower, Sesame seeds, Soybeans, Hazelnuts, Macadamia Nuts, Mongongo Nuts, Pecans, Pine Tree Seed, Pistachio Nuts, Sunflowers seed, Walnut Nuts, Lemon seeds, Orange seeds, Watermelon Seeds, Pumpkin Seed and Squash Seed.

The methods of extracting the oil are simple. Not all methods work for all sources.

Various seeds listed above can be used as a human food supply or for the oil. but not both. If you extract the oil from the seed the leftover is good for fuel or animal fodder but not good for you to eat. Extracting the oil is done via a press method. What this means is that the seed and nothing else is subjected to a whole lot of pressure in some sort of press that squeezes the hell out of them and leaves you with oil and animal fodder.

There are presses that you can buy. They do a great job. So if you want to use one you need to buy one now before the electricity goes out.

Extracting the oil via a homemade press is going to be more difficult. If you have a good design and pictures and you want to share then let me know!

Here is what I envision. You take a hydraulic jack used for changing tires on small cars. These should work better than using a series of clamps because you should be able to generate more pressure with the jack. The hydraulic jack is placed under a fixed object. Heck it could even be a car but a homemade heavy metal frame in the form of an upright square would work and be easier to access. haha. So the jack sits inside the metal frame. On the top side of the frame you need a solid piece of metal or wood that fits almost perfectly within, almost no gap, a piece of about 3 or 4 inch diameter (7.6-10 cm) metal pipe with very tiny holes drilled all through it. The hole drilled pipe should have a flat plate welded to one side although the welding part is just for convenience. This will form a pipe that has one end sealed or capped.

Fill the capped pipe with the seed you would like to extract oil from. Then you put it on top of the jack and start jacking it up higher. Guide it onto the metal/wood that is connected via a weld or a bolt or not connected at all to the bottom of the top part of the square frame. Put the seed under pressure and given a little time, some oil should flow out of the holes. Collect that oil and save it. It will be more valuable than gold.

One thing you can do that should nearly double the amount of oil you are able to extract is to heat the seed or the seed and the press immediately before pressing. Heating the seed to 170-200 degrees F will make extraction of oil much more productive. How much oil will you get? Not a whole lot. It varies wildly depending on what source you are using. But it is unlikely you will ever get even a pound of oil from 10 pounds of seed. It will take a lot of seed to get significant amounts of oil so plan for that and expect the conversion rate to be on the order of 5% by weight.

Please if you have anything on this subject you want to contribute please do so!

More thought! A c-clamp could work as well but on a smaller scale. And best of all is that all you would need is a c-clamp and a piece of pipe that fits around the swivel foot part of the c-clamp. Drill a bunch of tiny holes into the pipe and you are ready to go. The c-clamp should be able to generate as much force as the car jack because the pipe will be smaller.

How to extract oil from seeds using a home made press.