Currently, a retail rosin press will set you back anywhere from $300 to a grand and up. Which is fine if you have bongo bucks, but the rest of us would just as soon find a cheaper alternative for extracting rosin. For those who want a solvent-less extraction method which is guaranteed to be free of harmful chemicals, rosin is the way to go. Here we go through how to make a Rosin press for less than $100.

We found a bargain method of rosin extraction courtesy of HowToWeed, the MacGyver of cannabis. The video is below and we made written instructions that follow it.

 

Let’s build a rosin press!

Things you’ll need:

  • The same hair-straightener you’ve been using
  • Two wooden blocks
  • J.B. Weld, high-heat formula
  • A fruit press
  • Standard hand-tools and supplies – screwdrivers, measuring tape, marker, hammer, chisel, sandpaper, electrician’s tape

The fruit press will still be usable as a fruit press. Which is an excellent suggestion for squeezing some orange juice to go along with your other refreshments when you’re done.

 

Step one: Tear down the hair-straightener

tearing down a hair-straightener

We know, your beloved hair-straightener has been with you through many a flattened bud. But don’t worry, we can rebuild it. Better, stronger than it was before. Disassemble the hair-straightener until you have the plastic shell removed, saving the hot plates, electronics, and wiring intact and functional.

 

Step two: Prep the wooden blocks

You’ll want to affix the plates to the blocks with some precision. So first, mark the center of each block with the measuring tape and marker.

marking the center of wooden blocks

Place the plates on the blocks and do an outline to show where the plates will go.

outlining the plates on the wood

Use a hammer and chisel to score some grooves out of the wood. We’re going to use J.B. Weld to attach the plates to wooden blocks, except J.B. Weld doesn’t happen to work very well with wood. We also can’t use something like typical hobbyist glue because it has to withstand high temperatures, because you don’t just squeeze rosin out of weed, you gotta iron it out. So nicking a few chips out of the wooden blocks gives the J.B. Weld a better grip.

scoring the blocks with a chisel

Finally, sand down the blocks with sandpaper to make sure that any sawdust or debris won’t interfere with the weld.

 

Step three: Affix the hot plates to the wood blocks

NOTE: In the video, John thinks to wrap the wiring in electrical tape after having the blocks and plates rig in the press to set. But this step might be better handled before assembling the project, maybe first thing after you disassemble the hair-straightener.

Get the J.B. Weld and knead two blobs of it into two lumps about the size of an egg yolk. Smoosh the hot plates onto the blocks.

J.B. Weld plates to blocks

Use the fruit press to set the blocks. J.B. Weld takes an hour to set, before which it will still be semi-pliable, and eight hours to solidify permanently. Check and be sure that no part of the wiring is pinched underneath the plates on the wood.

pressing the block and plate assembly

What we’ve done here is simply replace the hand-held part of the mechanism with a block housing, which will fit into the fruit press. This will apply a lot more pressure than just the hand-held hair-straightener could do.

 

Try it out!

Set the hair-straightener controls to the lowest heat setting, and get some parchment paper to house your flower. Fold the flower into the parchment paper as always, set between the plates, and squeeze your rig down.

HowToWeed advises using a cool surface to scrape the rosin off the parchment paper. His example is a block of marble he keeps in the freezer.

You’re pretty much set! It seems like a lot of trouble to go through, but you did just save a few hundred dollars after all. If you were hard up enough to use a hair-straightener before, you’ll get much better results with this method.

Shout-out, as always, for HowToWeed! Check out John Brown’s channel and support him however you can. When the zombie apocalypse comes, this is the guy you’ll want around.

How long do you press rosin?

The recommended times for pressing rosin are: Flower: 1-2.5 minutes at (180-220 ° F); High-quality sift: 1.5-5 minutes at (150-190 ° F); Low-quality sift: 1.5-5 minutes at (180-220 ° F). Just be sure not to go over 220° F, because then the terpenes start evaporating.

Can you press rosin from fresh flower?

You can technically, but it’s not recommended. Good rosin comes from bud that’s at a humidity level of 55% to 62%. Fresh weed has way too much moisture, and worse yet when you try to dab it, it’s going to smell and taste like a handful of lawn grass. Pressing fresh bud will just make a mess. Dry and cure it out into nugs first.

Have you tried it?

Readers, have you built your own rosin press at home? What other MacGyver feats of stoner-ingenuity have you undertaken in your quest for cannabis extraction? Has your sister noticed all the hair-care appliances disappearing yet? Tell us all about it in the comments below or our handy-dandy forum.

 

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