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 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 is 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 a 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 of 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.