Like wringing water
from a towel, exerting
torsional forces on
both ends of the bag
pressure to whatever
Wood boards, 2×6: 12" long ( 1), 6½" long ( 2)
Nominal 2× 6 dimensional lumber actually measures
Plywood, 11"× 8", cut into four 8"× 5½" triangles
as shown in the frame diagram (Figure C)
Deck screws: 2½" long ( 6), 1¼" long ( 24)
Iron pipe flanges, ¾" NPT ( 2)
Wood screws, #12× 1" ( 8)
Linen cloth, approximately 12"× 24"
Hardwood dowels, 3" diameter, 8" long ( 2)
Glass loaf pan, approximately 4½"× 8½"× 3"
and the twist is applied outboard to these,
making the process easier and more efficient.
One might wonder why it took the Egyptians
so long to come up with the idea of a simple
frame to hold the bag ends apart, but perhaps
the pace of technology was slower back then.
NOTE: To make the bag press as authentic as
possible, you can use cedar (a wood available to
early Egyptians) for the 2× 6 pieces and substitute
thicker, solid cedar pieces for the plywood bracing
triangles. Obviously, the ancients didn’t have steel deck
screws. They relied on mortise-and-tenon joints and
pegs. If authenticity is important, you can use joinery
techniques instead; check with a local woodworking
expert for assistance on joint making.
Drill and R" bit
Spade bit, 1"
Driver bits for deck screws
Sewing machine, or needle and strong thread
Build an Ancient
Egyptian Bag Press
1. Prepare the bag.
Begin by laundering the linen cloth. Fold one
short end twice over and stitch a hem, using
a sewing machine or sewing by hand with
very fine stitching and strong thread. Hem the
other end the same way.
Fold the fabric in half lengthwise with the
hems facing out. Stitch along the long edge
Turn the bag inside out so the hems and the
raw edges of the long seam are hidden inside
the bag. Fold over one open end to make a
sleeve large enough to accommodate the
diameter of the turning rods.
Photography by Sam Murphy
Sew the sleeve, leaving its top and bottom
open for the rod. Leave the other end of the
bag open (Figure B).
2. Prepare the uprights.
Locate and mark the holes in the uprights
according to the frame diagram (Figure C,
following page). Drill a 1" hole in each upright.
3. Build the frame.
Use the long deck screws to make a U-shaped
171 Follow us @make