Now that my neighbor's pear tree is loaded with a few hundred pounds of fruit, I figured it was time to get out the press and clean it up. Boy #1 and I took it completely apart, and cleaned all the pieces. I used a wire brush to take off all the flaking paint and the worst of the rust, tightened all the bolts and screws, and cleaned out and oiled the threads.
I thought about repainting the metal pieces and sealing the wood with a polyurethane, but decided against it. I read that the polyurethane would affect the taste of the cider, and since the metal wasn't in that bad of shape I decided to leave it alone. Also, since I don't have a sandblaster, it would take a long time to take off all the rust with just a wire brush and steel wool. The wood slats will be pretty easy to replace if I decide to do that later.
Of course, once I got it all put back together we had to test it out. We placed half of an Asian pear in the press, and Boy #1 helped squish it. Success! Juice flowed out of the press easily with each turn of the handle. Boy #1 happily drank all the pear juice and asked for more. The next step will be to build some sort of fruit crusher to pulverize the fruit before it goes into the press. I'm thinking of building something out of a garbage disposal, but haven't decided yet. I may just use my food processor or the blender.