I saw the mounting plate on your top plate. I was wondering how you held it on the ram. I have enough aluminum and tools in my possession to make the plates, but I want stainless steel. Aluminum can be a very dirty material, plus, is so soft that it can wear (in this case, in the form of pits that could prevent the plates from closing all the way). This'd probably take longer than my lifetime, but I can't help thinking like a machinist/mechanical engineer (all good machinists think like mech engineers). I spent more than 40 years machining.
I also have enough SS to make some as well, but is it 316 SS and requires more tool power than I have to do it at home. 316 is a very tough stainless steel and requires strong work holding and motors to drive the tools. As such, I think $100 is a bargain.
I tried your method of having an ice pack under the parchment. It works very well. But it warms up almost instantly after coming into contact with room temps. I have a lot of trouble getting after getting the bits on the tool to stick to a larger mount. The larger amount sticks to the tool and won't come off. I feel like an uncoordinated child trying to use a 2nd tool to get it from the 1st. It just keeps moving back and forth form tool to tool. If I use my fingers, it sticks to them (I probably got enough stuck to my finger last night to get high on twice. I used a piece pf parchment and them it is stuck to the parchment again.
Do you or @99PerCent or @Roux or @Jellypowered have any tricks you use for this? I am making a rod out of Ice. I'm sure that will do it, but I don't want water contamination. I have about 9 more parchments to clean off. This stuff is a LOT of work.
Also, how do you guys contain the material to press it. It squishes out into the resins. Not all of them, but enough that I just make a ball of resin/source material and stick it is my pipe. It's probably why I slept like I was dead last night.
The worst was when I did kief. I hydrated a gram of kief and pressed it using an empty nylon teabag. The holes in it allowed the kief to pass right through. I ended up with a crispy little wafer in the teabag and lots of it spread outside the teabag. Very messy.
Meanwhile, I received my still yesterday. I have it making some distilled water to check if it works before filling it with an alcohol/thc solution.
Gotta go pick up dog poop while it is still frozen and the sky isn't snowing.
Have a great day.