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IamOiman last won the day on September 26

IamOiman had the most liked content!

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About IamOiman

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    Portafilter pro

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  • Location
    Napoli/Massachusetts/Rhode Island
  • Interests
    ESPRESSO, Computers, Investing
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  1. Ha! Unless I have a lathe of my own probably not. It is a 75 minute drive each way from my home to WPI so I am just cranking these out for myself and as a gift for a friend. I machined two additional tampers today with a 53.2mm diameter for the La San Marco group my friend uses for his bar. The left tamper is the original Bosco tamper with the 58.42mm tamper next to it. The ones to the upper right are the 53.2mm tampers made today. If anyone wants the CAM file and SolidWorks file I can add that as well or email it to you.
  2. I think I'll make this a thing now. For every machine I own I will put my Pavoni Professional, my first machine, on the cup tray (if possible) to show how big these machines can get. What I find pretty funny is with the portafilter a single Gaggia group is the same if not more than the Pavoni in mass!
  3. Thank you! I guess I lied and simply could not resist putting the panels on. I'd say among the worst things to do when working on this machine is aligning the panels, being up there with the electrical switch. There is no single hole for a bolt to go through but slots that can really take a while to get the panels to all fit evenly... It looks complete and is the first time the whole machine is together with the drip tray (YES!) but I am still waiting on that element. In the meanwhile it will sport the boxy 70's look on my bench. This is not a perfect repair, whether it was me scratching some parts or other goofs, but I think it turned out alright. For wiring I intend to order the 12 AWG cable for the inside and SJEOOW 12-3 wiring for the power cable on McMaster.
  4. This is the extant the rebuild will go until the heating element arrives. Then the testing can begin. Everything has gone smoothly so far but I will not be able to confirm any leaks/tightening adjustments untill then. Total time spent assembling was ~6-7 hours, most of it double checking I put it on right/adjustments. The only thing I regret is not being able to figure out to fix up the scuffed Gaggia tag on the front panel. I am also keeping the sticker of the company that the machine was serviced by at some point as it is a piece of the machine's history and I think makes it unique while reminding me of its origins. The groups both have the 8.5 E61 cafelat silicon gaskets and IMS showerscreens. It took a little probing but the portafilters fit perfectly now. One other thing I will definitely need to adjust is the preinfusion mechanism on the left group. It still feels a little sticky even with a new spring and ball, so I will clean that out again probably. Finally it is the question if the mercury pressurestat will not leak. If it does I will need to fashion a gasket while getting a C-spanner to unscrew it.
  5. The Switch Summary: if you do not need to, do not open the switch up. Only do this if you absolutely know something is wrong with it or needs a very serious cleaning. Springs will fly away from you and cause headaches. The rotary switch for the machine is housed on the frame via two screws. On the back of the switch there are two more screws, one of which holds the ground terminal. Taking these two long screws off will allow you to disassemble the switch. Be very careful in the whole process as there are a lot of springs that will go flying if you even look at them. The grey part is the front of the switch, and is where the locking mechanism for the switch is housed. It is a teethed washer that has two parts sticking out from the center. When the switch is turned one of these two parts will prevent you from turning the switch beyond 45 degrees. There is a green toothed gear that holds the mechanism in place The terminals are segmented, in this case there are two blocks. The bottom one has two poles and the top one has one pole. If this were a 4 pole switch the empty half of the top terminal would be filled as well. For each pole there are two connections that are held in place by a spring loaded bar. These springs rest against a green disk with two dents on the circumference. This is when the switch is 'on' and allows the bar to create a connection between the poles. The blocks lock together via the poles, and when you are putting them back together it can be very tedious as compressing these springs and inadvertantly releasing them will cause them to go flying, and may take some time to find them with a flashlight. It was not fun doing this and took me an hour to do it properly.
  6. I have nothing to say other than the excitement is building as more parts are added. I did a final clean up of the group flanges before placing the groups themselves on the frame. All valves are also installed. The chrome on the groups is in such good condition in my opinion though other bits like the valves and pre-infusion mechanisim show wear. This is not enough to justify rechroming it all.
  7. Today I did a small project to enhance my espresso experience at home. My Bosco Sorrento included a 58mm tamper when I purchased it last Fall, and it can tamp sufficiently to produce consistent shots. I was a little irked however by the small gap between the tamper and the basket, sometimes causing coffee grounds to channel a bit and also causing non-level tamping. Today I fixed this by making my own tamper. I created a SolidWorks drawing of a tamper that is the same shape as my current tamper but slightly wider in diameter (58.4mm vs 58mm) with some help from my Mechanical Engineering roommate. I then took this file and created a CAM file on ESPRIT at my university's machine shop. A CAM file is a program that allows you to input commands for a CNC machine to make various cuts and machining in order to produce the part created in SolidWorks (or similar software). You have various inputs you must define, such as tool size, tool location on spindle (most CNC machines can hold mutiple tools on a rotary rack), material speeds feeds, stock size, etc. You can also simulate the machining actions in the software to see if there are any crashes or instances that could damage the actual machine. Once I created my CAM file I sent it off to the biggest lathe available, the Haas ST-30. I used a 12" long 2.5" diameter 304 Stainless Steel stock. My tamper is 3.7" in height but the reason I cut a long stock piece was to allow redundancies if I messed up the first tamper and create a second tamper without much hassle. Once you have the stock loaded in the chuck you must then zero the tools you will be using. What this means is the tools in the lathe use a reference point that is considered the origin in an xyz plane (or xz if on a lathe). The machine needs to know this origin point and create an offset for each tool so that it compensates for the tool size. The process can be tedious if using multiple tools but it must be done to properly machine the tamper. Finally the tamper can be machined, and it took about five minutes to make it. In reference it took about 45 minutes of prep and setup, so it is more economical to produce multiple parts at a time. If machined correctly the tolerances can be extremelly accurate. Since I was successful on the first try the lab technitian, who is also into espresso, decided to machine a second tamper for his machine. He has been keeping tabs on my Gaggia restoration and wants to see it in action at some point. Overall I had a fun time and the tamper has a very snug fit on my basket. From now on I will use it for doubles but I will continue to use the original tamper as it fits the single basket very nicely.
  8. I am home for Thanksgiving and have begun assembling the machine back together. I first started with some new feet I bought to replace the grungy old ones. They are a perfect fit! I had to then put in the boiler while making sure the group flange bolts can properly fit through the frame. The flange bolts were inserted using the double brass locking method (but not very tight). I applied some nickel anti seize compound so the person who services this in the future will have a smaller likelihood of headaches from fuzed bolts. I also put this on the boiler lid bolts (which replaced the old ones). In this process any washers that were rusty were replaced by new stainless steel ones. In terms of order for assembling the machine there is no linear path to take outside of putting the boiler on first. I have some various pipes and valves fitting but not fully tightened and am just putting on what is closest reach to me on the bench. Even if I assemble the whole machine I will not be able to test it fully until the new heating element arrives. Perhaps if I am hasty I can wire up the 220V elements and directly plug them into 110V and get a reduced load just to test boiler pressure/fittings.
  9. IamOiman


    What a twist to your morning!
  10. Found the original grub screws (placed in a wrong droor) Frame got picked up today. I consider this the true half-way point in the restoration, although with the group reassembly perhaps a little beyond that! I tried to stick with the original colour but with a grey on grey hammertone texture. I used the Metal Doctors in Seekonk MA and they did a fantastic job. Once Thanksgiving arrives I can begin final assembly and then wait for the new heating element to come in.
  11. I found my old ones and got a pitch measuring tool. They are M10 x 8mm with a 1.0 pitch (fine). I'll look around for some new ones but it is not high on my priority list.
  12. I got the second group assembled today. When placed side by side the height of the upper group is identical when the piston is flush with the group sleeve, but the height of the 80mm spanner is different. When I assembled the gasket stack it was a little higher than the other group. I believe this may be because the brass shims I used were a mix of the original ones and the reproduction ones I ordered (I just wanted to see what the difference would be). I already checked if the threads were busted but removing the top gasket allowed me to screw in the 80mm hex almost all the way in. The stack still compresses but I found it a little interesting. This second group has a few extra scratches on the spanner pieces and some chrome is peeled in some small nooks but there are no major flaws (besides maybe the error mentioned below). I put a Cafelat order to good use for the groups. I may have one with the Cafelat showerhead/silicone gasket and keep the traditional showerhead and do a side by side comparison once I am up and running. I accidently misplaced some of the grub screws, which gives me the excuse to find some stainless steel replacements. Measuring them they appear to be M10 x 8mm Grub/Hollow lock screws. Can anybody else confirm these measurements? I presume the thread is a standard 1.5 pitch as well. Finally I will show a mistake I made when assembling the group. When I was placing the new bearing in I used the socket wrench technique where the diameter of the socket hex was the same as the bearing (give or take 1") I was negligent in paying attention while using a mallet and I accidently struck the group itself, leaving a ding. It is not very big but I am chastizing myself heavily for making an error like that. On the first group I used a smaller socket that touched the inner ring with success and did not run into issues.
  13. I decided all negotiations were off the table and implemented no quarter against the stuck valve. What I did was take two adjustable wrenches. I placed on in a vice and placed the valve in it. This freed a hand for me to use the other adjustable wrench and a mallet. However, the trump card was a MAPP torch. That thing heated the valve to near 400 C temperatures pretty quick, and with the mallet I finally whacked the thread open. It was stuck due to a buildup of scale and some gunked on hemp. My university has a media blaster, and currently is loaded with aluminum oxide. Could I use this to clean my boiler flange and get all remaining gasket off?
  14. I've been cleaning up the flanges on the group and the boiler face. I first used a small chisel to scrape as much gasket as I could, then switched to a brass brush and scrubbed the flanges. Finally I took a flat razor blade and scraped off remaining gasket. It is not immaculate to look at but it is getting quite flush at this time. Most of the remaining black stuff is that same black coating seen inside the boiler that tends to accumulate over time. One small issue I've been having is disassembling a steam wand valve. It is awkward to hold in a vice to where I can leverage a wrench to unscrew it, and the size is something odd between 25mm and one inch (25.4mm), so there is no perfect fit. How should I approach this?
  15. It was just a matter of screwing the spring compressor to have the top of the group reach the nut. Before that I tightened the large nut by holding it in a vice while I turned the bottom group until I felt fair resistance. The top gasket will also squish a bit inwards when you do this as well. I slathered on the grease (I cleaned up the rack after the pic to something more appropriate) on the cam and a little in the shaft of the group top/bearing area. Once the top group touched the nut I could turn the top group with the spring compressor, where I would tighten the spring then tighten the group top. Eventually when I had enough threads I aligned the teeth of the rack with the group top and I could put in the bearings and cam. Note if your cam has a few worn teeth (not necessarily chipped/broken) you can adjust the cam such that those teeth will not be used as the cam will not turn 360 degrees when you pull the lever, more like 180 degrees. The group itself is not flawless, but it is better than when I originally received it. There are a few scratches here and there but I will just use a light cleaning/polishing compound like autosol. I am personally pretty happy with it and can't wait to assemble the other group once my missing bearings arrive (two of them fell out of the battered box that held my other group parts).
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