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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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    Napoli/Massachusetts/Rhode Island
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    ESPRESSO, Computers, Investing
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  1. I simply just want to get out any large scratches and clean up any rust/coffee-crete off the panels. I know what it takes to get to that mirror polish and I really do not want to spend 100+ hours for that perfection... At that point I might as well just chrome all the pieces in place of that time!
  2. I'll take a gander with some Joe-Glo on that manometer at some point and see what happens! Today I primarily did the gas assembly. It was pretty straightforward but I saw some parts I know absolutely I would not be able to source if I lost/broke them... Taking Apart the Gas Assembly and How it Works The gas assembly is probably not used as often now in bars but they have their uses in portable setups (ie in vans). This machine definitely was gas powered from the soot markings on the boiler. I will probably not use it but that does not give me the excuse to leave it dirty. Taking off the copper pipes using a 17mm wrench is easy enough. Getting the the regulator there are hex grips to allow the part to be held by a vice and loosened with a 22mm wrench. Taking the nipple apart also required a vice but nothing was stuck for long. The inlet valve was the last thing to come apart and I took all the parts and cleaned them first in Joe-Glo then descaled some of the brass parts where the boiler water touched the regulator. Here is the cleaned up assembly after polishing stuff up. Here is how the gas assembly works: The inlet is where you hook up the gas line and where you control the flow level of the gas. When first turning on the gas you take a lighter to the burner below the boiler to ignite the gas. Once the machine is warmed up from the gas, the pressure must be regulated. The regulator is a nifty device where it controls the burn level when a certain pressure is reached. This is done by the copper pipe connected from the top of the boiler (the long vertical one). The pressure from the boiler will press against a rubber bellows that is connected to a spring and piston. When a certain pressure is reached the spring will compress the piston such that the gas flow will reduce and cause the pressure to drop from the low burn level. This pressure point can be adjusted with the screw nut on the left part of the regulator. One thing I did not figure out was the flathead screw in the regulator. I think it is a cutoff valve but I do not know for certain. Finally the nipple is placed into the T-shaped burner that rests under the boiler. The nipple has a cap so no gas will escape outside while burning. I started cleaning the exterior panels, which are Inox steel, and I am having a difficult time getting the aged coffee grime off. I started with soapy water but I want to get the nice shiny look. First, what is a good method of getting that grime off without seriously scratching the metal? I have some Noxon cleaner/polisher; would that work once I get the grime off? Finally, I have run into the issue of an ordered part estimating a long time to reach me. The 110V 2kW heating element will take an estimated 12-16 weeks for it to arrive on my doorstep 😭 The good news is I will not be rushing to complete the machine at olympic speeds so I will likely be more attentive to my work as I put everything else together again. Guess it will be close to a year after I first bought the machine before it will be functioning again in February!
  3. Got some stuff done today, buckle in! I am still cleaning away coffee gunk from various parts. The sonic cleaner and Joe-Glo work well together. Cleaning the Mercury Pstat and How it Works I was always excited to get to this, which was today! It is an ingenious solution to regulate the pressure which I will go into below. But first I will describe the cleaning process. Looking at the Pstat it is quite dirty and there is some rust on some of the grade 8 metal. Here is how I took it apart. Looking at the top you can see the four electrical connections with the two mercury ampules. This is the Sirai equivalent of the switch breaker with the mercury. They are connected to two ceramic bricks that allows you to connect the pstat to the rest of the circuit. It can hold two phases, one for each ampule. Taking off the ceramic blocks is first, followed by the ampules by unscrewing three screws in total (two for the blocks and one for the ampule). Next you unscrew three screws connecting the upper assembly to the bellows base. You can then unscrew the pstat adjustment gear afterwards. You can see how dirty the bellows is. With the assembly off you can simply take out the pin and remove the metal block. Looking from the top you can see in the middle left the number 79 inscribed on the plate, the year this machine was made. It indicates the pstat is original with the machine and I personally like the little touch they placed onto the pstat. There are two 7mm bolts you unscrew to get to the final part: the flexed metal. Here are all the pieces laid out, in order of disassembly from right to left. You can see some bluish coppery stuff comes out of the inlet from the base. I cleaned all of the parts in vinegar except for the main assembly plate and the piece holding the stainless steel flexed metal piece. I used 600 grit sandpaper for everything. I ensured anything copper/brass was not in the same tub with steel pieces as I found out unfortunately the steel will corrode in the solution (my casualties were washers, so they can be replaced. I think an earlier Faema Urania resto thread mentioned this as well). I also cleaned and polished the cap. I used soapy water to get rid of coffee residue (the ceramic blocks were also cleaned this way) and then used some more jeweler's rouge and the string buff for the polishing. It turned out pretty good but I know I can always improve. Here is the reassembled pstat. It looks pretty good now after buffing the base a bit. Here's how it works On the bottom is the inlet for the connection between the pstat and the boiler. In the brass base there is a copper bellows that rises with the pressure. A circular gear with a pin screws onto the bellows and rests against a metal block with a pin that goes through one end. It in turn pushes against another pin that rests against a flexed piece of metal on top that controls the angle of the ampules. When the machine is below the set pressure cut off the ampules will be in rest position. This means there is an electrical connection, where the mercury acts as a conduit between the two poles. As the pressure increases, the bellows will rise and push the flexed metal. Eventually a threshold is reached and the ampules will be pushed like a seesaw by the bent metal piece. The mercury will form a blob on one end of the ampules and cut the electrical connection. As the pressure decreases the ampules will slowly bend back and eventually turn on again. It is quite cool how this mechanism was designed and how much attention was given to it. For example to ensure the ampules do not bend so far they can not be bent back, there is a hook piece seen on the right that holds the ampules while bent. There is also a small copper piece that holds the adjustable pstat gear in place when you reached a desired pressure. Here it is covered with the cap. One question I have is if this will be safe to use with 20A on 110V, as it can be seen the ceramic blocks say no more than 10A. Would that simply mean I change out the wiring? I also took a look at the manometer. It was dirty but it works. Any idea on how to clean the face? I tried soapy water already to no avail. Perhaps it will stay to show the age of the machine.
  4. I think I would actually prefer the 110V and bypass the step up transformer all together! I actually did manage to find another website that actually had the 750W element from Bulgaria. I will actually get it and then I can assess what I can do. I would not mind being able to do both 2kW 220V and 2kW 110V. That is a nice find nonetheless and something to keep into consideration for other projects! I also found out my switch even though it is technically not rated for 20A can actually do it. Old Nuc informed me from Home Barista he has kept his original switch even though he converted to 110V and it works perfectly fine with his Gaggia Orione.
  5. The boiler is mostly clean at this point. I put it back in its tub after the following pics. On the boiler face there is still some slight gasket residue after some polishing and brushing with 360 grit then 600 grit sandpaper. This is also the case for the boiler cap/plate. I will probably need a dremel with a brass wire brush to get all of it, including the gunk on the heating element bolts. I cleaned up my inner brass pieces for the gasket stack, and I noticed my top brass pieces are smaller than the new old stock pieces I purchased earlier this year and they also have a lip for the v-gasket. Is there a reason for this design difference? I found out the 750W heating element was actually out of stock from that parts supplier. I guess they are starting become unobtanium at this rate and I will need to look elsewhere or do convert to 110V! If I switch to 110V I will need to purchase a new switch. I will run though my analysis of the original circuit and compare it to what I need for the new one and see if it makes sense or not. If I am doubtful I will get an electrician's opinion on the matter as well. The original circuit, starting from the plug, uses four wires: Ground (green/yellow), Black (Phase 1), Blue (Phase 2), and Brown (Phase 3). However, Blue and Black are on the same line, so one can be considered a Neutral Phase. Going into the switch Blue and Black will separate into their own poles. The switch itself is a 3-pole + ground switch with a 500V 16A rating. Going from the switch, Black and Blue will run into the pressurestat while Brown will connect directly to the heating elements. Black will then run from the Pstat to one terminal of the heating elements and Blue will run to the end. If I simplified this correctly, this is an unbalanced Wye circuit, which is not a true 3-phase and allows the machine to run on 220V. To fulfil 110V single phase, I would need a 2-pole switch w/ground (3 pole if the ground is not included) that is able to run 20A. As a single phase, I simply need to wire the Hot and Neutral in series with the Pstat and 2kW heating element. This would make it easier for me to wire the circuit and I would not require a transformer for the machine. I think I am correct on this but everybody makes mistakes. Hence why I will likely check with the electrician on this as well.
  6. I have given some thought to my electrical part of the machine. In the US my measured 2.6kW from the heating elements are too much for my 110V 20A circuit in my house (which is rated for 2.4kW). I have therefore decided to replace one of the two 1.25kW (give or take) elements with a 750W element I purchased from an online italian parts company called chisko.com. I can use them through my bar friend as I am not certain they ship outside of Italy. With 2kW I can hook up the Gaggia to my house wiring with a step up transformer without issues in exchange for a slightly longer heating time. Their pricing was very good as well!
  7. I tried polishing the plastic knobs with the jeweler's rouge and polishing wheel. It was PBC from Dico for the buffing compound. I did not push too hard on the grinder as I did not want the plastic to melt away, but it is miles better than what they originally were.
  8. It was definitely the brass bristles. I was figuring out how to polish the pipes with only a brass bristle toothbrush when I remembered the grinder given to me by my grandfather had a brass bristle disk already attached. I tried the grinder (an Omega) out with a pipe fitting and the difference is pretty visible. I did all the other pipes to similar satisfaction after the citric acid bath but not the heating elements. I also tried the grinder on the gas burner to pretty good results. Other parts of the machine will also undergo the brass bristle treatment if they are brass or copper. I am considering purchasing a brass bristle drill attachment for the boiler and face plate as I am pretty happy with how the pipes turned out and want a similar finish for the boiler. I am still deciding if I want to put the gas system back on the machine or keep off but available if I ever sell the machine. I would use the extra hole for the vacuum breaker that would be put on the flange. I intend to use a 2kW 110V element because even with my 20A circuit I cannot power 2.6kW with that (normally it is 2.5W but I measured a little higher with my ohmmeter). One of the original elements will go back in the machine but not be used to plug the heating element hole.
  9. Frame is dropped off for the media blasting and powder coating. It is a little pricey to have the powder coating done (more than what I paid for the machine) but it gives me peace of mind that it will be done correctly rather than me doing it myself. I am finishing up descaling the copper pipes and other accesories and I got a container big enough for the boiler, so that is also beginning its soak. It will probably take a few days to clean it well. I presume to get rid of the pinkish coating I use brass bristles to scrub the copper and brass right?
  10. I have a recommended metal shop I will be going to tomorrow for the media blasting of the frame after some thought and advice. I considered doing the boiler but it is not dirty/scaled enough to warrant a media blasting as well. For the colour that will remain a secret for now... I got the boiler flange bolts off without any trouble. I used the double nut technique and using a 13mm wrench and mallet I whacked them off one by one without requiring any heat or penetrator oil. People driving by were probably thinking what the heck I was doing but I did not scrape the boiler gasket off until after, and the wind outside helped me avoid asbestos inhalation (I wear a mask but I like to be paranoid). This is probably the best condition I have seen flange bolts in a Gaggia group restoration so far compared to some of the nightmares I have seen other people deal with...These only needed a quick evaporust bath and after a little clean up.
  11. I am home for fall break and I finally got the frame stripped of everything. Taking a look at it there is some light rust in portions but there is no pitting or serious damage to it, just soot covering portions of the frame. Would I still need to sandblast and powder coat it in this case? I also started the descale/derust process with the copper pipes, boiler face, and heating elements along with the boiler bolts in a bath of citric acid and evaporust respectively. I will need a bigger bucket for the boiler as it is just too tall to fully fit in the orange bucket.
  12. I was able to clean them out using some very small drill bits. I initially used a 57 AWG drill bit to make the initial hole through the crud, twisting by hand, followed by a 55 AWG bit to clean up the hole even more. Finally I took an air compressor nozzle and sprayed out the remaining loose gunk. The photos attached show how deep I had to go to clear out the gunk. At this point I am pretty satisfied with my cleaning of the groups and internals besides replacing the gasket stack and acquiring the correct grease for the racks/pinions. Based off of a member's suggestion over in Home Barista, I will try his suggestion since that grease is not terribly expensive. https://www.amsoil.com/shop/by-product/grease/x-treme-synthetic-food-grade-grease/?code=GXCCR-EA The member (named Old Nuc) has been supremely helpful in my restoration and I need to thank him in some manner at some point. To directly quote him:
  13. To clean the inner part of the piston I used some evaporust to good effect, and the only thing I have left to do with the pistons is the inlet holes where the water goes into the pistons. On one of my pistons all holes are blocked with grime (tested by trying to blow air through each of the six holes while holding open the piston valve). What would be a good way of approaching this blockage?
  14. I went out today to get some GUNK original engine degreaser to see how it would fare. I found out trough trial and error that it works well to soften the grease if not remove it. Afterwards I rinsed the pistons vigorously and placed them in a vinegar bath. In tandem I took my spatula pick to gently scrape off the surface gunk. I used a little scotch bright for the upper portion. These tools allowed me to nicely clean up my pistons and am pretty satisfied with the outcome. Probably the most interesting thing was the color of the GUNK being pink!
  15. Today I discovered why my bottom spring retainer was so stuck in one of my groups. I also have been slowly cleaning all my group parts, which are looking pretty good at this point. The vinegar and water solution seems to be working well after a 4 hour soak. Inside the piston, there was about a half inch of solidified coffee gunk. I am talking so hard I had to take a small pick and hammer to dislodge it from the piston. In this process I did not scratch anything, just broke off more and more gunk. Here is a photo comparing the amount of gunk that came out of the one group. I weighed it and it was about 2 oz!!! I am starting to become pretty tempted to use that GUNK engine cleaner to finish the job.
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