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ratty

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ratty last won the day on May 17

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    North Warwickshire (Nowhere near Shakespeare's birth place!)
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    Motorcycles, coffee, wine, real ale, internet. travel, cricket (watching)
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    Carer, previously Mechanical and Industrial Engineer
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  1. ratty! Yes my nickname, given to me around 15 years ago by the Bikers club's 'president's' partner. When I joined the family type bike club (Not 1%ers!) of around 25 members, there were already two other members named John. A little confusing and as I lived on a narrow boat at the time, leading on from, in her mind "Tales of the Riverbank," ratty was born. Apparently the story was that I grew into the name over the years! Funnily enough after a year or so the other two Johns left the club and we never had another John join.
  2. I use a 20g VST in my own machine and use it when I'm testing Classics. It fits in a standard Classic portafilter.
  3. Some people have had flow distribution problems with the brass distributor. The stainless steel seems to be reported as the better option.
  4. View Advert La Pavoni Europicolla 1970's Vintage For Sale I've had this machine for two years after buying it from a prominent Forum member who doesn't really post anymore. (One of the old guard with thousands of posts to his name) The machine is in almost perfect condition and considering it is 46 years old, quite remarkable. I used the machine for around a month and then made an impulsive buy on a Vesuvius, with its ability to mimic lever profiling, the Europiccola was reduced to an ornament I'm afraid, with no extra room in the kitchen it has stood on top of a speaker in my living room for the best part of the two years its been mine. The previous seller had bought it to change seals and descale etc and pass it on. After I used it for a month I stripped it down checked everything, lubricated all parts and put it to rest. Every time I walked passed it I would pull the lever up and down to keep its perfect action. I've decided to move it on for someone to hopefully use, or what a great iconic statement piece. I fired up the machine after its lie down and everything works perfectly. (see pic of espresso shot) Note the Hammered Bronze finish, only produced between 1975 and 1977. It was then changed to that 'mucky' brown colour I think was a mistake! The drip tray is perfect as can be seen in the pics. This is where the old machines usually corrode and I personally don't let water or coffee drip into any of my machine drip trays but use a plastic tray placed on top of the drip tray grid when removing or fitting the portafilter or running water through the head. Surprisingly enough a 1975 Europiccola from Germany was recently sold on ebay (the first other one I had seen apart from mine). The drip tray on it was fully corroded needing major surgery to fix. It went for approx £300 not including the VAT and import duty, making the full cost in the UK of £380. The only fault on my machine is a minor crack in the switch, the same as when I bought it. Close up picture is shown. So I'm asking for £395 plus £15 P&P I will leave it on here for a month and if it doesn't sell then put it onto ebay at a higher price for the Xmas rush. Forgot to say, comes with original plastic La Pavoni tamper, a Motta wooden handled 49mm tamper and a dosing funnel (added pic). The portafilter and basket are as far as I know original too! The person who sold it to me thought it had no or very little use from new before he obtained it, and it had been stored in a cupboard for all that time. He didn't give me the absolute full story unfortunately. ratty Advertiser ratty Date 05/10/21 Price £395 Category £100 - £600  
  5. This advert is COMPLETED!

    • FOR SALE
    • USED

    I've had this machine for two years after buying it from a prominent Forum member who doesn't really post anymore. (One of the old guard with thousands of posts to his name) The machine is in almost perfect condition and considering it is 46 years old, quite remarkable. I used the machine for around a month and then made an impulsive buy on a Vesuvius, with its ability to mimic lever profiling, the Europiccola was reduced to an ornament I'm afraid, with no extra room in the kitchen it has stood on top of a speaker in my living room for the best part of the two years its been mine. The previous seller had bought it to change seals and O rings etc and pass it on. After I used it for a month I stripped it down checked everything, lubricated all parts and put it to rest. Every time I walked passed it I would pull the lever up and down to keep its perfect action. I've decided to move it on for someone to hopefully use, or what a great iconic statement piece. I fired up the machine after its lie down and everything works perfectly. (see pic of espresso shot) Note the Hammered Bronze finish, only produced between 1975 and 1977. It was then changed to that 'mucky' brown colour I think was a mistake! The drip tray is perfect as can be seen in the pics. This is where the old machines usually corrode and I personally don't let water or coffee drip into any of my machine drip trays but use a plastic tray placed on top of the drip tray grid when removing or fitting the portafilter or running water through the head. Surprisingly enough a 1975 Europiccola from Germany was recently sold on ebay (the first other one I had seen apart from mine). The drip tray on it was fully corroded needing major surgery to fix. It went for approx £300 not including the VAT and import duty, making the full cost in the UK of £380. The only fault on my machine is a minor crack in the switch, the same as when I bought it. Close up picture is shown. So I'm asking for £395 plus £15 P&P I will leave it on here for a month and if it doesn't sell then put it onto ebay at a higher price for the Xmas rush. Forgot to say, comes with original plastic La Pavoni tamper, a Motta wooden handled 49mm tamper and a dosing funnel (added pic). The portafilter and basket are as far as I know original too! The person who sold it to me thought it had no or very little use from new before he obtained it, and it had been stored in a cupboard for all that time. He didn't give me the absolute full story unfortunately. ratty

    £395

    Bedworth, North Warwickshire - GB

  6. Hence the advice to pay slightly more for a Classic from a forum member. The last one I sold I had to fit a new boiler and as I don't go above £250 to sell a used machine I lost £20 to £30 on the 'deal' also not including the two weeks it took me, free labour charges. Included was a modified steam valve, all new bolts and O'rings, descaling of all parts and full testing of the machine. These 'extras' are not taken into account often on an ebay purchase worst luck, and those not in the know do not have the knowledge to differentiate unfortunately.
  7. Sometimes there is a date stamp on top of the boiler but it can be 'hidden' under the steam valve, plus who's to say the boiler is original? Portafilters and the group head also sometimes have markings but there doesn't seem to be much consistency, plus, again they could be non original to the machine. Like @Uncletits says, but lengthening it slightly, it would be after late 2004 and before 2015
  8. Full gasket set for a tenner with the best materials. Don't cut corners to save a couple of quid else it will rear up eventually and bite you! Here you have all replacements including the Group Head Gasket you were looking for the name of. Buying separately is a false economy as with this set you will have a few spares at hand if/when required. Using new gaskets and better material will last you years and they will be easily removed rather than having to gouge inferior material gaskets out with a screwdriver when they start leaking. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/224619167872?epid=19027921458&hash=item344c588080:g:qvwAAOSw2K5cF7zY
  9. Sounds like you have some limescale particle blockage in the system somewhere! Only answer initially is to strip it all down again and check all orifices for blockages. OPV, Solenoid valve, Group head and the steam valve. All needs to be soaked in citric acid and ports need to be cleared, probing with something like a needle or paper clip and preferably afterwards,sprayed with compressed air. Sorry I cannot be more help but that's the bottom line and there's no short cuts I'm afraid unless you have another working Classic, and you can the test one thing at a time.
  10. Describes cleaning of the solenoid valve too!
  11. Check OPV and solenoid valve O rings are not leaking. I've forgotten to even put them back in, in the past!
  12. Some of us use a dremel brass wire brush initially to get rid of most of the scale and then finish off with wet and dry paper on a flat surface. Start off with coarser grades and working down to very fine. As Uncletits said it doesn't have to be perfect, the gasket does the sealing job. Silicone gaskets are better than the original black rubber? material.
  13. I bought a Feld 47 pre lockdown for the same reason, apart from three weeks booked in Turkey instead of Canada! The holiday got cancelled and I carried on using my Niche at home without touching the Feld. Going for a few days holiday in the UK very soon so I dug the 'new' Feld out for a practice grind in my French press. All was good and only took around 30 secs max with the coarser grind required compared to espresso. So, what I was leading up to, I was tempted to sell the Feld to someone who would get more use out of it but glad I didn't as now Turkey is open again to tourism, and I will be going next May for 3 weeks with the hand grinder in tow. I think any of the top hand grinders which IZpresso is among according to the reviews, are as you say a tool that will be used any time a trip away is on the cards.
  14. This advert is COMPLETED!

    • FOR SALE
    • USED

    Fully refurbished and modified 2002 Gaggia Classic for sale. Price is £249 plus £15 insured P&P The 2002 to 2004 Classics have the best cases at 1.5mm thick stainless steel. Previously to that date the case was ordinary steel that was prone to rusting and after late 2004 the thickness was reduced to 1.2mm stainless steel, resulting in a weaker case. I have cut down a lot on refurbishing Classics but occasionally I cannot resist the 2002 to 2004 models especially non runners, but this one cost me all the money! I expected to make 20 odd quid on it with a couple of weeks free labour cost involved from me, as my main aim is to keep these year machines up and running to last another 20 years, with only minor maintenance required. Little did I know on the refurb the boiler was shot. A new replacement boiler put the price up, with me ending up £10 to £20 down on the sale as I won’t ask more than £250 believing that’s the correct price for a fully refurbished 2002 to 2004 Classic at the present time, taking into consideration initial cost to refurbisher and new parts needed. I started off stripping the entire machine down to its empty case. I had bought the machine knowing the main power bulb wasn’t working and it was blowing fuses. Once delivered to my home I noticed the decal on the brew/pump switch had disappeared from it and was blank. Replaced and soldered a new bulb in the power switch and fitted a substitute brew/pump switch, with the decal on. Breaking down the boiler from the group head was at least as difficult with bolts shearing and rusted in, but managed to separate them eventually. As usual the group head was fine, just needed serious cleaning and descaling. I started the descaling of the boiler and immediately noticed ‘chunks’ of aluminium was missing leaving big open fissures not far from breaking through to the outside of the boiler. I scrapped boiler and replaced it with a new 1300W boiler. (See pictures of the machine refurbished, how I received it out of the box and a pic of the old boiler I replaced with a new one) Luckily the other major parts were reasonable and with strip downs and descaling individually, were as good as new. The large original Parker solenoid valve was stripped down, cleaned checked, and then refitted. Same with the OPV that surprisingly unscrewed quite easily and after descaling and refitting, set to 9 bar pressure. (see pic) The original 65W pump was tested and working fine, so was refitted. I modified the steam valve after descaling and fitted a new O ring, the valve’s spindle can now be accessed and unscrewed by simply undoing the locknut behind the steam knob and the shaft will unscrew fully. All the steam valves have been previously unreliable with constant leakages or drippings from the wand, sometimes happening almost from new. This modification cures that problem giving access to the steam valve spindle with the O ring connected, that can be simply replaced if needed now for a few pence. Previously the whole valve would have been scrap! (see pic for modified valve) New Rancilio Steam wand fitted. New stainless steel outlet pipe Shower screen holder and shower screen descaled and cleaned. New cafelat silicone head group gasket fitted. All new O rings and gaskets fitted throughout and have been coated with Molykote 111 silicone compound, a food safe lubricant used to extend life of elastomar materials. New 316 grade stainless steel bolts used almost throughout, or marine grade stainless steel when available, they were all fitted with a high grade lubrication/anti seize paste to resist galling and corrosion and make it easier to remove them if needed in the distant future. The group gasket has been replaced with a new Cafelat silicone gasket. The case is in near perfect condition. One of the rear shelf tabs had a broken spot weld so I drilled and bolted two 3mm button head bolts and nuts on both sides through the two tabs to proof from any future problems. I find small stainless steel button head bolts are the neatest and best permanent solution to that problem (see pic) The machine comes with an original portafilter with the double moulded spouts, and a new non pressurised ridged basket. A new plastic Gaggia tamper and a plastic coffee scoop also supplied. (see pic) Pictures. NB. Pictures seem to have gone out of synch from the order I posted them. I'm sure you will be able to work it out? 1) Front of refurbished machine showing the working switches 2) Machine when it first arrived at mine out of the box. 3) Setting of the 9 bar pressure on a portafilter pressure gauge. (Gauge not included in sale) 4) New boiler bolted to group head and group fitted with the new cafelat gasket. Modded steam valve, large solenoid valve and OPV. 5) Old Boiler that was replaced! 6) Inside the machine after refurb 7) Back panel bolts securing shelf 8) Machine Label 9) Working coffee shot. (scales not included in sale) 10) Portafilter, tamper, coffee scoop and mains lead

    £249

    Bedworth, North Warwickshire - GB

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