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Thread: Decent espresso

  1. #1451
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan View Post
    I have zero expertise drilling ceramic, but is it possible to have a jig for the drip trays that would allow them to be flipped, you could then drill half way from each side to prevent the exit 'wound'.
    The problem with a jig is that each ceramic piece has shrunk and warped ever so slightly differently, making hole alignment difficult. However, we’re going to try a two step process, by first drilling a centering hole, so that we can then try flipping the drip tray around and doing what you suggest.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan View Post
    Does the drain point sit proud of the base of the drip tray? As this will mean that not all the water will drain, and much like in a non-drained drip tray if its left in there for a few days it will go a bit skanky. The little gaps around the exit point will also develop mould that will be a bit more difficult to clean out. I imagine it would be more difficult to achieve but an exit point that was flush with the base would be more desirable... could something be glued on to the bottom that didnt poke through?
    It sits about 2mm proud. We’ve been trying to make it as level as possible, but it will nonetheless behave like a kitchen sink drain sieve, with gunk accumulating on the edges.

    FWIW I’ve never seen an espresso drip tray, plumbed, that didn’t need periodic cleaning. Even if the drain was totally flush, the problem is that if you throw espresso shots into the drip tray, the coffee particles will settle in place and slowly accumulate.

    For me, the goal of a plumbed in drip tray is to make cleaning much less frequent, but it’s not possible to remove the need for cleaning, given the muddy quality of coffee.

    I’ve seen some pro machines with the tube intentionally lifted off the bottom, so that just water goes out the tube, and solids accumulate on the bottom. The reason for this, I assume, is to keep the tube from getting clogged with coffee mud.

    With the two group E61 we have, the drain is flush, but we have to periodically disassemble the drain tube because mold eventually grows on the inside of the tube, feeding on the coffee deposits.

    Quote Originally Posted by jdomg View Post
    Can you link the drill bit you are using? The picture is too low res to tell if it's a solid or core bit.
    here it is.
    bit.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by jdomg View Post
    Additionally - there are a few guides on line for each, but I suspect you were using a solid bit and the chipping on the back end was due to applying just a bit too much pressure towards the end. One way I've avoided something like this (though I have no idea if it's a standard thing) in the past is to drill a super small pilot hole clean through which will have a little bit of chip and then "score" both sides with a core drill bit. Since you have a smaller pilot - you can setup a jig that aligns the drill press with the hole as coring bits that size usually don't have guide bits.
    Someone else also suggested this approach, and I think it’s a good idea. We’re going to try it today.

    Quote Originally Posted by jdomg View Post
    So... you pre-drill a small pilot, swap the bit for a core bit of the correct size, drop it in a little to score off the enamel and "break" the edges cleanly (but not all the way through) then flip the tray over and then drill clean through. This *usually* works pretty well for both sides being clean. You can also apply some masking tape to the drill area to help as well. Plus your wood block on the back should help minimize ugliness on the exit.
    Thanks for the more extensive tips, all very useful.

    Quote Originally Posted by xpresso View Post
    What is required to prevent break out on drilling through the likes of ceramic is full surface support at the break out side, the ceramic surface will not be uniform or totally flat so timber would have a very limited success, apply a strong adhesive tape to the break out side area and place a piece of stiff rubber to help that support, we called that material 'insertion', it was bordering the same stiffness of a rubber tyre composition and has a woven reinforcement sandwiched within, we used a thickness of about 6/8mm and purchased in a roll.
    Great, will do. We have a variety of sheets of rubber and plastic here that I can try.

    Quote Originally Posted by xpresso View Post
    I have used it successfully in the past to drill holes in plates for clock mechanisms, I even tried with success using a cataloy paste spread over the break out side and then laterally tap the residue off when finished, the latter is time consuming, the drills I used were the cheap diamond dusted ?? hollow drills from China.
    I suspect you were using the same bits we’re using.

  2. #1452
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    Here's a link to an "Advanced drilling tips" article that I found excellent, and some choice bits too:
    http://www.diamondsure.com/Techniques.shtml#anchor150

    diamond drill bits are specifically designed for use on very hard materials as shown in the materials section. The extremely hard nature of the materials requires that the diamond drill bits be used with proper drilling techniques. Improper use can overheat and damage the drill bit and may also cause heat fractures and material breakage.

    When drilling in hard, abrasive materials such as limestone, sandstone, hard ceramic and porcelain tiles, marble or granite, it is critical to have lots of lubrication. With these hard materials, it is common to drill under water or to have a small amount of water constantly running over the drill bit and bore hole. In either case, the "pumping" technique described below is needed to assure water reaches the very tip of the bit.

    Pumping Technique: No matter what lubrication method is used, a periodic "pumping" action will significantly improve lubrication at the drill tip. Because of the pressure on the drill tip, water has trouble reaching the very tip of the drill bit. A "pumping" technique allows lubrication to reach the very tip. While drilling, merely raise the drill up and down a fraction of an inch once in a while as you drill (maybe every 15 to 20 seconds or so). This assures that water enters the drill tip area completely and fully lubricates the very tip. Pumping the drill improves lubrication at the tip and will improve drill bit life considerably.

    Drill Pressure
    When using diamond drills, it is very important to have only light to medium pressure on the drill and to let the bit "drill at its own speed". Increasing pressure will not speed up the cutting noticeably, but it will increase the friction considerably and quickly cause the bit to overheat. This not only burns up the bit, but it also heats up the surrounding surface and can cause heat fractures or breakage to occur.

  3. #1453
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    Default Insulating the group head

    insultating3.jpg

    Final touches were applied today to our "golden master" espresso machine, and it's now done. We've already built two of them, and we have 6 more almost finished.

    Our "Decent Advisors" will soon get these machines, looking for any major "whoops!" that we missed. After that, machines will start shipping to our "early adopter" espresso machine buyers. So, my current estimate is early March for machines going to customers. We're not waiting for the beta testers feedback to keep building machine, and my hunch is that most problems they identify can be fixed with a software or firmware upload, over wifi.

    Today we added two sets of insulation inside the group head of our "golden master" and made final decisions about the kind of insulation, its shape, and placement. The insulation inside the group head reduces the heat that leaks into the main chassis and also lowers overall power consumption. We've previously found a lot of hot air cascading from the group head into the main body, heating up the mirror-back panel, and thus wasting a lot of electricity. This insulation prevents that.

    We're also insulating directly under the group head cover so that you'll never burn yourself by accidentally touching it. On traditional espresso machines, both the steam and group head are burning-temperature hot.

    Two nights ago this "golden master" lived on our "shaking machine" overnight and we verified that no connections were loosened.

    After the shaking test, we put temperature probes in multiple points inside and ran the machine for 4 hours making "espresso" at 98.5ºC (to create a worst-case scenario). The group head is sitting at 105ºF/41ºC: warm but not painful. With the PC Board fan disabled on purpose (again, worst case scenario) the PC Board area is hovering at 49ºC. As the previous machine sat at 51ºC with the fan on, and our goal was to stay under 60ºC, this is good news. The insulated group head is 41ºC to the touch, also good. Directly inside the group head, we're at 91º, which is good, as we want the heat to stay inside there.

  4. #1454
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    Default Out the door!

    firstout.jpg

    Our first espresso machine to leave Decent (or under my supervision when I've been on tour) went out the door today.

    I believe this might be the first time I've photographed the final machine, and you've never seen the machine with the back panel attached, which cleans up the look a lot. Of course, as I'm writing this post, I noticed the silver screws on the back, which really need to be black. There's always one more thing!

    Our CEO Bugs Harpley spent the past 3 weeks learning crochet to hand-make our lucky "year of the dog" mascot, using a pattern from the amazing web site Ravelry https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/lib...e-new-year-dog

    Our Christmas tree stays up all year long, with each year's hand-made mascot, as well as Chinese symbols of good fortune. We figure we can use all the luck we can get.

  5. #1455
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    Quote Originally Posted by decent_espresso View Post
    firstout.jpg

    Our first espresso machine to leave Decent (or under my supervision when I've been on tour) went out the door today.

    I believe this might be the first time I've photographed the final machine, and you've never seen the machine with the back panel attached, which cleans up the look a lot. Of course, as I'm writing this post, I noticed the silver screws on the back, which really need to be black. There's always one more thing!

    Our CEO Bugs Harpley spent the past 3 weeks learning crochet to hand-make our lucky "year of the dog" mascot, using a pattern from the amazing web site Ravelry https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/lib...e-new-year-dog

    Our Christmas tree stays up all year long, with each year's hand-made mascot, as well as Chinese symbols of good fortune. We figure we can use all the luck we can get.
    From the UK we do a fingers crossed for every success in this venture, The 'Year of the Dog' should have seen it enjoying the first brew.
    Jon.

  6. #1456
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    Default A Short Break and a tearful goodbye

    The Chinese New Year holiday starts today in Hong Kong, and so we're enjoying a 4-day mandatory pause from work. Our landlord is painting the common-area floors, so even Bugs and I have to not work.

    We had a self-imposed deadline to get a final machine shipped before Chinese New Year, and the UPS man just took our little baby away.



    Fabrice made "crêpes bretonne au Grand Marnier" for everyone before we close our doors for a few days' rest.

    crepes2.jpg

  7. #1457
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    Some might say leaving the Xmas tree up is in itself bad luck...

    Not a believer in luck however, not in a changable way.

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    What an achievement!!! Congratulations, and enjoy your break!

  9. #1459
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan View Post
    Some might say leaving the Xmas tree up is in itself bad luck...

    Not a believer in luck however, not in a changable way.
    That is how it is done in Asia, they never take down the Christmas decorations, or not until a few months has passed.

    In the Philippines you will see Christmas decorations hanging on the wall with the year of 2010 underneath it and in some places you will fine some Christmas’s stuff older than that.

    But congrats with the first shipment
    Coffee: Ek - Feldgrind- Brewista Kettle - Bonavita Scale - Hario V60 - Kalita Wave - FRVD Moka Pot - Sowden

  10. #1460
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    Quote Originally Posted by decent_espresso View Post
    Today we added two sets of insulation inside the group head of our "golden master" and made final decisions about the kind of insulation, its shape, and placement. The insulation inside the group head reduces the heat that leaks into the main chassis and also lowers overall power consumption. We've previously found a lot of hot air cascading from the group head into the main body, heating up the mirror-back panel, and thus wasting a lot of electricity. This insulation prevents that.
    Have you performance tested actually making espresso with the insulation in place? I.e. done more than heat-stress-test? I would hope the only effect is that the heater is used less (due to less heat loss from the group head), and thus even better temperature stability. But if all of your temperature control algorithms were tuned without the insulation in place, it's possible this change to a complex system could have unexpected effects on the control loop.

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