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Found 13 results

  1. I am in the process of doing a refurbish on a Pro brass and copper model. On arrival it was grimy to say the least. The copper boiler had numerous dark spots which appeared proud of the surface and I assume that they were spots from gushes and squirts from a naked PF. As the whole machine was grimy I started of with a squirt and wipe of Mr. Muscle. This removed the grime but made the spots more obvious. It was already obvious that some serious cleaning and polishing would be necessary anyway, so I got progressively more aggressive. The result was the lacquer coat being worn away and the spots staying! It would seem that with the passage of time, the coffee spots had combined chemically with the lacquer coating In the end I stopped faffing and following consultations [email protected] the machine was totally dismantled down to the last washer and taken to a factory that did stripping/dipping/polishing. So the warning is, wipe these brass/copper combos clean after every use. Next up is the lever. That had a patch of wear ahead of the bakelite handle. It was the upper surface only, as if a user had not been using the handle and using the rod instead. The wear made me think it was lacquer covered brass. However, the nice man at the polishing factory ran it on the polishing mops and it seemed as if was a translucent brass coloured lacquer. What was eventually revealed was that it was either a metal plate or lacquer over chromed steel. The nice man pointed out that the chrome was so highly polished, that 'keying' whatever it was, was nigh on impossible and it was no wonder it had worn. So much for a brass and copper La Pav???? I searched the www and the only place I found them was The Espresso Shop. They describe the product as brass, but it was 'out of stock'. Back to jimbojohn55. He turned one up in Italy. this was described (after auto translate) as golden. It was also more than twice the price of the standard chrome. But heho, I wanted this machine to be as near as new as possible and parted with 43euros plus post...... ouch It duly arrived. It looks very brass like, highly polished. Happy. Until I touched it with a magnet. Yes it was steel plated or otherwise coated. So the warning is, if you have a usable lever it may be cheaper to look into having it plated or lacquering/etc yourself. In the course of my searching this product looked promising: http://customcreationpaints.co.uk/liquid-metal-paint/Liquid-Metal-Rustique/Brass-monkeys-spray-can-paint And this video: ( I will leave the smutty comments about polishing brass monkeys to others!)
  2. Just received a brass shower plate & IMS screen for my Gaggia Classic as recommended by @ashcroc & @rob177palmer (shameless call for assistance there ) and was just wondering if running some hot water through once fitted is sufficient or if I need to clean them a bit more rigorously...? Any thoughts/help very appreciated! Thank you
  3. Hi, Two bases, One Brass Curved, One Copper Flat for sale or exchange. Would exchange for a RB 58-58.4mm C ripple or C Flat or a 58mm levelling tool. Cosmetic marks from my knocking habit/ style. I have not polished as I feared taint, so have left them as used/ seen. If selling I am looking for £40 for the Copper and £35 for the Brass item, if shipped in the UK I will cover the shipping via Royal mail signed for.
  4. So I bought a brass shower plate holder for my Gaggia classic as the standard aluminium one was starting to look like a bit of mouldy mud. I'm planning to do a lead test on it to make sure it is no/low lead brass. Anyway, I knew it wasn't coated bass before I ordered it and thought that as the group-head is (coated?) brass, it should be compatible for long term contact. However, putting it in just felt wrong. Won't that much uncoated brass react with something in there? Brass has a lot of zink, and in a wet environment with other metals around, especially aluminium, that is crying out for a reaction to occur. Am I over thinking this? I realise I was replacing the original as it was degrading, but at least there I knew what was degrading (even if I wasn't happy about it). Now I am not only worried about lead, but also what might be happening between the screws, the boiler just above...
  5. I've got block of brass on order to be used as a bean weight and looking to smarten it up a bit to give it a better finish. Any suggestions on how to do this. Is it just as a case of using finer grades of sand paper and sanding at 90 degrees to the last one? I have a Dremmel if its easier. All tips welcome
  6. Hi, my first post so hopefully it's in the right place. I inherited a Francis Francis X1, first generation with Aluminium boiler. I'd really like to use this machine but am concerned about the aluminium boiler and possible health risks so would like to find out about converting it to a brass boiler. I had seen mention of it on a thread in the forums by Hizerkite http://coffeeforums.co.uk/showthread.php?15058&p=147085#post147085 I have already sourced what I believe is a 2nd generation X1 machine (which was sold as spares) so now have the brass boiler, chrome plated shroud and coffee handles. I plan on cleaning the boiler, fitting a new element and seals/gaskets. Wondering if anyone could shed some light on whether it is possible based on the pictures of what I have, and what I would need to do as the main issue I can see is that there are more wires/connections for the aluminium boiler than for the brass boiler. So I'm not sure on the compatibility or if I just need to alter something first? Aluminium Boiler: Brass boiler: Thanks for any suggestions. Jonty
  7. Hi Guys, Does anyone know of a place in the UK where I could get one? Thanks!
  8. Hi, I am new to this forum and just bought my first gaggia classic. its a 2005 model. I was trying to adjust the pressure earlier and the allen key hole has rounded quite badly, and it looks quite seized. So I have removed the valve and trying to find a replacement, any suggestions on best places or links to shops? really struggling to find one, thanks.
  9. ---THIS POST HAS BEEN EDITED TO REFLECT ENTIRE PROCESS AND FOR EASY READING. REPLIES TO BELOW THREAD ARE IN REFERENCE TO "original OP" QUOTED BELOW--- During restoration of a VBM machine, I was umming and arring about removing the pitting/dents the group has suffered from commercial use. I then used an abrasive polish on the group which caused scratching, I got a proper chrome polish and tried to remove these but I went straight through the chrome... this sealed the deal and I took the group off to the electro-platers to be de-chromed. The process of de-chroming, and the process to come in which I will have it re-chromed cost £30 excl VAT in total. The process I used to remove the pits - this can be achieved with a high speed home drill (mine is from tesco), some flap wheels, sanding paper/pads and some polishing mops. Where to buy these items linked below. Due to the shape of the group this process was slow, and I had 10 or so drill slips which cause another pit for me to remove. If possible mount your drill on a vice and maneuver the group, otherwise be very very careful and go slowly. Total work time on this group (for a novice, such as myself) was in the region of 8 hours. >Start with the highest grit you can, I had to start with 80 on some parts, 120 on others. I used flap wheels on a high speed drill/dremel. Be very careful, a small flap wheel held too long on one spot will create a shallow dip, distort the light and look odd when finished. >work you way through the grits, I had the following flap wheels so this is the process I followed 80>120>240>320. Perpendicular at each stage where possible to remove every last scratch. Check for scratches from the previous stage under strong light and at all angles, you want every single line gone, or you will be going back to it later. >At this stage I used medium then fine 'AHPcontour' pads, at a guess these are equivalent to about 800/1600 grit. * > I then used Autosol on a loose fold mop on a high speed drill for the next stage, going over the whole thing until I was sure there was nothing left from the previous stage, then going over a couple more times. >Then compound p175 on a loose fold mop (This is good enough for chroming but ultra fine hairline scratches can be seen at very obtuse angles) spend a long time going over and over on this stage until you are 100% sure you have covered the previous stage. * After speaking with the owner of "thepolishingshop.co.uk" (after I had already been through the process above) I was informed that his compounds are capable of polishing from 320grit. This would be achieved with 439T green compound on a close stitch colour mop followed by p164 blue with a 'G-mop' then finished with p175 yellow on a WDR loose fold. This method would not have been suitable for some of the nooks and crannies on the group, as the close stitch mops would not have reached in there. Compounds and abrasive flap wheels bought from "http://www.thepolishingshop.co.uk". Absolute 5 star service, not to mention the best prices online (better than amazon in most cases), a fantastic £2 delivery option that has never taken more than 2 days, and really high quality compounds (in my admittedly limited experience). Was very responsive via email and put my mind very much at rest that I had achieved a good enough finish, a rare site that ticks every box you could want. I bought my abrasive pads from Amazon, but they are cheaper on the above link, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy from there in the future. Here you see the worst pitting to the front of the group, and the dirt and oxidation from being in the de-chroming solution Here you see pitting in the top of the group after an initial polish with Autosol This image shows the pitting removed as per my process above, this is after the fine abrasive pad, and before Autosol The image below shows the front of the group after Autosol, the camera fibs quite heavily here and doesn't show the scratches that Autosol leaves. This image shows the top of the group after Autosol. You can see the scratching on the group, it is the same all over, but the camera is again lying about the rest of the group. And then after polishing with p175 The group head came back from the Electro-platers. How does it look? Well good and bad results. It looks much much better than before. But its not perfect. I read online before polishing that "Chrome is a mirror of the surface below" and this could not be more accurate, it is also a very effective mirror, much better than brass, so any imperfections not only show up but show up very well. Polishing is not just about 'painting by numbers', although that will get you so far, there is obviously a nuance and an expert understanding of the processes involved that mean you are unlikely to get perfect results on your first try and a thing like this. All that said, I am very happy with the job I have done, and the group looks so much better than before. For those interested, the Electro-Platers said they would charge about £60 for polishing, which would have been £90 in total. I have no idea how good a job they would have done in comparison to myself. Here is the finished article This is the pitting I was removing, it's still there albeit much less. I did not notice this at all in the brass, and was pretty surprised to see it in the chrome. Just goes to show how good of a mirror the chrome is.
  10. I'm a big fan of cafetiere/french press coffee, and have decided to 1) make the move to grinding my own beans, and 2) put together some kit for travelling, which I have to do a lot. I need to buy a grinder which I can use at home and pack to take on the road, which probably means a handheld rather than a knee held one (electric is right out). I've been recommended that Hario Mini by a friend who is a consultant barista (yes, apparently that's a thing), but then reading made me think for a while that a Porlex would be better (and the larger Porlex is still only as big as the Hario). Then I saw the Zassenhaus Havana, and my love of beautiful things kicked in. Trouble is, the Zassenhaus is out of my current budget. Scrolling through eBay, I found lots of brass grinders from Turkey, some claiming to be vintage, some new. I wondered whether anyone has any experience with these; are they tourist junk, or are they good? Are they only good for very fine grinding, or also for coarse? I'm using a Bodum Travel Press at the moment. I realise they're going to be heavy, and I'm sure the Hario will do at least as good a job, but I really try to only buy items that I love, and for the same money, I love the appearance of these a lot more. For that matter, has anyone used a Zassenhaus Havana for coarse grinding? I might consider the Hario for now, and save up for a Zassenhaus. Thanks in advance, and sorry for the unstructured nature of my questions!
  11. **Update 6 - Group Buy Closed. Please let me know in the thread if your package has arrived safely.** **Update 5 - Those who have made payment your packages will be sent 28th November.** **Update 4 - Payment requests have been sent out. When making Bank Transfer please ensure you use your forum name as reference. Once all have paid I shall post the items out and PM each individual their tracking number** **Update 3 - Final Price for the Brass Shower Plate is £13.45. Sorry about the price increase. I selected a cheaper non insured service before. These will now be sent Royal Mail Signed For 1st Class** **Update 2 - Cost now £12.50 each as I can send this as a First Class Large Letter** **Update 1 - Maximum number of participants I need is 15** I've been given the nod by Glenn and hopefully there is still enough interest for these following the closure of the previous group buy. These will be ordered direct at a discounted price from Espresso Services. Cost breakdown as follows: Total £13.50 each which includes Royal Mail delivery UK only (small parcel size £2.80 - Non Recorded) and the cost of a jiffy bag (20p). Cost of each brass plate is £10.50 inc VAT. So basically £5.22 saving compared to buying direct and £4.30 compared to the last group buy attempt. I'm not gaining any profit from this and the maximum number of participants I need is 19. The final closing date for the group buy is 28th November and payment is expected no later than December 2nd (Bank Transfer Only) I will have the plates with me by next week, so if the list is filled before the closing date I can send payment details and have the items ready to post immediately (no waiting on the items to be ordered from supplier). Please start a list adding your name and the number of plates required. This Group Buy is for UK residents only, I will not send items abroad. Cheers
  12. Hi, comparing a few machines and the Silvia and Classic both seem to be very praised machines. Classic is £200 cheaper but the only concern I have is the aluminium boiler. I've heard this is prone to corrosion (as it's coupled to the brass brew head) particularly in soft water areas, which I live in. Anyone have any experience of this either way? Also, other than the boiler, the Gaggia classic seems to pretty much match the Silvia (except for frothing) but is a heck of a lot cheaper. Are there any significant differences in performance? thanks
  13. Hi, I recently changed the group gasket, which has fixed a lot of leaking problems, but in the process I noticed the group head is covered in all sorts of crud. I tried to scrape the worst off with a knife and put it back, thinking it'll be okay for now (despite there being a small chunk missing near one of the screw holes). Anyway, after I'd put it all back together and descaled, the first cup of coffee tasted okay, but the second was metallic and foul. I decided to backflush and clean it all again - and exactly the same thing happened! So now I think I need a new group head, preferably a brass one, but I just can't find one on the UK market - any ideas? Many thanks, Charlie
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