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The plan originally was to use a Porlex hand grinder with the Verona at work, however after spending 2.5 mins grinding per cup - I knew I had to get something a little faster. Saying that - there is something nice about hand grinding beans every morning as soon as you get to work. I typically make a minimum of 4 cups in the office per day with a maximum number being 10. (two in the morning at 08:45 and two at 15:30). I wanted a single doser rather than an on demand grinder. I was tempted to integrate an Auber timer for fun into the base of the grinder but I just wouldnt have used it. I decided on a budget of £300 (approx price of a Mignon MK2) because I decided it was too easy and defeatist to go and spend £1500 on a 2nd hand EK and I wanted a bit of a project out of it too. I was intrigued with the 83mm burrs of the Royal, the low 900RPM motor speed, minimal retention, minimal static and very little associated clumping. Not to mention the actual size and weight of the thing. For a while I considered an SJ for £200 off eBay, but it too seemed defeatist. The prospects of a mini project became far too appealing. The plan started with a Royal from Coffeechap without a hopper or doser. The motor unit and electronics looked solid except the capacitor made a strange humm and the casing was needing stripped and painted. A £3.50 special from eBay sorted the 16uF capacitor and £20 incl P&P for a fudge funnel from eBay China. The motor was fitted to the casing and I used a parkgate (Dremmel) tool to get to work on the funnel that took 2.5 weeks to arrive. After the rectangular hole was cut, I used rubber washers to give me the correct funnel angle before the mounting holes were drilled. The £20 fudge funnel isnt the same as the original Mazzer funnel from the Electronic range so it requires a spacer so it sits at the correct angle. If you try to bolt it close to the casing the funnel nozzle points in towards the grinder casing. Next, I found a sheet of 10mm polycarbonate which I created curve to match the mouth of the exit chute using an oven at 70deg over night to slowly set the shape. The Dremmel tool easily cut and shaped the spacer so that it sat flush with the motor, casing and funnel. (this was fiddly, took ages and was messy). More filing made it easy for the grinds to fall from the exit chute straight into the funnel without catching on an edge. Araldite was used to bond the polycarbonate and rubber mounting washers in the correct place before testing for the 1st time to see if everything worked together. I cut and modified the original prong for holding a portafilter because I think it looks cool. I liked the idea of just setting the portafilter in place but I dont like the look of the punched and bent handle that comes with the modern electronic mazzer units. The original prong has retro cool appeal, I just needed to modify so it could work a bit better. It was great to see minimal retention when testing for the 1st time. After a few grinds I got around 0.2 - 0.1g consistently. The grinder was dissembled and the base was dropped at a local powdercoater along with a couple of alloys I scraped on Xmas eve When I went to pick the wheels and grinder body up I just wasnt that impressed with the how it looked. The casing looked like new but It had no soul! Luckily I was able to choose another colour that used silver as a base so all that needed done was a coat of lacquer an another couple of hours in the oven.... The finish was chosen because of a Kart frame that was sitting there that looked awesome. I considered candy red with a silver base and much darker colours, but I was keen to do something different and take a chance. I only had to pay £5 more than what it cost to refurb 2 x 19" alloys. Giggity The next step was ordering the photo-R Lens hood puffer and matching stained oak Lids from Jim which show excellent workmanship and very reasonable. The hole behind the funnel was partially covered using an alloy plate from a super jolly. It turned up with a crease in the middle but using a flat hammer and brasso brought it up with a similar finish to the funnel. I drilled the casing and riveted the bottom of the plate while using Araldite to bond the top against the casing. The grind wheel adjuster spigot was quite badly marked with what looked like gouges from someones nail however with a drill, some wet 'n dry and some MEK to melt the polymer I was able to get a really nice hard wearing smooth satin finish. Silicone spray helped with consistancy. Today, I assembled it after retapping some of the threads that had become partially blocked due to the powder coating process. Ive decided to leave the prong off so that I have room to distribute the grounds straight into the portafilter, but if I ever change my mind - its sitting there. Im thinking of putting a new "espresso italiano" or perhaps a mazzer sticker to cover the holes on the front, or if anyone can recommend something different that would look cool - let me know. The grinder sits near a sink so that any grind spillage can be wiped along a draining board. I just had to modify a shelf to accomodate the height of the thing. Overall im very happy with the form and function of the grinder.... Ive yet to experience an EK but its had to justify another £1000 for a 2nd hand example. In total - it cost me just over my original budget (£315) and works great. The lens hood puffer does well to clear the chute of grounds and the retention when I use a 25mm paint brush to sweep the funnel in a cylindrical way gives me ultra low retention. Below are the pictures to show the progress, from receiving the casing and motor to assembly today:
I picked up a bit of a battered old Royal on Thursday after work to do as a bit of a project. Following this guide I stripped it down (apart from doser as didn't have a long enough screwdriver but it'll be off in the morning). It was so dirty inside. Every possible nook or cranny was full of coffee, some of it looked like it'd been there since the machine was built in 2006. Soaked what I could in puly caff and most of it came out looking at least passable. [ATTACH=CONFIG]4802[/ATTACH] The wee rubber grip on the doser handle was going to come off soon so just put it out its misery. Might either leave it bare or try to fashion a custom one out of sugru. [ATTACH=CONFIG]4799[/ATTACH] Ground nicely enough when I tried it but probably needs to burrs too. Also planning to do the sweeper mod, add a camera lens cover. As coffeechap said the motor slipped out really easily once the base was unbolted so it should be easy to strip and paint. The chassis is heavily chipped but think it should be fine once it's back to the bare metal. I'm back up in Glasgow for a fortnight and had planned to use some of that time to paint it myself but going to take it round some body shops in the morning to see if they could do it. Thinking matt white - would really like matt grey with some orange but would take the cost up. [ATTACH=CONFIG]4801[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]4800[/ATTACH] Getting it apart was probably the easiest bit, hopefully it'll go back together alright!