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SJ sweeper vanes mod - best material/method?

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I know it's been posted about lots before, but what's currently considered the best version of the SJ sweeper mod?

 

I recently got my hands on a secondhand SJ for a good price. It's a big step-up from my Iberital MC2 - but straightaway I noticed the grinds retention. I've never tried modding a grinder before, but I thought this was worth giving a go. I don't want to attempt anything too difficult... preferably, I'd be leaving the bottom vanes intact as they look a pain to remove.

 

This post looks like a simple method, but the images are no longer available so I can't quite figure it out. And is cardboard going to need replacing very quickly?

 

I've also read posts that talk about using milk-container plastic or shrink-wrap? Do these require removal of the bottom vane?

 

The other mods I'm considering are:

 

- the collapsible lens hood mod (I've got one on order)

- the egg-timer/cocktail shaker mod (but many of the posts are quite old so I haven't found something suitable to use yet)

- making a smaller doser chute from epoxy/milliput (as per this post using clingfilm to make the chute removable). The thing that sounds tricky about that is drilling it out and sanding it to shape by hand.

 

I'd be really grateful for any tips, please... preferably tailored for a SJ newbie!

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Start with the clean sweep mod and use nice quality cardboard, or I personally use milk bottle plastic under 3 sweeper arms.

the shrink wrap method is nicer, but requires more dissassembly and can be quite difficult. I couldn't get the doser apart on my machine.

I use a schnozzola from Jimbojohn from memory. Made out of a little piece of teflon baking tray liner. Smooth, slippery and easy. No drilling or sanding needed!

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Thank you.

 

Do you just wedge the cardboard/plastic between the upper and lower vanes (i.e. without any tape)? And is the idea to have it just fractionally overhang the bottom edge of the lower vanes? Or is it supposed to actually drag along the bottom surface of the doser?

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Thank you.

 

Do you just wedge the cardboard/plastic between the upper and lower vanes (i.e. without any tape)? And is the idea to have it just fractionally overhang the bottom edge of the lower vanes? Or is it supposed to actually drag along the bottom surface of the doser?

I have the cardboard sweeper mod, just used some nice cardboard from a business card. Just place them against the lower doser vanes and press the upper vanes on over it while screwing the nut down into place. This keeps it clamped in place, been using the same cardboard for a while now and it does scrape against the doser floor giving a 100% clean sweep. As for the cardboard it doesn't really get worn away too fast and probably wont need to be changed often at all.


Beans>Grinders>Machines

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I have the cardboard sweeper mod, just used some nice cardboard from a business card. Just place them against the lower doser vanes and press the upper vanes on over it while screwing the nut down into place. This keeps it clamped in place, been using the same cardboard for a while now and it does scrape against the doser floor giving a 100% clean sweep. As for the cardboard it doesn't really get worn away too fast and probably wont need to be changed often at all.

 

Totally agree, cardboard is really good and easy.


Sage DB; Mazzer Major; VST 15g, 18g & 20g Baskets;TORR Trapez & Perger Tamper

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OK, I've done the sweeper mod and it works great. So thank you for the guidance.

 

I'm now looking for a something suitable to do the egg timer / cocktail shaker mod. Would this work?

 

How exactly is the egg timer top fixed to the top of the vanes? Do I have to drill a hole in the top? Is a cocktail shaker top easier to fit?

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That looks suitable. All you need is a sacrificial drill bit for making a hole in the top. stainless steel is a little annoying to drill by hand.

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You should post pictures of your progress to help people who will come after you and try to replicate it! Might do that on my F5 personally as well


Espresso: Gaggia Classic (2002) w/ MrShades PID / Fiorenzato F5 - Filter: Rhino hand grinder / Aeropress / V60

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I haven't received the egg timer yet (I think it's coming on the slow boat from China) but I'll do my best to document my cack-handed attempts to fit it.

 

Unfortunately, I didn't take any photos whilst doing the sweeper mod but I ended up using milk carton plastic as I thought it would be longer lasting and less likely to spoil than cardboard.

 

I cut 3 rectangles to size (just slightly deeper than the bottom vanes) and simply pressed the upper vanes into place over them, doing my best to keep them in place against the bottom vanes with a screwdriver. I took out the metal doser-chute-cover-thingy (see below) which appears to serve the sole purpose of making putting the upper vanes back in as difficult as possible.

 

IMG_20170801_150207.jpg

 

The plastic sweepers seem to be doing the job but obviously I need to do the egg timer mod to improve retention. In the meantime I'm using a small brush to clean out the doser. .

 

I also bought a Phot-R collapsible lens hood (£3.30 from eBay) recommended in other posts.

 

I took out the metal ring, turned it inside out and stretched it over the mouth where the hopper would ordinarily go:

 

IMG_20170801_150022.jpg

 

Seems like a pretty good fit. In order to stretch it round, I had to remove a screw from side of the hopper mouth which I imagine ordinarily holds the bean hopper in place (I don't have one).

 

Although the lens hood makes a fairly good mini hopper, I'm less convinced by its use as a sort of bellows to blast grinds from the hopper into the doser. I'm still relying on a small brush to do this.

 

I've only had the grinder a few weeks but it's a big step up from my old MC2, which never operated at 100%. However, I probably need to get new burrs as I'm grinding at close to 'chirp' in order to get a fine enough grind for espresso.

 

Also, the machine does seem to make some mysterious noises. The doser vibrates a lot (the doser lid actually rotates as it's grinding). And also the doser handle does not always work - the spring seems to miss its return every now and again, which may be solved by just putting in a new spring.

 

But the coffee is good and so far I'm pretty happy.

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If you still have the metal ring from the lense hood, it can be a nice way to attach the hood. Simple put it back into the rubber hood the wrong way around and the metal ring is then a perfect fit for the throat. You can also keep the hopper retaining screw and use it to hold the hood in place if the fit isn't tight enough.

The hood works really well as a bellows if you have a good fit with the lid. If often needs a few pumps, but I still brush out a few grinds from the chute due to terrible OCD issues.

The Mazzer doser handle really needs to be thwacked. If you don't bring the handle all the way forwards it will not engage correctly for the next pull. Try being 'less gentle' and see if this resolves your dosing issues.

My doser lids would often vibrate and move a little. If you have double checked the feet and stability, then I wouldn't worry about it.

Mazzers in particular have a very narrow adjustment range for espresso. Even shifting the burrs a few degrees can result in significant changes to the grind. My burrs are almost touching and even without adjustment, giving the upper burr carrier/throat a jiggle will shift it a fraction and make them lightly chirp without any noticeable difference to the pour.

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will need a lid of some sort to make the lens hood puff through coffee, depending on beans you will still need to use a pastry brush, especially if using darker oily beans.


keep calm and grind flat

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Thanks for the tips.

 

I know people have suggested makeshift lids from various household products, but is there a more substantial/aesthetically pleasing alternative, even if it costs a few quid?

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