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IamOiman

Machining a Tamper

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Today I did a small project to enhance my espresso experience at home. My Bosco Sorrento included a 58mm tamper when I purchased it last Fall, and it can tamp sufficiently to produce consistent shots. I was a little irked however by the small gap between the tamper and the basket, sometimes causing coffee grounds to channel a bit and also causing non-level tamping.

Today I fixed this by making my own tamper. I created a SolidWorks drawing of a tamper that is the same shape as my current tamper but slightly wider in diameter (58.4mm vs 58mm) with some help from my Mechanical Engineering roommate. I then took this file and created a CAM file on ESPRIT at my university's machine shop. A CAM file is a program that allows you to input commands for a CNC machine to make various cuts and machining in order to produce the part created in SolidWorks (or similar software). You have various inputs you must define, such as tool size, tool location on spindle (most CNC machines can hold mutiple tools on a rotary rack), material speeds feeds, stock size, etc. You can also simulate the machining actions in the software to see if there are any crashes or instances that could damage the actual machine.
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Once I created my CAM file I sent it off to the biggest lathe available, the Haas ST-30. I used a 12" long 2.5" diameter 304 Stainless Steel stock. My tamper is 3.7" in height but the reason I cut a long stock piece was to allow redundancies if I messed up the first tamper and create a second tamper without much hassle. 
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Once you have the stock loaded in the chuck you must then zero the tools you will be using. What this means is the tools in the lathe use a reference point that is considered the origin in an xyz plane (or xz if on a lathe). The machine needs to know this origin point and create an offset for each tool so that it compensates for the tool size. The process can be tedious if using multiple tools but it must be done to properly machine the tamper. Finally the tamper can be machined, and it took about five minutes to make it. In reference it took about 45 minutes of prep and setup, so it is more economical to produce multiple parts at a time.
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If machined correctly the tolerances can be extremelly accurate.
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Since I was successful on the first try the lab technitian, who is also into espresso, decided to machine a second tamper for his machine. He has been keeping tabs on my Gaggia restoration and wants to see it in action at some point. 

Overall I had a fun time and the tamper has a very snug fit on my basket. From now on I will use it for doubles but I will continue to use the original tamper as it fits the single basket very nicely.

  • Like 13

-Ryan

"I'll throw my portafilter in the ring"

2018 Bosco Sorrento, 1964 Faema President 2 Gr, 1979 Gaggia Tell 2 Gr, 1991 La Pavoni PRG & Elektra MCAL, Olympus 75E, Quickmill Omre, Lido E, Virtuoso, 30+ Moka Pots, Chemex 8 cup, Siphon 5 Cup, French Press 1L, 75 espresso cups

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Well done.
That's some serious machinery you have access to.


Laissez les bons temps rouler

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This is fantastic to see, thanks for sharing the photos. And you must be so pleased with the result :)


2019 L-R with hand turned Thuya burr handles and toggles / 1998 La Pavoni with NickNak single hole steam wand tip  / Monolith Titan Conical & MAX  / HG-1 / Kalita wave / Stag kettle / OCD / Joey Skateboard Handle Pullman Big Step & matching stirrer /  gold B Plus stirrer / Wenge Handle Lev Tamp / Push Tamper / Puqpress / 15g & 18g vst / IMS 35μM / LDT / Barista Gear Titanium 12oz pitchers / LW Bean Cellars & Caddy / Decent thermometer / Acme Evo 150ml cups / Espazzola / Hottop / embroidered by me bar towels / coffee bar towel logo embroiderer to the hoi polloi  / in the cellars: Steampunk, North Star, Foundry, The Barn, HasBean, Coffee Compass / 6 gorgeous guineas / a dog / a very lovely and understanding husband 

 

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great stuff!

there's nothing more fun than uni workshops and the guys operating them! usually very open-minded folk, much different to real-life dudes in regular companies who only do what they've always done in the past

oh if you decide to make another one, remodel the side walls of base to a slight taper. it'll help with removing tamper (air and grounds between base and basket wall)

  • Like 2

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Very impressive. Is this something you might start doing on the side? Say a 53.4mm for a Sage BE?


Sage Barista Express | Acaia Lunar | 200 Degrees ‘Brazilian Love Affair’ | Motta 53mm Leveller & Tamper 

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Ha! Unless I have a lathe of my own probably not. It is a 75 minute drive each way from my home to WPI so I am just cranking these out for myself and as a gift for a friend. I machined two additional tampers today with a 53.2mm diameter for the La San Marco group my friend uses for his bar.

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The left tamper is the original Bosco tamper with the 58.42mm tamper next to it. The ones to the upper right are the 53.2mm tampers made today. If anyone wants the CAM file and SolidWorks file I can add that as well or email it to you.

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  • Like 3

-Ryan

"I'll throw my portafilter in the ring"

2018 Bosco Sorrento, 1964 Faema President 2 Gr, 1979 Gaggia Tell 2 Gr, 1991 La Pavoni PRG & Elektra MCAL, Olympus 75E, Quickmill Omre, Lido E, Virtuoso, 30+ Moka Pots, Chemex 8 cup, Siphon 5 Cup, French Press 1L, 75 espresso cups

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