Posted Tue Jan 1, 2002, 1:29pm Subject: Still more to it
Great job and great information. I came to the same fundamental conclusions after months of screwing around with my Salvatore. Steam pressure up the wazoo, flash heated milk, absolutely no freakin' foam. Then I started drilling holes in brass pipe caps. My personal research included the physics and chemistry of foams, especially in how the proteins in milk become the surfactants that make it all possible. An article I wrote on the subject for Whole Latte Love hasn't made it to their Web site yet. If and when it does, I hope you'll drop by and compare my findings.
MarkPrince Moderator Joined: 19 Dec 2001 Posts: 5,631 Location: Vancouver, BC Expertise: Professional
Espresso: KvdW Speedster Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder Vac Pot: A bit too many Drip: Bonavita Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Fri Jan 4, 2002, 5:42pm Subject: Re: Still more to it
Yeah, damnit, cut it out!! :-) :-)
Naw, and I look forward to seeing the article at WLL. Once I add the two new columns to this site though (ie, Newbie Progression column for any newbie to talk about their progression into the world of quality coffee, and "Sounding Board", where anyone can submit a story), I hope you'll volunteer a few articles over here :)
Well . . . I showed my wife the "steam tips" article, and now I've got another project. Thanks . . . <g>
So . . . the tip on our Carimali Uno (it's stainless, btw) is threaded M10x1.0 (not a metric "standard" . . . M10 pitch is usually either 1.25 or 1.5), and the four jets are drilled .060 inch (sorry, I don't have a metric wire gauge set).
What are the thread size and pitch on the tips in your collection (particularly what seems to be becoming "standard"), what are the jet sizes, and perhaps most important, what parts distributors can you suggest who cater to this sort of fanaticism ? ? ? <g> We'd like to try jets at perhaps .055 or .050 (or smaller . . . drilling them out is not a problem), and it will hopefully be easier to find a "stock" tip (even if it needs some modification) than to make one up "from scratch".
Hmmm, Your ability to accurately measure thread pitch and hole diameter is waaay beyond me. I don't have the proper tools for that. My first suggestion would be to return to the shop you bought your machine from. See if they have some alternative steam tips with the appropriate thread. I have to admit that the Caramali brand is one I'm not familiar with. If you strike out there, don't lose hope. Different manufacturers often use similar parts. For instance, the newest Conti steam wand and tip is the same as that found on some Rancilio machines (Tecnica?...I think was the model). More importantly the tip from this style of steam wand fits a Livia quite nicely as the Coffeekid and I found out last week. The smaller the holes the better. You're looking for a tip with holes that are 5/64" or smaller in diameter. Where do you live? Often there is a espresso machine distributor who owns the show in a given town. Not only do they stock parts for the machine they sell but often some common parts for other brands since they often service any and all espresso machines. Finally, you could start custom turning some tips and sell them. Have people send you their wand, measure up the thread pattern, drill out 4, 5/64" holes et voila!
P.S. Share with the group what you find. Perhaps we can start building up a data base of tips that work well for steaming and which machines they work on.
Aaron, I went to Home Hardware and got 5 (count em, 5) brass caps that fit the Livia at my place. I also bought an assortment of drill bits for the dremel - 1/32nd, 1/48th, 1/64th inch sizes, and I already have some 1/16ths and 1/24ths around.
The holes in the Livia steam tip are what looks like about 1/12th an inch.
I'm ready to drill, baybee. just waiting to see what recommendations I can get - ie, what angle, how many, top (bottom) of the cap, 45 degree angle, side of cap, straight into the cap (ie, perpendicular to the cap), or angle it left or right, what do you think would work best?
Nothing special there . . . a metric thread pitch gauge can be had for under $5, nominal thread "size" is simply the OD of the male thread, and the easiest way to gauge hole size is with a set of number sized drills (which you'll need if you want to play with jet size anyway). #50 through #60 are all you'd need . . . they step about .003 per size from .070 to .040.
> the Carmali brand is one I'm not familiar with.
Much more common in Europe and Asia, it seems . . . they were/are perhaps too expensive for the US market. The Uno is a solid (about 80 lbs) commercial machine, built like a tank (albeit a pretty one <g>). But there are only a few West Coast dealers . . . (got ours through a brother-in-law in the trade in Portland) so the chance of a variety pack of steam tips is small to nill. Which is why I asked about possible interchangability with other machines. I had hoped that you might already know sizes and such. But I will call around . . .
> You're looking for a tip with holes that are 5/64" or smaller in diameter.
5/64 (.078) seems *way* big, since what I've got is .060 and that seems a bit oversize . . .
> you could start custom turning some tips
That's what I'd kinda hoped to avoid . . . <g> . . . it'll be easy enough in brass (despite the pesky inside thread) but I'll end up wanting to do one in stainless, and there goes another day in the life . . . come to think of it, it might be easier to Silver solder the holes in an existing tip and then drill them smaller . . . I'll keep you posted . . .
Hmmm, I know that the 5/64" drill bit just fits into a couple of the tips I've got that work well, but that a couple of the tips (Cimbali and newest Conti tips) are indeed even smaller than the 5/64" drill bit. The 5/64" was the smallest thing I had to use for the measurement. As mentioned before, smaller is better. Even more so for small home machines.
Dinkerin Senior Member Joined: 4 Mar 2003 Posts: 1 Location: Lacey Expertise: Advanced
Posted Tue Mar 4, 2003, 10:15am Subject: Any important point
Those who come across this article should be aware of the pricing of stainless steel componants. Sure, most people who would be considering purchasing, or already own, an espresso machine with these kinds of variables and adjustability are most likely not going to be concerned with cost of components, but here it is. The La Marzocco steam tips retail: $10.40 each. Simonelli: $19.60. Not cheap. And that's just for the tip...
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