I posted a review of my new machine and got an email from someone who just bought one asking for directions on how to fix the grinder issue that the machine comes with (thanks to our product safety commission)...so I thought I would post the fix here for posterity!:
Removing the grinder safety bars takes a bit of finesse and caution. If you are not comfortable with tools or electronics, I would strongly recommend asking someone who is to assist you with the operation...
You will need a philips-head screwdriver and a pair of needle-nose pliers to remove them. Basically what is happening is the coffee you are trying to grind is getting caught before coming down the chute and being re-ground ad naseum until it is too fine for any machine to push water through...after I removed the bars, the machine is working like a champ.
So, the ususal disclaimer here - I can't be responsible for any damage you might cause to your machine by doing this - so, you are on your own if something goes terribly wrong here.
First, you need to unplug the machine (Safety and all that).
Next, remove the screw that holds the grinder switch assembly onto the machine. The assembly (which has the switch and the plastic bars that show you where to place the grouphead to recive the ground coffee) should loosen easily, but will get a bit tricky in a second.
What you are trying to do is to remove the funnel or chute that directs the coffee grounds down where you can catch them in the group head when filling up the portafilter.
So, with the switch loose, pull it gently out of the machine, pulling the wires (gently!) to allow a bit of wiggle room. You will see that the funnel or chute needs to lift off of the switch assembly to remove it. This is a bit tricky, but will work eventually - don't be too rough with it as you don't want to pull the wires out of the grinder switch.
Once removed, you will need to look up into the machine. You will see all of the ground coffee stuck at the end of the grinder up there. That is where the bars are located. They are s-shaped and are inserted into the bottom of the ledge you are looking at. You will need to take the pliers and grab each one individually and lift straight up to remove.
Once the two bars are removed, you will need to place the funnel back on onto the switch assembly and reassemble. Take your time, it is a bit tricky, but will work eventually. Hold in place and replace the screw.
I would recommend plugging in the machine and checking the grinder operation - be prepared to sacrifice a bit of coffee here as you will need to push out the overly ground coffee to clear out the grinder (probably about 20-30 seconds of grinding. Once that's gone, adjust the grind level to about a 4 1/2 or 5 and give that a shot. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the result.
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