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Espresso: Lever Espresso Machines
converting a portafilter for la pavoni
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FreeWill
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Joined: 30 Aug 2012
Posts: 4
Location: Cambridge, UK
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Aug 30, 2012, 5:22am
Subject: converting a portafilter for la pavoni
 

Long time lurker, first time poster...

I managed to grab a bargain (80!) old model La Pavoni europiccola which seems to work (steams and pulls water through), but it didn't come with a portafilter. I have an old Elektra MCAL portafilter which looks like it could fit with a bit of modification. I was wondering if anyone had any experience of using one with a La Pavoni? I note the Richard Penny naked PF
Click Here (www.orphanespresso.com) is sold to fit both machines, so I think it is possible, just not sure where to start!

At first glance, it looks as though the ears on the Elektra PF are slanted, and that if I just filed them to flat, it might fit...


In addition, perhaps somebody on the forum knows another type of portafilter which would fit and be cheaper to get hold of than a genuine La Pavoni one?
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CoffeeMills
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CoffeeMills
Joined: 21 Feb 2012
Posts: 32
Location: USA, Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: la Pavoni Professional
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Gravity Cone
Roaster: 49TH  //
Posted Thu Aug 30, 2012, 10:11am
Subject: Re: converting a portafilter for la pavoni
 

80 in any currency is amazing for a functional Europiccola!
As proud owner of 4 la Pavoni lever machines, I tried modifying, cutting, and grinding other portafilters (including Elektras) to fit Europiccola with no luck.  I think access to precision metal cutter would have helped.  Then I ordered a Naked 49mm portafilter with a triple basket from Orphanespresso.  When it arrived, all of my Pavoni issues were solved.  Be sure to examine basket size.  It could be 49mm or 52mm.  
Happy shot pulling.

 
Coffee Mills
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FreeWill
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2012
Posts: 4
Location: Cambridge, UK
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Aug 31, 2012, 2:14am
Subject: Re: converting a portafilter for la pavoni
 

"80 in any currency is amazing for a functional Europiccola!"
I know, I thought I'd probably have to send it away for a service... In fact I got as far as taking off the lever to package it up to send off, then thought why stop there? So I took the whole thing apart, and after giving it a good clean everything seems to be in order, seals and all!
It was also missing the drip tray, but I managed to get one of those for under 10.
I am happy to report that the Elektra basket now fits snugly inside my La Pavoni. Unfortunately I didn't have the handle for it, so had to nip to the local DIY shop to get some threaded metal... I know have a very industrial looking portafilter! I also lacked a tamper of the correct proportions, but I dug out an old set of kitchen scales and the 8oz weight was almost the right size. A little more filing and it fits snugly in the PF, just need to find a handle for it.
I have borrowed a basket from a friend. Does anyone know where I can find one for the Elektra PF in the UK? Bonus points for low price... you may have guessed by now I like a bargain!

First shot was a crema-filled dream, second was made for the sink!


Right, I'm off to see if I can find some beautiful wood to use to turn my industrial looking PF, weight/tamper and plastic drip tray in to things of beauty.
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FreeWill
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2012
Posts: 4
Location: Cambridge, UK
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Sep 5, 2012, 5:31am
Subject: Re: converting a portafilter for la pavoni
 

An update for anyone who might be interested.

My converted portafilter is doing the job on the first shot, but unless I let the machine cool down, I can't get it in for the second shot. From reading around I see this is a known problem for old La Pavoni EP's (even with the original portafilters), and I wonder whether I should try to file my converted portafilter down more, or just put up with it?
Does anyone know which bit of the machine it is which is swelling with the heat? Is there a fix?

I have fashioned some very nice, if a little bit rustic-looking lever handles and a cover for the drip tray from some burr elm.
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