Posted Sun Aug 27, 2006, 10:11pm Subject: Help! Gaggia Baby stubborn showerholder
Hi everyone, A few months back, I went to Crate and Barrel and fell in love with a superautomatic delonghi magnifica (you press a button and you've got a capuccino, how cool is that). this led me to research the topic, which led me to coffeegeek.com, which led me to the not so impressive superautos reviews, which led me to murky coffee (had to find out what it's all about), which led me ... Anyways, today I'm the proud owner of a gaggia baby. Which leads me to my first post on coffee geek. See, it's a second hand gaggia baby. It looks like no other gaggias i have seen online (it might be the original gaggia baby from 1977 for all i know) The portafilter handle is made of wood, and the machine is all metal painted brown and weighs about three tons. So i started cleaning it and did a pretty good job until I got to the grouphead (?), I took out the shower screen which was about 80% clogged, and removed the two bigger screws on the showerholder, but now the showerholder won't budge. I tried a screwdiver, i tried everything, no result. I'd really like to be able to remove and replace it (that is if i can find a replacement part.) since it looks quite beaten up an the water only goes through 2 holes). Any suggestions? Thanks in advance Patrick
by the way here is a picture of the machine and a close up of the showerholder.
Wow, did you steal that thing from a museum? It looks pretty well used up; maybe you should have gotten one from this century.
I've worked on a few Gaggia babies but never anything that old.
This might be an opportunity to work on your mallet screwdriver combo technique. Place a large flat-tip screwdriver against the edge of showerholder and firmly tap the handle end of the screwdriver with a mallet.
Haha, well it's an antique, that's for sure. If anyone could tell me more about that specific model, I would appreciate it. Everything seems to be in working condition besides that part. I tried the mallet screwdriver technique, but i don't have a very good angle because the portafilter locking mechanism is in the way. I guess i could dismantle the whole thing, but i'm not so sure i could put it back together. I thought a bit of TLC would be enough, but i thing this is way over my head. here is a better pic of the machine.
Hi Patrick, I have the same machine but in an orange color and with a bakelite portafilter handle. From the photo of the brew head I would be tempted to do a teardown and proper descaling and cleaning. There is a good exploded diagram to be found here:
Some parts may not be available any more, others seem to be interchangeable with the new baby. Soak parts in a citric acid based cleaner until they can be taken apart. You will need a couple of metric allen keys and wrenches for disassembly. Take pictures and make notes to remember how things go back together. If the task seems more than you are willing to take on, I would be interested in obtaining the machine for parts. Best regards, Martin
Hi Martin, Thanks for the links. After 3 days of hard work, I was finally able to take the shower holder off. I cleaned it the best I could and it looks much better. The rest of the machine seems to be in great condition, I'm especially impressed at the plastic parts, you'd think they'd be worn by now. One thing that i'm confused at is that showerholder, I thought it was that way because of use, but the part that was hidden by the shower screen look as dented as the sides. I think it might have been produced that way. I have no experience with espresso machines, but is that normal (is yours like that too?) also I thought that piece was supposed to be Brass but it's not obviously (is that aluminum?) Let see if I can prepare some espresso soon.
So that's not the way it was made? How did it get pitted like that? I mean it was behind the shower screen, and I'm pretty sure they never removed it and the other side is pretty bad too. Can the water do that?
Hi Patrick, Congratulations. It looks like a lot of work would be needed to remove that piece!
The shower screen holder in mine is brass, I'm surprised to see aluminum. I thought the part was just covered with gunge, but that's some severe pitting. There's the chance some one had really, REALLY soft water, or may be espresso is more acidic than I thought, but my guess is that an inappropriate or over strenghth cleaner was used.
I dont know if the shower holder is interchangeable or not. The newer models use a different boiler but that's not to say that the shower holder is a different size. Perhaps dougl4422 may know?
Let us know if you find a source for old Baby parts. I'm looking for some pieces myself.
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