Stuart Senior Member Joined: 9 Feb 2012 Posts: 113 Location: TX Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler Grinder: Baratza Vario Roaster: Air Crazy popper
Posted Fri Apr 13, 2012, 1:56pm Subject: Refurbish a junk commercial machine -- for fun?
I have read several threads, most dating back a few years, about resurrecting older commercial espresso machines for home use. Among the responses in one of the more recent threads was a recurring sense that modern high-end (or middle-high, even) home machines have flexibility, features and capabilities well beyond those of a 20-year-old two-group commercial machine (unless the desired feature is commercial shot volumes).
Without addressing that debate too directly, because it's been covered before: I think I want to acquire an older commercial machine and rebuild/restore it. I recognize that there are some brands that have had support in the US for the last 20-30 years. Parts, schematics and advice may be more readily available than for brands that ceased distribution 12 years ago and never had an installed base of more than a couple hundred units (in the US). Even so; this would be a lot of work. It would also be a lot of learning, and possibly, very enjoyable -- even fun.
I'm pretty sure I'm not going to get permission to install a commercial machine -- especially a multiple-group machine -- in my kitchen. (I'm pretty sure I'm not even going to ask.) If I actually ended up using the rebuilt machine, it'd probably be in a workbench area, or somewhere within plug reach of the currently-unused dryer outlet. But it wouldn't become my daily-use machine.
Many contributors to these fora have rebuilt commercial machines. Would you do it "just" for the fun of it?
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 5,661 Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A. Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: ECM Veneziano A1 Grinder: Many different commercial Vac Pot: 40s era Silex Drip: Milita, Bunn&Curtis... Roaster: Cast iron pan, gas burner
Posted Fri Apr 13, 2012, 2:08pm Subject: Re: Refurbish a junk commercial machine -- for fun?
Sure, and I have! I don't see the machines made today as being any better than what was made "back then" For the most part any commercial machine in good operating condition is going to be at least as good if not a lot better than the latest GEE WIZZZ home machine. Yes I am including PID here, a good HX machine does not gain in the cup from a PID and DB machines have their issues too.
Sure, give it a whirl, it really isn't a big deal and you will understand the process a lot more, well in mho anyway!
In real life, my name is Wayne P.
Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
Posted Fri Apr 13, 2012, 2:14pm Subject: Re: Refurbish a junk commercial machine -- for fun?
Why restore some old multiple-group commercial machine when you have a perfectly good garbage disposal in the kitchen to throw your money into? ;-)
Seriously, it can be a very expensive proposition. I would say if you have the money to do something like that, find an old, single-group lever machine to refurb. You end up with art for the kitchen and a usable espresso machine that is worth the time and financial investments?
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