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Calling all Espresso Geeks
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Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,296
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Feb 2, 2013, 8:32am
Subject: Calling all Espresso Geeks
 

I would like to plumb the deep resources of peoples personal experience here. It has to do with the length of measures you have gone
through to either rebuild a used machine you bought or keep your existing one running. I think it would be a useful resource and also interesting.
My Gaggia Classic ive only replaced the steam valve,grouphead gasket and retrofitted the steam wand to Silvia model. With parts available to mainstream
espresso machine users and a wealth of online tutorial information,plus the friendly people here,just how important is the parts issue? In light of that
how long have some of you been using your machines and what have you done to keep it going? Thanks in advance for the info. I enjoy these kinds
of true life stories.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,038
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Sat Feb 2, 2013, 9:20am
Subject: Re: Calling all Espresso Geeks
 

I have rebuild a couple of machines. Everything I have work done is still working pretty much as it did when I put my wrenches away. There really isn't a whole lot that you need to do if machine is working properly can you feed it good water. Since I started doing this I really have not had a machine failure. I did have to free up the pump on my current E C M machine when I first bought it used. The pump is starting to make noise but I think it will be okay until I can afford to replace it but I am in no hurry to spend money on it.

The Sylvia I rebuilt was a ground up restoration. It still is working fine and the pidi added is working properly.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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ggcadc
Senior Member
ggcadc
Joined: 25 Mar 2008
Posts: 147
Location: San Diego, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: QM Alexia
Grinder: Mazzer mini E, Virtuoso,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3 cup
Drip: All of them
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Feb 2, 2013, 9:29am
Subject: Re: Calling all Espresso Geeks
 

I have had the same experience, my classics required almost no parts ever, just the rubber replacement on a rare occasion. anything that ever went wrong was my doing and all that needed to be done was setting it back to stock. Getting parts hasnt been much of a problem other than the unbelievable markup at partsguru on some items.

so that's 2 gaggia classics, 5 years each. no problems that required major repair, just regular cleaning

ive only had my quickmill a couple days, but ill assume itll be just as reliable.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,475
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sat Feb 2, 2013, 10:40am
Subject: Re: Calling all Espresso Geeks
 

I started out with a Pavoni Europicola 8 (back when full retail was $299).  In the course of five years, it required zero replacement parts and, in fact, nothing more than routine maintenance -- of course, back in the mid-1970s, who knew from "routine maintenance"?  In other words, I didn't do $#|+ to it, other than wiping down the steam wand.  After the five years, I gave it to a friend, who continued to use it for well over a decade.

I then moved on to a Coffee Gaggia -- think Gaggia Classic minus the 3-way solenoid.  Again, no tweaks, no replacement parts; minimal maintenance (again, in the 1980s, who knew?).  After 13-15 years, it died.  So I replaced it with another one, another Coffee Gaggia.  Again, no tweaks; no replacement parts, minimal maintenance.  It eventually died after some 10-12 years.  OK, not "died" as in dead, but "terminally ill."  This didn't prevent me from giving to my brother-in-law who used it for a couple of more years before getting his own new machine.

Next, in 2006, came a Ala di Vittoria La Valentina full-auto (volumetric dosing) HX pourover espresso machine.  Routine maintenance only, no tweaks.  I did need to have it stripped down and completely descaled once, due to MY neglect re: the in-tank resin filter.  This machine remains in daily use (Mon-Fri) in my office, pulling 3-5 doubles each weekday.

In 2007, I added my Elektra T1 full-auto (volumetric dosing) HX direct-connect espresso machine.  Again, routine maintenance only, though I include in that regular swapping out the filtration cartridges (!).  Had to replace the connector hose, as it cracked when accidentally bent during some construction (i.e.: not the machine's fault).

Cheers,
Jason

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,296
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Feb 2, 2013, 11:07am
Subject: Re: Calling all Espresso Geeks
 

Very very cool. It seems that eventually the journey into full GEEKDOM passes into and through parts replacement/rebuild , a hands on kind of experience. Kind of like full car geeks who build motors,
and tranny's. How do you free up a pump?  Are most pumps kind of common place? You know generic? Once you get this knowledge then it possible to find used stuff and rebuild it at quite a savings and
have fun also?
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Feb 2, 2013, 11:43am
Subject: Re: Calling all Espresso Geeks
 

Any used Oscar buyer is in for hours of work. I have never seen a used one of my machine that didn't need to see fittings removed and replaced at the very least. Two of us are hoping to do a complete teardown and rebuild next weekend.
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,451
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:08pm
Subject: Re: Calling all Espresso Geeks
 

The photo speaks for itself... I do this about once a year to the roaster I regularly use.

frcn: partstiny.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
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Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,296
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:23pm
Subject: Re: Calling all Espresso Geeks
 

Man if I lived closer I would ask if iI could self invite myself if bring a Lb of good coffee and just sit and watch and learn for a few hours. You should take a pic or two ( even cell phone pics) and post them with some info. I like the separate boiler/steam ability. I  
also think the Sirai P-stat sounds awesome. Have fun on that one.

Markarian Said:

Any used Oscar buyer is in for hours of work. I have never seen a used one of my machine that didn't need to see fittings removed and replaced at the very least. Two of us are hoping to do a complete teardown and rebuild next weekend.

Posted February 2, 2013 link

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Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,296
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Feb 2, 2013, 12:26pm
Subject: Re: Calling all Espresso Geeks
 

I have always admired people who go beyond just using the machines they love to knowing what makes them tick. Its just a deeper dimension
of the whole experience.

frcn Said:

The photo speaks for itself... I do this about once a year to the roaster I regularly use.

Posted February 2, 2013 link

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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,451
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Sat Feb 2, 2013, 1:31pm
Subject: Re: Calling all Espresso Geeks
 

Iluvdabean Said:

I have always admired people who go beyond just using the machines they love to knowing what makes them tick. Its just a deeper dimension
of the whole experience.

Posted February 2, 2013 link

Well, I have been around these machines from the very first one imported to the US (which I still have). I am the Hottop Webmaster having created all the content there as well as creating the owners manuals for them.

 
Visit My Website
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