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NS Oscar - secondhand buyer looking for tips
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jannus
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Mar 2013
Posts: 71
Location: South Africa, Cape Town
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS ElliMatic & few...
Grinder: mazzer sj
Vac Pot: nope
Drip: yup
Roaster: nope
Posted Tue Mar 26, 2013, 12:31pm
Subject: NS Oscar - secondhand buyer looking for tips
 

Hello everyone,

I'm considering a secondhand NS Oscar.  From what I can gather it's about 5 years old.  

I've read a fair amount on the basic workings, but never seen one in real life.  I will also be my first "proper" machine.  I'm not trying to determine whether this is "the machine for me", hence I haven't worked through the usual checklist specified in the stickies.  I'm rather looking for weak spots on the machine, so to speak.  Things to look out for.

Now assuming the current owners didn't do much in terms of maintenance, but taking into account that the water in the area where I live is very soft, what should I watch out for on a secondhand Oscar?  If there has (possibly)  never been a draining and replacing of water, does that present possible problems other than possible scale buildup?  

Are there easy things I can check without having the take the whole machine apart, and specific weak spots I should watch out for?  I have read that the 3 way valve can be a source of problems if they haven't backwashed often.  Do I understand correctly that cleaning that is also not THAT hard, if required?

Also - the hotly debated plastic case - this is a white one.  Are they prone to discoloration?  

I do understand the owners have used it fairly often, but I'd like to have some backup knowledge when I go look at this thing.  I'm quite happy with the idea of working on it, but I would like to make a good guess as to how much work it'll be, and preferable adjust the price accordingly before I buy!  :)

Any tips or other pointers would be very much appreciated!  

Thanks!
Jan
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Mar 26, 2013, 12:40pm
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - secondhand buyer looking for tips
 

Open it up 6 screws on top (2 under the flap on top), take a flash light maybe a camera to take photos in places you can't get your head into.  Look for rust and corrosion and if it get up to temp and steams.  Anything else can be fixed.  If you don't like the color they can be painted it is car bumper plastic.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,891
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600+, CO/UFO combo
Posted Tue Mar 26, 2013, 4:05pm
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - secondhand buyer looking for tips
 

helen, maybe send them your NS link y'all did a few weeks ago...the one with the mods, restoration?

 
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Mar 26, 2013, 4:56pm
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - secondhand buyer looking for tips
 

More than you asked for.....

"Trick out Oscar Party with Upgrades"

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
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 Tue Mar 26, 2013, 6:08pm
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - secondhand buyer looking for tips
 

If all looks good, have them use the machine and have them make you a drink, that will at least show you how to use it and if something passable comes out with fresh coffee, it should be OK. I am not aware of any color changes with White or any other colors.

 
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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jannus
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Mar 2013
Posts: 71
Location: South Africa, Cape Town
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS ElliMatic & few...
Grinder: mazzer sj
Vac Pot: nope
Drip: yup
Roaster: nope
Posted Wed Mar 27, 2013, 2:31am
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - secondhand buyer looking for tips
 

Hello everyone,

Thanks very much for the responses!

Coffeenoobie Said:

Open it up 6 screws on top (2 under the flap on top), take a flash light maybe a camera to take photos in places you can't get your head into.  Look for rust and corrosion and if it get up to temp and steams.  Anything else can be fixed.  If you don't like the color they can be painted it is car bumper plastic.

Posted March 26, 2013 link

Will do.  Seems simple enough, good start.  I will also check the insulation on the boiler.
Do you know if the decals can be obtained if I do want to go for painting?

Coffeenoobie Said:

More than you asked for.....
"Trick out Oscar Party with Upgrades"

Posted March 26, 2013 link

Indeed, but awesome!!  Thanks!  I've seen the vid earlier, but the pics are a lot more informative on detail views.  :)

calblacksmith Said:

If all looks good, have them use the machine and have them make you a drink, that will at least show you how to use it and if something passable comes out with fresh coffee, it should be OK. I am not aware of any color changes with White or any other colors.

Posted March 26, 2013 link

Will ask.  I'm not convinced they know much, though, so not sure if this will have much in terms of results.  Good to know the colour should not be an issue.  

Cheers,
Jan
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
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 Wed Mar 27, 2013, 5:33am
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - secondhand buyer looking for tips
 

If, in your words, "I do understand the owners have used it fairly often, " then they should be able to get SOMETHING out of it!
I think the lettering is silk screened on the machine and are not decals so you might be on your own if you want to repaint it.

In general, if it looks well cared for and you can not see any defects such as leaks, corrosion etc and it works, then most likely, it will be OK, that is not to say it is a lock that all is well but the chances are better. Also, it is a given that you will need a PF gasket. They are inexpensive and easy to change but it is a normal wear part and should be changed fairly often.

 
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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jannus
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Mar 2013
Posts: 71
Location: South Africa, Cape Town
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS ElliMatic & few...
Grinder: mazzer sj
Vac Pot: nope
Drip: yup
Roaster: nope
Posted Wed Mar 27, 2013, 5:48am
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - secondhand buyer looking for tips
 

Hi cal,

calblacksmith Said:

If, in your words, "I do understand the owners have used it fairly often, " then they should be able to get SOMETHING out of it!
I think the lettering is silk screened on the machine and are not decals so you might be on your own if you want to repaint it.
In general, if it looks well cared for and you can not see any defects such as leaks, corrosion etc and it works, then most likely, it will be OK, that is not to say it is a lock that all is well but the chances are better. Also, it is a given that you will need a PF gasket. They are inexpensive and easy to change but it is a normal wear part and should be changed fairly often.

Posted March 27, 2013 link

Fair enough.  :)  Will be interesting to see what they cook up.  The reason why I suspect they don't know much, is because they don't even own a grinder.  But, as you say, they should be able to get something out of it.  

PF gasket, check.  Will replace.  Thanks!
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jannus
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Mar 2013
Posts: 71
Location: South Africa, Cape Town
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS ElliMatic & few...
Grinder: mazzer sj
Vac Pot: nope
Drip: yup
Roaster: nope
Posted Wed Mar 27, 2013, 6:55am
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - secondhand buyer looking for tips
 

Hi everyone,

...and so the unit was sold before I was able to have a look.  Thanks for all the tips, I'll see what I can find next.  :)

Cheers,
Jan
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Mar 27, 2013, 10:01am
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - secondhand buyer looking for tips
 

That is too bad.  You kinda have to be ready to jump when you see them...

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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