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My Latest Resto Project. C & V & cycling-related.

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My Latest Resto Project. C & V & cycling-related.

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Old 11-25-18, 10:33 PM
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jyl
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My Latest Resto Project. C & V & cycling-related.


I thought you guys and gals would like to see a restoration project I recently started.

It is classic. A commercial espresso machine from the "Elektra" company, founded in 1947 in Treviso, Italy.

It is vintage. Circa 1993, in the early "semi-automatic" era.

It is cycling-related. If you agree that cycling and espresso go together.



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Old 11-25-18, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
It is cycling-related. If you agree that cycling and espresso go together.
Indeed. Great things came out of Treviso...

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Old 11-25-18, 10:55 PM
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Front, exterior panels removed, keypads removed


Rear, pump and motor, boiler


Top


Stripped to frame and boiler, other components in box


These keypads, and the boiler, are the critical components that, if faulty, will be very expensive to replace. Cross fingers!


Data plate. This unit was built in 1993. I'm going to write to the factory to see if they can tell me anything interesting about it. It has a 10.5 L boiler, consumes 3500 watt at full heating, uses 220 v. I haven't gotten documentation yet but am guessing it will need a 30 A circuit.
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Old 11-25-18, 11:16 PM
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Boiler and lines will be descaled using citric acid or CLR in hot water. The boiler is painted, I'd like to strip the paint and polish then spray with clear lacquer. I may buy a cheap Harbor Freight buffer to make the work easier.

The frame will be stripped and derusted. Not sure if I'll do that with wire brush, CLR, and chemical stripper, or send to a blaster. Then it will either be rattle can painted with Hammerite type paint, or powder coated. Probably the former, as powder would be quite inauthentic and could make electrical grounding more complicated. I can fit the frame in my oven and bake it.

Group heads will be disassembled and cleaned. Electrical contacts cleaned. Wiring inspected, missing connectors replaced, and new loom covers installed. Gaskets and o-rings replaced. At least one hard line needs to be replaced. It would be nice to replace the missing hot water tap assembly. Then I'll reassemble the machine and get it working. Pretty much all of the components are available and common to various brands of espresso machine: solenoids, flowmeters, pressure switches, etc. As long as the boiler isn't leaking and the electronic keypads are working, I should be able to get this back in service for a reasonable outlay.

Cosmetically, the polished stainless exterior panels are decent, a couple bends have to be straightened. The side panels will be repainted.

So far, working on this has been reminiscent of stripping a bicycle.





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Old 11-26-18, 12:55 AM
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Not really my cup of tea.

Pretty cool looking machinery, though. If anything could get me into coffee, it would be something like that.
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Old 11-26-18, 08:22 AM
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Classic? Italian Expresso...Check! Vintage? 1993...Check! My introduction to Espresso was back in the 70's when I purchased a Pristine, 1966 Rover TC 2000 from an Italian engineer. He insisted I come inside to meet the family, have a snack and some espresso before we could even begin to discuss the car. Its a worthy project and sure to provide you hours of enjoyment.

As to hammered finish paint, I can recommend Rustoleum's hammered copper. Used it for a vintage woodworking machine I restored and I'll be posting pics soon of a triple crank I did for a 1966 Super Sport. Looks good and does a great job of covering up scratches and surface flaws.

Using the wife's oven for a resto project seems WAY TO DANGEROUS, although once, when the wife was away at a conference, I did get away with cleaning some small bicycle and tractor parts in our dishwasher. Don
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Old 11-26-18, 08:54 AM
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Those look like E-61 group heads... doesn't get more classic than that!
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Old 11-26-18, 09:03 AM
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Ah yes expresso first experienced in the midwest, after a night at "Ye Olde Regulator" near the IU campus (home of the Little 500 and one of the great bike movies "Breaking Away") then off to the "Two Bit Rush" for a demi cup of expresso to fortify the drive back to Indianapolis. But then there was the one true love...the B & O Expresso off Olive Way, that's what Starbucks should have been, great coffee and deserts to die for with character miles deep, sigh, now gone. Good luck with your time machine, get it running and then find a roaster to make your on blend.
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Old 11-26-18, 09:19 AM
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Is it single phase 220? That looks like a great project. I do like to coffee up for morning rides. I do enjoy that time, but my joe doesn't have much to do about the maker. Rather I do the roasting part and a freshly roasted beans. I feel it very interesting how 15-30 seconds difference roasting time will bring out vastly complex flavors.

I prefer single origin beans of small lot farming, most of these are organic and practice a more sustainable methods of farming. My coffee are usually roasted to a full city, what ever that means I don't know, is about a French roast. The lighter roastings will very floral esters sometimes sweet even, the mediums bring about nutty balance. The dark roasts bring chocolates. The darkest roast fullcity+++ is almost like a burnt toast.

Roasting times also directly affects caffeine level. The caffeine in the bean is an oil, when heated expands. The bean itself is sort of like a popcorn explodes, not once but twice. The first crack roast is like a morning. a couple of minutes later the second crack, that is about espresso level, about half minute later is the French, another 15 second Italian.

I use an old fashioned popcorn popper.




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Old 11-26-18, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by since6 View Post
Ah yes expresso first experienced in the midwest, after a night at "Ye Olde Regulator" near the IU campus (home of the Little 500 and one of the great bike movies "Breaking Away") then off to the "Two Bit Rush" for a demi cup of expresso to fortify the drive back to Indianapolis. But then there was the one true love...the B & O Expresso off Olive Way, that's what Starbucks should have been, great coffee and deserts to die for with character miles deep, sigh, now gone. Good luck with your time machine, get it running and then find a roaster to make your on blend.
I brought someone from out of town to the Coffee Jesus, just down the street from the B&O and Starbucks, he was amazed by the the nose ring, hockey puck lipped, ear looped tattooed baristas. I think the location is now tattoo parlor or bong shop, lol. Starbucks was a good brand until Howard Shultz turned it into a Macdonald's experience.

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Old 11-26-18, 09:43 AM
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This is a dangerous thread.
Roasting my beans seems doable after a visit to Burman's site.
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Old 11-26-18, 12:00 PM
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Damn, I love this. I love espresso and the industrial strength machines.

I heard bad things about home-roasting. I tried it. I didn't like it. First, it takes practice. It makes smoke, and it makes a surprisingly bad smell. And there is a lot of airborne chaff. Never again. I'll leave it to the professionals with the best machinery to do the job and contain the bad parts of the experience.
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Old 11-26-18, 12:08 PM
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The church I attend uses Faema machines.

Looks like a fun project!
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Old 11-26-18, 03:00 PM
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Just a word of caution to those roasting coffee beans:
Q: Is it true that roasting coffee can release dangerous airborne chemicals? Is this a risk for people working in coffee shops or even for those spending lots of time in them? A: Yes, to the first question, but so far the health risk appears to be limited to certain workers in coffee-roasting facilities.For decades there have been reports of respiratory problems among workers in coffee-roasting plants, which were often attributed to occupational asthma or emphysema. It was also thought that such problems may have been caused by two flavoring ingredients sometimes used for coffee—diacetyl (linked to bronchiolitis obliterans, a lung disease sometimes dubbed “popcorn lung” since it occurs in workers in factories producing popcorn or their flavorings) and the related compound 2,3-pentanedione.But it turned out the processing of unflavored coffee can also cause bronchiolitis obliterans in workers exposed to the fumes, since both diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione naturally form and are released when coffee beans are roasted, as well as when they are ground, when the coffee is packaged, and when containers of roasted coffee are opened.In 2013 the CDC reported in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly about cases of bronchiolitis obliterans in former workers in a facility in Texas where coffee was roasted, ground, and flavored. In 2015 an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found levels of diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione greater than government safety limits at two coffee-roasting facilities in Wisconsin.In 2016 the CDC issued a warning to workers in coffee-processing facilities about the exposure to potentially dangerous levels of these chemicals and advised companies to test air levels and take steps to reduce exposures, if necessary.What about workers in coffee shops? In two studies in Toxicology Reports in 2015, researchers tested the air in simulated coffee shops where a barista ground coffee beans. They found low levels of these two chemicals in the air—levels they considered unlikely to pose any danger.Much remains unknown about the risk of inhaling coffee fumes, including what levels of the airborne chemicals are dangerous and how long the exposure needs to be to cause harm. People who work in coffee shops, especially those who grind lots of beans, should make sure there is good ventilation, which is important for dissipating the fumes. Some employers may require such workers to wear a respirator.






There’s no evidence, however, that consumers who visit coffee shops or prepare coffee at home need to worry about their health.
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Old 11-26-18, 07:05 PM
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I have a little bit of connection to the coffee scene here as my wife's godsister (?) is married to a roaster. I'll start my roasting education with him. He says he knows espresso machine guys too and maybe he can hook me up with a good deal on a grinder.

My wife picked up some citric acid and I'll start descaling the boiler tonight. Espresso guys seem to prefer citric acid to oxalic acid or CLR, maybe because it is food safe?

The depressing news is that I heard back from the espresso repair guy who is considered the guru by one of the espresso nut forums. I had sent him photos and asked for his advice. That advice: forget it, that machine looks in bad condition, it will be a money pit and many of the parts are no longer made.

After mulling this over, I've decided to ignore his advice and press on. As far as I can tell, almost all the parts are pretty generic, as in the Italian companies all used the same brands of solenoid, flowmeters, pressure switches, group heads, pumps, etc. If the boiler is bad then I’m toast, but I can pressure test it with my air compressor: operating pressure of 1.5 bar is only 22 psi and my compressor will do 4x that. If the electronic keypads are bad, they actually are still available (spendy tho) and espresso nuts sometimes replace them with custom programmed Ardunio computers anyway.

We are used to working on obsolete money pits here, aren’t we? The challenge beckons!
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Old 11-26-18, 08:55 PM
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Sweet project there, @jyl . Count me among those who say YES, cycling and espresso go together so YES, it is a cycling-related resto.
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Old 11-26-18, 11:40 PM
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qI have roasted twice under the guidance of my friend. It was not hard, with guidance, I did it outdoors. I wouldn't do it indoors without positive ventilation like a good vent hood.

The boiler and lines are in a 150F citric acid bath, using my Coleman cooler as it is insulated so hopefully the bath will stay warm overnight.

Looked over the motor and pump. The pump is a Procon, very standard brass pump used in all sorts of food service and industrial machines, new ones cost about $100. I could strip it, citric acid bathe the housing and get it shiny, then apply a $45 rebuild kit. Or I could simply see if it works and doesn't leak...I haven't figured out how much to respect "patina" on an espresso machine.

The motor is also pretty standard, with a 10 mf start capacitor. The housing is rusty, that will have to be wirebrushed and repainted,


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Old 11-27-18, 09:32 AM
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Arduino. I love that idea!
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Old 11-27-18, 10:31 AM
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Yes, hobbyists are using Arduinos to control temperature, pressure, pre-infusion and infusion time, automate flushing, lower boiler temps at night then bring to operating temp in the morning, etc. The result tends to look sort of messy, wires, bare boards and naked LCD screens hanging off the machine. Possibly not what the wife would like to see in her kitchen/dining room.

The alternative is a $20 commercial PID controller for just the temperature, which I think is the key thing anyway. These look cleaner and I can mount it under the machine (the legs are tall) where it won't be conspicuous.

This machine has primitive electronic keypad controls that are programmable, in a cumbersome way (press a particular combination of buttons until a particular combinations of LEDs lights, can't do with w/o the manual). If the keypads are working, I assume they will be able to control time-related stuff like duration of infusion, with reasonable accuracy.. However, temperature is ultimately still controlled with a mechanical thermostat and switch, and - according to the espresso nuts - these allow the temperature to fluctuate quite a lot. A PID should be able to control that more precisely, and I imagine holding temp stable also goes a long way to holding pressure stable.

Of course, if the keypads are not working then the solution may have to be either spendy or messy. We'll see.
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Old 11-27-18, 06:35 PM
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Hmm, would that Arduino unit be looked down upon at the next Eroica espresso machine run?.....
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Old 11-27-18, 07:05 PM
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Not if it's hidden in the seat tube
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Old 11-27-18, 08:32 PM
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^^^^^ Then you'd have to rig the OG keypads to randomly flash the lights, just to dazzle/baffle people....
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Old 11-28-18, 01:40 PM
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Nice - I have a 1999 Elektra T1 that I restored. I'm pretty familiar with these machines.

Citric acid is all you need for the descaling.
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Old 12-04-18, 07:56 AM
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Old 12-04-18, 07:57 AM
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