Another Linea A1 Story - Page 3

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?
PictureThyme
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:25 am
Real Name: Steve
Equipment: 1990 Linea 1AV, New Baratza Vario, Old Mazzer SJ
Location: Salt Lake City - Sugarhouse

Postby PictureThyme » Sat May 22, 2010 4:53 pm

Everything on my Linea that could be tightened by the last company to service it was tightened to the edge of functional failure. I still cannot get the diffuser off of the group head. I looked at adjustable pin wrenches and they seem to be as expensive as the "special tool" made by La Marzocco. And I figure as part of regular maintenance the diffuser should come off once a year or so anyway. But, I didn't want to have to go buy the tool just for the sight glass as well. So, I made my own jig for this purpose and it worked.

My little jig setup is a bit crude but it worked in a few seconds to get the sight glass taken apart. I had even smashed the glass to see if relieving the pressure around the threads would give enough space to get it apart. The parts had been tightened so hard that the gasket was crushed in the threads. Seriously, the company that serviced this machine last should be embarrassed by the quality of their work. For the record it was not LM or any company I've seen advertising on HB.

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The gasket in the group head cover was crushed so hard it was pancaked to the metal. I should have taken a picture but forgot. The bolts of the steam boiler were tightened so tight, at least one cracked. There were no leaks evident around these bolts before the tear down so I don't think this happened because of an overpressure issue.

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PictureThyme
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:25 am
Real Name: Steve
Equipment: 1990 Linea 1AV, New Baratza Vario, Old Mazzer SJ
Location: Salt Lake City - Sugarhouse

Postby PictureThyme » Sat May 22, 2010 5:12 pm

As for the acid bath, I read as much as I could find about the strength of the solution. I read that for descaling in the machine about a tablespoon per liter of water was good. And I read I think from Paul P. that he used up to a 20% solution. I think I was somewhere at 10%. But my solution was at 135F. The copper shines after a couple hours. But some stubborn scale still needs to be cooked from the boiler and around the inside cover ends of the steam heater element posts.

One lesson to keep in mind for those attempting this in the future. Watch everything you put into the acid carefully. It may be pretty weak acid, but still it's acid. I was careful with all of the chromed parts and took them out as soon as the scale was gone. I wasn't watching the steam heater element so well, and the acid reacted with the steel ends and took off the threads where they were exposed. I tested the threads and there is enough thread to put the connectors back on tightly.
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The steam valve came out clean as a whistle. It still needs to be polished on a wheel.
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The group bolt flange was so covered with crud, I thought it was chromed copper.
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It's actually stainless steel.
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The installed brew element is stainless steel as well.
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Even the brew boiler came out looking much more palatable after a little acid bath. I did scrape off the old gasket with a wire wheel first.
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USBC champion, voted 2009 'best micro-roaster'
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mute
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:56 pm
Real Name: Kyle Christensen
Equipment: Duetto II + Baratza Vario, Aeropress + Lido 2
Location: Lansdale, PA

Postby mute » Sat May 22, 2010 10:49 pm

Wow, I'm jealous of your find, and the progress you've made. Someday I hope to do the same, but for now i'll have to settle for following your restoration.

Lurkerjohnny
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 1:55 pm
Real Name: Keith Marrero
Equipment: La Marzocco Linea 1 group, La Pavoni Professional Millenium, Mazzer SJ, Pharos grinders
Location: Oahu

Postby Lurkerjohnny » Sun May 23, 2010 3:02 am

Looking good so far! I had a hard time removing the diffusor and the sight glass on mine as well. Luckily you didn't have a hard time getting the heating element out of the boiler. I was worried I was going to damage the boiler.

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JmanEspresso
Posts: 1181
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:47 am
Real Name: Jeff Cirelli
Equipment: Alex Duetto II; Compak K10; Ditting'd Vario; Hottop; Nearly every brew device
Location: Westchester-ish New York

Postby JmanEspresso » Sun May 23, 2010 3:38 am

Congratulations on a nice find! I know from my own searching, 1gr Lineas are so hard to find.

I came real close to buying a 2group Linea a little while back.. Ive wanted to restore a 1group forever, and when the deal came on a 2group, I almost let my impatience get the best of me. Since then I haven't been searching very much, but the thought is always there. And seeing this is starting to make me itch again.

Keep the pictures coming in heavy amounts!

PictureThyme
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:25 am
Real Name: Steve
Equipment: 1990 Linea 1AV, New Baratza Vario, Old Mazzer SJ
Location: Salt Lake City - Sugarhouse

Postby PictureThyme » Sun May 23, 2010 8:54 am

Congratulations on a nice find! I know from my own searching, 1gr Lineas are so hard to find.

I came real close to buying a 2group Linea a little while back.. Ive wanted to restore a 1group forever, and when the deal came on a 2group, I almost let my impatience get the best of me. Since then I haven't been searching very much, but the thought is always there. And seeing this is starting to make me itch again.

http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=231&sid=74268&cat=&sort=&marketType=&adsstate=&nocache=1&search=espresso+machine&zip=any&distance=&min_price=any&max_price=any&type=&x=12&y=7

KSL.com is the Mormon Church-owned television station in Salt Lake. It's kind of silly to me to post that you're selling an espresso machine on there since the vast majority of viewers are LDS and don't drink coffee butt I just read that it's the intermountain west's largest on-line classifieds. The Linea I bought had been posted on there for almost a month. When I saw it, I was amazed that it sat there for almost two weeks while I sold off my scuba gear to put together the cash to buy it. I figured that if it sold it just wasn't meant to be. But after reading that 1Gr. are gifts from above, I started praying very hard.

I will be sure to take pictures of every step and keep posting as many as possible here.
Steve

PictureThyme
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:25 am
Real Name: Steve
Equipment: 1990 Linea 1AV, New Baratza Vario, Old Mazzer SJ
Location: Salt Lake City - Sugarhouse

Postby PictureThyme » Sun May 23, 2010 9:16 am

Thank you everyone for watching this project progress. So far it's been a good project to keep me busy.

I wish I had the money now to buy the long list of gaskets and broken parts that need to be replaced. I also want to replace the original brew boiler thermostat with a PID and thermocouple. The thermostat is $300 if it ever stops working not much different than Fuji PID and wiring. And with the PID I would have more control over the temperature. I love technology and although it's nice to keep things original much progress has been made in the 20 years this Linea has been pumping out espresso. I wonder if there's an App for that? :)

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beatstanfurd
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:04 am
Real Name: Nathan Brown
Equipment: Baratza Vario; Nuova Simonelli Mac 2000V single group
Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Postby beatstanfurd » Mon May 24, 2010 12:16 pm

PictureThyme wrote:http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=231&sid=74268&cat=&sort=&marketType=&adsstate=&nocache=1&search=espresso+machine&zip=any&distance=&min_price=any&max_price=any&type=&x=12&y=7

KSL.com is the Mormon Church-owned television station in Salt Lake. It's kind of silly to me to post that you're selling an espresso machine on there since the vast majority of viewers are LDS and don't drink coffee butt I just read that it's the intermountain west's largest on-line classifieds. The Linea I bought had been posted on there for almost a month. When I saw it, I was amazed that it sat there for almost two weeks while I sold off my scuba gear to put together the cash to buy it. I figured that if it sold it just wasn't meant to be. But after reading that 1Gr. are gifts from above, I started praying very hard.

I will be sure to take pictures of every step and keep posting as many as possible here.
Steve


I believe I saw this very same Linea on Craigslist too. A bike shop in Moab was selling it, same as you had mentioned in one of your earlier posts. Congrats on the find. One day maybe I'll find one closer to me.

PictureThyme
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:25 am
Real Name: Steve
Equipment: 1990 Linea 1AV, New Baratza Vario, Old Mazzer SJ
Location: Salt Lake City - Sugarhouse

Postby PictureThyme » Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:05 am

Time for an update. I finally was able to pick up a bench grinder so I could start polishing parts and the stainless body panels. I bought a set of rouge sticks and 6" spiral sewn cotton disks. I also bought the softer loose bound disks but found they didn't do such a great job of getting what the citric acid bath deposited on the metal.

I wasn't so sure I'd enjoy this part of the job as much as Paul Pratt and others have said they did. But once I got the hang of how the disk and the rouge worked to polish the metal and once I saw the dramatic improvement, I am hooked. After working on the little pile of parts I worked on today, I already see spots I'll have to go back and do a bit of touch up.

Although I believe the white rouge is for stainless steel, it did a fantastic job of polishing the brass and copper. Below is a progression from what some of the parts looked like before I started tearing everything down, then post citric bath and finally after polishing. You can see the mirror finish in the image with the unpolished tubing resting on the water inlet manifold.

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PictureThyme
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:25 am
Real Name: Steve
Equipment: 1990 Linea 1AV, New Baratza Vario, Old Mazzer SJ
Location: Salt Lake City - Sugarhouse

Postby PictureThyme » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:43 am

Time for an update. I spent the summer trying to polish some of the fittings and small parts. Then I started to polish the stainless. Kudos to all those who followed through with polishing all that shiny steel themselves. I tried, but decided I could never get the machine as bright as a professional. Then Paul did some work on his hand, albeit not while polishing steel, that convinced me to take it to get polished by a place in SLC. You'll see the results below. I tried to stay out of the shots. :shock:

I also ordered most of the replacement gaskets and some other small parts over the summer. Spent a few bucks buying these parts. A big thank you to the great people at La Marzocco in Seattle, their terrific service while I was ordering parts, and also to the people at EspressoParts.com.

And after starting to paint everything black I changed my mind and decided to have the black parts powder coated red. I think it was the right choice. The powder coating cost significantly less than the polishing at least in SLC. I'd love to have someone suggest a place for a good deal in SLC for polishing the rest of the stainless.

You can see some of the shiny stainless steel in this picture. The company that did the polishing couldn't duplicate Paul's circular burnishing on the front plate. This is actually just roughed up. Not sure I like it and would like some opinions. I figured that this would hide all the scratches that seem to end up on the front panel from banging with the portafilter.
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Putting the brew boiler together was very easy. I followed Paul's instructions closely and had no trouble getting the two parts together. Torqued to spec. This shot was taken during the rebuild.
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Decided to replace the drain cup because the old aluminum cup has almost been corroded through near the drain fitting.
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