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The Gaggia MDF stepless mod with pictures

Postby bragur on Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:10 pm

So I decided to make my Gaggia MDF stepless the other day. I'd never really thought about it until I bought these very nice Brazil Santos beans that tasted delicious at my roaster's coffeeshop, but turned out to be between steps on the grinder.

So I set off on a journey to find the best way and settled on the teflon tape mod. I was a bit afraid of it though, because there was no pictorial guide (or I haven't found one yet) and I'm no wiz at opening stuff up and hate the idea of messing something up! Anyways, I longed for the taste of these beans so I decided to have a crack at it and it really turned out to be quite easy. So here's some pictures for those who want to but are afraid to go ahead with it. For me it was definitely worth it.

The guide I used is here.

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#1 Taking the rubber grommets (circled with red) off reveals the screws to take the hopper off.

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#2 Taking the screws out and pulling the hopper off gives you this nice view of grounds you may or may not have tasted through the years!

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#3 By taking the plastic cover off (step 4 in the guide) and the brass screws out (step 5) you're able to take out the step counter.

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#4 There's two step guides you need to take out, one at the front and one at the back. I think you could actually leave these in, but keep them in any case.

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#5 And here's my upper burr set teflon taped up (step 11). The guide says "a good 5 layers", I ended up with 6. I started by only taping the upper part of the threads, but that really didn't do it for me, so I went and taped the whole thing. Works like a charm up to date.

Just remember to follow the guide, and of course do this on your own risk and take every precaution necessary.

This mod really set me on fire so I went ahead and adjusted the brew pressure on my Classic and fitted a new Silvia steam wand. Dang, life is sweet now.

:D

Have a nice day,
Bragi
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Postby workinghard on Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:57 am

Thanks for your pictorial walk through. I didnt do the mod, just a cleaning, but this helped me out alot!
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Postby kjmonopoly7311 on Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:20 pm

Bragur, thanks a million for that guide. Wow. So helpful, and stepless changes everything. Ran into the same problem you did with a roast that was in-between steps, and now it's perfectly dialed in.

My reflections on the whole process...

1) Wow that was easy. Anyone with an MDF should do this. Makes a world of difference.

2) More than three rolls of the teflon tape I was using made it impossible to screw my top burr down. So the number of rolls is probably going to vary based on the thickness of the teflon tape you are using. Be ready for some trial and error there.

3) If you, like me, are so eager to get to stepless grinding that you were just ripping the ends of the tape when you were done wrapping, STOP, slow down, cut the ends with good scissors, and do a thorough job the first time of carefully wrapping the tape.

4) Before you unscrew the top burr the first time, make sure to look at the distance (roughly 1 cm) between the gray metal casing and the ridges of the top of the brass burr casing. The distance will be created by the two little step adjusters that you are taking out. An accurate visual of this 1 cm distance is crucial because ...

5) The hardest part is knowing when you are done screwing in the top burr after having taped it. Because it is tough work screwing it in anyways, it's hard to tell exactly when it won't go any further. If you're like I was, you'll get it in pretty far and then it'll get harder, but you won't be sure if it's just a thick spot of teflon tape. It also seemed like if you fiddled with it enough, it would keep going tighter and tighter (even if only millimeters at a time). HOWEVER, if you know the 1 cm distance you're looking for, then you'll know if the brass top casing is screwed in enough or not.

6) Then, loosening the top brass piece a half turn, put some junk beans in, turn the grinder on, and (with the hopper in) tighten the grind until you just begin to hear metal on metal, and you'll know your zero point. back it down a bit, take out the hopper, put in your numbers and line them up and you'll be good to go.




Really couldn't be happier. Thanks again bragur. Great photos that were super helpful.

Happy modding!
Kevin
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