Astoria 1 group renewal

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#1: Post by Robbert »

Hi all.

I have bought a one group Astoria commercial semi automatic.
This is the photo that was used to advertise it. It was sold as a running machine
and I tested it to see it worked more or less before buying it.

I was quite interested in taking the machine apart,
I never intended to really use the clearly very dirty machine without a renewal.

My main source of inspiration to do this have been these reports,
Where nearly identical machines are taken apart and put back together.

Laurentis rejuvination project (moved from
As well as
Rebuilding a Single Group Astoria Lever

Opening up the machine there is hardly any outside scale.
I think that the machine has been taken apart/ serviced before as not all
screws that are to hold the body panels in place are present.

I have no idea when it was built, though the brown colour would suggest some time
in the 80s, any ideas on this anyone?

what I noticed is that both the water inlet and brew group solenoid are not grounded.
is this normal, or should I ground it when building it back up.

I have ordered some components from coffee XXL today,
mostly O rings, a new vacuum breaker, and a bottomless pf.

So far I have taken and put back together the boiler fill system.
No real surprises here, except the sight glass, in which the indicating ball
is held suspended in mid air by a layer of scale in the glass.

At the moment I am taking apart the brew system.
The dispersion plate just above the shower screen shows that
this is a good idea: of the eight holes in this plate,
all but two are blocked up by crud.
I have damaged the nut holding the brew group solenoid coil in place.
once i have taken more parts off I will try to get it off again.

My plan for the machine is to:
- replace most rubbers, seals and gaskets taking apart a bit of the machine at a time.
- Get it cleaned- it is very very dirty
- get it working again and replace the wires where necessary
- repaint the brown body panels, maybe with a dark red colour
- insulate the boiler as the machine will be used in a domestic setting.

Optional and vague plans
- do something with preinfusion, a separate switch, or a delay mechanism
- resurface the stainless body panels.
- make a timer
- change the Americano wand to a shorter one.

Any suggestions are welcome.

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Robbert (original poster)

#2: Post by Robbert (original poster) »

The good and the bad

The good:
today all the parts I ordered online arrived, I only ordered them 4 days ago and haven't even paid yet
the bottomless pf is a beauty.
all the parts were there.

The bad:

the arrival of the order made me re focus on taking the machine apart rather than focus on the finishing of
the panels. I just broke two of the four bolts that attach the grouphead to the frame and boiler.
As I am a mech eng student I will be able to find the taps, but I was hoping to finish the whole thing before
I left my parents home to go back to uni in a weeks time.

the ends of the bolts are still in the boiler, which makes getting them out much harder.

I guess this puts paid to my idea of rebuilding the machine bit by bit and leaving the boiler in.

as the top of the bolts show, these have failed a long time ago, they were also the ones with
the most scale.

any suggestions as to how to get the bolts out? I cannot really access them from the boiler side?
drill though them and retap? heat them up?


#3: Post by HairyCannonball »

Put some Kroil on the rusted in bolts. The stuff is like magic most of the time. Is the remaining part of the bolt of sufficient diameter to drill and use an easyout?


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#4: Post by djmonkeyhater »

New guy here. Excited to see this thread as I just acquired 130lbs of Italian metal and Bakelite.

I picked it up in rural Washington State, USA. We have a relatively prolific coffee culture here, for lack of a better word, and this machine served a good chunk of it's life in some sort of roadside espresso shack. I can only imagine how many "Marionberry Mocha Monster" drinks it made. (e.g. - I guess that the good part of this proliferation is that there are frequently Carimali and Simonelli 2-group machines at yard sales or on Craigslist for $500. (e.g. -

Anyway, i got it home yesterday. I'll keep digging and asking for advice.

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#5: Post by jesawdy »

HairyCannonball wrote:Put some Kroil on the rusted in bolts. The stuff is like magic most of the time. Is the remaining part of the bolt of sufficient diameter to drill and use an easyout?

To clarify, KROIL is a penetrating oil (see link). I haven't used it, but it looks promising. "Easyouts" are screw extractors (see link). Another potential fix may be a Heli-Coil (link), but my experiences with "easyouts" and Heli-Coils involved picking up the phone and calling for the on call maintenance guy in a manufacturing job. :roll:
Jeff Sawdy

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#6: Post by jesawdy »

djmonkeyhater wrote:New guy here....

Wesley, welcome to HB. This one makes me cringe.... you might check out that KROIL or suffer the same fate as Robbert.... (BTW, I noticed you can a get the aerosol AeroKroil for free with any order if you click the right links).
Jeff Sawdy

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#7: Post by djmonkeyhater »


Every bolt came off with no trouble. Every single one. Some were no more than finger tight on the boiler cap. Still in awe. My background for this is in bicycle and automotive repair and all I imagined included air tools, cutting torches, EZ Outs, WD-40 and hacksaws.

But not tonight. I need to buy a lottery ticket or something. Save for the horrendously complicated and convoluted pipe that seems to carry the water supply into the HX (goes into the top of the grouphead near the frame) everyone came off inside of 20 minutes. I used some lightweight oil and a propane torch to get that supply line off. For about 20 minutes I wondered if replacing it would cost more than I have into the machine but off it came.


There was water in the machine when I got it. Crossed my fingers as it sloshed out putting it in the van. BUT NOT TO WORRY, I'M WINNING TODAY! It had been sitting for three years and it flowed out clean and odorless. It has cobwebs, was not maintained and sat in the corner of an unfinished farmhouse basement. FOR THREE YEARS! All this after making Gingerbread Snickerdoodle Latte's in a roadside tool shed and the water comes out clean and odorless.

I continue to win. Maybe some 1 carat diamonds will be inside the grouphead.

I don't know enough to know if this is bad or not. We have generally good water in Western Washington so I'm guessing it's not too bad.

Sweet craftsmanship on the inside of the boiler for the HX entry. This is when you realize the Italians made it and not the Swiss, Germans or Japanese.

4 bolts to get the grouphead off. I was wondering if I should clean the machine before pressing it into service but I'm not wondering any more.

This was the crux move of the day for you rock climbers out there. This brass tube is about 14" long has 3 or 4 fittings cobbled onto it and serves what I think is the water supply into the HX. So I'll probably need it unless I'm just foaming milk and making Cup 'O Noodles with a 7L boiler machine. I put this oil on it and went to dinner. Unable to control myself, I kept fiddling with it. Each time I tried to break it free, it would start to wind up the whole length of the tube and I could almost see the ripples forming. There is a secondary coupling underneath it that I was able to fiddle with using two open-end wrenches and it finally broke free. It looks like it has been re-brazed.

Seriously, I can not lose with this thing. Something certainly will go wrong. It has to.

Why would I need to clean this? It's dialed. It looks just like a Subaru head after being run with a leak for a while.

Now hold your breath - the corrosion appears to be unfathomably shallow. It's all surface rust as far as I can tell. Any more luck like this and this machine will be my talisman. If you see a man wearing an Astoria Lady on a necklace, you'll know it's me off for a job interview.

Good stuff here. I'm sure my Kalani Espresso Blend would take on a whole new set of subtleties by flowing past this.

A bolt on the top of the grouphead. Houses what appears to be a small particulate filter that is kinda cooked.

Again, came apart with no trouble. Seems like some cleaning, some new rubber bits and I'll be back in the game.

The shower screen is pretty clogged and the rubber bushing that the portafilter seats against is super angry and not wanting to play by the rules. Maybe this is where I lose momentum.


I have access to an ultrasonic parts cleaner at work. Has anyone used this for cleaning machine parts? Since most of this is metal, I'm not worried about it "soaking in" or anything. I was mostly wondering if it will address scale. I'm going to try it with some smaller parts and see how it works.

Anyway, the dude who started this thread might start crying but not to worry because what you have seen in this posting is not normal and is not to be expected. I cut a wire in my attic two weeks ago and it killed lighting in half of the rooms in my 100 year old house. I spent 16 hours in the attic diagnosing knob and tube wiring remnants while lying on 40 year old insulation that is covered in mouse crap wearing a respirator. My 3 and 6 year old boys will soon have a pull chain to turn on their overhead light because I can't get to the switch wires. And when I make the pull chain long enough for them to reach it, I'm sure they'll swing on it until it breaks. Maybe this is payback.


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#8: Post by jesawdy »

djmonkeyhater wrote:QUESTION:

I have access to an ultrasonic parts cleaner at work. Has anyone used this for cleaning machine parts? Since most of this is metal, I'm not worried about it "soaking in" or anything. I was mostly wondering if it will address scale. I'm going to try it with some smaller parts and see how it works.

Paul Pratt of Espresso Restorations says the ultrasonic cleaner is the way to go. I believe he does a detergent cleaning first, followed by a warmed descaling solution soak. You should have that all looking pretty if you have access to that bath.

I loved the electrical story.
Jeff Sawdy

Robbert (original poster)

#9: Post by Robbert (original poster) »

I ordered a set of easy outs, that should help get the bolts out.
I am trying to loosen them with oil with some rust eating compound.

in the mean time I am trying to remove the steam wand,
as it gets in the way of the water glass mounting.

it is the bolt between part 5 and 6 that refuses to bulge.
the tricky bit is that it has to come appart before I can take it
from the machine, and the thread is behind a gasket so I cannot oil it.

the three way solenoid coil is completely rusted to the solenoid.

I am tempted to leave it as it is for the moment, as trying to
remove it will probably destroy the coil and solenoid,
and it was working when I took it off the machine.
it took an amazing amount of force to remove the nut
securing the coil. the coil and body seem to have fused.
I have applied oil and left it for now.


#10: Post by Paul »

I use an heated ultrasonic bath to clean parts. Really makes short work of descaling small parts. I use a small qty of citric acid and set it running at 50C/30mins. Works best on S/S bits for some reason. Brass doesn't come up as good. Also good for cleaning sightglasses.

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