The Alicorn: Achieving Precision Alignment with the Baratza Forté/Vario - Page 4

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
baldheadracing
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#31: Post by baldheadracing » Aug 04, 2019, 4:21 am

Re: Calibration. A few years ago I managed to cross-thread the regular adjustment screw so it is now held in place with threadlocker. The fine grind adjustment arm came off at one point yesterday so I dis-assembled the adjustment mechanism to figure out how to get the arm back on. I did mark the location of the coarse adjuster bolt, but getting it back to exactly the right spot would have taken quite a bit of fiddling.

For the Vario, you should find the process to be very close to the Forte, as the motor plate is a common part.
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann

neohk

#32: Post by neohk » Nov 06, 2019, 9:01 pm

What sort of spacers would be best? I see some round o-rings on amazon, would they work if I place ,say three or four around the ring?

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Jake_G
Team HB

#33: Post by Jake_G » Nov 10, 2019, 4:24 pm

Not O-rings. You need something that will not distort so that the screws can be tightened down and preloaded, which prevents fatigue failure of the fasteners over time. With the .060" relief on the back side of the burrs, you have an air gap that allows the burrs to deform when you tighten the screws. I do not subscribe to Baratza's notion that you can simply leave the screws loose and lock them in place with thread locker.

I cut shims from polyester shim stock for the original Alicorn and my Super Jolly. Just today, I 3D printed a spacer to try out on my latest victim.
Image
Image: 3D Printed Burr Spacer

I printed this thicker than needed and lapped it down to match the recess of the burr using 400 grit wet sand paper on my granite countertop. Shhhhh. Don't tell Heidi :wink:

I also uploaded a short video of tearing down a Forte to remove the grind assembly from the case. I'll add this to my first post in this thread so it's in a good spot for future readers. I'll also add a video of the actual alignment process when time allows.

Cheers!

- Jake

jevenator

#34: Post by jevenator » Nov 11, 2019, 3:56 pm

Jake_G wrote:
I also uploaded a short video of tearing down a Forte to remove the grind assembly from the case. I'll add this to my first post in this thread so it's in a good spot for future readers. I'll also add a video of the actual alignment process when time allows.

Cheers!

- Jake
There's a few of us that want to try but are a bit intimidated! Once you get a video of the actual alignment process I'm going to go ahead and do it to my Forté.
No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.
― C.S. Lewis

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Jake_G
Team HB

#35: Post by Jake_G » replying to jevenator » Nov 12, 2019, 9:38 am

Video posted.

Cheers!

- Jake

neohk

#36: Post by neohk » replying to Jake_G » Nov 12, 2019, 7:12 pm

awesome!

Now I just need to find a 3d printer haha

Quester

#37: Post by Quester » Nov 12, 2019, 8:04 pm

Jake, I assume the bit between 138s and 205s on the video is to loosen the levers so they are not locked in place when you tighten the four screws securing the grind chamber to the motor plate?

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Jake_G
Team HB

#38: Post by Jake_G » Nov 12, 2019, 8:20 pm

Actually, I am tightening the calibration screw because the levers are moving full swing without bringing the burrs into contact at that point in the video.

This happens for two reasons:

First, the grind chamber is loose, so the upper burr is further away. Tightening the calibration screw moves the lower bird further up and helps compensate for this.

Second, the lower burr was badly tipped in this grinder with the front edge making contact and the rest of the burr surface not touching. Straightening the lower burr eliminates the "first contact" of the front edge and so the whole lower burr carrier has to be lifted into even alignment.

That minute (or 27s) is spent getting the calibration set so the levers to bring the burrs into contact. I like to use the macro lever to do most of the work and then have the micro lever apply some pressure about mid-stroke. I finish the calibration after I put the grinder back together.

I have a before video and after video of the grind alignment, as well. I'll upload those tomorrow morning. They are also silent movies :P

Cheers!

- Jake

Quester

#39: Post by Quester » Nov 12, 2019, 8:26 pm

That makes sense. As you may remember, when I did the ink test on my Forte it was perfect without adjustment. But I'm thinking about selling my daughter's Niche and getting her a Vario with the upgraded parts-or a Forte. So, I may be doing this alignment soon.

pcrussell50

#40: Post by pcrussell50 » Nov 13, 2019, 12:03 am

Quester wrote:But I'm thinking about selling my daughter's Niche and getting her a Vario with the upgraded parts-or a Forte. So, I may be doing this alignment soon.
Have you taste tested one vs. the other? A good friend of mine did, and indeed he found the Forte tasted better with pretty much every coffee he tried with both of them. But still. The Niche has a solid enough reputation that it's worth trying both side by side if you can. Fortified Vario or Forte ought to be the same if aligned.

-Peter
LMWDP #553