New MDF Gaggia Stepless Mod (mod of a mod)

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.

#1: Post by day »

I just did it tonight, but I have tried a couple of different stepless mods and this is hands down the best so far. First a shout-out to the stepless mods that led me to this simple method:

The Gaggia MDF stepless mod with pictures The classic Teflon tape mod. DO NOT DO IT! This is the worst possible modification ever. When you first try it it seems to work but it does not and I believe may eve cause the upper carrier to be out of alignment.

Another mod:

I had worked on several variations of this--all much cheaper and using what I happen to have on hand (dont try to do with with your hands, doesnt work correctly). But I found the Teflon just allowed too much slippage and even when braced there was some visible play as the number jiggled left and right.

These two I will post just for fun: ... ines/53765

This was the golden goose...the one that led me to my current mod

I did not take a picture of mine, as I did not really expect it to work well. One day if anyone wants to see it I might, but not until I have tested it more.

Basically, I did exactly what JeffK in the coffeegeek link above, but changed the washer out for a drain plug. Nothing creative in it at all but when you see the video and how stable it is I think those using the stepless MDF mods will understand. I also went ahead and purchased two new springs. The original springs actually were much stronger and harder to compress, but they were also a bit shorter, and I measured that at espresso tension the new longer springs had greater compression force. In total the washer listed below and the two springs cost me $2.80.

The three reasons I decided against the metal washers:
1. The friction between the washer and the burr carrier might allow slippage.
2. The friction between the MDF Stepper and the washer might allow slippage
3. the high spring tension it would require to keep the system from slipping might mean that the spring would wear out, weaken, and slippage would be inevitable over time.

The drain plug washer is a gasket, and as such basically resolves all of these issues because no matter where you stop the grind, the gasket is always molded around the stopper, thus allowing significant friction. However, it is much thicker and wider than a regular o-ring and so ended up as a perfect resting place for the factory Gaggia stopper bullets.

So, all I have to give is a picture of the empty package, the item number from the picture: Master plumber drain shoe washer 829443
It is very tight. Tight enough that you have to turn it with two hands firmly, but not so tight that you cant adjust the settings smoothly. Initially finding zero was scary, as right around zero the gasket it hitting the metal casing due to thickness and it just barely tightened up to zero. But it just made it and has allowed me to grind significantly finer than ever before as I can move all the way to zero rather than stop at one.

This is the little guy here. All I have are pictures of the open package and a video showing how solid it is.

Made in USA!
Yes, i you per this on an iPhone

day (original poster)

#2: Post by day (original poster) »

(I know this is not a hot topic, but for those with MDF and little way to upgrade until the Pharos is available, stepless mods can be a live saver...or a killer, as I am not 100% sure that the last teflon taping caused my carrier to be out of alignment, but it is now fixed.)
Yes, i you per this on an iPhone