1953 Gaggia Classica 1 Group - Page 3

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IamOiman (original poster)
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#21: Post by IamOiman (original poster) »

It's been a few months since I posted about the Classica becuase I was tracking down two parts for it (a sight cover for the water level glass and the plexi). I also had to place a thread insert on a bad group thread.


Luckily the parts were sourced and finalized this week so I started assembling the machine in a temporary setup to check the integrity of the boiler and a weird little 5/16" 18 TPI screw that threads into the center of the bottom boiler 'arms'. I think it was added after leaving the factory but I need it to be sealed properly because I cannot access it when the machine is assembled due to the backsplash covering it. Used a fat wad of teflon tape to get that dealt with. I checked one more time that the boiler threads were in good shape and I used 30mm long stainless steel bolts that thread in nicely. The boiler lid itself has a workaround for the two extra holes on top since I only have one element installed. I added the vacuum valve to one hole which will be isolated from the heating element when fully assembled. The unused hole in the lid is just plugged and can be used for manual filling. Everything is 3/8" BSPP.







In this state + later adding the lower drip tray I brought the machine upstairs, and even without everything installed it was an effort due to the weight, which is over 68 pounds/31 kilos with the drip tray. I had to reweigh a few times to confirm the huge mass but it makes sense why I struggled moving it! They don't make 'em like they used to :lol: I had my little bowls to catch any water and allow me to diagnose anything suspicious. Once upstairs I just hooked up a power cable directly to the terminals and enable power at my GFCI reset button.






The element itself is rated for 1500W 110V, and when I turned it on for the first time I was struck by two things: it heats up quickly (just over 10 minutes with 3 liters of water) and it is very quiet. Hardly any water came out of the vacuum valve and it sputtered for a second before sealing. It's a little weird to not see a manometer but I turn off the machine when the safety valve starts sputtering. I don't know what the wobbler weight is rated to start releasing steam but it is quite heavy at nearly 1.5kg. I was able to flush the group (without the shower screen to allow debris still inside to escape) to satisfaction and tightened all the bolts and gasket stack when the machine cooled down overnight. I turned it on again this morning to similar results and so far nothing is leaking from the boiler outside of the temporary fittings I installed.




-Ryan
Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention
LMWDP #612

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IamOiman (original poster)
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#22: Post by IamOiman (original poster) »

After changing the water out in the boiler I was almost ready for the first shot. However I needed to borrow a cafelat portafilter gasket from my Marte because it is the only one that will fit into the Gaggia Lever group without fighting me while also installing an IMS shower screen. The other gaskets are just too hard.



I waited 80 minutes for the group to heat up fully, and I pulled the first shot with the original portafilter. It tasted ok but the machine needed to heat up more and I needed to adjust the lever a bit. Unfortunately the video was not recorded properly but I at least have a pic of the moment.



I did take a 2nd video with better results, and after I adjusted the lever. In this configuration I need to do a Fellini pull but the result is something just great. I basically got a dark choco bar in the shot. You can also see how much space I have between the drip tray and the portafilter. I can easily fit my tallest cup with no issue. I am quite happy with the results but I cannot call this project complete until all the fittings and panels are installed.

-Ryan
Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention
LMWDP #612

User avatar
IamOiman (original poster)
Team HB

#23: Post by IamOiman (original poster) »

I have tested the machine under pressure enough to decide the boiler and lower screw are sealed fine without issue, so I will take off the grouphead and front foot so I can install the backsplash then fittings. In prep for the full assembly I cut a pstat bracket from a 20 mm wide x 2 mm thick aluminum sheet, then bent to shape and drilled. I installed the big panel piece to make sure the pstat does not brush against it and fits in where I placed the bracket. I also placed the top on so I could confirm the boiler lid pieces have a gap/are not touching, and if I could secure the lid with its screw. However without a plexi it looks a little incomplete...










A quick two day trip from Hong Kong and the replica plexi + some other bits were received today. Paul did a great job with the plexi and sight cover glass. I quickly installed the plexi to confirm it fits. From the back the Classica looks complete, but going to the front you can see a few bits not installed yet.






-Ryan
Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention
LMWDP #612