Bezzera Family Lever Restoration

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#1: Post by wijmaar »

Hi all!

Recently I stumbled upon a Bezzera family lever on the Dutch eBay / Craigslist, after a couple of weeks of mailing back and forth it ended up on my kitchen table :D . I really love the little machine! Visually it is in pretty good condition, even the steam and water stickers are still in place.

I found out the machine actually turns out to be pretty rare, I only managed to find a couple of them here on HB. Most of them had pretty badly damaged springs / group heads... Pretty nervous when I pulled the piston for the first time, but I was pleasantly surprised:

The internals are in pretty much the original state, including a really nice heap of nicotine smell that has built up in the isolation material.

As everything was looking good I took the risk of firing up the machine and to my big surprise everything worked pretty well! The machine came up to temperature pretty quick and I even pulled the first (very nasty :D ) shot. Currently I only have the 7g basket and no 49mm tamper yet (orders have been placed for replacements).

I started the teardown of the machine this weekend:

I removed the cover including (most of the) isolation:

The other part of the isolation material got married to the boiler over time:

The cover will need a new layer of powder coating:

Removed everything from the boiler and made some pictures of the internals, which are in pretty good state:

Sight glass and seals came out in one peace, and are cleaned:

Boiler is looking pretty good, only has 2 small leaks to be fixed:

The boiler pressure gauge is looking okay, but needs some adjustment (which is fixed by now):

I will keep you all up to date over the coming weeks / months. I am at least going to do the following:

1. Add a vacuum breaker to the safety valve (which will be replaced)
2. Add a steamtip from a Silvia V1 to the steamwand
3. Powdercoat the casing and the frame
4. Replace pressure stat and wiring
5. Clean off the nicotine smell
6. Open for suggestions!

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#2: Post by TomC »

Congrats! I always liked these little machines. My buddy in Oakland had one.
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#3: Post by harrisonpatm »

What a cute little machine! nice find

D Hoge

#4: Post by D Hoge »

Wow, nice find. That's a beaut. Do you know what model it is?

wijmaar (original poster)

#5: Post by wijmaar (original poster) »

Thanks! Really pleased with it indeed :). Looking forward to bringing it back to it's full glory. It's called the "Bezzera Family", I found this leaflet in another HB topic:

It's close to the other family / club models, e.g. Ater Family, SAMA Club, PV lusso. Interestingly enough, the most Bezzera Families I can find don't have bearings in the leaver assembly, while this one does.


#6: Post by bas »

And your group has a larger pull volume compared to the Sama/PV. The Sama having either the Elektra mcal group or the "PV" group. Your group being "bigger" than the Elektra group (that is bigger than the PV one).

Great machine!

wijmaar (original poster)

#7: Post by wijmaar (original poster) »

Thanks for all the nice responses! Progress has been good lately, so this topic deserves an update.

Disassembly of the frame: the wands

During the disassembly of the frame I got stuck when I ended up at the removal of the steam and hot water wands. Due to the beautiful and interesting bends they have I was unable to remove the wands by taking them out from the backside of the frame. The wands are attached to the steam and hot water valves by some sort of pressed on fitting which prevents the nut from being removed and thereby not allows the wands to be removed from the front of the machine:

After consulting with fellow restoration enthousiast Turboyeast we decided to gently cut open and remove the nipples. He thereafter saved the day by making new nipples on his lathe:

The boiler

Together with TY we managed to remove the element from the boiler, which allowed me to bathe it in citric acid for a night. We couldn't save the heating element, but that turned out to be quite near end of life anyway.

The powder coating

With the wands and the front panel removed, I was able to drop the frame and cover at the powder coater. Really happy with the result! Decided to go a lightly textured black for the frame and a 60s orange for the cover.

The badge and the wiring

I removed the badge before powder coating, that needed some new double sided tape. And furthermore had to replace the (extremely complex :wink: ) wiring.

Up next

I'm waiting for some parts to arrive, and the boiler needs some small repairs where the pipes are attached. Will keep you posted!

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#8: Post by giboja »

Hi wijmaar

Nice job so far. Do you maybe have a RAL code for that orange? It looks same as my Cremina which I am considering to spray?

wijmaar (original poster)

#9: Post by wijmaar (original poster) »

The colour is RAL2010, indeed seems a lot like yours!


#10: Post by harrisonpatm »

Do you, or anybody else following, know why the logo is a snake eating a person? very curious