Cafelat Robot's V-seal is not generic? - Page 2

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
ziptie

#11: Post by ziptie »

Are you familiar with the expression "Much ado about nothing".

The OEM gaskets are reasonably priced. It's not like Apple's proprietary $40 dongles.
If this aspect of the robot is your hangup, you should probably stick with the forge because every product has its quirks.

Get the robot. I've found it to be a step up from my La Pavoni...which I still like. The robot's simplicity is a delight. I've found it easier and more consistent in pulling good shots as compared to my LP.

jpender

#12: Post by jpender »

It's a question worth asking. In fact it was asked by @Otago a few months ago in the context of the difficulty of obtaining the Cafelat seals inexpensively at that time. Appropriately sized rubber seals should work but would have to be actually tried in order to be certain of that. I'm perplexed as to why my slightly enlarged but otherwise fine looking seals stop working after 10 months or so. Some very small change seems to matter. So will a non-Cafelat seal work okay? I think you would have to try it.

For now there's no particular reason to switch to rubber seals. The Cafelat seals are easily obtainable, inexpensively. Why would you choose an inferior material? If in the (hopefully) unlikely event Cafelat goes tits up at some point then it would matter. That's true of other Robot parts too. For sure it would be a minor tragedy in our home barista lives if we were forced to scramble for parts or buy a different machine.

Scott-ishBrewer (original poster)

#13: Post by Scott-ishBrewer (original poster) »

jpender wrote:It's a question worth asking. In fact it was asked by @Otago a few months ago in the context of the difficulty of obtaining the Cafelat seals inexpensively at that time. Appropriately sized rubber seals should work but would have to be actually tried in order to be certain of that. I'm perplexed as to why my slightly enlarged but otherwise fine looking seals stop working after 10 months or so. Some very small change seems to matter. So will a non-Cafelat seal work okay? I think you would have to try it.
That is the question I was asking if non-cafelat works or not. Its if it works, it works as long as the parts are easy to find. The friend of mine who owned one said no but answers from others feel a bit ambiguous. This leads me to ask the original question and ask for people who might be able to answer it.
jpender wrote:For now there's no particular reason to switch to rubber seals. The Cafelat seals are easily obtainable, inexpensively. Why would you choose an inferior material? If in the (hopefully) unlikely event Cafelat goes tits up at some point then it would matter. That's true of other Robot parts too. For sure it would be a minor tragedy in our home barista lives if we were forced to scramble for parts or buy a different machine.
I hope no tragedy will happen. And for if the worst case scenario happen like no more production and only focus on the actual general seals.

But I guess that is fair, I will have to re-think of robot's serviceability with worst case scenarios.

harris
Supporter ❤

#14: Post by harris »

Scott-ishBrewer wrote: If the Robot can use the black V-seal, then the robot would have become very tempting offer.
Again, its more about the future serviceability, the robot's V-seal price is fair.
Buy a dozen of the correct v-seals today, at a fair price, and move on.

User avatar
Jeff
Team HB

#15: Post by Jeff »

I'm really lost on the purpose of this thread.

Arrarex stopped making the VAM (and later Caravels which take different seals) and went out of business decades ago. There are at least two suppliers of seal kits for them over 50 years later. There are replacement baskets available, as well as replacements for the bakelite-like handles that have cracked with age.

As the Robot seems to already have quite a following, I would expect availability of suitable seals in 50 years for my grandkids to be able to self-service my early Robot as well.
★★ Quite Helpful

jpender

#16: Post by jpender »

Who knows what would happen? I'll bet there are counter examples where parts for a particular machine dried up. Didn't that happen with the seals for the Faema Baby?

I would certainly miss my Robot if I couldn't figure out how to keep it working. On the other hand it would mean I'd be shopping for a new machine and we all know that can be fun! So yeah, first world problem for sure.

User avatar
yakster
Supporter ♡

#17: Post by yakster »

Seems related to mention that you can pick up the Cafelat Robot seals on the OEHandGrinder site along with some other Robot parts which saves on shipping in the USA.

I have a collection of vintage levers which have long been discontinued but you can still get seals and gaskets for most popular levers from other sources so it shouldn't be a problem. You can always stock up too.
-Chris

LMWDP # 272

Marcelnl
Supporter ♡

#18: Post by Marcelnl »

other than that you can get seals custom made, with the nr of Robots I figure are out there and used regularly someone surely will stand up and get a whopping batch made, I know I would simply to keep my travel espresso Robot in working order for as long as I travel...which I hope to do for another odd 30 years or so.
LMWDP #483

Jonk

#19: Post by Jonk »

How long can silicon seals last unused in a bag? Will they eventually dry up and become useless?

Otherwise you could buy the amount you'd imagine needing right now. I got 3 years out of my first seal, could probably have used it still if I wanted to.

I'd be more concerned about something else breaking after decades of heavy use. Perhaps one of the hooks for the portafilter lugs? Or one of the legs?

As sturdy as the Robot is, we still can't expect it to last forever.

jpender

#20: Post by jpender »

Jonk wrote:How long can silicon seals last unused in a bag? Will they eventually dry up and become useless?
I googled this before establishing a small cache of seals recently. The numbers I found for shelf life ranged from 20 years to "unlimited". Aging results in hardening and reduction of tensile strength. Storage conditions matter.

Jonk wrote:I'd be more concerned about something else breaking after decades of heavy use. Perhaps one of the hooks for the portafilter lugs? Or one of the legs?
Right. Something breaking on the body would be hard to fix. I'm not sure what the weak link is. So far I haven't heard about any Robots breaking. Of course as long as there is a used Robot market you can stay in the club.

Jonk wrote:As sturdy as the Robot is, we still can't expect it to last forever.
You don't need it to last forever, just longer than you. That's what I always tell my dentist when she proposes some expensive, prophylactic procedure.