Faema Faemina Baby Working! - Page 2

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
Ron (original poster)

#11: Post by Ron (original poster) »

beer&mathematics wrote:What a simple solution! Can't believe I never tried this. Hope I can get my Baby to make espresso soon.
You can see the power of leverage. With a 1/8" o-ring I can barely get the piston into the portafilter, but using the levers it's not hard at all. Check on whether you can use the 1/8" thickness or if you need a little thinner 3/16".

Ron (original poster)

#12: Post by Ron (original poster) »

By the way, I was curious about other people who used an o-ring as a substitute for the Faemina Baby seal and I found a 2016 post from the HB website:
Lever Espresso Machine Gallery

The main difference compared to my solution is that this one appears to take the original seal off and put the o-ring in the piston groove. But, the o-ring did not fit the groove and the person used a lathe to modify the groove, as I understand it. I would not like to modify the metal on the piston. If you could find an o-ring that could fit directly into the metal groove as is, it would be an alternative to putting the o-ring on top of the old seal, as I have done. Since I'm getting pretty good pressure and I'm able to make espresso, I think I'll leave well enough alone, unless I can get a new seal like the original.

I heard about ordering a custom-made seal like the original and a group buy a few years ago. Is anyone interested in doing this again or does anyone know a company that can duplicate the original seal?

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Ron (original poster)

#13: Post by Ron (original poster) »

Using my 1/8" extra o-ring I just pulled one my best espressos ever on the Faemina Baby. I used 18 grams of freshly roasted Brazil Minas, imported green by the Bosnian company Vispak. I pulled the cup away when the crema was quite good but the volume was in the ristretto area. Taste really came through; the only downside was a much stronger caffeine reaction in a very short time. If I do this again, I'll probably dose 15 grams or so. I always do 18 grams on my HX machine and don't feel the caffeine as much. Maybe the Baby has superior extraction. I got the portafilter and filter as hot as possible in boiling water first.

If anyone is interested in the Brazil Minas I used, you can order it here (green, unroasted):

https://www.eurofooddeals.com/product/v ... beans-1kg/

Walmart briefly had it available from one of their online shops for half-price and I loaded up, but that offer's gone. Anyway, it's not that expensive for a kilo bag.

Ron (original poster)

#14: Post by Ron (original poster) »

Update on my o-ring on the Faema Baby.

My Danco #100 o-ring has been working quite well but I did not see an FDA claim of food safety on their website, so I phoned them. They said that the material is neoprene and is considered food safe, but I read that they never applied for an official FDA approval. After using the machine, I wiped the o-ring with a white paper towel and noticed a slight black mark on the paper, so I thought about getting an identical size o-ring in another material, like silicone. Fortunately, there's a universal size code on the Danco website (#100 O-Ring (AS568B# 224)), which means that you can look for a "224" size ring in silicone and it will be the same size (2" OD, 1.75" ID, .125" cross section).

Local hardware stores only carry the neoprene "224", so I looked online. I found 25-packs and 10-packs in silicone. No option to buy one or two. So, I went for the 10-pack on Ebay, for slightly over $6. Not too bad at 60 cents each and maybe a lifetime supply. It works exactly like the neoprene, but is silicone with an FDA approval mentioned in the description. Sold by Jet Gasket and Seal Company.

I also took note of the fact that the similar Cafelat Robot uses an FDA silicone piston seal, which is the same description as the seal I'm now using (in addition to the original Faema seal, as in the original photo in this thread).