Gaggia Spring Lever project

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
EthanL

#1: Post by EthanL » Nov 29, 2019, 12:24 pm

Just got this yesterday, from the evil bay. It is from Spain, I can't find too much info about this model, it doesn't appear like a Orione, with the hot water and steam outlets grouped on the same side of the group head. And it doesn't have a power switch, I have tried to plug it in, didn't get it fired up. The seller said it has been fully restored, I didn't know he only meant the outside...The inside, hmm, a lot of work to do I have to say. I plumbed it with water mains and filled half of the boiler before I plugged it in, some tiny leakings on the fittings. Only have the picture from the seller at hand, will upload more when home tonight. Thanks for any inputs!

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truemagellen

#2: Post by truemagellen » Nov 29, 2019, 1:29 pm

Exciting!

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IamOiman

#3: Post by IamOiman » Nov 29, 2019, 1:31 pm

Hi Ethan,

I saw that machine for sale but did not buy it since I already have a machine with the Gaggia groups. What is odd about this machine is it uses the same handles as the Gaggia Minibar on the group but the steam wands and stickers are Faema parts. It could be a weird Visalcrem hybrid as well. The machine itself looks like it is in very nice cosmetic condition. If you say you cannot power it up we will need to see the inside of the machine to see what is happening. If the seller's pic is accurate and that red light turns on when the machine is on it may be as simple as a loose wire inside.
-Ryan
I'll throw my portafilter in the ring
LMWDP #612

EthanL

#4: Post by EthanL » Nov 29, 2019, 1:47 pm

truemagellen wrote:Exciting!

You see...I couldn't wait to start this thread after one night with the machine :oops:

EthanL

#5: Post by EthanL » Nov 29, 2019, 2:04 pm

IamOiman wrote: I saw that machine for sale but did not buy it since I already have a machine with the Gaggia groups. What is odd about this machine is it uses the same handles as the Gaggia Minibar on the group but the steam wands and stickers are Faema parts. It could be a weird Visalcrem hybrid as well. The machine itself looks like it is in very nice cosmetic condition. If you say you cannot power it up we will need to see the inside of the machine to see what is happening. If the seller's pic is accurate and that red light turns on when the machine is on it may be as simple as a loose wire inside.
Hi Ryan, absolutely on point! Your Tell Restoration is much inspiration for me. I saw that type of blue stickers on vintage Faemas, but not on Gaggias, might be a hybrid from Spain factory? The seller claims it's an 60s machine, I took it partially. The chrome is very shiny, and persuasive... The group head is gigantic, blew me away when I first had time to look at it closely. I always wanted a single group commercial spring lever with a boiler capacity of 6L or less, moderate footprint on counter, not too many buying options around, have passed several tempting two-groups due to the weight (>= 65kg) and size, so finally pulled the trigger on this one. I will upload more pix as soon as I'm with the machine, thanks!

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truemagellen

#6: Post by truemagellen » Nov 29, 2019, 2:37 pm

Regardless of the issue it is surmountable on this machine. It is a blessing and a curse when they don't operate perfectly as you end up becoming one with it's operation as you rebuild it. You end up respecting it more and the engineering.

EthanL

#7: Post by EthanL » replying to truemagellen » Nov 29, 2019, 3:01 pm

The only thing I'm scared of is the case if I have to open up the group head, it means lots of particular toolings and parts, which are not easy to source... But restoring machines is overall a joy for me, and there are some local machine shops that I can turn to.

I'm attracted by the simplicity of how espresso is extracted from coffee beans, and the complexity built up around this idea, it's something I can appreciate aesthetically and in the cup.

LObin

#8: Post by LObin » Nov 29, 2019, 6:13 pm

I also almost purchased this machine a year or so ago!

I believe the model is a Gaggia Minor.

The seller wasn't super responsive and he said he was selling it for a friend. The pictures of the inside of the machine were of very bad quality but I was surprised to see the condition of the inside vs the "shinyness" of the outside!

Post some pics when you get a chance!

I have a 1966 2 group Gaggia Orione waiting to be restored and yes, the Gaggia group is massive! Great engineering too. My advice is : remove the piston to see in what condition the seals, piston, cylinder liner and spring are. If it all seems fine, then just order new seals for now.

IamOiman's gaggia Tell restoration thread will provide plenty of detailed info and pictures along the way.

Cheers!
LMWDP #592

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IamOiman

#9: Post by IamOiman » Nov 29, 2019, 8:01 pm

LObin wrote: IamOiman's gaggia Tell restoration thread will provide plenty of detailed info and pictures along the way.
This is exactly why I took so many pics and went into such fine detail. I hope that thread to be useful to not just my own model's type but anything with a Gaggia lever group!
-Ryan
I'll throw my portafilter in the ring
LMWDP #612

EthanL

#10: Post by EthanL » Nov 29, 2019, 9:42 pm

Steam tube is bent after the shipment, not a big issue.
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The left rear foot is bent as well, not sure if it was like that.

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Under the drip tray, everything tells the age.
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The boiler top and heating element.
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The group head is so intact only the joint area has some rust, not sure if the group head has already got some restoration.
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Bottom part of the sight glass has the color of blue, brass rust build-up?
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