It's a Pavoni Shirley!

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
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civ

Postby civ » Apr 28, 2008, 9:22 pm

Hello:

Long before I posted for the first time on the HB forum, I've wondered about how it would be to make espresso on a lever machine, never seen one close up much less had the chance to use one.

This afternoon I came across this little thing (for a nice low price) and promptly snapped it up.
From the sellers (bad) photo, I think it has had little use.

Edit: new photo placed inline.

Image

It seems to be a Pavoni and even has a red sticker that clearly says 'Pavoni Shirley' and 'Industria Argentina', meaning that it's been made or assembled here in Argentina, of all places.

Edit: new photo placed inline.

Image

The problem is that I cannot find any references to a Pavoni lever model called 'Shirley' or any Pavonis made or assembled outside Italy.

I will be taking possession in a day or two, so I'll have better photos to show the forum.

Edit: New information.

I have found Shirley to be in excellent shape and dare guess that if it has seen any use at all it's been no big deal. The boiler holds ~ 1.20 litres when filled up to the 'shoulder' and shows no signs of scale. The cap's seal seems to be in perfect shape.

Edit: Updated information

The total capacity of the boiler is ~1.50 litres, filled to the brim.

The 52.0 mm portafilter is also in perfect shape, with no sign of wear and tear or stains and the same can be said for all the plastic parts, handles and knobs. It came with two SS baskets, both 23.0 mm deep.

Edit: New information

Austin Powers wrote: [In a PM]
I suspect you have a misunderstanding as to how group size is measured. The accepted standard is to measure the inside diameter of the coffee filter, not the filter holder. Thus when people speak of "a 58mm group" they mean the the coffee filters measure 58mm across the inside.

Italian made Pavoni home lever machines have a 49mm group from their inception until the start of the millennium group, which is 52mm nominal.


Then this Pavoni 'Shirley', measured correctly and not my way, has a 49.0 mm group. =-)

The drip tray grill is plastic and there's a plain on/off switch with a neon lamp indicator but no fuse or temperature control, it's wired direct to 220v. I cannot find any indication as to the wattage of the resistance.

Edit: Updated information

The wattage of this 220v heating element is 800W, ~ 60 Ohms across posts.

Anyone have any idea with respect to this Pavoni model or to what model it could compare to?

Thanks in advance,

CIV

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HB
Admin

Postby HB » Apr 29, 2008, 9:24 pm

I never know what information will mysteriously find its way to my Inbox. This commentary on your espresso machine arrived today:

Austin Powers wrote:This lever espresso machine is a first generation Europiccola as manufactured 1960-1974. The rubber base appears to be missing. These have been unavailable for many years in the northern hemisphere. A substitute can be made with rubber u-channeling. It's best not to operate machine without something soft beneath it so as not to chip finish of base.

These have a different group than post 1974 examples. The piston operates in a cylinder which threads into the group body from the bottom. This creates a water jacket or "radiator system" around the cylinder which helps with temperature stability. The group seals will almost certainly need to be replaced. remove the pf gasket and two pin holes will be seen in seat for the pf gasket. These are used to turn the cylinder in order to unthread it from the group body.

Begin by removing the acorn nut and jam nut atop the piston shaft. Then remove one snap ring from each of the two pivot pins at the top of the group. The pins can then be tapped out and the lever removed.

On the underside of the machine disconnect the heating element wires. Then unscrew the heating element from the floor of the boiler with a chain tool or band type automobile oil filter wrench. This will expose the lock ring which affixes the boiler to the base. it has pin holes that permit it to be turned with a tool. A punch and mallet are ok to loosen it. Loosening the lock ring permits the base to be swung out of the way for work on the group.

With machine inverted, clamp the top flat portion of the group, inverted in a vise so you can address the cylinder. Take care to cushion it so as to protect the finish. A tool must be made to fit the pin holes. Do not attempt to turn the cylinder with a punch and mallet. This will only succeed in damaging the holes. It will likely require a good deal of torque to break it free. Tools must include pins for the pin holes and a means of keeping it centered/steady. One can be made by silver soldering pins to the end of a steel cylinder of the correct diameter or by inserting roll pins into an aluminum plug of the correct diameter. Whatever is used to turn the tool will need a long handle to generate adequate torque. Once cylinder is out seals can be replaced in straightforward manner. They are the same as those used on the second generation group (1975-millennium) and so not a problem to obtain. Be very careful when re-installing cylinder as it is difficult to "feel" the threads because of the friction caused by the piston seals. You will want to replace the heating element gasket as well.

Electrics: the switch that can be seen on the left side of the base is not an on/off switch but a high/low switch for the heating element. The machine is powered so long as it is plugged in. A plug switch can be added if you do not wish to plug/unplug it for each use. Switch should be on high (massimo) for warm up and for steaming and on low (minimo) for espresso extraction and idling. The machine is losing water via steam through the emission valve all the time, it is in pressure so it should not be left unattended for long periods when in pressure as it can steam away all of its water and self destruct.

Dispersion screen: On examples produced approx 1960-72, the screen is machined into the floor of the cylinder and cannot be removed. This necessitates removal of the cylinder to service the piston. On units manufactured approx 1972-74, the dispersion screen is removable so the piston can be withdrawn without removing the cylinder. It would still be best to remove the cylinder however to perform a thorough cleaning of the group.


Also see related topics Pavoni unknown model? and Europiccola dispersion screen split while replacing seals, need help.
Dan Kehn

User avatar
civ

Postby civ » Apr 29, 2008, 10:42 pm

Hello Dan:

HB wrote:I never know what information will mysteriously find its way to my Inbox. This commentary on your espresso machine arrived today:

Indeed ... 8-D !

Just today I was sending mail to a chap who goes by the name of Dr. Pavoni (and has a great Pavoni site) with some photos and a question with respect to the changing of the piston seals, which in this older Pavoni seems to be rather complicated.

You don't just pop out the gasket with the shower screen like in the newer models.
Pity.

Austin Powers wrote:This lever espresso machine is a first generation Europiccola as manufactured 1960-1974. The rubber base appears to be missing.

Quite so. My limited research indicated that the lack of bolts for the group and the boiler bottom (it screws off) meant that this was a very old model. But I haven't found any data on the 'Shirley' part of this story yet.

Austin Powers wrote:Electrics: the switch that can be seen on the left side of the base is not an on/off switch but a high/low switch for the heating element. The machine is powered so long as it is plugged in.

Here's a photo of the base with the sheet metal cover taken off. It is kept in place with four screws and these have (don't know if they are original but they are now rotten) rubber feet. I'll have to see about the 'U' rubber channeling.

Image

As to the electrics, it would seem that this particular 'Shirley' model is a bit different as I can't see the described arrangement. It's just a SPST switch with a neon in series protected by a resistance.

But the instructions for changing the seals are a real treasure find. =-D
Fortunately, the few of trial shots I drew today went off reasonably (for me, an absolute newbie with a lever) well, with no leaking observed anywhere.

Here's a photo of the shower screen and the flat gasket seal:

Image

Since it seems to be in pristine shape, I have hesitated to take it off and see what's below, more so if there's a good chance of not being able to get a replacement.

I will attempt to take it off, take some photos and see about having a tool made for the job.

Edit:
This is what our friend 'Austin Powers' was referring to.
Once you remove (first one not too easy to do) the two portafilter seals you see this:

Image

To unscrew the cylinder and get to the piston to change the piston seals, you need a tool (basically a pipe) with two pins at 180° and a snug fit to the place where the portafilter seals go.

For some strange reason, there are two seals: a thick one, 7.50mm high that comes in contact with the portafilter itself and and a thin one, 1.50mm high that sits between the cylinder and the first seal.

Please relay my heartfelt gratitude to 'Austin Powers' for the valuable information he sent you.

Best regards and many thanks,

CIV

User avatar
HB
Admin

Postby HB » Apr 30, 2008, 8:15 am

civ wrote:Please relay my heartfelt gratitude to 'Austin Powers' for the valuable information he sent you.

I will indeed convey your message. In the meantime, the International Man of Mystery adds:

Austin Powers wrote:Aha! This must indeed be a silverland produtto. New photos show that base, resistance, interuttore and group attachment to la caldaia are all different than on a via archimede produced example. Regrettably much of my earlier comments are not applicable.

Oopsie.
Dan Kehn

User avatar
civ

Postby civ » Apr 30, 2008, 9:02 am

Hello Dan:

HB wrote:I will indeed convey your message ...

Thank you.

But ...
Aha !
I see the plot thickens ... 8-7

Austin Powers wrote:This must indeed be a silverland produtto. New photos show that base, resistance, interuttore and group attachment to la caldaia are all different than on a via archimede produced example.


Hmmm ....
Silverland?
Via Archimede?

It would seem that, thanks to the rather hasty acquisition of a strange and (up to the moment) un-identified model lever Pavoni we may be (provided HB's own 'Deep Throat' is willing to speak some more) at the beginning of an interesting saga.

To me, there's no doubt of his being Italian and 'in the know', so to speak.

Would it be too much to ask you (HB) to ask him (AP) for some clarifications with respect to Silverland and Via Archimede and whatever other additional data/information he'd care to convey to HB's lever forum members so that we may learn a bit more about this particular Pavoni or other early Pavoni levers?

If this is indeed such an early model and is in such a good shape (no leaks, no wear and tear on any parts) it will prove interesting to know more about it.

Once again, Dan, thanks for your efforts.

Best regards,

CIV

User avatar
civ

Postby civ » May 06, 2008, 6:22 am

Hello:

While working on my newly acquired Pavoni (it's Shirley to me) I have also been doing some research on the very early Pavoni Europiccola models our misterious correspondent (Austin Powers) singled out:

Austin Powers wrote:This must indeed be a silverland produtto. New photos show that base, resistance, interuttore and group attachment to la caldaia are all different than on a via archimede produced example.


My search pulled in a Google link to an item on sale at eBay.fr late last year, the content of which I had to fish out from their cache, unfortunately with no photo as the 90 day post-sale period had already expired:

---
A Vendre
Cafetieres Modele Pro chrome
Marque la Pavoni via archimede
capacite 1,8 L
220V
C'est un modele ancien, de collection quasiment
année environ 1980
L electricite est a revoir (les fils sont a remplacer)
---

It seems this particular Pavoni must have had a sticker or some sort of indication that made it possible for the seller to ID it as a "Via Archimede" model and date it as a 1980 model.

This makes me think that maybe there may have also been models with a "Silverland" sticker or ID.
I'll try to see if I can find a photo of this "Via Archimede" Pavoni and post it.

Cheers,

CIV

User avatar
civ

Postby civ » May 08, 2008, 8:09 pm

Hello:

After dis-assembling the boiler from the base in order to take it apart for cleaning, I came across something rather unexpected.

On the outside face of the bottom plate and (as you may also infer), stamped in a 'one by one' manner there's a number that reads '11 345', with a bit more space between the second 'one' and the 'three'. It is located at the back of the unit, near the cable exit.

It would seem to be a serial number of some sort.
A 'Silverland' Pavoni Europiccola number 11345?
A 'Silverland' Pavoni Europiccola number 11 made on day 345?

Who knows...

In any case, I think it's rather a strange place for a serial number (an easily replaceable and inexpensive part), but what do I know about serial numbers?

I seriously doubt that there were ever one hundred much less eleven hundred plus Pavoni 'Shirleys' here in AR, otherwise I would have surely seen quite a few more than just this lone one, which leads me to think that they arrived in parts to be assembled here.

Here's a photo, after a careful cleanup of paint and grime of the sector on the bottom plate.

Image

Cheers,

CIV