La Pavoni DIY Naked Portafilter

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
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RayJohns

Postby RayJohns » Sep 27, 2010, 6:46 am

Well, I was going to order a 49mm naked portafilter for use on my little used La Pavoni (which I recently bought off Craigslist), but instead I decided I would just cut it myself and see how it came out.

Originally, I wasn't going to mess with the OEM portafilter. However, after some research on-line (and in speaking with Doug from OE on here), I came to the conclusion that the portafilter which came with my machine probably wasn't originally from La Pavoni anyway. As such, I decided "what the heck" and figured I would try my hand at the DIY naked portafilter route tonight. I'm happy I did, because the end result came out absolutely beautiful.

The entire job took approximately 90 minutes, but that's largely because I took my time and wanted to make sure it came out extra nice. Below are some of the better photos that I snapped along the way. I haven't pulled a shot using it yet, but when I do, I will be sure to follow up with some additional pictures here. I may also modify the handle a little bit, although for now I'm just using the standard handle that came on the portafilter.

Enjoy the photos and if anyone has any questions, please feel free to post them here. Thanks!

Ray

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Here's the portafilter in the vice

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As luck would have it, I just happened to have a 48mm bi-metal hole saw handy (1 7/8")

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Here you can see the start of the cut. I just used a hand drill for this and it worked fine

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Almost through the bottom after only about 5 minutes of chipping and cutting

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Here you can see the progress. I stopped just short of going all the way through

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Bye bye bottom! :-)

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Not too shabby for a hand drill and a hole saw!

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I used to port cylinder heads using this bit, so I'm pretty sure it can handle a brass portafilter

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After doing a little blending with the die grinder

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Checking to make sure we have consistent width front to back and side to side

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Time for some further blending & smoothing with the trusty sanding wheel

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Post sanding. As you can see, things are starting to take shape pretty nicely!

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Now time for some polishing

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Doing some polishing inside the portafilter basket area

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After the initial polishing

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This is after using some 600 & 1500 grit sand paper in order to produce a more satin finish

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Here you can see the radius on the bottom edge

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All done! Just needs a little further cleaning

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A quick self portrait with my little brass masterpiece :-)

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After washing in the sink with soap and water - looks pretty good no?

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Here's a shot showing how it sits on the edge of the counter (complete with my 49mm SS tamper)

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And here is the final result, locked into the La Pavoni & ready for extraction

User avatar
HB
Admin

Postby HB » Sep 27, 2010, 8:21 am

Beautiful work!
Dan Kehn

fastbikes16

Postby fastbikes16 » Sep 27, 2010, 9:48 am

That looks great!! Now I am really tempted to try it for myself :lol:

Can't wait to see some shots from this beauty!!

Scott
LMWDP #306

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RayJohns

Postby RayJohns » Sep 27, 2010, 11:43 am

Thanks Dan! :-)

Scott - I did some test pulls just now, but they were all over the map. I think mainly because my beans are old and also because they are not specifically an espresso blend. I was out of town for a month, so most of the beans I had in the house are probably 6 months old or more. As soon as I have a chance, I'm going to head down to the local coffee roasting place and pickup their espresso blend as well as some green beans to roast here at home. I may also look into ordering some beans from on-line.

If anyone has any suggestions on beans, I'll be happy to try them! :-)

Ray

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RayJohns

Postby RayJohns » Sep 27, 2010, 12:22 pm

Okay, I did a couple of quick pulls. Here's the only half way decent one. As mentioned in the video description (on youtube), I only had old store bought beans in the house. I'll buy an espresso blend and/or roast up some beans shortly here and do some more testing. However, for 9 month old Peet's coffee beans, this actually didn't come out too bad - all things considered. Anyway, you get the idea.

Oh and the lighting was all fouled up, because the sun started coming up while I was filming. Future videos will be a lot better!


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RayJohns

Postby RayJohns » Sep 30, 2010, 6:44 am

Here's a better shot, using a very light tamp as a test.

Enjoy the video! :-)

Ray


fastbikes16

Postby fastbikes16 » Oct 05, 2010, 8:45 pm

So, I was tempted enough to try this for myself and I think it turned out quite well! I used the same exact proceedure as Ray used, and although mine didn't turn out as well cosmetically, it works great! Here is a video:

LMWDP #306

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RayJohns

Postby RayJohns » Oct 05, 2010, 10:37 pm

Not too bad! :-) I think maybe just a slightly finer grind or a slightly harder tamp? It looked like it pulled a little fast. How was the taste?

Ray

fastbikes16

Postby fastbikes16 » Oct 05, 2010, 10:45 pm

yeah, it was a little bit on the normale side of things, but the best shot of the day! I still need to practice my distribution more, as I am getting some channeling on some shots. Great to know now that I chopped my PF!

Scott
LMWDP #306

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RayJohns

Postby RayJohns » Oct 06, 2010, 5:12 am

I was having channeling problems as well. Try doing a lighter tamp and a little pre-infusion and see how it goes. If the coffee runs out too fast, then just make the grind a bit more fine until you get a good extraction. Usually the channeling is due to something being wrong as far as the tamping goes (usually too hard) or the grind. The water can't get through the coffee like it wants, so it has to dig a path through whatever the weakest area is.

The pre-infusion (combined with a bit lighter tamp), also the coffee grinds and water to mix up a bit first, then (after the pre-infusion), you start pushing everything through the screen in the group head. As long as the grind is not super fine or super coarse, then using that method usually makes a big difference.

Ray