Lever Espresso Machine Gallery - Page 341

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
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drgary
Team HB

#3401: Post by drgary »

These are different from the integrated groups and brew chambers of the original Microcimbalis. Can you describe the functionality of the slightly separated brew group that is connected by two pipes to the boiler?
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

soldjem

#3402: Post by soldjem »

Well, the functionality is mostly the same. The lower connecting tube enters the brew chamber directly at the level of the piston cylinder and so it ensures there is always water flowing from the boiler part to the lowest section of the brew chamber. The upper connecting tube is mostly structural to firmly hold the two parts together and withstand the pressure upon lowering the lever but if water is added that high, it helps to equalise the water levels in both cylinders. Other than that, these boilers work pressurized, so upon lowering the lever, the water is forced by that pressure around the piston seals into the piston cylinder and then out through the screen. When I made the first one, I also used it as non-pressurized by removing the internals of the pressure valve and it worked fine also. However, this usage is more sensitive to the functionality of the little rubber gasket that sits between the screen and the piston cylinder. Upon lowering the lever, this gasket creates vacuum in the piston cylinder which greatly helps to pull water around the piston seals into that cylinder. It happened to me that some debris accumulated behind this gasket and I had hard times to push water through the puck because there was not enough vaccum to pull water in. Heating speed in both machines is quite fast (the older one has 1000W element, the liberty model 1300W one that heats the boiler and water really fast). It takes a bit longer for the group head to heat up but I help it by pushing hot water through before I extract the coffee. The boiler remains heated up after turning it off for quite long because it is steel and not aluminum.

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redbone

#3403: Post by redbone »

Excellent solution Lucas, I stayed away from adding the Microciballi to my prosumer home lever collection due to their boiler issues, it appears that you found a way around that.
Between order and chaos there is espresso.
Semper discens.


Rob
LMWDP #549

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drgary
Team HB

#3404: Post by drgary »

Also, I restored one with the aluminum boiler. It pulled great shots and was a powerful steamer. That wasn't why I sold it. I sold it with a spare boiler because of its fundamental materials issue and in order to use the proceeds toward other collectible machines.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

soldjem

#3405: Post by soldjem replying to drgary »

Before I bought these two, I did not know about the boiler issue and I found out quickly. Restored both of them with the original boilers, tried to find a solution to consolidate the internals (there is not any), then asked around if somebody would be able to cast a replica (no success), even found a 3d model of the boiler online and asked several 3D printing companies if they would be able to print it in stainless steel with no success either. For the whole time, it bothered me to have these two just standing on the shelf without being able to use them. I could not sell them knowing I would fool somebody the same way I got fooled into thinking these can be daily used. In the end, I came up with a design for which I could buy tubes in standard diameters and make the rest out of scrap sheet metal. That proved hard enough with the first boiler (all the precise drilling) that I made figures and had the components laser-cut by a company for the second one. Welding it is not easy (at least for me, since I am not a professional in that sense at all and warping is a big problem) but I managed. I already know how to improve the design further but that will have to be for the next one when I get some time.





soldjem

#3406: Post by soldjem »

redbone wrote:Excellent solution Lucas, I stayed away from adding the Microciballi to my prosumer home lever collection due to their boiler issues, it appears that you found a way around that.
Thanks Rob. See my other comment about not knowing about the issue beforehand. I had to deal with consequences :D

I read on various forums online that microcimbalis are not capable of producing excellent espresso. Now, when I have these two finally working, I can say they are in fact capable to make one of the best. I have quite a good collection to compare with (LP Europiccola, Faema Faemina, La Peppina, Zerowatt 708, Sama export) One of the mods I made was to increase the spring tension and grind my coffee finer. Together with using Pavoni portafilter and baskets, it helped a lot.

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drgary
Team HB

#3407: Post by drgary »

Lukas has shown us more restoration photos with discussion in the following thread. For anyone interested in this modification or one similar to it, I invite you to continue the conversation there.

Microcimbali boiler fabrication
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

NYC Frank

#3408: Post by NYC Frank »

Think I'm all dialed in with my Christmas present BPLUS Apollo grinder from my Wife and Son. 8)


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IamOiman
Team HB

#3409: Post by IamOiman »

I got my first French machine today. It is an early Conti dated to around October of 1955, prior to Conti's move to Monaco in 1956 and still at its Paris location. I have asked around but I do not know the model name, perhaps the data tag 'SH' may be a hint. It's not a super well known machine and not many examples exist (I know of 6 total including mine + one two group that was destroyed in a film).

It is a really interesting design where the valves, sight glass, and group all attach to the boiler lid. The lid itself has a very unique casting where the valves connect to 'arms' on the lid. The weight on the middle valve is for the water inlet to tug the valve closed after opening it. I really like the design and form of the body panels, and they are in good condition. The damaged plexi is made of glass. I am not going to immediately work on this one until some other projects are done.




-Ryan
Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention
LMWDP #612

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drgary
Team HB

#3410: Post by drgary »

That's one beautiful classic, Ryan. I look forward to the restoration. Looking at the Conti website, the Princess was made in Monaco starting in 1956. Before that the site says the company was called SACOME and the machine brand was called Conti, with the same logo that you have on yours. As you wrote the factory was in France. So your rare machine predates the Princess.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!