LMWDP Rollcall - Page 210

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
sprint jinx

#2091: Post by sprint jinx »

drgary wrote:Porter, essentially you have cobbled yourself a Conti Prestina with a large boiler.

On my Prestina, where the group is fastened with 4 bolts, there is no "give" on the pull. You should be able to figure out a way to brace it to eliminate the flex.
I was hoping that you would see my build, I was inspired by your rebuilds, so this is me saying thanks.

Thicker steel slats in the front, where the groups are bolted on would be the trick. I tried twice to ensure that it would not flex, but its just so much weight transfer. The piping is holding fast to the frame, which is where I am concerned. When the boiler flexes forward, the pipe connections do not. Now that I have the original PF in place, it stops pointing dead outward, so I use that to lift upwards to counter the movement.

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Team HB

#2092: Post by drgary »

You're quite welcome!

This image may help. You'll see that the supports are quite thick at the bottom of the Prestina boiler. The boiler, filled with water, counterbalances the weight of the group. The boiler flange is bolted directly to the lower cross member, and those bolts are tightened to 15 ft/lbs. There are three such bolts locking the boiler plate to the frame. Also all the frame parts are thick, especially the side supports, and there's lots of rigid extension to the front. Looking at your machine is there a way to lock the ends of the boiler to the frame?


This photo gives you a sense of the thickness of the crosspiece, which is solid, plain steel. The bottom, not the sides, of the lower rectangular frame is similarly thick.


This photo shows the thickness of that bottom, horizontal framing.


The framing thickness may be easier to see in this "before" photo, where it's a light green.


What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!


#2093: Post by knumph »

Perhaps the first really fantastic shot of espresso I've ever had was courtesy of a 3 group Victorio Arduino 3-group lever (Athena?) at Rowster Coffee in Grand Rapids, MI, circa perhaps 2010. That was what really got me hooked. Shortly thereafter they converted to Modbar and there was no other lever-using cafe in town. I've cycled through the normal phases of gear leveling (Gaggia Classic, Quickmill Anita), and this Christmas I was able to finally close the deal and score a Londinium R. Couldn't be happier.

sprint jinx

#2094: Post by sprint jinx »

Also all the frame parts are thick, especially the side supports, and there's lots of rigid extension to the front. Looking at your machine is there a way to lock the ends of the boiler to the frame?

As a quick response to your help, I'd say no, there is no way to secure the boiler as you suggest, as it is laid out left to right, across the face of the machine. The slight movement during pulling is front to back. Unless I added straps that surrounded the cylinder, and bolted them down to the frame, I don't think that the boiler end plate would be of much help, as there is less metal there than on the Prestina, where it is made to be bolted to the frame along its circumference.
It's almost as if i need a giant clamp that saddles the top and bottom of the boiler and then secures to the frame. Or, I could just cut out the thin vertical slats and replace it with thicker steel. I also thought about using stiffer, hollow, square stock instead of solid bar.
Bracing it diagonally, from upper front to lower rear would work, but then there is this giant boiler in the way. Ha.


#2095: Post by Cremina81 »

Hi all,

Looks like I am #627, better than 666!) I am waiting for a new sight glass to finish my rebuild on my 1981 Cremina, fingers crossed hopefully no more leaks! Can't wait to pull a shot again, cheers! Trying to post pictures again, didn't upload last post. Enjoy.
LMWDP #627


#2096: Post by maccompatible »

Hey all!
A bit late to the lever game, but I'd love to be a part of this group on here. I got into coffee about 4 years ago with the aid of an aeropress. Going from drinking no coffee, I started drinking Starbucks at college as I studied. I quickly realized how much cheaper it would be if I brewed my own, having recently started brewing my own tea. What I got out of the cheapest auto-dripper was barely acceptable, and I knew I could get better. I did a quick google search and made a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond to get an aeropress! It was amazing, but all anyone could talk about was how it wasn't "real espresso." Within days a local ad for a Gaggia Carezza appeared online for 35$, so I jumped on it and bought a Vario to go with it, per the advice of HB. From there I saved and bought the Silvia and have been using that until this year. Since then I got accepted to medical school and used that setup the whole way, until interview season for residency. I wanted to have my morning espresso, so I found the Flair! Cheap, portable, and can make a fine shot with a little attention to detail. Now I use that completely manual lever most days of the week, oftentimes in preference to the Silvia. Thanks for reading! :D
"Wait. People drink coffee just for the caffeine??"
LMWDP #628


#2097: Post by acoustichero »


Something like 6 years ago I went to a coffee shop in my area and thought the coffee there was some of the best coffee I had ever experienced. The shop roasted all of its coffee in house and it was better than anything I had experienced which admittedly wasn't much beyond Folgers at home. Shortly after that, I purchased a french press and a grinder and returned to the shop to buy some of there coffee. I was blown away by the many different coffees they offered from all over the world and I felt like I needed try them all. After a couple months of going back and buying various coffee from that shop, I got the brilliant idea to try my hand at roasting. I purchased a Freshroast air roaster and started into the world of coffee roasting. I've since upgraded to a propane grill that I converted into a coffee roaster and I sell to some friends and coworkers. Along the way, I tried many different methods of brewing but had never really tried my hand at espresso -- mostly due to the high cost. About a year ago I decided to pick up the Flair and fell instantly in love with espresso. Finally, about a week ago, I got my hands on a La Pavoni Stradivari Professional and, so far, I've been loving it!
LMWDP #629

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Team HB

#2098: Post by drgary »

@ Cremina81, you have asbestos on the boiler that may be degrading in the front and may need to be removed with appropriate caution and safe disposal.

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

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#2099: Post by zix »

Welcome acoustichero, and congrats on the Stradivarius! It is a beauty.
LMWDP #047


#2100: Post by maki »

hi fellow level lovers,
since the early days of starting enjoying coffee wanted a lever machine, but never had chance or, space in the tiny kitchen.
then moved place, having a bigger kitchen got a La Marzocco and plumbed it in and, without telling my wife, got a restauration project for myself, a '84 La Pavoni Europiccola.

changed sight glass and its gaskets, piston gaskets as they were cracked, had to find a solution for problematic heating element and, finally couple of days ago pulled my first ever shot on a LEVER.

it was much much better than i expected, by unfortunately, i cannot replicate it any more (read frustration here).
now thinking about doing the temp mod (i already have a thermometer attached to the group)

LMWDP #630