Very interesting proposal, Marc, but I didn't want to change the profile of the Strega... my L1 uses about that same pressure and I don't need to duplicate it, so I'll leave in the 2nd spring for now, thanks
I think the best way to go at this point is to make a handle that looks like what Robert had made for his Faemina... sort of like the one currently on the Strega, but with a short straight section at the end, to accept a cylinder of wood over it. That way the handle will be guaranteed to be super strong in the event the gorillas in the neighborhood want espressos. The wood will be tapered slightly like in the pic from Cafemolino. I was going to just order a couple handles as Rich suggested (path of least resistance for us lazy guys), but they seem to be out of stock
...and, to tell the truth, i'm not sure if a 10mm or 12mm thread is strong enough to withstand the day in and day out use on the Strega, I think I'd be fearful of some bending/sagging of the lever although that's probably never going to happen. c'mon, I can't be the only guy on HB that stirs his coffee with a 10' metal spike used for killing vampires.... right?