Making a bottomless portafilter for La Pavoni

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
da gino

#1: Post by da gino »

I'm considering taking the bottom off of my Pavoni Europiccola Millenium portafilter. Has anyone used a hole-saw to do this themselves and if so what size hole-saw did you use? (should it just be the biggest one that fits inside?

thanks for any advice!

turo0002

#2: Post by turo0002 »

Don't be afraid. It's super-easy to do with a hole saw and a battery operated hand-held drill. The metal of the PF is very soft. (I held the PF in place with a vice having wood ends and did not dent or scratch the PF.) It's a 10 minute job. Use a file when you're done so there are no sharp edges.
LMWDP #192

Spresso_Bean

#3: Post by Spresso_Bean »

I've made a few bottomless portafilters with a hole saw, and usually I'll wrap the outer perimeter of the hole saw with masking tape to avoid any accidental metal to metal contact. It's probably good to use a hole saw with a diameter that's the same or greater than the diameter of the removable basket's bottom, but don't get one so big that you end up removing too much of the structure where the handle area joins up with the main part. You don't want to weaken that area too much. As mentioned, files work for smoothing out the cut area, but a Dremel or other rotary tool with a sanding drum or grinding wheel makes that even easier if you have one. A drill press also works great if you have one of those.
LMWDP #200

da gino (original poster)

#4: Post by da gino (original poster) »

Great, thanks for the replies. I was a little worried about the joint where the handle joins the basket since there is a fairly big bump there, but if I found a hole saw the same size as or just slightly bigger than the basket I don't think it would take out too much of the bump. I love the masking tape tip - it makes sense.

I really like DIY stuff, so I'd like to do this myself even though there are really good options I've found on this website to have it done for you for very reasonable rates. I've almost always worked with wood and not metal, so this is a new area for me. As I type that, I wonder if there isn't a natural correlation between DIY people and lever machine users (and let's throw in stick shift drivers). It would make for an interesting poll.

turo0002 I'm glad to hear you did it with a hand-held. I don't have a drill press and my one friend who does is out of town, so I'm torn between using my drill or waiting 3 weeks and using his - you may be pushing me towards mine with your success.

Assuming I can clamp the portafilter in place either way up, is it better to drill from above with it facing up (as it would go in a coffee machine) or facing down or is it so easy that it just doesn't matter?

turo0002

#5: Post by turo0002 »

With some care, you should be able to twist the spout from the PF. However, I was too afraid to do that due to the force required.

So I simply used my hand-held drill with hole saw, and drilled straight down through the PF toward the spout (in the same direction of the water flow).

I copied DigMe's process "How I made my Bottomless PF". I also read cannonfodder's "How To Make Your Own Naked Portafilter".

I didn't have a lathe or professional tools, so I just used the hole saw and a simple vise/clamp. I am very happy with the result.
LMWDP #192

da gino (original poster)

#6: Post by da gino (original poster) »

One last follow up on this thread in case anyone else has the same questions I asked. I bought a 2in (51mm) holesaw with drill bit attached for metal and wood for under $10 at the local hardware store, put it on my hand held drill and it worked perfectly. You might get away with a slightly smaller one, but I wouldn't want one that was much bigger or too much smaller - I'd buy the same size again.

To hold the portafilter in place, I unscrewed the handle of the portafilter, drilled a hole that was the right size for its threads into the end of a 2x4 and then screwed the portafilter into the 2x4. I then attached the 2x4 onto a stable surface and it held the portafilter into place perfectly with no risk of scratching it or marring its finish (I would have used a vice, but I don't have one, but in retrospect, I really like this solution.)

Thanks for the advice on this thread as well as the previously existing tutorials.

As for the shots, I'm very happy with the results (although as I try to fine tune it I'll certainly have questions that I'll post on other threads).