New Arrarex Caravel addition

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Coz
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#1: Post by Coz »

With my Mircrocimbali project nearing completion (Microcimbali Rebuild... 11 years in the making :P) I picked up this little beaut to keep my hands busy. It has lived a life for sure but nothing a little TLC can't address. The heating element needs an overhaul so I'll be running this with an immersion wand or boiled water for the short term. Unlike my Micro which is strictly for show, I'm looking to this Caravel as my daily workhorse. Got the new seals, just waiting on some tools to help dissemble the piston and I should be up and running. Past that, some polishing, and at some point adding the boiler back.

If I like this as much as I think I will, I'd like to pull together a second machine from parts and try some customization/upgrades that I don't want to make to this one.

First thing that struck me about the Caravel was the size, this is a tiny little unit compared to the Micro.




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grog
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#2: Post by grog »

They are wonderful little machines. Unparalleled ristretto producers IMO.
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NicoNYC
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#3: Post by NicoNYC »

Looks like a lovely example of a Caravel, I especially like that little asymmetric dosing spoon you got with it.

They're wonderfully simple machines, and the disassembly and reassembly process is truly charming as I'm sure you've found. It may be a slap in the face of the Caravel's elegant design, but these are particularly well suited to being heated with a sous-vide style immersion circulator - set it for 1° higher than your intended brew temperature, let the piston warm up, and you're set.
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Coz (original poster)
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#4: Post by Coz (original poster) »

Yep, that's pretty much my plan, was looking at simple immersion heaters but the sous-vide style is kinda cool. I do have a kettle with adjustable temp. so also have that to play with. The heating element needs a complete rebuild but figure I can get a feel for the machine in the meantime.

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grog
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#5: Post by grog »

You can also get a new heating element from Brooks Espresso.
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grinser
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#6: Post by grinser »

Looks like a nice machine in great condition!

Why is your microcimbali just for show? (i know, draining the boiler after every use is a pain in the ass, but apart from this?)

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peacecup
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#7: Post by peacecup »

I used my Vam as a pourover because the wiring is bad. I just preheated the kettle and group with one pot of boiling water, then pulled the shot with the second pot of boiling water. An immersion heater would be easier though
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Coz (original poster)
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#8: Post by Coz (original poster) »

Why is your microcimbali just for show? (i know, draining the boiler after every use is a pain in the ass, but apart from this?)
My Micro has been a long time in the making, the boiler is in good shape so could definitely be used, but I have it to the point now it's more of collector's piece than something I would put to work on a regular basis. I have cleaned, polished, re-polished and replaced every single nut and bolt on that thing so I now I just like to admire it from across the room :) . I did just acquire another one (I used the wiring hardness from it to get my main one finished) but am in two minds whether to take on another Micro project or pass it on. All the bits are there (sans wiring) and will a bit of elbow grease it would to pull together as a decent machine. I might post up a tear down later today.

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Coz (original poster)
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#9: Post by Coz (original poster) »

This is the heating element, going to need a top-down rebuild so is on the back burner for now. In the meantime, it's polishing day.




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Coz (original poster)
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#10: Post by Coz (original poster) »

It was a real challenge to get the base screws unstuck on my machine, my guess is sitting water rusted them in place. I ended up having to drill two of them out completely, and the other screws were damaged in the process of removing them.

I found some decent replacements on eBay, here https://www.ebay.com/itm/153408708954?var=453337306845

I deliberately got longer ones because I want to experiment with different suction cup feet. The heads are a little smaller that the originals, but I think they are nice looking replacement, keeping the original look with the slotted screw. Size are M5, 16mm length