Rob's 1st gen La Pavoni Europiccola restoration - Page 2

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

#11: Post by drgary »

I wouldn't do the clearcoat, which creates another layer that can break down. The pins as I remember them are very malleable, but why remove them if you don't have to?
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

RobAnybody (original poster)

#12: Post by RobAnybody (original poster) » replying to drgary »

Good point!
I have a preference for not removing /disassembeling parts if I don't have to.
cheers,
Rob
LMWDP #647

Baratza: skilled in the art of grinding
Sponsored by Baratza
RobAnybody (original poster)

#13: Post by RobAnybody (original poster) »

Progress!! (besides editing the title to avoid confusion with the split off thread)

using a home made heating element tool, workmate, broomstick and a wee bit of force the heating element came off the donor machine :D


only marginally damaged from the attempt with the blunt chisel.
Next up will be giving it a good cleaning, sealing up the terminals and re-installing the ceramic insulators.
I will clean up the recpient machine before installing the heating element but not beeing able to get this heating element off was getting on my nerves, luckily that's solved now!
cheers (yay!)
Rob
LMWDP #647

RobAnybody (original poster)

#14: Post by RobAnybody (original poster) »

gave the element a quick brush down and managed to remove almost all of the fossilized gasket.

How clean should I get the rim where the gasket sits?
The indent below the screw thread is clean, but the bottom stil has a few black spots. Any pro-tips on removing the last sticky bits?
thanks!
cheers,
Rob
LMWDP #647

User avatar
drgary
Team HB

#15: Post by drgary »

Congratulations, Rob, and good idea to adjust the title.

To get off last gasket bits I've used several methods: focused heat with a small butane torch to burn them off, a picking tool, and wire brushes on a rotary tool, taking care to not run the tool too fast so the wheel doesn't scour off underlying metal.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

RobAnybody (original poster)

#16: Post by RobAnybody (original poster) »

drgary wrote:To get off last gasket bits I've used several methods: focused heat with a small butane torch to burn them off, a picking tool, and wire brushes on a rotary tool, taking care to not run the tool too fast so the wheel doesn't scour off underlying metal.
Thanks! i'll give it a go!

In the mean time I started on cleaning the base and boiler
The paint in the driptray was blistering in a few corners and came off during cleaning (just a soft cloth and water)
the aluminium underneath is still quite smooth.

The paint should arrive coming friday

Simce the scale in the boiler was quite poudery I devided to brush it out first before descaling. It was quite effective :D
before:

and after:


I also removed the piston to check the condition inside the grouohead. The piston itself is in quite a good condition, the upper gasket still even has some spring to it (as does the steam-tap gasket). this is after a quick clean with water and a toothbrush:

The inside of the grouphead is also in a decent shape, also here there is some scale deposit but the c-clip and brass ring appear to be in almost mint condition

(when checking the photo I noticed the c-clip alignment is off, fixed it for now but i will probably replace the seal anyways)
Apparently she was quite well cared for (well, except for the scale that is)
Cheers,
Rob
LMWDP #647

RobAnybody (original poster)

#17: Post by RobAnybody (original poster) »

Spent some time on the heating element yesterday evening and today. First removing the stinking bits of the old gasket, gently scraping away with a small pick and a miniature chisel made out of pieces of a double edged razorblade clamped on a handle. I guess I've now approached 'good enough'
The silicone gasket maker came in today so I could start on cleaning up and sealing the terminals. I brought a few things from the lab to help with that. The remaining ceramic insulator was easily removed by placing a drop of acetone at the terminal pin, loosening the shelllack. The terminals and base around it were cleaned using a small glass-fiber brush (I recommend wearing gloves and eye protection, those small fibers are quite annoying).

Next I applied the silicone sealant, let it dry for 10 min placed the ceramic insulators and cleaned up the rims.

The replacement insulator is courtesy of Edwards Vacuum LTD from when they still made vacuum evaporation equipment.
Tomorrow I hope to start with descaling the boiler and painting the drip tray.
cheers,
Rob
LMWDP #647

BPlus: turning your coffee spirit
Sponsored by BPlus
RobAnybody (original poster)

#18: Post by RobAnybody (original poster) »

Had some time today to paint the driptray which turned oud quite ok. the colour is a decent match with the original though the hammertone effect is less than i had hoped (maybe i used to thin layers) but since it is inside the driptray it doesnt matter to much.


There are a few things I could use some help with:

1) I ran into a snag today, I tried fitting the heating element on the boiler but I can't seem to screw it on for more than a turn before it becomes to tight to screw in by hand.
the boiller ring fits without issues on the boiler of the donor element (and I can also screw the element on the original boiler without issues). I tried using the boiler ring as a guide to make sure had the heating element level on the boiler but this didn't really improve anything.
I can't see any obvious defects in the thread on both the boiler and the heating element, I did a few sanity checks regarding deformation of the heating element but it seems to be flat and round.
Any tips on getting the heating element on?
I could try cooling the boiler/warming up the element

2) Has anyone tried the lever pin upgrade from coffee-sensor on the first-gen lever?
According to Tudor the space between the screw heads should be 23.5mm which is exactly the thickness of the lever fork at the hole where it connects to the piston, so this might be to snugg of a fit.
Any thoughts/experiences?
thanks in advance!

Cheers,
Rob
LMWDP #647

RobAnybody (original poster)

#19: Post by RobAnybody (original poster) »

Time for a short update, I somewhat managed to 'fix' issue number 1
RobAnybody wrote:1) I ran into a snag today, I tried fitting the heating element on the boiler but I can't seem to screw it on for more than a turn before it becomes to tight to screw in by hand.
the boiller ring fits without issues on the boiler of the donor element (and I can also screw the element on the original boiler without issues).
I found an older topic La Pavoni early heating elements - a lesson on volume
where Redbone mentions a similar observation:
Redbone wrote: Interesting note all 6 original LPE brass element bases and boilers tested by the machinist were not totally round. Casting vs machining. Our machined ones are round.
Not sure if they were made this way (doubt it) or as we suspect may have warped slightly over the years of heat cycles.
I always suspected something was odd since I found it difficult to both remove and add original element back on.All elements would cycle from slightly loose to tight while be tightened or loosened from boiler.
I asked him if he had any ideas and he mentioned the probability of cross-threading or thread damage which could cause the heating element to seize.
So I got myself a metric thread file to see if I could clean-up the threads and fix the fit.
After the first round of clearing the threads on the boiler I fitted the boiler to base ring to check the threads. At that point I noticed that in the first 8mm height of the thread, the boiler ring would slightly stick each 180 degree turn (before cleaning this part of the thread had more resistance than the lower bit). So as it turns out the bottom end of the boiler is not exactly round..
Using the boiler to base ring I was able to pinpoint the wider area and marked the rim with a permanent marker. Next I alternated between the thread file and a piece of 15uM tungsten carbide sanding paper to gently trim down the wider area of the thread. I can now screw on the heating element (also cleaned out its threads for as far as possible, it is a bit of a tight fit), provided that i use the boiler to base ring as a guide to keep the heating element completely level. I do need the tool I made for the last 3 mm down, but It doesn't require to much force (not making use of the lever).
I'll have to see how this works when I have to reassemble her, I'll probably recruit an extra set of hands to keep the base in place while I position the heating element.

If anyone has experience/useful input on point nr 2
RobAnybody wrote:2) Has anyone tried the lever pin upgrade from coffee-sensor on the first-gen lever?
According to Tudor the space between the screw heads should be 23.5mm which is exactly the thickness of the lever fork at the hole where it connects to the piston, so this might be to snugg of a fit.
please let me know!

cheers,
Rob
LMWDP #647

Miguchi

#20: Post by Miguchi »

Looks sick!