'82 Olympia Cremina Restoration

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.
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Boldjava

Postby Boldjava » May 20, 2011, 8:10 am

As retirement approaches (6-24 months), more time will be available for putzing with the morning coffee. I will have time to enjoy it rather than knocking out a vacpot or pourover, sipping it, and running off to the office. Right now I play with a PID'd Silvia on the weekends but a soft, recurring voice in the distance keeps calling me. <Lever...lever...lever>.

I blame (read 'credit') members STaylor and Warrior372 at http://greencoffeebuyingclub.com for sending me down the lever rabbit hole. STaylor makes his PVL 2-group sing and Warrior dances a jig to it. About 6 weeks ago, I visited Dogwood Coffee in the Twin Cities for coffee on their 3-group lever Mirage. That's it. I was done. Right about then, Warrior says, "I have a 67 that I am restoring...interested?" Ka-bang. Sold.



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Let me chronicle this rebuild, if I may. All the work is Mike's (Warrior). He has gone above and beyond right in the middle of a grad school program. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Most H-B are mechanical whizzes -- I am not. I have 4 thumbs and 6 toes. There are some of us out here who are MZs, mechanical zeroes. So I thought, let me craft a thread from the perspective of an MZ because it's a different vantage point. This thread is for those who "wouldn't tackle this project with a 10-foot pole." I learned a ton and would like to share it in the hopes that I might give something back.

On with the show. The starting point, '82 Olympia Cremina, OEM Red, 67

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Boldjava

Postby Boldjava » May 20, 2011, 8:16 am

Red. Ah, I don't think that is going to work. I told my wife that when we retire in the Twin Cities, we can pick our house with the Cremina as the starting point and build the house around show-casing the Cremina. She didn't seem as enthused as I did.

Well, there were paint mishaps on the "red" (circled), so I knew we could entertain a paint job or a powder coat. I began playing with mental images of colors that might seems appropriate.

^ Harvest brown, OEM, but no, that color doesn't work for me.
^ Coppertone, OEM, but heavens no on that color. Have you seen it? Oh, my.
^ Red, OEM, but doesn't work in an older fashioned kitchen that we'll likely end up with,
^ White, OEM in recent years.
and
^ Black (gray steel or some such name for the OEM).
^ Deep, deep Navy or
^ Forest green?

Let's sit with that decision for the time being.

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Boldjava

Postby Boldjava » May 20, 2011, 8:25 am

Warrior began the break-down and immediately was confronted with the old asbestos mess. Late night email brought the news. I thought Olympia quit using asbestos in '81 but the more reading I did here, I learned that 1982 was the last year they employed asbestos for its insulating properties. Lucky me.

No flaking but what to do? I suggested slamming the OE insulation barrier right over the top of it. Don't want that stuff working loose. Warrior read a bit, located his friendly city hazardous material collection center, gloved and masked up and tackled it. Soaked it in water overnight and voila, the six-silicates (naturally occurring) came right off. I think he said, "Easy, peasy." Right, and I'm the Pope.

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Boldjava

Postby Boldjava » May 20, 2011, 8:39 am

As if he had nothing else to do, Warrior tackled the buffing of the boiler. Not too shabby, eh? Look at the size of the heating element that sits in the base of the boiler.


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Well, not satisfied, Warrior made up his own brass boiler paste and went after it again. Sweet. He so enjoyed the polish that he tongue in cheek suggested getting a hood support rod and display it like a '57 Chevy or a '65 Mustang.

Warrior says the welding is some of the finest he has seen. Precision.

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Boldjava

Postby Boldjava » May 20, 2011, 8:52 am

When I started thinking levers, I was drawn to the PVL for its boiler size. Wasn't sure of boiler size on the Creminas but a ton of reading here detailed it. Up until 2002, the boiler was 1.1 liters (37 ounces). From 2002 on, they have been 1.8 liters (61 ounces). Here is a visual comparison (Steve Robinson's pic -- great thread on the comparison of 2002 and pre-2002s: Olympia Cremina 2002: The evolution of design)


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Boldjava

Postby Boldjava » May 20, 2011, 9:02 am

Next came a citric acid bath. Like when we were kids and Mum would yell on Saturday nights, "Everyone in the water; church tomorrow."

Even as a non-mechanical type, I am struck by the Cremina's simplicity. Farmroast always mentions, "no black box." Love it.

Between emails with Mike and an absolute ton of reading here, I could better begin to understand the workings of a Cremina.

And I still don't care for the red. See where this is going?



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Boldjava

Postby Boldjava » May 20, 2011, 9:25 am

How in the devil does this thing heat up? What is the temp band? Will the temperature fluctuations (band) on the Cremina drive me crazy like the Silvia did before she was PID'd?

Pstats (or pressurestats) as I have come to learn are my mental concept of "thermostats" for a boiler. The Cremina boiler and the pstat (arrow) are pictured below. Warrior helped me understand the basics and then I did a raft of reading and finally, the light went on. About that time I found Doug's UTube on pstats and the concept finally wormed its way into my head. (Doug, your 'tubes' and posts have been invaluable, thanks!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zybZrQtAOAU



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The OEM pstat gives you about a .2 swing, .8-1.0 bar. Doug's extremely helpful UTube discusses how to mod/adjust the pstat if it no longer provides sufficient pressure. If the OEM pstat does die on you, you are left to use a Ma-ter. From what I have read, it has a narrower band (.1) but there is more failure with the item? Not sure. Others, jump in here.


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Boldjava

Postby Boldjava » May 20, 2011, 9:37 am

Back to the drawing board on colors. I had already eliminated the OEMs Harvest Brown (or whatever it is) as well as that dreadful Coppertone. Red kept coming back to me but I just couldn't see that working in my kitchen.

Olympia now also has gone to an OEM white. Safe, but too conservative. One of you H-B members posted about your glossy black powder coat on the Cremina. Pfoof, I was sold when I saw it.

Warrior is from out west and knows the powder coating shops out there. He scouted the Chicago area and found Tiger-Ray, a former race car driver whose primary business focuses on autos and bikes -- big ones. Tiger-Ray on a Milwaukee-made motha.'

http://www.vanillagorillacoatingsystems.net/index.html

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Ray's work is nice. Very nice. Inexpensive, detailed work. $50 - 3 items to strip and powder coat. Now you know, "glossy midnight black." Bamm! (Sorry about the flash, but you get the picture).



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Boldjava

Postby Boldjava » May 20, 2011, 10:49 am

Let's get you a better picture of that powder coating. Total Cremina eye-candy. Glossy midnight black. Right decision for me. Yesterday's color choice-remorse is g-o-n-e.

(Thanks to whomever posted here with the suggestion of using dental floss to remove the logo before powder coating. Mike said it worked like a charm). {Edit: Steve Robinson's idea}.



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Creminas used to leave the Swiss floor with the logo in the NW corner of the back. (They no longer have a logo on the back). In my case, I decided to put it on the SE corner. Why?

Doug Garrott has a thread that discusses the pros/cons of painting vs powder coating. As Doug relates, one of the cons with powder coating is that the tiniest of dings will come home to haunt you. True. Circled in the 3rd image above was what Warrior and I thought was just a paint glob. Wrong. A tiny, tiny ding there ended up magnified by the powder coating glossy finish. Curses.

Easily remedied as the logo slides NW => SE. Ding solved.
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ANeat

Postby ANeat » May 20, 2011, 11:25 am

Looks great, heck I thought it looked great even before you started.

Does all powder coating look like that?, dont know.. If it was paint I would say it needed wet sanded and buffed out (orange peel). Just depends on how much of a mirror finish you want to end up with.

I do like black though, should go great with the chrome 8)
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