Conti Prestina Espresso Machine Restoration 101 (Completed and Indexed) - Page 2

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.
Warrior372

#11: Post by Warrior372 »

A few of the bottom ones on the front faceplate caught my eye. You will be able to get them off somehow regardless of their condition. I look forward to more pictures as you move through the rebuild!

User avatar
drgary
Team HB

#12: Post by drgary »

Michael brought up a good point about one of the challenges of restoration, so I thought I would put the question out there for other readers too who may be restoring other machines. Let's say I want to create a one-off replica of the factory original drip grate, which looks like this? I think the drip tray itself (also pictured below) can be anything of similar size, since it's hidden underneath. BTW if you look at the lower image sent me by Allann Brothers, you'll see the same stock PStat and the original wiring, which looks like it was cloth covered, and they've also got the original front name badge. How do you inexpensively fabricate something like that name badge as a one-off replica?

Image

Image

I don't think I'll try to reproduce the drip tray and face plate. The one sold by Orphan didn't have the face plate and did have added lights and that didn't seem to get in the way of its finding a happy owner. Here's the kind of drip tray I have in mind, similar to my Isomac Amica and recommended by Ray Johns.

Image
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

User avatar
Randy G.

#13: Post by Randy G. »

To get an "exact" replica made would be very expensive because that was stamped in a die. To have a die made would be many tens of thousands of dollars most likely. It could be easily formed flat, and the the "ridge" around the top and folded-over edges (the raised area and lip) would be another piece of metal. Basically, that piece would not be terribly difficult for a good metal shop to make because it is fairly flat. Other pieces, such as those with compound curves or domed areas would be another matter.
Espresso! My Espresso! - http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
LMWDP #644

Warrior372

#14: Post by Warrior372 »

Was that picture from a Pretina Allann Bros use to have or one they still have? If they just took that picture for you I would just ask them what they want for that. I have not encountered a machine with a missing or destroyed badge for which I had to seek out a replacement. One guess would be to get a copy / picture of the badge to real life scale, put it on a flash drive and then bring it to a screen printing company that has the capacity to print on metal (If you need pictures / measurements of them I can help you there). This should be relatively cheap and should look great. None of the badges on the machine are 3-D they were all printed flat onto metal. I just went and looked on my machine and I am counting 3 in total. One on the lower front frame, one on the group housing and one on the back of the machine.

User avatar
drgary
Team HB

#15: Post by drgary »

Hey Michael:

Allann Brothers so far isn't willing to sell me the drip tray/grate. I asked. I also told them I'm in need of a front badge and they didn't offer. I've seen a Prestina change hands between members of H-B that looked beautiful with pilot lights added and with no name badge in the front. I think for now I'll keep things simple and will restore my machine without a front badge. I'll have a beautifully refurbished machine missing one badge and with a better looking drip tray that pulls great shots. It won't be the original color, either, something nicer, more like the medium brown color Inker cups on the panels with a black frame. The handles and knobs are all matched and original. OE's did not have a matching portafilter, BTW.

If someone wants a fully working Prestina and I eventually want to sell it, they aren't making more of these, so it will be desirable. Then I would find myself with two choices: 1) Sell it as I've renewed it for a good price, or if it has gotten truly collectible with the ugly duckling original appearance; 2) Seek out or make close replica drip tray and badge and consider removing the pilot lights.

My guess is "1)" will do from the reviews I've seen on this site of the great shots it pulls. Taking the first course also eliminates extra fuss and trouble for me because all I really want is an attractive and fully functioning Prestina to make outstanding espresso in my kitchen.

I asked what would be involved in a more faithful restoration for readers of this thread who will be in the process of refurbishing all manner of vintage machines, but not because that's my personal preference. OTOH if I can persuade Allann to sell me the parts, that would be great, and I'll give it another try. :D
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

Warrior372

#16: Post by Warrior372 »

It makes me curious as to why they would have pieced out Prestinas of which they are reluctant to sell the remaining pieces. . . . Odd. I wonder what their plans are for them.

Is this the machine you were referring to above? Image

This is the one Orphan just sold a few months ago. The guy who bought it has it up for sale on CG. Apparently he is remodeling his kitchen, ordered a GS/3 and cannot accommodate both machines in the kitchen. Anyway, I thought you were referring to the badge on the front of the group housing, not the badge on the lower frame. Mine came to me missing the lower quarter of the badge on the frame somehow. . . . I think the machine pictured here looks quite good with the badge missing from the front.

Do you want to put lighting on the front for looks or function? If you are thinking about doing it for function, and you also plan on replacing the current pstat with a Sirai, you may want to know that a Sirai turning a heating element on and off is anything but discrete. You can hear it from quite a distance. Are you planning to install an on / off switch? I just ended up using a power strip. Between the light on the power strip and the click / clack from the Sirai it is pretty difficult to forget the Prestina is on!

What colors of powder coating are you leaning towards for the frame, top of the group housing and side panels?

User avatar
drgary
Team HB

#17: Post by drgary »

Hi Michael:

Yes, that was the machine I was referring to. The guy on CG will be selling the GS/3 too because he has a Speedster on order. It's only money, right?

Thanks for the heads up on the Sirai. Maybe I should leave the Pstat alone if it works and listen for how loud it is. I can just mount it more securely.

I'm not sure where I would want the pilot lights, probably someplace like in the picture, or maybe covering the screw holes on each side of the front that would otherwise hold on the lower name plate.

Colors: Frame bottom and group housing part that's painted, gloss black. Side panels, like the ACF marrone cups we see advertised at Great Infusions and the brown saucer we see advertised at Orphan Espresso here: http://www.orphanespresso.com/ACF-White ... _2536.html. Chrome plating otherwise.

Later add: Just looked at your restoration photos on CoffeeGeek, see: http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/l ... sso/428380. Nice job! Wouldn't ya know I chose very similar colors to yours. I chose those colors about two weeks ago because the slightly lighter brown I'm using matches the granite counter in our new home. (The tabletop in my photos below are my workbench, not the counter.) Very helpful to see your description of how you replaced the screws. What was involved in creating a custom boiler gasket if I need to do that?

And now for something not so completely different. Another sticking point!

This water inlet has got to go if I'm going to powder coat the frame.

Added, 8/23/18: Another H-B member read the schematics and figured out that this inlet valve has two parts that thread together. He solved it without having to remove it by hacksaw.

Image

The outside part turns as a unit with the inside. The outer nut loosens:

Image

But the nut on the inside won't move and is stripping. It's 15mm. I tried penetrating oil and the propane torch. Nothing doing.

Image

Look at the outside-the-frame picture again. There's a slight gap. What's the best way to cut it away next to the frame? Can I use a Dremel tool or hand power drill, and if I do so, what type of cutting wheel should I get? I would use safety glasses, of course!
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

User avatar
orphanespresso

#18: Post by orphanespresso »

Since you are planning to coat the frame, I would just cut the thing off with a hack saw from the outside and then sand off the saw marks on the frame. A dremel with a cutting wheel might be a bit more trouble than it is worth vs just hacking it off. Pretty ugly little situation though. 15mm is a pretty weird size for that part...could be imperial which is why it is stripping the nut. Since the fitting is toast you could maybe grasp the nut with a vise grip and turn the outer fitting part with another vise grip or any wrench.

zubinpatrick

#19: Post by zubinpatrick »

with small fittings I have had good luck using a chisel to cut the nut. Line it up so nothing gets distorted, whack it and the nut is split.....if aligned properly this will also break the nut loose. BTW I have an old chisel that is used only for these tasks, it gets ground down as necessary depending on the cut.

User avatar
drgary
Team HB

#20: Post by drgary »

Thanks, guys. The chisel method seems a good, quick (lazy) way to go. Will try that first. Otherwise I can see myself going back forth on that hacksaw for an hour. Will keep you all posted.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!