Conti Prestina Espresso Machine Restoration 101 (Completed and Indexed) - Page 53

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

#521: Post by berkinet »

I would recommend an electrical soldering iron. Simpler, easier to use and control. If you have the $$ to invest in a small soldering station, with thermostatic control, that would be a nice addition to your tool cabinet. Someone here could probably even PID it for you ;-)

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drgary
Team HB

#522: Post by drgary »

Thanks guys, for the tips on soldering. I'll follow up by doing that very soon. But the good news is ... it works!!! You'll hear my sweet wife enjoying the excitement of this first shot with me. :D
I started by filling the Prestina with water using my FloJet pump. First use of that pump in many months so I didn't insert the hose tightly into the pump and it sprayed all over the place. Cleaned that up, shoved the hose all the way in there and started the pump while holding the water inlet valve open. But then a strange thing happened. Water started coming out of the water tap, which is higher than the bottom of the sight glass and the sight glass wasn't filling at all. I loosened the bottom connection to the sight glass, water dripped out. I refastened it and it started to fill. Perhaps there was air trapped in there.

Anyway next step was to test the continuity a final time. I tested from the spades of the plug to the heating element tabs and there was continuity with the power switch on and none with it off. So far so good.

By now I'd readied myself with towels for leaks and the right-sized wrenches to tighten things up. I flipped on the power switch and after about 5 minutes the front of the boiler became warm! It took a good 40 minutes or so to come to temperature. Then I pulled the shot above. It was a test coffee I'd saved in the freezer. Hadn't liked it much when I first tried it. But that first 20 gm shot, although pulled a bit fast was layered and good! Next I updosed to about 22 gm and still could grind tighter for this monstrous spring.

During this first test there were leaks at the middle of the steam wand and water tap. When it cools I'll redo those seals. A leak developed on the bottom boiler bolt and I tightened that up fine. I was able to get water from the steam tap but not steam. But I could see steam leaking out of the joint so that will happen soon. The manometer works and that old Sopac PSTAT is not overheating the machine so far.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

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doubleOsoul
Supporter ♡

#523: Post by doubleOsoul »

OMG! I am grinning from ear to ear. All that hard work and finally now to your first shot on Christmas Day.
Fantastic! Merry Christmas indeed.

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RayJohns

#524: Post by RayJohns »

berkinet wrote:I would recommend an electrical soldering iron. Simpler, easier to use and control. If you have the $$ to invest in a small soldering station, with thermostatic control, that would be a nice addition to your tool cabinet. Someone here could probably even PID it for you ;-)
The electric soldering irons are nice, but sometimes you need to solder where you can't get power. Being cordless is really nice. I've also found the butane ones put out more consistent heat (unless you are willing to spend a lot of $$ for a professional quality station - as you say).

The electric ones tend to be more geared for soldering IC's and components than electrical wiring in my experience - they usually work best in situations where you need focused heat (such as a pin going through a PCB or something).

Ray

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drgary
Team HB

#525: Post by drgary »

I've always found the electrical cord on my soldering iron kind of dodgy. There's this hot tip and then the thing is tilting and hard to place at rest because of the cord. I think I'll go for an iron like Ray's.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

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RayJohns

#526: Post by RayJohns »

Congrats on the 1st test! Would love to see another video showing the lever action involved in using this machine.

On the leaks, if they are threaded fittings, you might want to use some Teflon tape on the threads. I believe I used tape on the threads for my gauge on the La Pavoni and also where the adapter goes into the top of the sight glass (although it has a copper flat washer, so perhaps only on the threads of the gauge itself.

Ray

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RayJohns

#527: Post by RayJohns »

drgary wrote:I've always found the electrical cord on my soldering iron kind of dodgy. There's this hot tip and then the thing is tilting and hard to place at rest because of the cord. I think I'll go for an iron like Ray's.
Once you use the Butane ones, you'll never go back to anything with a cord, unless you are making electronics for a living maybe. For just soldering wires and connectors, the butane zippo insert thing and also the portable soldering irons are pretty hard to beat.

Ray

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drgary
Team HB

#528: Post by drgary »

RayJohns wrote:Would love to see another video showing the lever action involved in using this machine.
After I deal with those leaks I'll be glad to post a video of the linkage and everything. This is one hefty piece of gear! :shock:
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

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Possepat

#529: Post by Possepat »

Congrats!
"Do what you want, you're gonna do it anyways!" - My father

LMWDP #365

jedovaty

#530: Post by jedovaty »

Nice drip grate :twisted: