Elektra Gold 60s - how to fix damaged gold finish

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

#1: Post by laguna_b »

Apparently some of the citric acid got under the thin finish and damaged it. According to the factory it is a process that involves some coating and then baking and not something easily done by me. Has anyone ever gotten such a repair or tried it. Second question.... I had a heating element burn out due to lack of water and did an acid wash but left some black on the top of the tank since it wasn't full. I suspect this is going to form anyway but anyone have an opinion if I should fully remove it?

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Sw1ssdude

#2: Post by Sw1ssdude »

the black stuff is most likely copper oxide. Like all copper oxides, it is quite unhealthy. but the black copper oxide (there are different forms of copper oxides) is not soluble in water, it is also very inert, so it wont flake off or anything. It is basically a very good protective layer in your boiler, and it will most likely return anyway. If it bothers you, get it out, but i wouldnt worry too much. Citric acid is very good for removing it, just dont use anything abrasive, like wire wheels. Use steel wool pads, if you must. If you roughen up the copper surface, it becomes infinity times bigger, and scale and copper oxide will adhere even better. The shinier your surface, the less prone to scale and oxide.

dont worry about the toxicity of copper oxide, i guess the lead in the brass fittings will do more harm to you, and even that is negligible...

For the golden parts: my guess is that they are brass plated and then clear coated. check out the ongoing faema rebuild: this guy brass plated some decorative ornaments, they are absolutely golden..

Faema Marte restoration

A further guess of mine is that brass plating is way cheaper and easier than real gold plating. Gold stays golden, Brass will discolor, especially when it gets hot, so you would have to include a weekly polishing routine into your life, or clear coat the brass after plating, and that might be the difficulty the factory was talking about. When they say they baked it in, it might be transparent powder coating.

Search the forum for Micro casa A Leva machines (MCAL), or La Pavonis, they both had golden editions, and a lot of people attempted various methods to keep their machines golden. This might help you sort methods out...

Good Luck, Send some pictures!
Lean Mean Caffeine Machine

Sw1ssdude

#3: Post by Sw1ssdude »

Ah, i found one.
Check out this guys Micro Casa A Leva Restoration:

1981 Elektra Micro Casa A Leva Rebuild

Good Luck!
Lean Mean Caffeine Machine

laguna_b

#4: Post by laguna_b »

It is highly unlikely it is gold plating. It seems to be a varnish like coating with gold tones. I bought a spray can of clear coat with gold tone for trumpets and may try on spots not visible. What they indicated was that it was a baked on finish. I doubt that would be powder coating as it would not flake off so easily. I would hate to give up the machine to sent the group heads off for refinishing but would consider it. But I don't know who or where would do it. I did look at the Faema rebuild....quite a project.

Oh, I opted for a second acid wash which I think got all the black off. I have not removed the old heater to take pics yet since it plugs the end so I can let the machine soak in clean water until the Cu reading drops in the wash water. I will try to do it today. I added a bulb over temperature control to prevent further heater burnouts. They were an addition in later machines.

laguna_b

#5: Post by laguna_b »

He didn't explain how he refinished the unit. If he repeated brass that will not fly for mine which seems to have a gold toned lacquer.

laguna_b

#6: Post by laguna_b »

As with so many things you would do them differently the SECOND time. Had I realized how much residual black oxide chips I would get in the hot water and steam ports I would not have put the new heater in w/o blowing out the boiler with water / air before reassembly. Now I am filling and refilling until the water is clearer since I get a light blue/green tint....likely Cu. It did clean up nicely though.
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Second pics show heavy chips that appear in steamer and hot water ....
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drgary
Team HB

#7: Post by drgary »

Often the group heads on a high quality machine like an Elektra 60s are brass. The ones that are chrome usually are chrome plating over brass. If you polish a small patch where the clearcoat has worn off, so you will probably find that you are shining up solid brass. Maybe there is another part of the machine where the clearcoat has worn off, and you can see if it will polish.

I don't think you're dealing with any kind of a baked on brass finish. I also don't know if the clearcoat is baked on versus just sprayed on. So then you would have the option of stripping the damaged clearcoat with lacquer thinner, being sure to do this in a well-ventilated area. You can then polish from time to time without adding clearcoat, or you can polish and then spray on a heat-resistant clearcoat. I would apply the clearcoat only to decorative surfaces, not internal ones, where it will wear off anyway.
Gary
LMWDP#308

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stefano65
Sponsor

#8: Post by stefano65 »

Elektra factory section of finishing/buffing coating and oven
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Stefano Cremonesi
Stefano's Espresso Care
Repairs & sales from Oregon.

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drgary
Team HB

#9: Post by drgary »

Stefano,

Is the group of Elektra Sixties made of brass?
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

laguna_b

#10: Post by laguna_b »

Hey Stefano!

My mentor and parts supplier extraordinaire!

This is the machine I have been fixing with your help after messing up due to accidental draining while on. The new add on bulb upper limit switch should prevent that in the future.

To answer your question, I am assuming that the group heads are brass. The back splash also got some damage as I was removing acid wash. The tiny holes in teh finish allowed the acid to get under and created the copper color you see in the pic I provided. This was true for all places that took damages. The coating appeared to be flaking off.

The photos of Elektra and the ovens look about what they described to me. I am just trying to figure out how to get it back.

FWIW Stefano is a first class supplier of parts and trouble shooting! Highly recommend.

Barry