Rebuilding an old 2 group Astoria Lever (+ propane) - Page 9

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.
bm_cricket (original poster)
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#81: Post by bm_cricket (original poster) »

the_trystero wrote:I got stuck starting in the first place. :wink:

I haven't looked at the serial number but it looks to be the same exact vintage of my single group. Since I already had the single group I've never had the motivation nor more importantly the time to work on the two group. I think my single group is a '93, I bought it already refurbed by OE.

All the electrical is corroded and broken so it definitely can't run off of 220v right now. The previous owner said it was working perfectly with propane when he pulled it out of a Sacramento coffee truck. The groups are pretty clean but I haven't looked in the boiler. It also appears that there may be some leaks in boiler. Currently it's a fancy paper towel holder, and I can pull the one piston out to show people what does all the work.

I thought about bringing the two group to Burning Man, instead I always brought a ton of cold brew. I'm pretty positive this year was my last, though. I tried to get a propane kit for the single group but the manufacturer stopped making them for the smaller boiler.
I'm sad to hear that you had a less than stellar experience this year at Burning Man. It has definitely changed since I started going... The ratio of participants to observers has been falling... And I personally felt that 2012 was a pretty low year for me but 2013 really felt good. I even got married on the playa!

If you ever feel like sending your 2-group off to a new home, let me know. I had a blast restoring my machine and I'm always up for a technologically challenging project! I have friends in your area and I visit a couple of times a year. ;-)
Life is short, enjoy every sip.

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#82: Post by the_trystero »

Sent you a PM!
"A screaming comes across the sky..." - Thomas Pynchon

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#83: Post by Oskuk »

Hmm, these springs. I got a Astoria Gloria which seems to have a bit soft spring. I wonder if it possible to use Stregas spring on Gloria?

bm_cricket (original poster)
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#84: Post by bm_cricket (original poster) replying to Oskuk »

I don't have any experience with mixing and matching from other brands. The Astoria springs are either 120mm or 130mm depending on how old they are. They come in stainless (INOX) or zinc coated. The old springs I pulled from this machine were zinc coated but really were just rust piles. The new ones were 120mm zinc and they had a different number of coils. I don't know what the design spec spring constant (k) was supposed to be for these springs but if you know that value then you should be able to buy the parts from any spring supplier you want. They don't actually touch the water so they shouldn't require "food grade" certs. Anyway, I don't know how to get the spring constant without talking to an Astoria engineer who designed these machines.
Life is short, enjoy every sip.

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#85: Post by drgary »

H-B members kitt and Carneiro are used to revising springs in commercial levers. You might ask them. I've done this with home levers with success on my MCAL and Lady Duchessa. Sometimes you can add a smaller spring inside the main one to boost power, sometimes you replace the main spring for one with more oomph. Also some commercial spring lever machines are specced with a gentle spring for a softer espresso profile using 6 - 7 bar versus others like the Strega, which develop about 9 bar pressure.

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!