Anfim Best Grinder Project

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

#1: Post by johnnylarue »

Hi folks,

Against my better judgment, I took a low-stakes ($40) gamble on an old Anfim Best grinder. The motor seems healthy, but the grinder has visibly not been serviced in years (decades?) and has a layer of old coffee crust on it that would make an archeologist salivate. See this pic of the upper burr holder for proof:
Image

No great surprise: the old flat head screws (which were already slightly mangled) holding the burrs in are seized firmly in place. It's a long story, but I'm currently away from my main stash of tools (thanks, coronavirus!) so I'm hoping for the most direct path to getting these burrs free and into some Cafiza asap. State of the lower burr screws:
Image

So far I've put a drop of WD40 on each screw head and let it do its thing overnight (no luck) and I've given them a few gentle taps with a screwdriver and hammer, not wanting to risk damaging the bearings. Gave the rubber band trick a shot. Haven't tried the hot/cold treatment yet (highly sceptical). Should I skip straight to trying my luck with a screw extractor, or are there any other steps I should try first?

The lower burr holder is also seized firmly in place, and I'm not sure I'm willing to buy a whole new (redundant) socket wrench set to try getting it out, so I'm hoping there's a way to get those screws out safely with the holder still mounted to the grinder.

I've read through some other posts (namely Help cleaning used Anfim Best) and one poster had inverted the entire grinder to soak the top portion in Cafiza to loosen the lower burr holder, which I'm hesitant to do because I don't want to risk getting water into those bearings.

So basically I'm hoping someone can suggest the easiest/cheapest way to get those burrs out using the fewest tools possible. The burrs are definitely not new but still seem to have some bite in them, and either way I'm willing to invest another $60-$70 in this thing because it appears to be a rather capable beast.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer!

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JohnB.
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#2: Post by JohnB. »

Heat from a heat gun, propane torch or good hair dryer should soften any old coffee oils/debris. Buy or borrow an impact screw driver which should break them loose after you warm them up.
LMWDP 267

johnnylarue

#3: Post by johnnylarue » replying to JohnB. »

Thanks, John. I read a few warnings about using an impact driver with the burrs still mounted in the machine due to potential damage to the bearings.

I'll give heat a try though.

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JohnB.
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#4: Post by JohnB. »

Don't use a sledgehammer on the impact & you should be fine. With a nice wide slotted bit it shouldn't take much force to break the screws loose. I've rehab'd 9-10 of the old Starbusks Super Jollys & Majors that would make your grinder look clean in comparison. Used an impact driver to break the screws loose & didn't have any bearing issues.
LMWDP 267

johnnylarue

#5: Post by johnnylarue » replying to JohnB. »

This is reassuring. I'll order an impact driver and give it a shot! Thanks again.

luvmy40

#6: Post by luvmy40 »

I've had great success removing damaged flat blade screws by carefully cutting the slot deeper with a Dremel and using a soldering iron to heat the screw. Granted, I've never done this on a coffee grinder.

ira
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#7: Post by ira »

I have a really expensive CNC wire stripper that had a stripped allen bolt that I needed to remove. I tried everything I could think of including buying so specialty tools but it would not move. My problem was if I got it out and couldn't replace it, my life would become quite troublesome till it was fixed. Eventually I very carefully drilled the head off. As soon as the head came off I pulled off the roller that I needed to replace and to my surprise, the rest of the bolt was only finger tight. The bottom of the head of the bolt had seized to what it was holding in place. There is a chance that might work for you. I would do it as a last resort as if the metal screw has become one with the aluminium carrier, that might make it worse. Or you can just drill and tap new holes. Doing what I did is harder on a grinder as there is not much thread showing.

Ira

johnnylarue

#8: Post by johnnylarue »

luvmy40 wrote:I've had great success removing damaged flat blade screws by carefully cutting the slot deeper with a Dremel and using a soldering iron to heat the screw. Granted, I've never done this on a coffee grinder.
I'm definitely going to incorporate some heat (probably from a strong hair dryer) but am going to try everything I can to avoid cutting into the screw as that would mean sacrificing the burr as well (the screw head sits flush with the surface of the burr.) Given that the burr still seems to have some life left in it, I'm gonna stick with non-destructive tricks for the time being. Plus my Dremel is a 3-hour international flight away from me at the moment. :(

johnnylarue

#9: Post by johnnylarue »

ira wrote:I have a really expensive CNC wire stripper that had a stripped allen bolt that I needed to remove. I tried everything I could think of including buying so specialty tools but it would not move. My problem was if I got it out and couldn't replace it, my life would become quite troublesome till it was fixed. Eventually I very carefully drilled the head off. As soon as the head came off I pulled off the roller that I needed to replace and to my surprise, the rest of the bolt was only finger tight. The bottom of the head of the bolt had seized to what it was holding in place. There is a chance that might work for you. I would do it as a last resort as if the metal screw has become one with the aluminium carrier, that might make it worse. Or you can just drill and tap new holes. Doing what I did is harder on a grinder as there is not much thread showing.

Ira
Thanks Ira. I may resort to this if all else fails. It's nice that parts are still available for this grinder in case I really screw things up, but... diminishing returns and all that. Think I'll give John's impact driver suggestion a shot and see what happens!

johnnylarue

#10: Post by johnnylarue »

UPDATE #1:

Got my impact driver this morning, and following a dozen measured but insistant whacks, SCREW #1 has come out. What a feeling! :D

I've reached a bit of an impasse with SCREW #2, though. The most suitable bit that came with my driver is wider than the cavity for the screw head, and the screw is quite recessed, with the slot in an awkward position relative to the burr:

Image

Feels like I could get enough purchase/angle to try driving this screw *clockwise* to 'break the seal', but I'm not sure if that's a smart move given how tight these were in the first place... Am I better off holding out for a smaller bit?