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Thread: DIY La Marzocco GS3 Side Mounted Steam Lever

  1. #1
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    DIY La Marzocco GS3 Side Mounted Steam Lever

    So impressed by the works for Specht Design here in Melbourne, I too wanted a side mounted steam lever on my GS3. Now I could have asked Specht Design to do it for me or sell me their DIY kit, instead being an engineer, I thought of taking up the challenge of doing it myself and doing it for cheap.
    So here's a little DIY if anyone's interested.
    What you'll need-
    Basic tools (screw drivers, allen keys, pliers, spanners etc)
    Metal plate (about 25cm by 40cm)
    Pipe bender (optional, can bend pipe with hands)
    Steam Actuator Handle/Lever (I got mine for free and it's a Synesso one. Important thing is that it has a ramp in it)
    New side panels
    Steps-
    1) Remove all body panels including cup tray, drip tray etc

    2) Loosen the bolt on the steam valve just behind the current actuator

    3) Loosen and remove the copper tube going from Steam Boiler to steam valve

    4) Loosen and remove the copper tube going from steam valve to steam wand

    5) Now you'll have to bend these 2 pipes. The longer tube needs to be bent into a S shape (you'll understand from the pics below). The smaller one is kind of a like U.
    You can either bend the original pipes or get a whole new set of copper tubes and bend it accurately with the pipe bending tool and flare the ends using a flaring tool. I did not have a flaring and hence I decided to bend the original pipes and also helped keep costs low.

    6) I was able to bend the longer tube by leaving the steam boiler end connected and using hands to bend it as required. For the smaller one, I placed it for a cylinder and hammer it slightly. Bending the tubes was the hard part of the project.

    7) Once tubes are bent, place the steam valve such that plunger of steam valve is on right side of machine and connect the tubes and see if you're able to tighten them properly. I pressurised everything back up at this stage to check for leaks and all was good.

    IMG_20170626_213618.jpg

    Now you need to cut a metal plate with approx. 20mm hole and drill 2 holes into the frame so as to support it. The steam valve plunger sticks out of the hole as shown in the picture.

    9) The above step will take a bit of accurate measuring, hence I suggest trying with a piece of cardboard first to get the holes right.

    IMG_20170629_215616.jpg

    10) Once the steam valve is in place and the metal plate has been secured with some screws, the part is to get the plunger to reach the ramp on the steam actuator handle. The solution i've got on at the moment isn't the best. I drilled a 2.5mm hole into the plunger about 1cm deep. I then tapped the hole with a M3 tap and put in a screw about 35mm long. At the end of the screw I put a rubber cap.

    IMG_20170701_175812.jpg

    11) Next is to mount the handle on a wooden plank for testing purposes. I recommend around 12-13mm thick, but can be changed if you're able to extend the plunger (if anyone's got ideas on how to extend the plunger, please let me know).

    IMG_20170702_170221.jpgIMG_20170702_170338.jpg



    12) Once you've got it all working properly, you can create new panels with accurate holes.

    Here's a video of testing, https://goo.gl/photos/fGPTZzwm6VeoduUD7
    I've been testing with MDF boards, and they seem to bend slightly. Will be getting some proper wood panels to do proper testing.
    Last edited by chrisvarghese; 27th September 2017 at 07:09 AM. Reason: Photos now visible
    Dimal and matth3wh like this.

  2. #2
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    I'm finally done with the steam lever project and here's the final result. I'm still gonna make a couple of mods here and there, but was a fun project overall and the GS3 is a great machine to customize.

    DSC00817-01.jpg

    DSC00825-01.jpg

    DSC00819-01.jpg

    DSC00820-01.jpg

    DSC00824-01.jpg
    Last edited by chrisvarghese; 27th September 2017 at 07:12 AM.

  3. #3
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    Oh yes I like the sound of doing it myself.... Is anyone else having trouble viewing the photos in this thread?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    No pictures are displayed.


    Java "Bad links" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    I see all the pictures.
    Very nice result chrisvarghese! I also like the background upgrade of Breville Smart Grinder to Eureka Atom.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    It appears the pictures are hosted on a site where you have to be logged into that site/Google Sites in order to view them.


    Java "No account" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile View Post
    It appears the pictures are hosted on a site where you have to be logged into that site/Google Sites in order to view them.


    Java "No account" phile
    Apologies if the photos are not visible, i was not getting the options to upload them from my computer, not sure if it's cos I'm a new member.

  8. #8
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    Ok, images should be visible now.
    Dimal likes this.

  9. #9
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    Yep see them now, really nice work.

  10. #10
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    Nice work Chris... good doco on the project too.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Jono_Willmer's Avatar
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    This is so good congrats on some seriously great work!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono_Willmer View Post
    This is so good congrats on some seriously great work!
    Thanks, you're synesso setup is looking pretty sweet.

  13. #13
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    This is a question for probably Synesso and GS3 experts. I'm quite keen to have the cool touch steam wand on my gs3, now I know the US version of the GS3 comes with a cool touch steam wand but it restricts steam power. And the new GS3 comes with a performance steam wand which is cool touch but the retrofit kit costs AU$ 780 which I think is a bit much for me. So my question is, can I install a Synesso steam arm onto my GS3, they've both got ball joints so I feel it should be pretty straightforward.

    Thoughts anyone?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Jono_Willmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisvarghese View Post
    This is a question for probably Synesso and GS3 experts. I'm quite keen to have the cool touch steam wand on my gs3, now I know the US version of the GS3 comes with a cool touch steam wand but it restricts steam power. And the new GS3 comes with a performance steam wand which is cool touch but the retrofit kit costs AU$ 780 which I think is a bit much for me. So my question is, can I install a Synesso steam arm onto my GS3, they've both got ball joints so I feel it should be pretty straightforward.

    Thoughts anyone?
    It is possible, not sure of the sizes, if i had the machines together i could have checked, but I may be able to measure it somehow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono_Willmer View Post
    It is possible, not sure of the sizes, if i had the machines together i could have checked, but I may be able to measure it somehow.
    Thanks Jono, but what would you be measuring, I'd be keen to know if the ball joints are the same size.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Jono_Willmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisvarghese View Post
    Thanks Jono, but what would you be measuring, I'd be keen to know if the ball joints are the same size.
    Yeah exactly, the gs3 isn't with me anymore.

  17. #17
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    Hey Jono, can you somehow measure the diameter of the ball joint on the steam wand on your synesso? And also the general diameter of the steam wand? Thanks, much appreciated

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