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Thread: Atomic restorers thread

  1. #51
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    Hi all,

    bumping this thread as I have had an old Atomic for a while and it has made many great brews until recently when the pressure seemed to be lessening although I was doing nothing different in the brewing process. I purchased a gasket kit and have attempted to replace all gaskets and give it a good clean up but got stuck at the top plate (shower plate?). The screws were well and truly rusted on and I eventually busted the heads off after carefully filing the screw slots deeper so I could get more purchase. The amount of gunk in the head of the machine was quite sickening so I am happy to have got the plate off but now I am faced with how do I get the headless screws out of such a tricky position. The space to work in means that any standard screw remover is unusable. Any ideas?....please.

    I really miss my Atomic coffee :(

  2. #52
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    I have a similar potential problem with my atomic. My screws are rusty also so am a bit hesitant about replacing this bit. *Anyway I think the solution would be to use a screw extractor bit on a drill with an elbow attachment as seen here

    http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a225/TopNurse/90_degree_DrillHead.jpg

    let us know how you go and I might try it too..

  3. #53
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    If those screws have snapped off- getting the ends out and re-tapping the thread will be extremely difficult. Much better to simply put pop rivets through he holes in the filter plate and letting the seal hold it in place. Look on the first page of this thread to see images of a machine repaired in this way.

  4. #54
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    FWIW when fixing up my atomic i went into bon trading and found them to be really helpful (i know thatll make some people scratch their heads!), with good advice on how to fix up the dulled and scratched patina.

    a got all the black bakelite pieces and new group handle (as the internal thread that holds the handle on changed mid 80s), for a very reasonable price, but what i got that really made me happy was the thing it seems no one else can do...

    A new badge.

    for $5 !

    the only caveat is that they dont just sell the badge, you have to take your machine to them and theyll do it for you (ensuring the orientation is correct)

    yep the old one was really only just legible, and badly scratched. after a quick inspection (i guess for authenticity) they pried it off and stuck a brand newy on... now the machine really does look like new(-ish)

    i know people buy atomics on badge type/condition and may not value the bons like some of the others, but if youve got an old bon trading atomic with a badly worn badge and just want it to be brand spanking again...

    five dollar seems pretty good for this unique service


  5. #55
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    Can someone help me with my Atomica? Steam is escaping from behind the red knob when I am making coffee. Do I need to replace a valve or washer? Is it just something that I am doing wrong?

  6. #56
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    im sure i read i thread concerning this here recently, PM site sponsor sorrentina for a solid answer.
    all parts are available through them.

    best of luck

  7. #57
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    hi all, whats the best way to polish a mildly pitted and fated atomic? Thanks.

  8. #58
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    I would say you can start with some very fine wetndry if its badly pitted, then perhaps autosol. Finish it with California Custom "purple polish".

    Autosol is by far too abrasive for a nice smooth finish.

  9. #59
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    I never found autosol too abrasive? It seems super fine to me...

  10. #60
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    okay cool thanks for the tips

  11. #61
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    Hi. I have recently moved to France, together with my faithful Atomic, and was looking forward to making some decent coffee but find that for some reason the coffee is taking ages to come through the machine, and I just cant get enough steam to froth the milk. Im using a gas stove that takes a long time to heat things but surely once the water in the Atomic is boiling, the result should be the same. Does anyone have any idea of what the problem might be? I was under the impression that the Atomic could be used on any heat source, even a gentle one. *:-/

  12. #62
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    Sorry - on that previous post I forgot to say that when the coffee does finally come through it drips out and I end up with half cup of extremely strong coffee.

  13. #63
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    Well- most likely it is one of two things:

    1) the coffee is too fine and/or tamped too tight.

    2) the inner water tube is blocked somehow.

    to find out which- run a cycle with no coffee at all. Fill the machine right to the black knob level- as far as possible- If the water gushes into the jug quickly- and nearly fills the jug- this indicates the machine is working as intended. Try grinding coarser- and do not tamp- just knock the basket to settle the grinds.


    If the water comes through slowly then something is blocking it.

    Use a few teaspoons of citric acid (or a commercial descaler) dissolved in boiling water. Fill the machine, shake like crazy, and then run the solution through the machine on the stove. Repeat if necessary.

    If the machine is very old- and has been poorly stored- it may be damaged internally and difficult to repair.

    Good luck.


  14. #64
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    Hello all,
    Im starting to restore one of these machines.
    It does have a fair scale build up inside it. Also it needs the seals replaced and the lower part of the milk frother has lost its chrome plating.
    The black knob has been replaced with a grey plastic one.
    From what ive read here Id like to restore it.
    The badge has lost the black but is still quite legible and reads:
    Atomic
    Brevetti Robbiati
    Milano
    Made in Italy
    Also can the boiler plug be removed safely for cleaning and if so is a new seal available for it?
    The machine has not been used for years

    cheers
    Stu

  15. #65
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    HAHAHA, TYPED THIS GUFF THEN POSTED IT ON THE "ATOMIC COLLECTORS THREAD".........well done.Now its in its right home.Newbie starting off well.

    Im going to post it anyway (depsite reading the last 2 pages and finding a good result !) since i spent so much time bloody typing it (i guess i could of just typed me tomics broke..but aye..).Thanks Sorrentina for your ideas above..pop rivets sound like the way to go to me ! (Oh ! and i just ordered today on your site the Steam Arm assy Bakelite group handle..)..excited.




    `````````````````````````````````````````````````` `````


    Howdy Citizens, newby here.....
    what a great thread ! so much learned already surfing through the 10 pages of atomic-related paraphernalia and eye balling the threads from all you boffins.
    How surprised i was to even learn of multiple designs.I never knew this.But then again.....i never looked into it.I guess i took the atomic for granted.

    SO HERE I AM.

    AND HERE IS MY TAIL OF WOE.
    I have owned my Atomic for 5 years or so.
    I use it everyday (religiously)..who wouldnt?
    Recently it has been slow on the uptake,it "wheezes", "splutters" more then it should,and its leaking lots of steam from multiple areas.
    A full pot of water will only equate to HALF a pot of coffee (at best)...
    lets just say,if i have 10 friends over..and they ALL want a coffee....you got it......IT TAKES A WHILE TO SAY THE LEAST.

    ALSO, please excuse my Atomic-related colloquialisms......im sure i will catch on to the more better known terms when describing these machines..but "plate" and "screws" and "knob" etc while just have to do for now.

    I bit the bullett and bought the seal kit from Bon trading in SYD,and to my surprise arrived this morning (along with a new black water filler bakelite "ish" knob)
    I was so excited that before even attempting to make my first morning brew (idiot!),i found myself in the shed with wrench and screwdriver in hand ready for the upgrade.

    This machine has NEVER been opened and cleaned in its life....the caked coffee underneath the top silver star patterned plate and corrosion on the screws was evedence of that.It was full to the brim..no wonder no coffee was comming out at a descent rate.

    3 hours later,i had my rusty upper screws out (1 snapped off internal in the threaded housing,and the other housing was erroded,and there is no longer ANY thread left !....the plate was like margarine and basically imploded in on itself )...this made me angry, but understanding the age of the machine,and the fact that it was never serviced before..i was was not really that surprised. So back inside i went,placed another order for more spares..and again i play the waiting game.
    What i am going to drink until this is fixed...i dont know..SCOTCH ?

    The steam arm thread that holds it to the aluminium body would NOT budge.AT ALL.This thread also snapped off (getting excited by now) after pressure applied and was lodged internally.Using 8 drill bit sizes and some steady hand work,and splitting my thumb open,i managed to free the rogue peice free.

    Aside from these two major dramas,the atomic laid there covered in RP7 lubricant and in fine sand grit (as i had to blast the threads clean of gasket goo in my sand plaster cabinet).......

    Now, i have never opened or worked on one of these before..( i am a old car person),but i certianly can put it in the same basket as working on a 60-year old plus car,for as it goes...you go to work on one problem...ONLY TO FIND 233 others.......

    The snapped off upper screws have me concerned as i am going to have to get some "easy-outs" or even re-drill the opening bigger to accept bigger screws..who knows (any ideas people ? please throw them at me). Pop rivets just dont seem like a viable long term option ? i work in aviation so i might be able to get some small variations,just gotta keep thinking...plus to make it even more emotional..there just isnt enough space to operate it.

    Ill work it out,but i just wanted to share my pain, and see if anyone else has had the same ordeal with these puppies.

    James



  16. #66
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    The pop rivet solution does work- the point is the screws are not entirely essential to hold the plate in place. The seal does a good enough job of this- and when the handle is locked in place the plate is also locked in completely.

    an advantage of the pop-rivets solution is that you can remove the shower head screen in a flash and maintain that area better.

    Have a look at most Italian moka pots- the seal holds the filter plate in place.

    Doing a proper restore will be very hard- there is not much room- but if you manage to do it- please post the results here.

    Good luck.

  17. #67
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread


    an advantage of the pop-rivets solution is that you can remove the shower head screen in a flash and maintain that area better.



    [/QUOTE]

    so true !


    Cheers, yeeaaahhh, i reckon the rivets will do just nicley.I already have a 1951 Ford that is a 2 TONNE ATOMIC,and i really shouldnt start on more intricate hair pulling.I just need my coffee back :) thanks for all the helpfull info....life saver ! look forward to the spares i bought from you today.These comming interstate also,or are these spares in Adelaide ?
    James

  18. #68
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    Hello there,

    yes- the spare are coming to you from Adelaide. You should see them around wednesday.

    If you want I can include a pre-riveted filter plate- just let me know and I will throw one in,

    Kind regards,
    jack

  19. #69
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 5E425F5F48435944434C4E424B4B48482D0 link=1238410912/67#67 date=1280022977
    Hello there,

    yes- the spare are coming to you from Adelaide. You should see them around wednesday.

    If you want I can include a pre-riveted filter plate- just let me know and I will throw one in,

    Kind regards,
    jack



    Cheers jack, i would say yes if i hadnt already ordered one from BON. :)
    if i did a bit more research before being fat fingered and ordering on line post haste,i would of got from you knowing you are local ! damn.....


    P:S: "HYPE and Seek" in croydon, they sell your machines ? wouldnt mind buying another.....
    james
    ;)

  20. #70
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread



    DOES ANYONE HAVE A ATOMIC BADGE THEY WANT TO SELL ME! ???

    when i bought my Atomic years back it never had one (owner tells me it fell off behind the stove..and they couldnt move ths stove to get it...hehehehe)

    Let me know,as i dont really dont want to send my machine into BON in Sydney,just for him to glue it on.....i can do this myself. $5.00 for BADGE. $30.00 for postage returned.Doesnt make sense.

    Regards
    James

  21. #71
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 766A7777606B716C6B64666A63636060050 link=1238410912/67#67 date=1280022977
    Hello there,

    yes- the spare are coming to you from Adelaide. You should see them around wednesday.

    If you want I can include a pre-riveted filter plate- just let me know and I will throw one in,

    Kind regards,
    jack





    `````````````````````````````````````````````````` ``````

    Cheers Jack, parts arrived yesterday. Many thanks.I CANNOT beleive how quickly the water now flows up and out of the atomic...lightening speed! cant beleive i was using my machine when it would spit out a drop a second !..i thought that was normal. :D

    Regards
    James

  22. #72
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    Hi all, a truly excellent thread which has inspired me to do the full service / restore on my atomic (A) that Ive had for many, many years.

    Ive had success with the steam valve cleaning technique helpfully set out above, however those screws in the group head have (so far) utterly defeated me. I suspect theyve not moved since leaving the factory at least 20 years ago.

    Ive tried soaking in methylated spirit overnight, and then (separately, I didnt mix them, I swear!) coke overnight, with just no movement at all. Short of the powerdrill with elbow solution also mentioned above, does anyone else have further suggestions?

    Ideally, Id like to keep the screws. However I will certainly consider destroying them (with some glee, after the trouble theyve caused) and replacing with the riveted shower head. Suggestions for removal through creative destruction are therefore also very welcome.

    Thanks again for all of the contributions in this great thread.

    Gaggia Classic / Atomic (A) / Mazzer Mini e

  23. #73
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    OK- this is a tricky process.

    To start with choose a screw driver with a good tip- and find one that fits the screw heads as tightly as possible. If there is movement there is more chance you will damage and snap the screws.

    Given that you have already soaked them- and are not getting any movement- there is a final drastic measure you can take:

    You can destroy the filter plate- stabbing it with a driver and then cutting/prying it out with snips and/or pliers. You do this carefully avoiding the screws. If you can make holes near the screws and then around then you can pull the plate off leaving the screws in place. Go slow and take care.

    The filter plate is made of alloy- and can be destroyed easily. If you are able to remove it you will reveal more of the screws- you will be able to see where the screws go into the body and possibly clean this area to help removal.

    If none of this helps you will be able to grip the screws with locking pliers for a better grip than with a screw driver. The idea is to grip the head and very gently start to move it back and forth. If you can loosten it a little you may be able to remove it with the driver. Go gently- and try to grip the head as horizontally as possible...

    Unfortunately chances are the screws will still snap off. Especially if they are badly rusted.

    The filter plate is easy to replace so destroying it is not a worry. It may be that you can salvage one screw hole- which really is as good as two.

    Worst case scenario you destroy them both. In that case email me and I can pop rivet a filter plate for you.

    Good Luck!

  24. #74
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    Thanks so much for the tips, S.C. *Never would have occurred to me to attack the filter plate, but of course seems the obvious (and literal) work-around now that youve suggested it.

    Ill give it a shot over the weekend and let you know how I get on, hopefully with pictures.

    Gaggia Classic / Atomic (A) / Mazzer Mini e

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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    This actually reminds me: there is another solution other than pop rivets. Recently an Atomic user from the UK grabbed some spare parts from me and repaired his Sassoon Atomic. Along the way the screws snapped off (as they will). I suggested the pop rivet solution but he wanted a total restoration and actually managed to have the stubs removed (with electrolysis!)- and the threads re-tapped. Finished with stainless hex screws. *A real professional job- but justifiable for a Sassoon atomic with rare blue knob... *:o

    Called for some specialist equipment though... (see image)

    Luckily he made a blog about the process:

    http://squaxor.posterous.com/resurre...fee-maker-1946








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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    Oh wow, thats just beautiful. *I had no idea the Sassoon existed, and now I am jealous. The flatter lines give the whole design a more sleek look, and its lovely.

    I got to put all of Jacks excellent advice into practice last weekend, and it was a most satisfying experience. Attacking that filter plate was great fun, and the alloy really was putty before my brute force, a screw driver and some tin snips. This is how it unfolded:











    As you can see, plenty of nastiness was hidden up there. *I shudder to contemplate what I was drinking. As is also clear, I was just too ham-fisted to save even one of the screws, but Jack has kindly sent me down a riveted filter plate, which works like a charm.

    Wandering around on the Sorrentina site, I encountered the emerald green bakelite set of parts, and was hooked. The Atomic is going to live at the girlfriends, and the green is going to be a lovely touch. Just got to fit them now, and the machine will be better than ever.

    A big thank you to all of the posters for getting me excited about this, and to Jack for his generosity with his time, expertise and effort (and the speedy shipping of parts!).

  27. #77
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    good on you for posting the images of removing the screen- this is exactly the way. Shame those heads snapped off anyway but thats often how the cookie crumbles. I have had some success using locking pliers to grab the heads and gently loosten them- but for every success there has been a failure.

    I wonder if there is some way of loosening the screws using electrolysis or some such scientific approach?

    Any MacGuyvers out there with ideas?

    As to the gunk inside that is not too bad- I have often opened them to find them completely full of sandy calcium scale- so much it fills the entire head of the machine- and you can get a cup or more from the boiler. Atomics from Adelaide are amongst the worst reflecting how hard our water is.


  28. #78
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 2A362B2B3C372D3037383A363F3F3C3C590 link=1238410912/76#76 date=1297487698
    I wonder if there is some way of loosening the screws using electrolysis or some such scientific approach?
    Ultra sonic bath ( Not the little toys) and use a mix of solutions may allow you a higher success rate....

    AM


  29. #79
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    would it be possible to make your own little sonic bath inside the head itself? Because the only problem with this idea is that it may damage the badges on the top of the machines. The paint on these can be delicate- and the badge is highly regarded and very difficult and/or impossible to replace.

    Basically the screws in the old machine are made of steel- going straight into the alloy head. Could running a current through the screws heads in some kind of liquid do anything?

  30. #80
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 697568687F746E73747B79757C7C7F7F1A0 link=1238410912/78#78 date=1297491029
    would it be possible to make your own little sonic bath inside the head itself?
    Finally! A practical use for the ultrasound machines at the physio... ;)

  31. #81
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    Well I switched over the bakelite fittings (with one exception) to the emerald green set from Sorrentina Coffee, and it looks lovely. These are shots from the new home at the girlfriends place.

    As you can see, everything but the steam knob has been switched. The girlfriend is very happy (if a little intimidated, but practise will fix that), and claims to prefer the red knob.

    This is quite lucky, as Ive not been able to remove it. Jack, I can remove the brass screw at the knobs centre, but it seems firmly attached to the rod that goes into the steam valve assembly. Any tips on removal? Is a hard tug all thats required?

    Sorry to prevail on your generosity with advice again, but Im keen to see the effect of the complete green set!




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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    Machine is looking good!~

    The red ball should simply pull straight off. There is nothing holding it on once the screw is removed. They can get quite tight though. Perhaps if you put a drop of oil into the screw hole and leave the machine on its side so the oil can work its way in- that may help loosten it.

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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 677B6666717A607D7A75777B72727171140 link=1238410912/11#11 date=1238648052
    Has the black water knob seized on? If so there is a method for safe removal I can fill you in on.
    I have a Brevetti Robbiati Atomic which I bought on ebay. It came with a new black filler knob & new knob washer or gasket. The new knob hissed & leaked a little so after several uses I tightened a bit tighter. The knob seemed to close a little tighter but now will not undo. It has about 4mm of loose travel but will not undo with the maximum force I am capable of.

    In short I would like to know the safe removal method referred to in SorrentinaCoffees post.

  34. #84
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    I think you managed to solve this problem already? However for future reference this is what to do:

    you need to get a piece of timber around half an inch thick, a few inches wide and at least a few feet long.

    At one end you need to cut out a hole that is the diameter of the black knob minus the liitle teeth around the edge. You can cut a split from the end of the timber into the hole you have made. You then force the knob into the hole and clamp it tightly in place. Once you have done all this the piece of timber become a giant wrench and has enough leverage to undo the knob. By using this method you should be able to avoid damaging the bakelite knob.

    The easy quick and dirty method is to simply clamp the knob using a bench vice. You can then use the body of the atomic itself as the lever to undo it. The vice will likely damage the bakelite of the knob. However if the knob has been stuck on the machine for a long while it is probably better to replace it anyway.

  35. #85
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    Atomic Robbiati

    Hi!
    I just bought this coffee maker from a fleamarket. Didn´t cost me much and it seems to work fine.
    My machine has a small ventilation pipe on the top, haven´t seen that on any other.
    Would be very intresting find out something more about it, if there are any experts here?

    Very thankfull for information!

    Best regards
    Petter Dahlström

    Sweden, Gothenburg


  36. #86
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    Re: Atomic Robbiati

    Hi Petter,

    There is plenty of information on Atomic to be found at http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1238410912 and http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1260377966

    Looks like yours is a less common model.

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    Re: Atomic Robbiati

    Thanks for the reply! I will look into the links and hopefully learn plenty!


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    Re: Atomic Robbiati

    My machine does not have a label on top of it, though you can clearly see a circle about 1/4 centimeter deep where there could have been one.
    I would gladly hear any information on this.

    Best regards

  39. #89
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    Re: Atomic Robbiati

    Hi Petter,

    Do go and look at the Atomic Collectors thread (just up the index page from this one). It has all the information you could want, as well as access to a number of experts.

    Greg

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    Re: Atomic Robbiati

    Gday Petter.... :)

    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs mate and hope you found the Atomic thread OK... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    I just reduced the size of your attached image above Petter. If you can keep them down to a file size of around 100KB or so and within a frame of 800x600 Pixels, that would be great.

    All the best mate and looking forward to reading many more posts from you... 8-)

    Mal.

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    Re: Atomic Robbiati

    Hello there Petter,

    My name is Jack and its nice to have you posting on this forum.

    that is a very nice old Atomic you have. :o VERY nice!

    It is a very rare model- I have only seen one other photo of one like that. I am a collector with over 30 machines- but none like yours. I would love to know what the little ball part does? Does it control the flow of water through the coffee?

    It would be great if you could post a few more images of the machine- especially the unusual little ball mechanism.


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    Re: Atomic Robbiati

    Hi!
    I will post some more soon. Now I have to go to a fleamarket!
    Thanks for the reply!

    Best regards

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    Re: Atomic Robbiati

    One more picture

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    Re: Atomic Robbiati

    Hello Petter,

    Thanks for the photo- it looks like it does control the flow of the water through the coffee? I assume you use it after you have made coffee to increase the pressure for steaming.


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    Re: Atomic Robbiati

    A picture from the right side would be nice.

  46. #96
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 00252C283730362B29440 link=1238410912/84#84 date=1309644424
    I just bought this coffee maker from a fleamarket
    Looks like an excellent find Petter.

    Seems that finding these at a market is getting harder all the time, you have done very well to find such and unusual model too.
    8-)

  47. #97
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    One from the other side!

  48. #98
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    close up


  49. #99
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    The steaming is really powerful actaully and makes very nice milk.


  50. #100
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Atomic restorers thread

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    The close up shot is good in that it shows a locking screw.

    Any idea if it does control water flow through the coffee?

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