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Thread: Advice on naked portafilter conversion

  1. #1
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    Advice on naked portafilter conversion

    hi level3Ninja,

    I am hoping to get some advice on naked portafilter conversion, but my question is more about modifying an existing naked portafilter and I hope this is the right place to ask.

    I have ROK(Presso) naked portafilter (purchased from the ROK distributor in Australia) that I was never happy with... It makes a big mess whenever my tamp is a bit off resulting coffee running down the handle and dripping everywhere. I suspect the issue is that the cutout is too small and any sort of squirting from the basket caught on the rim. It was seeing your nicely converted jobs that made me realise this issue, but I never bothered fixing the problem as I had kinda gave on ROK as I could never get it to consistently make decent "espresso" shot.

    Recently I acquired a post-mil La Pavoni Professional lever machine and I was very surprised to find that the portafilters are almost the same size, as the filter baskets are interchangable and the Presso portafilter "almost" fit into the La Pavoni., this is despite the La pavoni basket is officially 51mm and the ROK is 49mm.
    The "ears" (not sure if thats the right terminology) on the ROK portafilter seems slightly larger than the La Pavoni

    So my questions are

    1. Can I widen the cutout on the already converted ROK naked portafilter?

    2. How do I modify the ROK portafilter to fit the La Pavoni? ie. shave a mil off the "ears"?

    I have some basic powered tools and willing to give it a go if not too dangerous!

    Below are the photos of the
    ROK PF
    ROK PF.jpg
    ROK vs LP professional
    ROK V LP.jpg
    Last edited by justacuppa; 3 Weeks Ago at 12:46 AM. Reason: added photos

  2. #2
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Yes you can make the hole larger. Is the ROK portafilter made of brass or stainless? If it's brass it's relatively straightforward, you'll just lose the chrome plating where you make the hole bigger. Depending on how much bigger you want to make it, I'd start with a half round bastard file and open it up 90% of the way, then switch to a small flap wheel in a drill to finish.

    As for the "ears", they're called lugs, and I wouldn't advise you to do that as I've never done it and it could render the portafilter useless, not to .ention that once you make it fit the La Pavoni it won't fit the ROK.

  3. #3
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    thanks for the reply, I can't tell whether its brass or stainless steel..but looking at where the bottom is cut I get the feeling it is SS. Any other way to tell? or does being SS just means its a bit harder to file down?

    I have already sold off my ROK machine along with the normal PF, so the naked PF is just a spare for me to experiment - I noticed there are very few 49mm PF on the market apart from the ROK and La Pavoni Pre-Mil machines.. i had a feeling they might fit. I did end up with a post-millennium model which has 51mm PF, but the baskets fits into the ROK, and the lugs are just a little bit off... hence my questions regarding how to mod it.

    The cheapest La Pavoni portafilter I can find is $100+ shipping.. so using the ROK PF as experiment is much cheaper ( the ROK naked PF is currently $29+shipping only).
    I am hoping my experiment might help others to get a cheap naked PF for their La Pavoni's.
    Last edited by justacuppa; 3 Weeks Ago at 02:27 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Fair enough, yes if you can reshape the lugs to exactly match enough it'll fit. The shape looking top down is important but also the shape and height from the top of the basket on the side of the portafilter.

    The easy way to tell if it's brass or stainless is whether the cut edge looks like smooth chrome or like it's been machined. The other way is by how fast it heats up, stainless is noticably slower than brass (less thermal conductivity), though you'll need something to compare it to (in your head at least). If it is stainless it will be harder to work, but will also heat stress much much faster (this will be evident by discolouration on the metal). Top work stainless with normal files etc so blunt your files much faster and require you to work slower (or take longer breaks more often) so that the temperature of the metal stays cool. I did one stainless one once and it must have taken me about 20hrs of labour start to finish (including cutting the hole). When I was using the flap disc I would stop every 5 seconds and dunk it in a tub of water to keep it cool, hardly ideal.

  5. #5
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    Reporting back, I have success converting the portafilter to fit my La Pavoni . After not making much progress with a tiny file I found in the toolbox , I saw an opportunity with a piece of low grit sandpaper that was sitting on the table. Holding the portafilter and rubbing the lugs against the paper on the table was a much easier and faster process. The portafilter is made of stainless steel so still took some effort and I still need to sand down the sharp edges around the lugs. I have yet to file off the bottom opening but I already made a shot this morning and the results look good.

    Might be just my lucky day but there were no squirts and no mess with coffee dripping down the handle. Blonding didnt occur till very end of the pour so the resulting cup using the Ethiopian yirgacheffe was very nice.

    I will post some photos up later when I get home.

  6. #6
    Rbn
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    That sounds like got that one just right.
    Now all you have to do is make it repeatable.
    If you can do it once you can do it again and again.

  7. #7
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    Photos of the ROK /PRESSO portafilter in a La Pavoni Professional Post-Millennium :

    ROK mod v1-1 (Large).jpgROK mod v1-2 (Large).jpg

    video of me pulling a shot , still needs more work but I am getting there I hope
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/NIqjrWqOzCq3OfUn2

  8. #8
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justacuppa View Post
    Reporting back, I have success converting the portafilter to fit my La Pavoni . After not making much progress with a tiny file I found in the toolbox , I saw an opportunity with a piece of low grit sandpaper that was sitting on the table. Holding the portafilter and rubbing the lugs against the paper on the table was a much easier and faster process. The portafilter is made of stainless steel so still took some effort and I still need to sand down the sharp edges around the lugs. I have yet to file off the bottom opening but I already made a shot this morning and the results look good.

    Might be just my lucky day but there were no squirts and no mess with coffee dripping down the handle. Blonding didnt occur till very end of the pour so the resulting cup using the Ethiopian yirgacheffe was very nice.

    I will post some photos up later when I get home.
    I did something similar with a Presso naked portafilter to fit my little Bialetti espresso machine. I had similar problems with drippy, messy shots until I changed to a different basket. The basket that comes with the Presso portafilter is absolute rubbish and I havenít used it since I switched it out. When you think about it making the hole in the portafilter bigger really shouldnít be necessary if youíre getting really good extractions. So before you get the file out again I suggest you try a different filter basket if you havenít already. The two filter baskets Iíve used successfully are a Breville single wall, 2 cup filter and another one thatís slightly deeper that I think is a Krups or it might be from an Isomac Viper or something. Anyway, looks like youíve made a good start, hope this helps a little.
    justacuppa likes this.

  9. #9
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    A shot on my Bialetti using the Presso portafilter-

    Dimal, justacuppa and rawill like this.

  10. #10
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    hi LeroyC

    I was making all sort of mess back when I had still had the Presso..never thought it was the basket! But it was probably more my technique

    Its funny that since using the modified portafilter in the La Pavoni , the 4-5 shots I pulled so far have been fine, not mess at all. It might have been my technique have improved, or that I am using fresh home-roasted beans.. The only other variable I can think of is the grind consistency, I am currently using the Rosco hand grinder which produces much better quality grind then the old Sunbeam I previously used.

    But you do make a valid point, if my technique was right I shouldn't have to cut the hole bigger..... now I have to return all the files and attachments I bought in excitement from Bunnings yesterday...

    However, I am also interested in trying out the Breville or Krups basket you mentioned because I do hate the ridged design of the original basket. Are they both 49mm? Which part no.or machine model should I search for? just dont want to order the basket with so many variations.. the La Pavoni Millenium i have is suppose to be 51mm basket.. and yet it fits in the Presso (just)..but the Elektra MCaL 49mm is a very loose fit. I am guessing Breville one should be more accessible in oz?

    cheers
    Last edited by justacuppa; 1 Week Ago at 01:33 AM.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Yeah theyíre all called Ď51mm filter basketsí. Usually the Breville ones arenít too hard to find although stockists seem to run out of stock frequently. You usually have to buy it as a set with the 1-cup basket. Krups, Saeco, Pavoni ones can be found on eBay or possibly via parts suppliers like Coffee Parts. Whatever you get itís worth doing.
    rawill likes this.

  12. #12
    Rbn
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    Yes there is a supplier in Australia that has the Breville baskets in a pack. The single shot and double shot single walled versions.
    I have bought parts from them. There is a double single walled basket on Ebay. I use the Krups and the double I got from Ebay in my 51mm P/F.

    Made a huge difference over the double walled baskets that came with the machine.
    And donated the Breville ones to my daughter to use in her little Breville Bar Vista, paired with an EM 480. Not sure donating them to her was the right thing to do.
    The Breville ones might be as good as the Krups and Ebay one. I can't tell for sure.

    All with a naked P/F.
    In my view the only way to go to get your techniques sorted out.

    Soon daughter will get a refurbished EM 6910 from me.
    My old trusty that has done over 10,000 shots.
    Now with a new collar.

    Love that shot of Leroy's above, looks excellent to me.

  13. #13
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    I’ve bought those baskets before and I think they’re called Breville BSWF100 officially. I use a 51mm krups basket in my trusty EM5900 and they have a slightly different shape. Nice shot of your extraction there. I’d like to modify my PF into a naked too.

  14. #14
    Rbn
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    I am sure you could get a "spare one" off an auction site or similar and cut the bottom out as I have to 3 of them now.

    Interesting, I often get a block, or a gusher, trying to get my 5600 to perform as I want it to!
    More work required on grinding and tamping!

    I have a couple of nice ones, chrome plated brass, and a cheap light weight aluminium one, not nearly as nice as the heavier one.

  15. #15
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    Yes rawill the EM5900 is rather temperamental, isnít it. I find it very good for the price though; I honestly did not expect it to last this long (nearly 6 years now I reckon). Prosumer machines would probably be more consistent and long lived, but for $180 over 6 years I am not one to complain. If anything, I have learned a lot about grind dose tamp from this machine and that would certainly have paid for it many times over by now.

    Unfortunately I am not handy with a dremel or any sort of tool. Will have to ask my partner to do it, but not looking very likely as the list of to doís is a mile long and this machine is starting to show signs of pump failure.
    rawill likes this.

  16. #16
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by empty123 View Post
    Unfortunately I am not handy with a dremel or any sort of tool. Will have to ask my partner to do it, but not looking very likely as the list of to do’s is a mile long and this machine is starting to show signs of pump failure
    You're welcome to send it to me if it's brass (or at least not stainless)
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  17. #17
    Rbn
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    Quote Originally Posted by empty123 View Post
    Unfortunately I am not handy with a dremel or any sort of tool. Will have to ask my partner to do it, but not looking very likely as the list of to do’s is a mile long and this machine is starting to show signs of pump failure.
    I just used a hole saw, and did it slowly with a battery drill, no dremel, just little sand paper afterwards to take off the sharp edges, worked perfectly on the brass ones, not so good on the aluminium one as the hole saw kind of "dug in". I guess because the metal is so soft. Didn't make a big mess, but I was not happy with the job. But of course it still works fine!
    empty123 likes this.

  18. #18
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    Thanks for the tips rawill and level3ninja. Iíll pass it on to my partner and see what we can do. If I get stuck I just might take you up on that offer level3ninja. Just not sure what this portafilter is made of at the moment. Another thing to investigate.
    level3ninja likes this.

  19. #19
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    If your remove the basket and the inside looks like the silver is coming off / yellowy-brown it's probably brass.
    empty123 likes this.

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