Importing and restoring vintage machines
Occasional reader, first time poster. I’m looking for some advice regarding vintage machines, specifically in obtaining and restoring them. I've been toying with the idea of getting a one or two group lever and bringing it back to life.
I’m leaning towards something from the 50s. Maybe a Faema? However, it’s still early days.
I’d consider importing direct from Europe. The classifieds seem to have quite a few advertised. Does anyone have any experience in this? I’ve heard that the costs are large and the process is difficult.
Interested to hear other people’s 2 cents. Thanks.
Having seen the work that went into Rick Bonds restored Boema which is currently for sale, he spent over 100 hours of work on that machine, and that was someone who knows what they were doing.
I've seen that machine in action and even seen that machine with a SCACE on it as he pulls the shot and it's just a perfect temperature and pressure profile. For someone who is handy with tools but works on a desk all day, I'd say 150 hours would not be unreasonable for me to do that job. Also panel repairs, powder coating, rechroming are all external trades and will add $$$.
Speaking to Rick about that machine ( which I would buy myself in a flash if finance permitted) there are so many items which come from experience. .....gaskets types, restrictors, gicleur ( that's e61 I think) etc etc. that's where I would fall down. In the end it all comes down to whats in the cup! If it's pulling bad shots then you have wasted your time and need to get someone to sort it out.
I wish i had the shed to do it and also the time, but seriously, it won't be cheap.
I would probably get frustated after a few months and on sell it !!!
Expect the project to take 2 years, unless you are doing it full time, then it will take months.
i have to say though I imagine it would be the most satisfying feeling to do a full rebuild once it's complete .
Good luck with it, and post lot so photos if you end up doing a resto.