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Thread: Steam tip modification questions

  1. #1
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    Steam tip modification questions

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    If I was looking to block holes in a steam tip, what would be the best way to do that?

  2. #2
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Steam tip modification questions

    There have been a couple of threads on this in the past.
    I recall the simplest method was a toothpick, but the cleanest method was food safe solder.

  3. #3
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Steam tip modification questions

    What about a new steam tip? If your mod doesnt work, you dont have to try to undo it.

  4. #4
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    Re: Steam tip modification questions

    Where do you get a food safe solder? Solders are usually made up of some combination of lead and other metals and flux.

  5. #5
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Steam tip modification questions

    Quote Originally Posted by NewToEspresso link=1224212590/0#3 date=1224214465
    Where do you get a food safe solder? Solders are usually made up of some combination of lead and other metals and flux.
    Found this post.
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1174998951/36#36
    slowdown mentions welding suppliers.

    HTH.

    Brett.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Steam tip modification questions

    Silver solder is lead free
    But it is 95% tin and 5% silver
    I use it for soldering Hi Fi components
    Should be available at Jaycar, Dick Smith, Tandy ect
    KK

  7. #7
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    Re: Steam tip modification questions


    Be careful, not all silver solders are food safe. Many contain cadmium. Check the packet to make sure it is cadmium free.

  8. #8
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    Re: Steam tip modification questions

    Thats true Sparky, many silver solders do contain Cadmium. You could try Reece plumbing supplies or Boc gases and just tell them what you want to use it for.

  9. #9
    Senior Groupie LindaD's Avatar
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    Re: Steam tip modification questions

    Try a jeweller?

    I am sure what they would use would be "human friendly" Since alot of people seem to walk around with necklaces and such stuck in their mouths.

    -Linda

  10. #10
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Steam tip modification questions

    NTE

    Unless you know a welder that you can trade a coffee for his service
    Some silver solder (cadmium free) needs to be gas welded

    It will be easier and cheaper to get another steam tip from coffee parts
    For the trouble you will go to getting all the materials and tools needed

    Save yourself the hassle :)

    KK

  11. #11
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Steam tip modification questions

    I just took of the tip, and wound a bit of stainless wire through the holes to reduce their size.
    This works great for me as I only steam very small quantities of milk at a time.
    Greg

  12. #12
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    Re: Steam tip modification questions

    Jewellers solder would be safe. Usually an alloy of metals equal to the fitness of material soldering (carat, 18ct/750, 9ct/375 or sterling silver/525) but with a lower melting point. The alloy usually contains fine gold, fine silver, copper and zinc.
    There are three grades of melting point.
    Hard = highest
    medium=medium
    easy=lowest

    Alloy and gold supplies Sydney might be able to post out a small amount of Easy (lowest melting point) silver solder.
    Dont mention coffee equipment, just pretend you are some sort of wacko hobbyist arty jeweller (industry is full of them) and pay by credit card.
    You will need a flux, buy some boracic powder from a chemist and mix into a paste (like clag glue) with water and brush it onto the steam tip. you can melt the solder with a propane torch or equivalent, remember heat the object, not the solder !

    It is a bit of work if you dont have all the stuff, perhaps ask a local jeweller. I might be able to do a few at a time if they can be delivered to a central location.

    Wayne.


  13. #13
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Steam tip modification questions

    Various Silver Solder (SS) alloys can be acquired from BOC too in sizes down to about 1.5mm diameter and quite inexpensive. Dedicated flux can also be purchased for very reasonable cost as well. You used to be able to buy the SS by the stick for between $5-10 each for a 500mm long stick. Small pots of Flux go for about the same sort of money.

    If you get stuck, I could probably send you a small piece of SS in the mail but you would still need to buy the flux so dont know that this would save you any real money or time.

    All the best, :)
    Mal.


  14. #14
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    Re: Steam tip modification questions

    Thanks for the suggestions. The reason I wanted to modify the tip was to make a "custom" directional type tip eg. a 3 hole tip would be directing steam 120 degrees apart and I was considering blocking one to have a 2 hole tip but 120 degrees apart rather than a stock standard 2 hole tip with 180 degrees apart. Its to do with microfoaming and I have to admit Im trying to compensate for bad technique. I think what Ill try to do instead is buy a good amount of milk and practise steaming milk with whatever tip I have until I get it right, for now.

  15. #15
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    Re: Steam tip modification questions

    a short term solution is the old toothpick in the hole method, as previously mentioned. Try different combos of the holes blocked to figure out what works. I have an obscure machine (not popular amongst the CS / pro baristi scene) so replacement tips with less holes are not available. I have been planning to solder up the holes for a while, just been busy. The toothpick mod works fine and has been in place for a while.

    Wayne.

  16. #16
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    Re: Steam tip modification questions

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Update on this: got a 4 hole steam tip from coffeeparts but it turns out my steam power may not be big enough to get it microfoam decently. Blocked 2 of the holes with a toothpick from the outside and it microfoams perfectly but for this to be a permanent solution, the toothpick will have to be inserted from the inside but the tip doesnt allow that to be done easily because the holes are too close to each other and angled too much from the inside. So now I have:
    1. The standard 3 hole steam tip which has the holes 120 degrees apart.
    2. A 2 hole steam tip 180 degrees apart
    3. A 1 hole steam tip which looks like a big version of a ball point pen metal sleeve
    4. A 4 hole steam tip which is too big
    The 3 hole tip is what came with the machine and I have no problems using that in a 600ml jug. Its the 300ml jug for 1 that I have issues with. The 1 hole was doing the job sufficiently ok but its not easy to get that sweet spot because of its shape. The best Ive come up with is to block 2 holes in the 4 hole one and so Ill have to revisit the silver solder options again.



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