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Thread: Another Boema Restoration Thread

  1. #1
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Another Boema Restoration Thread

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all!

    So I took a small financial plunge and picked up a Boema single group volumetric to restore.

    The machine follows the common sad tale for these tanks: passing through the hands of a few small cafe owners, never given much by way of maintenance, and never given much by way of water treatment.

    I have a tonne of photos and have made significant progress in bringing this superb piece of Australian engineering back to a close level of its original glory. I will post these soon.

    For now I need the assistance of the brains trust:

    I want to replace the element, itís in poor shape but I feel replacing regardless is an inherently safe option to extend the life span of the machine. The problem is the element is stuck firm in place and needs a 46mm spanner (which I donít own - thanks to LeroyC for the info in another thread). Should I manage to acquire such a spanner does anyone have any fancy tricks for getting this thing to budge and/or any other method (without the 46mm spanner) that might see the element break free from its shackles?

    DABA3838-2FF2-4BE4-B381-A9FB0209BACD.jpg

    The other question relates to the boiler, for which I have descaled and removed a MASSIVE amount of crud! I am just curious if my efforts are enough or should I try and remove more scale (see pics)?

    Probably have spent 4ish hours scrubbing and soaking the boiler, I am just unsure if I should be aiming for zero white or black residue or if there is an Ďacceptableí level? I am a bit of a neat freak so my instinct is to go until I am back to original metal only but I am also logical and I donít feel that is necessarily achievable!

    E857C5DB-6CF7-4439-A8CB-CEFC0511EBE7.jpg
    139CBD29-212D-4E99-82E8-E0E993B34313.jpg

    Many thanks!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    I'm assuming in the first photo you have the part requiring the 46mm spanner in the jaws of the vice? From the looks of it there you could throw a strap wrench around the boiler plate and use the vice as your spanner.

  3. #3
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    You are spot on level3ninja, and good thinking. I was attempting to use the vice as my spanner but my mere mortal strength wasn’t enough to even remotely budge the element from its housing in the boiler plate.

    Need to head to the big green shed tomorrow so will add strap wrench to my shopping list.

  4. #4
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    The area circled isn't damage to the HX Tube is it solace?

    BoemaHXTube.jpg

    Mal.

  5. #5
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Wow Mal, you had me stressed for a moment there mate!

    Just checked, there is no damage - just an awesome trick of light!
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  6. #6
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Phew...

    Thank goodness.

    Mal.

  7. #7
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    What descale product are you using and how long are you soaking the boiler for? Iíd be hoping to get it a little better than that if possible, but it looks like youíve made a pretty good start.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    I’m using a solution of vinegar and citric acid (20:1). It has worked wonders in the past, in this instance the build up is close to the worst if not the worst I have seen.

    For reference this was my starting point:

    F2630C70-5828-4D8D-B838-D162BCAA9842.jpg
    F31C890A-B93F-4818-94C7-BF8B42EF312E.jpg

  9. #9
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    If you want to do a thoroughly excellent job of descaling, you can't go past Clean Machine Triple Action.
    Have used this on a few jobs over the years and has always been great...

    CleanMachine.JPG

    Mal.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    Similar element mount to my Musica. I dug out as much of the rubber ring as I could as I thought it was a gasket. Anyway, removing that, and then feeding WD in around the sealing surface helped loosen mine.
    Maybe better to reassemble boiler so you have some grip area.
    Also rocking it to try grinding down the crud in the threads.
    More descaling might help too
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  11. #11
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    I agree with Mal- grab a bottle of Clean Machine descale from a site sponsor. Jetblack usually have it, Iíve bought it from them before.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Thanks Mal & LeroyC, will definitely give the Clean Machine Triple Action a go. Have looked through pretty much every other resto thread for these machines and can see that I have some improvements to be made in the descaling.

    Jackster, thanks for advice too!
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  13. #13
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solace View Post
    Thanks Mal & LeroyC, will definitely give the Clean Machine Triple Action a go. Have looked through pretty much every other resto thread for these machines and can see that I have some improvements to be made in the descaling.

    Jackster, thanks for advice too!
    Some Scalex from Bunnings is the other option. Liquid descale is definitely better though.

  14. #14
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Some Scalex from Bunnings is the other option. Liquid descale is definitely better though.
    I did actually look at Scalex today when I was at Bunnings but decided the Clean Machine offering would be the better option.

    Couldnt find a strap wrench that would be big enough to fit around the boiler plate but did find an adjustable wrench that expands to 75mm so hopefully that will help get this stubborn element out? Had a quick crack at trying when I got home but not even a inclination of movement, currently have some WD-40 soaking around the element housing so will try again later.

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    Being a boiler getting hot and cold maybe try heating the bolier not the nut to get the elememnt to budge
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    Scalex is heavy duty! Pretty hard to get the taste out after though
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  17. #17
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Success!

    Element removed by chiseling the gasket away, placing boiler plate in the vice vertically, then using hammer+wrench to get some momentum.

    139DC7FA-E1EB-4B28-997D-C88471096B51.jpg
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  18. #18
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Well I am incredibly close to having the boiler back in and the machine fired up, just awaiting on the new element from Boema and the boiler is having its last descale bath.

    This is the first machine I have owned with a rotary pump. As the machine has been sitting in storage for about 6 months (was left with a boiler full of water) I am wondering if there is anything I should do to ‘prepare’ the pump for use?

    I am leaning towards pulling the procon out and giving it a quick bath in a citric acid/water solution regardless, is this advisable?

    Thanks in advance!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    Ha, that element did not survive!

    Rotary pumps, not played with them.. presumably it is not seized. You could pull it apart and clean it out, making sure all the vanes are moving and sealing, check and lube bearings if you can get to them, strip, clean and lube the bypass spring and plunger. Definitely worth looking under its cover.
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  20. #20
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    I would just check the pump for free movement, sediment or any other foreign material.
    Look for any sign of leaks, etc and if all this is Ok, you could rig up a temporary suction and discharge pipe/hose, run the pump to make sure it provides plenty of volume, runs relatively quietly and nothing overheats.

    Don't descale the pump, it is not necessary mate.

    All the best,
    Mal.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    I saw a rebuild post about rotary pumps. The vanes had worn down and were no longer reaching the pump body. (Maybe on HB forum). Mals mentioned flow check would show if any problems there.

    It's a bit more complex than I thought. Go with mals recommendation. Leave it together if you can...
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  22. #22
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Thanks Jackster and Mal.

    My late night research also indicated they are reasonably complex and should never be pulled apart, am in the process of working out a way to perform a flow check (pump is still
    connected to pressure stat and other parts of the line) - could I rig some plumbing that would in effect be in place of the boiler or does the pressure stat need the pressure of the boiler else it tells the pump to not engage?

    Like this:

    6D6AD8A4-A27B-474F-9639-92584B8BD767.jpg

  23. #23
    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    How confident are you with 240V electrics? It's pretty easy to rig up a temporary pump check but the easiest method involves swapping put some of the 240V wiring.

  24. #24
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Reasonably confident however I don’t have a spare 240 plug or switch which is the only way I can see I would be able to rig up something to power the pump, this is mostly why I was hoping to leave it all in place and just test with some water flow if that’s possible?
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  25. #25
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Actually, think I have this sorted. Was able to bypass the line to the pressure stat (nothing like your kids trying to murder each other to strike up the rage needed to undo a fitting that was otherwise stuck).

    So now I have just water line going into the pump and a line going out that I will feed into a bucket which is also what the pump will be drawing from. In theory I can just hit the boiler fill button and the pump will engage right?

    Also confirmed that I can freely rotate the pump by hand so looking promising that should all function as expected!
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  26. #26
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    And success!

    Pump flows freely and there was little by way of crud that came from the outlet!

    Must say, considerably quieter than the near 20 year old
    vibe pump in the Gaggia Classic

    8718B14C-D51D-4F26-8F5F-8C7091C65421.jpg
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  27. #27
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    Ha, those stainless baine marie trays are the best parts trays around.
    Nice job on the pump. Im getting a little jealous..
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  28. #28
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Boiler is nearly ready to go back in, awaiting on the new element. If I hadn’t snapped the heat exchange tee piece when pulling apart the machine I could have had the boiler back in now and simply slotted the element in from the side... oh well.

    012C4DD2-371B-47D2-AFD7-6CB6D542CC4C.jpg

    The scale situation is much better, not 100% but I don’t think I can take this any further (and maybe my eagerness to use the machine is weighing on this effort a little):

    B08AB320-F141-408B-A8B9-D5C4F2F89B90.jpg
    49E91214-3CA3-4A23-9D17-6E1C1DCB9DA6.jpg

    Not being so keen to fork out for a whole new steam assembly just to get a better tip I noticed the steam tip was a 1/8 female thread, just so happens that the Vibemme Domobar shares this sizing for the steam tip so I have repurposed the Domobar steam tip whilst I rebuild that machine also. For future reference the 2 and 4 hole versions of this tip can be had from Coffee Parts for under $20

    9A4FDEAE-2450-4184-A3F5-83FF1103F91E.jpg

    Once i I have it all back together I will post some before and after pics
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  29. #29
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Looking good solace...

    Re: the Scale situation, so long as there is nothing loose in there, should be fine and from the looks of it, you've achieved about 98% which is definitely a pass mark...

    Mal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Looking good solace...

    Re: the Scale situation, so long as there is nothing loose in there, should be fine and from the looks of it, you've achieved about 98% which is definitely a pass mark...

    Mal.
    We have a large industrial ultrasonic cleaning bath in our workshop using a specialist descale solution, and even it won't clean a boiler better than you have managed there, so I'd probably score it above 98%!
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  31. #31
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MorganGT View Post
    We have a large industrial ultrasonic cleaning bath in our workshop using a specialist descale solution, and even it won't clean a boiler better than you have managed there, so I'd probably score it above 98%!
    Wow! I guess that confirms what my wife labels as a serious case of OCD has paid off (for me, she isn’t so impressed with the many hours I have put into this machine)!
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    Hey, you are doing a great job there. I have 1 group Boema I'm also restoring. Was in similar condition to yours. I've used activated descaler on the boiler, took an entire 500g container and multiple attempts to get it clean but finally all done. Mine has a boiler with no removable end, must be a slightly different model.

    Am also replacing the element, anti vac valve, 3 way solenoid and the water/steam valve shafts.

    Re the steam wand tip, the guys from Boema sent me a blank one with no holes so I was able to drill it with 4 holes.

    I do have a question for you and hope you can assist. I've stripped mine down about a year back and it's been laying in bits in a dark corner. Rather embarrassingly I've one brass fitting here and I'm not sure where it goes! See attached picture.

    I'm thinking it may go on the 3 way solenoid and sit inside vent pipe to suppress the output when you stop the shot the but I'm not sure, any chance you can take a look at yours and let me know?

    Cheers,

    Chris.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  33. #33
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    My first guess is it screws into the steam takeoff at the boiler, with the steam pipe piggybacked into it.

    Every chance I am wrong about this...

  34. #34
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Yep, looks like a partly stripped down Emergency Pressure Release Valve...

    Mal.
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  35. #35
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    I agree with Jackster and Mal. I don’t have the old pressure release valves so can’t strip one down to confirm but I can’t see what else it would be.

    Hope you aren’t far from getting your machine back together!

    Speaking of which, mine is now reassembled. Got water into the boiler, found two very small leaks (on both ends of the heat exchanger) which have now been resolved. Today will be spent with some bench tests before I lug the beast to its new home in the kitchen.

    Below are some before/after pics as promised:

    5DFA7E0D-EF41-457D-94DE-B3E1EFFBA9E4.jpg
    2B54CBFE-CE57-459B-AEEC-7D755F11408D.jpeg
    60DA2219-1B1C-4541-BA6C-3EC07F9861F6.jpg
    22989372-939A-4693-AB7D-0784F02AF579.jpg
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  36. #36
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Bloody terrific job solace, a credit to you mate...

    Mal.
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  37. #37
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Nice work Solace, well done.
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  38. #38
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Thanks all!

    Almost done, appears there is an issue with the hot water tap. I opened it up to test but now it won’t shut fully which means the machine can’t come up to pressure - had the machine running happily for a few hours until that test
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  39. #39
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solace View Post
    Thanks all!

    Almost done, appears there is an issue with the hot water tap. I opened it up to test but now it wonít shut fully which means the machine canít come up to pressure - had the machine running happily for a few hours until that test
    Did you replace the o-ring inside that valve?


    PS. I just remembered that Iíve still got a few spare parts left over from my restoration. Send me a PM if you are interested in anything. The one part in particular that could be of interest is a group head bell. These have been discontinued and Boema only had one left a couple of years ago.

  40. #40
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Did you replace the o-ring inside that valve?


    PS. I just remembered that I’ve still got a few spare parts left over from my restoration. Send me a PM if you are interested in anything. The one part in particular that could be of interest is a group head bell. These have been discontinued and Boema only had one left a couple of years ago.
    Thanks LeroyC, I am pretty good for parts but will message you later anyways to see what you have - helping another non-forum member do the same restore so he might be after some parts you have.

    When you say o-ring inside the valve, which specific o-ring are you referring to?

    146C41BB-1F63-49BB-A504-D2B73EB3AFD1.jpeg

    Inhave replaced both both of these, I think the issue might be with the plunge assembly but I can’t work out how to remove it!

  41. #41
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Another Boema Restoration Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by solace View Post
    Thanks LeroyC, I am pretty good for parts but will message you later anyways to see what you have - helping another non-forum member do the same restore so he might be after some parts you have.

    When you say o-ring inside the valve, which specific o-ring are you referring to?

    146C41BB-1F63-49BB-A504-D2B73EB3AFD1.jpeg

    Inhave replaced both both of these, I think the issue might be with the plunge assembly but I canít work out how to remove it!
    To service taps properly you need to open them up and replace the internal seal thatís found on the spindle shaft. This is something that techs do routinely whenever they service an espresso machine. To get in there you undo the brass nut thatís on the end of the valve assembly. If you havenít done this yet you definitely need to. If you have done it but are getting a valve that wonít close itíll be because you havenít put it back together properly and itís essentially stuck open.
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  42. #42
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    Do those taps seal brass on brass, or is there a viton tip or something?
    My sunbeam taps are brass on brass, and mine leaks slightly even after cleaning up the seat. Will try some lapping compound if I ever take top off the machine.

  43. #43
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Most prosumer machine steam/water valves these days use commercial units which close on a rubber type valve seat or a series of O-Rings fitted to the valve shaft. No need for any 'lapping'...

    Mal.

  44. #44
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Okay, taps (including all internals) now fully services (my bad) and the machine is purring along nicely!

    Will keep it powered up for a few hours without making a coffee just to make sure it is 110% before moving it inside.
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  45. #45
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    Nice work, I have replaced the tap internals on mine so have left over bits if you need some.
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  46. #46
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Thanks for the offer!

    As mentioned to a LeroyC, I think I am pretty good for parts but will let you know otherwise.

    One small issue, the group seal seems to come loose after using the blind filter. I have the conical type from Boema. Is this a ‘thing’ for these machines and/or is there some kind of sealant/adhesive I can use?

  47. #47
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Now in its new home, didn’t even have to compromise the wife’s valuable bench space!

    35EE7F10-A15E-4351-BB86-5973526A6127.jpg
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  48. #48
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solace View Post
    One small issue, the group seal seems to come loose after using the blind filter. I have the conical type from Boema. Is this a Ďthingí for these machines and/or is there some kind of sealant/adhesive I can use?
    Probably, but please donít. Is this a Ďthingí? Yes, and no. Iím guessing that itís happening due to wear inside the grouphead and thereís probably not a lot you can do about it. To be honest I donít think itís a huge problem. The only is that coffee grounds and water will be getting in behind the gasket so each time you backflush just pull the gasket out and give everything a clean before putting it back together.
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  49. #49
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solace View Post
    Now in its new home, didnít even have to compromise the wifeís valuable bench space!

    35EE7F10-A15E-4351-BB86-5973526A6127.jpg
    Looking good! Nice work.
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  50. #50
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Spinning milk in anything less than a 600ml pitcher seems impossible on steam puff Boema, the change to a nicer tip is paying off though.

    66507B20-AD13-4935-A0D9-767A541845F1.jpg

    Thanks to to everyone for their input on this little project, I have had a blast!
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