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  • My vintage extreme machine.....La Cimbali....."La Brillante" ? 50's [IMG]000213-031.jpg[/IMG]

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    • monalisa,
      Love to see your m/c ,..but you have to have a few posts under your belt before you can post pics unfortunately
      !.
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      • Hi All,

        Thought I'd share some restoration pics from a single group Bo Ema project that I have just completed. This is now the third Bo Ema commercial lever that I have restored, and I'm not sick of them yet!

        This machine came from NSW via forum member Gustopher, looking like it was in usable shape. It had the original auto fill controller present, pretty rare for a machine dating from the 70's. I had concluded that it would be a full tear down and rebuild regardless, Gus had already taken care of the boiler flange gasket but there were a few other gaskets that clearly had to be re-done.

        As is the case with most machines from this era, all boiler studs are mild steel, and so began the task of extracting all the rusted steel, and painstakingly drilling out and re-tapping. The studs joining the group neck casting to the boiler flange were a real challenge, I had not encountered this setup before as the boiler is configured differently on the single groups - quite reminiscent of the Conti design with everything hanging off the flange plate.

        After a few days worth of alternating between profanities and patience I had the flange casting off, the blind holes in the boiler flange perfectly tapped and the element out. I learned the hard way that the element thread in the flange plate on these early machines is very tight, so that was tapped out to standard 1 1/4" BSP.


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        Next it was time to tackle the group and get the boiler back together, while the chassis panels were off at the powdercoaters. The group casting was really nice, the machine had clearly been well looked after, or hardly used. There was some existing damage to the top cap however that Gus had done a really good job repairing - clearly at some stage the lever had been let go and the impact cracked the brass casting at it's thinnest point at the front of the bearing cage. Gus drilled, tapped and machined a new section to replace it, some fine tuning was needed with a file to make sure the alignment was perfect but it's a very successful repair. A new spring was sourced, shaved down to fit and installed and the bearings reconditioned.

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        Next it was time for the valve bodies to get rebuilt, these valves use the old style tap washers from domestic taps so I chose to make custom seals from PTFE to fit. The original knobs were gone so I replaced the tacky aluminium ones with faema originals.

        Next up was a new auto fill system, assembling the chassis and fettling the boiler with a new anti-vac valve and insulation.

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        • Continued....

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          I know from past experience that these are truly great groups, so I was super pumped to get the machine running and on the bench. Final touches were painting the side panels and stripping back to reveal the chrome on the back panel, cosmetic polishing here and there and cutting a slot into the portafilter so conventional ridged baskets can be used, this portafilter is one of the meanest, heaviest beasts I have encountered. Don't mess with anyone wielding a vintage Bo ema portafilter!

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          The new electrical system did wonders for the machine, a new element in the insulated boiler has the huge capacity up to operating pressure in around 12 minutes, which on 10 amps is pretty darn good. The pressurestat controls the element via the heater relay on the control board, a thermal safety cutoff and an SSR for rock solid reliability.

          Finishing touches were a new manometer from Floyd Instruments in Melbourne, that was painted to the body colour. Last thing I have to do is source a new Perspex piece for the cup tray guard.

          All told I am really happy with this restore job, it's a beast of a machine and works extremely well. The machine is one of the last of the Bo Ema levers I would say, and while they were cutting a few corners with the bodywork at this stage, the guts of the machine, and importantly what it puts in the cup, are pure gold.

          It works exactly as you would expect a big dipper fed commercial lever to work. Takes a while to heat up, flush lots if you are impatient, then the massive group will sit there all day and pull shot after shot without significant overheating. The temperature and pressure profile are classic commercial lever - about a 4 degree ramp up and ramp down from pre infusion to peak to taper, and a peak pressure of 9 bar.

          This machine is up for sale as was my intention when I bought it, details will be listed forthwith in my sponsor thread. Gotta clear some space in the shed, too many projects!

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          • Wow, some beautiful hardware in this thread.

            *sighs*

            Its only money...

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            • Vintage eye candy.

              There's a few really nice vintage machines available on Trade Me here in New Zealand at the moment. I won't link to any live auctions as that's against the rules, but they're not hard to find for anyone that's interested. However I thought I'd add some pics for those of you like me who can only stare and dream. There's a 2 group Bo-Ema lever from 1964 (not currently listed), a 2 group Faema E61 and two single group Faema lever machines from the '60s. All fully restored and looking stunning.

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              • I went to motorclassica last weekend and was pleasantly surprised to see a vintage coffee machine display. It had machines all from 60's and earlier I think.
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                • And some more pics. Unfortunately most were displayed so you couldn't see the group head side.
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                  • Oops keep hitting submit before attaching all pics I wanted to attach.
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                    • Nice find, LeroyC.
                      Best to let folks know they maybe in for import duty, GST etc when bringing in from NZ.

                      Nice pics there, too, AlastairMcG and damn I missed the motorclassica

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                      • Motorclassica is always great for looking at some beautiful cars and bikes, plus this year the added bonus of beautiful classic coffee machines!

                        Hhmmm must by a lot to ticket....

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                        • Wow there were some beauties there!

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                          • Thanks for posting those.

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                            • These are like looking at those beautiful cars from the fifties and sixties,lovely curves and plenty of chrome.

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                              • Help please

                                We currently live in Cyprus. Back to Australia in a few months. I am well set up and my Rocket Evo V2, it is really all I need. But I have always wanted a lever machine. I have this chance to buy a Gaggia 2 Lever, Spanish made, serviced with new seals and by all accounts very nice with little use, gas and electric. Cost would be 1300 Euro or around A$2000. Questions if you could help please:
                                1. Is A$2000 ok?
                                2. Could I run it off a tank, rather than mains pressure, and if yes then how?
                                3. This one has always been on electric, do they run ok on gas?
                                4. Any questions I should have?
                                I know it is silly.
                                Thanks!
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