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Restoration of a Faema Lambro

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  • #76
    Wiring is done, nothing much has changed in my tools outside of a few M6 ring terminals needed for the heating element. I had a cord grip installed and for under the drip tray I threw on some heat shrink insulation.

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    • #77
      We're ready for testing! Now I just need to gather the courage to fill up the boiler and actually turn it on
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      • #78
        I fired it up this afternoon. I did an initial heatup to just pressurizing and turned it off, drained the water, waited for the machine to cool to room temp, tightened/realigned pipes, and did a second cycle. I was able to get to operating pressure (about 1.4 bar) but leaks are still plenty! Just to list a few:

        Manometer
        Both thermosyphon group fittings
        Water level fittings (both of them)
        Water inlet pipe (on both ends)
        Hot water pipe
        Possibly the boiler lid? That may be from the first cycle when some water got in the boiler rings from a fixed leak but will be scrutinized.

        The boiler was easily drained with my little valve inserted on the bottom of the water level. The leaking fittings suck but hopefully they can be addressed.
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        • #79
          Click image for larger version

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          • flynnaus
            flynnaus commented
            Editing a comment
            It's like reading a good book, isn't it? You can't wait until the end but when it arrives, there's a feeling of it being over soon. Fortunately for us, IamOiman has a few other projects going. If Andy ever planned on a CS contributor of the year award, you'd certainly be in the running.

          • IamOiman
            IamOiman commented
            Editing a comment
            My first request if I received that award is to increase the maximum photos I can insert per post! I'd love to get them all in a single post rather than multiposting every 5 pics!

        • #80
          The leaks are mostly patched up but a few stubborn ones remain. The Thermosyphon loop seals now, and It's much better from the original heat up when almost every fitting was leaking! It's just the manometer, a lower pipe to water level fitting, and the water inlet I note as hissing or leaking. There is also a slow leak from the hot water valve. Finally I need to fiddle with the vacuum valve as it's not seating correctly.

          The gurgling occurs when I pull down the lever because there was no water circulating in the thermosyphon loop, so that sound is the water rushing into the pipes.

          I will keep doing heat cycles and adjust so I can flush out the insides of whatever grime or chemicals could remain. The chrome pieces were washed when I got them but you never know! The first shot is coming!

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          • #81
            I think I cycled enough water through the boiler so I got ready for the inaugural shot.
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            The shot looked a little squirty but it was GOOD, like shockingly good. I just used my grind setting for my Bosco with 15g of Saka Caffè Crema Bar. I swear this is the first shot!

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            • #82
              Awesome, after all that work! Well done

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              • #83
                Excellent!

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                • #84
                  I pulled one more shot today, it was a little overextracted but it was essentially liquid caramel.
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                  However that is not why I am posting. I found the source of the hissing, on the t-fitting for the water inlet and hot water solder joint. A pinhole leak 😐 (the greenish area right below the brass blob) . It is not consistent, often there is no hissing (even at operating pressure) but there are times where there is hissing and tiny bubbling occuring at various pressures but not room pressure. I noticed it specifically after I turned off the Lambro for the day and was observing it depressurized. No water escapes from the hole and evaporates instantly when it does occur.

                  I am almost afraid to ask if I need to take off everything to address this, it is a very small and not constant however I am not really wanting to do something like a jb weld fix if that is not really a good solution. However Loctite 290 might be a possibility for something so small. Or perhaps I let this tiny hole seal itself with scale? It can't be more than 0.5mm in diameter
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                  Last edited by IamOiman; 2 weeks ago.

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                  • #85
                    Wow this is a first class restoration! Beautiful…. Suggest you take the boiler to a local workshop who can braze it for you. A good plumber would also be able to fix that.

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                    • #86
                      Originally posted by Swiftly View Post
                      Wow this is a first class restoration! Beautiful…. Suggest you take the boiler to a local workshop who can braze it for you. A good plumber would also be able to fix that.
                      I am just concerned with damaging the t-fitting if I take the brazing route. I'll admit I never was able to get it out, it was plugged beyond belief. Just to give perspective on the size, the hole is in a little 1mm divot that is maybe .25mm across if I look at it now with a measuring stick. Brazing or related would definitely fix the issue but it just seems like overkill for such a tiny leak? The rest of the joint looks sound after inspecting the photos, but of course looks can deceive. I can take off the pipes and everything but I'd never forgive myself if I mess that t-fitting
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                      • #87
                        Gee that's really tough about the T fitting. Have you seen Enrico Maltoni's Museum and website. He's restored some of the best around and written some really nice books too. Perhaps he might be able to give you some advice. Can't hurt to ask.

                        https://www.espressomadeinitaly.com/en/

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                        • #88
                          incredible work - well done.

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                          • #89
                            Originally posted by Swiftly View Post
                            Gee that's really tough about the T fitting. Have you seen Enrico Maltoni's Museum and website. He's restored some of the best around and written some really nice books too. Perhaps he might be able to give you some advice. Can't hurt to ask.

                            https://www.espressomadeinitaly.com/en/
                            Maltoni can be hard to reach sometimes, he generally does not respond to questions like this but of course I can try 😂

                            There is also the suggestion to take a small punch or screwdriver to gently strike it once near the hole to push the solder a little to block the hole. I have a few options it looks like so I'll see what is appropriate

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                            • #90
                              I believe I will try to go for the lower temp lead free solder as a solution since this will not be supporting the fitting but rather just focusing on the tiny pinhole. I was thinking something like this for the material, about 430F melting point. If I do this method I will try it first myself. I'll scrub off the surface of any scale/debris with scotch brite, wipe it down with acetone, then use a hand solder tool I have on hand to do the job and see if I need to escalate from there.
                              https://www.acehardware.com/departments ... ries/27155

                              The only question I would have is the cleanup of the flux after. I presume I would need to cycle some water in the boiler to clean it out or will it just burn away?

                              Comment


                              • IamOiman
                                IamOiman commented
                                Editing a comment
                                or rather with a propane or MAP Pro torch with a focused flame. Just realized how much mass I'll need to heat up for the solder!
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