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  • Silvia Showerscreen and Screw Conversion

    The showerscreen on the Silvia is held in place by a hexagonal bolt which sticks out 3mm from the face of the showerscreen. Has anyone here tried converting the Silvia, or other Rancilio machine, to take a countersunk type screw like is used in many other machines? If so, how did you do it and what parts did you use?

    thanks,
    Bill

  • #2
    Re: Silvia Showerscreen and Screw Conversion

    I wouldnt bother with a countersunk type screw, however the earlier versions had a roundhead screw.

    Mine originally had single slot roundhead, but I have replaced it with a cross slot one, which I purchased from a local nuts and bolts place.
    Note that removing the showerscreen screw with a screw driver requires a steady hand cos you could damage the showerscreen with a screwdriver, unlikely I know, but is possible.

    Remember they shouldnt be done up tight, and finger tight is enough, although usually I nip mine up with the screwdriver cos everything is hot if Ive been doing the cleaning routine.

    Regards
    Bullitt

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    • #3
      Re: Silvia Showerscreen and Screw Conversion

      Well until I can work out how to convert to a countersunk type screw, Ive just replaced the standard screw with a rounded head type as shown below.



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      • #4
        Re: Silvia Showerscreen and Screw Conversion

        Originally posted by Bill link=1183556192/0#2 date=1184136741
        Well until I can work out how to convert to a countersunk type screw, Ive just replaced the standard screw with a rounded head type as shown below.
        I think that will be spot-on Bill 8-)..... I wouldnt change that screw unless you really, really have to or want to. Doubt that the shape of this one will cause any possible channelling issues,

        Mal.

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        • #5
          Re: Silvia Showerscreen and Screw Conversion

          certainly looks better than the original Bill

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          • #6
            Re: Silvia Showerscreen and Screw Conversion

            Id stick with the original hexagonal head ---- a redeeming feature of the Silvia.

            Its difficult enough to remove, working upside down, and it gets very very tight. (Hint: screw back in finger-tight only)

            But its much easier to use a socket wrench....than a flat blade screwdriver or philips head. Both of the latter need considerable upward pressure as well as lateral torque, with the potential for the screwdriver ip to slip off and damage the shower screen.

            As for conversion -- I dont think that is possible without modifying the shower screen. And then theres the problem of the dispersion block underneath, too.

            Anyway Bill, why do you want to change it?

            --Robusto

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            • #7
              Re: Silvia Showerscreen and Screw Conversion

              Looks like a hex key head to me Robusto. The answer to "why do you want to change it?" .... Im hoping to hear Bill say, "because I can."

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              • #8
                Re: Silvia Showerscreen and Screw Conversion

                Originally posted by robusto link=1183556192/0#5 date=1184152065
                Id stick with the original hexagonal head ---- a redeeming feature of the Silvia.

                Its difficult enough to remove, working upside down, and it gets very very tight. (Hint: screw back in finger-tight only)
                I haven’t had any problems removing it. Perhaps it’s just a case of not over-tightening it.


                Originally posted by robusto link=1183556192/0#5 date=1184152065
                As for conversion -- I dont think that is possible without modifying the shower screen. And then theres the problem of the dispersion block underneath, too.
                Yep, Im looking in to other showerscreens that have the same dimensions as the Silvia, but with the recess to take a countersunk screw. Yes, the dispersion block would need a countersink cut in to it too. I probably wont try this for a while, and only on spare parts so I can change it back if it doesnt work for whatever reason.


                Originally posted by robusto link=1183556192/0#5 date=1184152065
                Anyway Bill, why do you want to change it?
                Because it sticks into the coffee puck and breaks up the nicely tamped surface, reduces the space for the coffee puck to expand, and may cause channeling issues. The Silvia has very little headspace (is that what its called?) due to its lower than usual showerscreen, and that large screw-head doesnt help matters any.


                Bill

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                • #9
                  Re: Silvia Showerscreen and Screw Conversion

                  I hear what you say Bill, but I wouldnt worry about one bolt head projecting into the puck. A well-dosed basket should have a slight contact with the bolt.

                  The amount of headroom it takes up is very small compared to the overall volume.

                  Modify if you like, of course, but I really think it will involve a lot of effort for very little --if any--reward.

                  Silvias have made excellent coffee for years --hexagonal bolt and all.

                  --Robusto

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                  • #10
                    Re: Silvia Showerscreen and Screw Conversion

                    Ill agree with robusto.
                    I would really doubt you could taste the difference just because of a bolt not letting the coffee expand... Much more variable for something to not taste right would be like the grind, dose, tamp and somewhat tempreture.
                    Guess you could just do it for the fun of it.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Silvia Showerscreen and Screw Conversion

                      Originally posted by robusto link=1183556192/0#8 date=1184156246
                      I hear what you say Bill, but I wouldnt worry about one bolt head projecting into the puck. A well-dosed basket should have a slight contact with the bolt.
                      Well I just knocked up this photo quickly. This is the LOWEST that the basket can be filled to. This is filled to the bottom of the ridge. The Pullman tamper hits the ridge and wont go any deeper in to the basket than this, so this is the lowest practical fill level. Note the huge indent that the standard screw-head makes in to the puck.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Silvia Showerscreen and Screw Conversion

                        Though can you really tell the taste difference?

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                        • #13
                          Re: Silvia Showerscreen and Screw Conversion

                          Originally posted by Coffee Kid link=1183556192/0#11 date=1184158464
                          Though can you really tell the taste difference?
                          Well I havent done a blind side-by-side tasting, but yes I do believe it made an improvement. People spend hundreds of dollars installing PID units, modifying OPV valves etc, etc. Well for the price of a $1 screw and 30secs of your time, its a bit of a no-brainer really.


                          Bill

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                          • #14
                            Re: Silvia Showerscreen and Screw Conversion

                            Hi again Bill,

                            Personally, I reckon your mod is a great idea... whether you can taste the difference or not. I think that great ugly hex-head bolt can only help to cause problems, not solve them and from the few Silvias Ive seen, the screw/bolt seems to have a much flatter head than the one you have in yours, it really does look, er.... Industrial.

                            Id reckon if you want a lower profile bolt head than the round-head you have now youd probably have to go to a specialised Nut&Bolt place and see what they can do for you. If you know anyone who has a lathe at home or can get access to one somewhere else, they could knock you up a few stainless steel bolts with what ever head profile you want... lots of possibilities.

                            Mal.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Silvia Showerscreen and Screw Conversion

                              Bill -

                              Beware of the Law of Unintended Consequences

                              Silvias used to have a round head slotted screw (I have an older machine like this). I speculate that it was changed because the screw had a tendency to get locked in place and couldnt be removed.

                              You may need the leverage provided by a socket someday when you cant get the screw to budge using a screwdriver.

                              Jim (who is unfortunately very familiar with the LUC)

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