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Frankenstein Pavoni project

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  • Frankenstein Pavoni project

    I have always liked the idea of being able to make a coffee anywhere I go. Especially in inaccessible places, there is something nice about sipping a coffee on s deserted beach 100kms from the nearest paved road.
    Until recently I used to carry a small camp stove and stove top moka pot, then I started carrying a small stove top steamer to make cappuccinos. While to may people this may already seem excessive, I was still not happy, I really wanted to be able to make an actual espresso instead of the stove top coffee.

    So after months of thinking about it, an opportunity came up where I was able to purchase an old (really really old) la Pavoni Europiccola. Actually It wasnt even an entire machine, just most of the boiler, the group and portafilter. The machine appears to have had a very hard life, which made it perfect for its transformation into a butane powered espresso machine.

    Here are a couple of photos of what I started with:



    Theres not a lot of chrome left on the old girl and a bit of rust.
    It remains to be seen just how much I can get apart for cleaning. There is a lot of old scale and crud that will need to come off, but I am trying not to get hung up on the external appearance for now.

  • #2
    Re: Frankenstein Pavoni project

    Here is the butane stove I am hoping to power it. Its only about 75mm diameter which should fit perfectly under the boiler. It has a built in ignition and butane tank which will burn continuously for 2-3 hours.

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    • #3
      Re: Frankenstein Pavoni project


      Gosh Aaron, this is quite a project and Ill be very interested to follow your progress. Im already curious as to how you intend controlling the boiler temperature, stabilise the machine for the extraction, and if you intend using a hand grinder or a very long extension lead! ;D

      Seriously though, all the best with it and keep on posting those pics.

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      • #4
        Re: Frankenstein Pavoni project

        Boiler temp will have to be controlled by adjusting the flame on the burner. I intend on mounting a pressure gauge onto the top of the site glass so I will have some idea of whats going on inside the boiler.

        The new base will be cast aluminium. I will post some preliminary design drawings soon. I have drawn everything up in CAD so I can work out the details before i get the dremmel in my hand.

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        • #5
          Re: Frankenstein Pavoni project

          Wow! What an awesome idea and a fantastic was to reuse the old pav!
          This could revolutionise camping! Not since word spread of the portable shower has "roughing it" seemed more plausible.

          Good luck with this great project, Im watching with interest.

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          • #6
            Re: Frankenstein Pavoni project

            Thanks for the interest everyone.
            Here is the first couple of CAD drawings of the preliminary design.


            Lots more to come

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            • #7
              Re: Frankenstein Pavoni project

              Here is a link detailing adding the pressure gauge, being a pavoni enthusiast you probably know it

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              • #8
                Re: Frankenstein Pavoni project

                Actually, It was Francesco who put m onto the old Pavoni in the first place. I will probably be sourcing a local pressure gauge, as the Pavoni one is pretty pricey.

                Here is a rendering, as you can see I currently have a lot of time on my hands.

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                • #9
                  Re: Frankenstein Pavoni project

                  No real news on this project at the moment, I have had to put things aside so I can do some actual paying work. I did order a pressure gauge yesterday. Next up is to track down someone with a metal lathe who wants to help me machine the base of the boiler.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Frankenstein Pavoni project

                    Cool project, based on using my little syphon burner outside a couple of times a secondry wind break is a really good idea. Also based on my few shots on my new toy dont be scared to make the base heavy.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Frankenstein Pavoni project

                      stability will be an issue- be sure to make the base broad enough to deal with it.

                      Are you sure that little burner will be able to generate sufficient heat? The Pavoni boiler is quite heavy... It takes 5 minutes to heat a full boiler of cold water on maximum setting...

                      I have a few spare piston seals for the europiccola lying around- let me know if you need some.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Frankenstein Pavoni project

                        [split] [link=http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1241265924/0#0][splithere][/link][splithere_end]

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                        • #13
                          Re: Frankenstein Pavoni project

                          The burner may be tiny but it is pretty fierce, I guess I wont really know until I have built a bottom for the boiler and had a test firing.
                          The base is going to be cast aluminium, the final design is still to be determined, I may flare it out at the front to give some more lateral stability.
                          I have almost finished the designs for the boiler base, I will post them here for comments once I do.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Frankenstein Pavoni project

                            sounds good- I am thinking with the additional height you would want more stability to counter the increased leverage...

                            Cant wait to see the results!

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