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Cunhill Tranquillo shaft, grinder jamming

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  • Cunhill Tranquillo shaft, grinder jamming

    Ive offered to pull apart a school-owned Tranquillo to discover its problem.

    The symptom is that when I gradually change grind size while operating, from chunks down to the fine espresso range, it works. Turn it off, start to grind again at the identical espresso range and it doesnt push any grinds out its chute. The motor sounds like its running, but nothings coming out, not even flicks of previous grinds.

    After pulling it apart to the base burr level, clearing it out, and turning it on, it appears that someone managed to bend the shaft so that the base burr has a wobble. Not noticeable at high speed, but definitely noticeable on the slowdown.

    As the nut is fixed so tightly that neither my husband nor I can remove the burr to check the shaft, any ideas as to where we can take it? We live in Newcastle. Is it even worth fixing?

    Any tips as to how to get the nut off would be great (weve tried wrench plus steel multi-grip combo).

    Is it possible too that the motor has been partially burned out due to the burrs touching? its a 2004 model. Does it have an automatic disengagement of motor from shaft if the going gets too tough?

  • #2
    Re: Cunhill Tranquillo shaft, grinder jamming

    "Any tips as to how to get the nut off would be great (weve tried wrench plus steel multi-grip combo). "

    does the nut have a reverse thread ? some do......


    • #3
      Re: Cunhill Tranquillo shaft, grinder jamming

      Ah, yes, did check. Twice. Just to make sure. Thanks for the suggestion though!


      • #4
        Re: Cunhill Tranquillo shaft, grinder jamming

        Hello ID.

        You need to clarify.

        Do you know if someone dropped something into the grinder that jammed it up eg a coin etc?

        Youve pulled the top grinding plate carrier out (as in undo it anti clockwise until it comes out in your hand) - yes?

        Youve cleaned out all the grinds leaving the bottom plate in place on its carrier - yes?

        But you havent pulled the bottom plate off its carrier?

        You have switched on and watched the bottom plate assembly and shaft spin - and it looks like its not spinning true.

        Please note at this point, it can look like something is bent when spinning, because the (usually) three pladdles that throw the grinds out the hole create a kind of optical illusion.  You have to disregard that and make sure you really see the assembly spinning out of true.

        A grinder that has been spinning out of true ie bent shaft and bottom plate assembly, will show a definite wear mark in one place only on the top plate, where the bottom plate is hitting it when you are trying to sort out the grind adjustment from coarse to fine, and the plates touch while the grind is still too coarse.....

        Also, if the shaft/ assembly is bent, when the grinder is assembled,  it doesnt matter where you set the adjustment you will always get obviously uneven grinds ie obviously too coarse and fine all mixed up, right down to where the plates touch.

        Sorry cant tell you more than that without seing the grinder. Suggest you ask your coffee supplier service tech to take a look for you.

        However a couple more thoughts:

        Has someone (other than you) been in there recently?

        Might he/she have removed the bottom grinding plate and refitted it without due care?

        You would normally not undo the nut at the top of the shaft, as it does not secure the plate. The plates are secured by the usually three countersunk screws that run through them (the plates).

        All of the above is directed at whether the assembly is bent or not, before checking into why it is not drawing grinds through.

        As stated, someone needs to see it.

        Bent shafts etc are not common and if the assembly really is bent, forget it and buy another grinder because it wont take long for the cost of service work to outstrip the value of the machine.

        Lastly, there may be nothing wrong with the grinder other than if the plates are so worn, that the adjustment needs to be turned down to a point where the plates are so close together (virtually touching), that the beans are unable to be drawn into the space between them to crush and grind. first course of action would be to check that the assembly IS NOT bent and if that is the case, might a new set of plates fix the problem?

        very first CS site sponsor


        • #5
          Re: Cunhill Tranquillo shaft, grinder jamming

          In addition to Fresh Coffee...

          These systems can be a bit tricky without some prior experience / knowledge and of course good tools.

          I am in Qld so can not help..

          1: Motor burnt out = Doubt it..

          2: If teh shaft is bent... Then with out access to teh right tools... Not so easy to fix.


          • #6
            Re: Cunhill Tranquillo shaft, grinder jamming

            Mine does this on occassions (2001 or 2002 model). Generally is is related to a mild build up of old grinds inside the machine. If the stoppage is related to a bean wedged between the burrs then, when it occurs I back the grind back 1 notch and start. The motor usually spins with this release and then when it is grinding I tighten the grind back to original position. If the stoppage is related to a blockage in the oulet side of the burrs then you will find that this problem may continue for a few times, at which point you need to clean out the internal area of the burrs arround the lower burr and the shute outlet.
            The motor of this little unit is not very strong and hence any grinds that get caught between the burrs can cause to motor to stiop spinning. Or something is getting caught between the lower burr set fins that push the ground coffee out of the burr area and into the shute and then the funnel.

            To remove nut.
            1 Remove top burr set casing
            2 Remove top housing (4 Screws) to reveal lower burr set and fins attached to lower burr set
            3 Carefully place a screwdriver into the grind outlet shute (front of grinder) and then carefully turn nut in anticlockwise direction. Care must be taken not to damage the fins. Note: make sure you are supporting the motor before completely removing the nut or you may find that it will drop with a bit of a thud.

            While you are at it give this area a very good clean. This should be done monthly or bi monthly. You may find a few larger particals in this area that are restricting the turning of the burrs and hence causing the shaft and motor to not turn.

            I hope this helps.

            PS - It would be unlikely if the shaft is bent, if it is however then the first and clearest indication would be the fins on the lower burr set should be coming in contact with housing of the ginder. There is only a small gap (I wasnt AR enough to measure it) between the lower section of the fins and the housing and any bend in the shaft would be exemplified at the outer edge of the fins.


            • #7
              Re: Cunhill Tranquillo shaft, grinder jamming

              Try cleaning the threads with a needle before you try to unscrew the hex nut! It took me forever to figure that out..
              Scrap out the fine grounds between the threads and the nut will come off freely.


              • #8
                Re: Cunhill Tranquillo shaft, grinder jamming


                No need to remove bottom burr or the housing around it.

                If you want to clean out, simply remove top adjuster housing (& attached burr) revealing the bottom burr. Vacuum out around the burr, and vacuum out from the front where the grinds exit.

                If you want to dig around a bit, use a paddle pop stick or similar to scrape around, and use vacuum cleaner again. That will do it. Refit the top burr after making sure the thread is clean.

                If roasted coffee can jam up the grinder (whether from between the burrs or from under the bottom burr) then there must be something wrong because there should be enough torque in this motor to spin up without problem (& like any grinder they are designed to start with a full lot of grinds in between the plates ie with full load in).


                Regardless, if the Intellidepth grinder wont run after a simple operation like doing no more than sticking a vacuum cleaner nozzle down into the bean inlet at bottom of hopper & into the front grinds exit, then it probably needs to go to a service tech. because this behaviour is not normal.


                • #9
                  Re: Cunhill Tranquillo shaft, grinder jamming

                  Thanks for the helpful replies everyone.

                  I checked with the owner: the grinder has only been used for 4 sessions, maybe 50-400 coffees each session, so brand new. No normal wear showing on plates as a result. No object-dropped-in-grinder damage. Spinning off-true not optical illusion: seen from the horizontal plane not vertical, and is very small - less than half a mm. Quality of grinds: what Id expected from this $$$ grinder, yes fines amongst it all, but I didnt see it before it was damaged.

                  :-[Will discover those countersunk screws... and try to remove the base burr again. (I just reassembled it all last night to get it off my benchtop... :)

                  And oddly, the bottom burr does need removal to help with thorough cleaning on this occasion: I can hear half-beans and grinds rattling around down in the casing below.


                  • #10
                    Re: Cunhill Tranquillo shaft, grinder jamming


                    its been a while since Ive been into a tranquillo and I believe I have given you a bum steer with the bit about 3 countersunk screws in the bottom plate. Please accept my apology. Have just read the rest of this thread & someone above sparked my countersunk screws in this baby, just the locknut on the shaft.

                    That said, I think there has been too much tangential discussion around the basic problem.

                    My advice would be to forget about grinds rattling around in the bottom of the grinder, cleaning, whether it is spinning true or not and other stuff... Dirty encrusted grinders with horribly bent shafts still start & draw beans in, grind and spit out, even of the resulting grinds are no good.

                    Suggest it needs to go to a service tech who can eyeball exactly whats going on. The importer is in Leichhardt Sydney, but you will find espresso techs in the yellow pages in Newcastle. You could try calling the importer and see if instead of asking you to send it to them, they will have an agent in Newcastle. Cant see why they wouldnt. Cant name the importer here as he is not a site sponsor but if you want it, just contact me

                    The going rate for service techs would be atleast $80.00 per hour up to $100.00, and there would be a minimum charge for something that takes little time to sort, plus parts if any are required.

                    Grinders are simple things and last tens of years so usually, the cost of R & M is justified except if you were planning on upgrading to something else anyway & were not interested in spending money on the existing in order to sell it on in working condition.