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Thread: Why are the frames of many High End Coffee machines steel?

  1. #1
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    Why are the frames of many High End Coffee machines steel?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Been looking at the construction of many of these high end coffee machines.
    They are all beautifully put together, but noticed many use steel frames (which are more susceptible to rust)
    Why don't they use Stainless Steel to reduce rusting? Couldn't cost that much more could it?
    Or is there a legal manufacturing requirement? (grounding requirement, or something else)

  2. #2
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    If it's properly made and powder coated (very durable) I wouldn't be too concerned.

    My old Bezzera had a steel frame and it looked to be very well made and high quality (and provided a much stiffer group mounting than my Alex Duetto), I couldn't imagine it rusting anytime soon.

    Cheers
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    Senior Member brettreaby's Avatar
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    in the exact same situation. with the alex duetto ii and bezzera which will probably last decades...

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Keep the machine clean and dry (I know, accidents happen and slow leaks/drips can occur) you wont have a problem, good work habits and cleanliness and regular maintenance and not allowing the drip tray to overflow go a long way toward prevention, I suspect the pic below is a result of laziness i.e. drip tray allowed to overflow, area below constantly wet.

    My Bezzera is coming up 10 years old, not a sign of rust, also had a Silvia for about 8/10 years, no rust either, keep it dry.


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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeyCIGAR View Post
    Why don't they use Stainless Steel to reduce rusting? Couldn't cost that much more could it?
    I do think cost is indeed the issue. Material itself may be about $50-200 more (just a guess) but the tooling/capital to allow that manufacturing capability will likely be more (stainless is harder to work with generally). In this competitive market, the extra $100-$200 to consumer may just be the reason to lose quite a few customers.

    If the owners are Snobs that take care of the machine meticulously, no issue at all. But if it's a non-Snobs (who wipe their drip tray dry 100% after every session?put up your hand ), or if you have a leak/slow leak internally, you will see some rustings in the frame in after many years (we're probably talking about decades).

    Some of the machines - Vibiemme & Ochestrale have full stainless frame if that's an important factor.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samuellaw178 View Post

    If the owners are Snobs that take care of the machine meticulously, no issue at all. But if it's a non-Snobs (who wipe their drip tray dry 100% after every session?put up your hand ), or if you have a leak/slow leak internally, you will see some rustings in the frame in after many years (we're probably talking about decades).
    Morning samuellaw, no need to wipe drip tray dry after every session, simply don't allow it to over flow onto the frame of the machine, normal everyday house keeping for most of us, I cant imagine anyone not noticing or ignoring water on the bench top if an overflow/leak occurs, although looking at the pic below they obviously do.

    Moisture will result in rust in a very short time, months not years or decades, once it shows, if not attended to it will progress rapidly, particularly if the area is allowed to remain wet/damp.
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    Morning Yelta. On some machines, I've seen spillage (I suspect from cleaning/flushing) going back and under the drip tray. The drip tray wasn't even half-full (or half empty?) I wouldn't have noticed if I don't remove the tray.

    If it's bare metal yes it takes weeks if not months. Powder coating will delay that of course but does come off eventually when constantly in contact with moisture (they start to rust-bubble underneath the coating especially near corners where moisture can seep in more easily)..anyway that's what I saw on some old machines...they did not leak catastrophically for that to happen.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samuellaw178 View Post
    they did not leak catastrophically for that to happen.
    Yep, all it needs is a hint of moisture for rust to get a toe hold.

    Understand what you mean about drip trays, I certainly not familiar with other than those on the machines I have owned, I empty mine at the end of the day, place a towel under the tray below the exhaust port to catch any drips, moisture is very obvious, don't feel I'm being obsessive, simply part of the end of day tidy up/housekeeping in the kitchen area.
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    I'm new to all this but my opinion is below.
    Since it's a machines using water and steam I would prefer the frame to be made of stainless.
    I'm sure a well maintained machine will last forever, but why not make the steel frame of stainless too. I wouldn't mind paying extra.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeyCIGAR View Post
    I'm new to all this but my opinion is below.
    Since it's a machines using water and steam I would prefer the frame to be made of stainless.
    I'm sure a well maintained machine will last forever, but why not make the steel frame of stainless too. I wouldn't mind paying extra.
    You're not short of options though. As mentioned above, both Vibiemme (HX or dual boiler) & Ochrestrale Nota have full stainless chasis. These are the two I've seen in flesh/metal and I'm sure there're more out there.

    For a balanced view though, my daily driver Brugnetti Aurora Leva from 1970s has the typical painted steel frame - it's probably not even powder coated! It is still running great and the frame is still going strong with no corrosion - I am confident it can breeze through another half century easily and more (I am not even sure myself will still go strong at that time!).
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    I certainly understand that in an ideal situation stainless would be the material of choice, however as Smokey points out most have a powder coated steel chassis.

    What I'm trying to get across are work/cleaning habits that will protect your investment and not have it finish up looking like a Swiss cheese after a few short years.
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    These are an indoor product, so there's no point over engineering it.

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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by herzog View Post
    These are an indoor product, so there's no point over engineering it.
    No pun intended? Some of these machines are the exact meaning of over engineering.. Makes me want one even more <insert tim the tool man grunt>



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