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Thread: Stupid grinder accident; cleaning assistance, please

  1. #1
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    Stupid grinder accident; cleaning assistance, please

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    So due to rather regrettable lapse in concentration I managed to get water into the top of my Compak K3 Touch.*:-[
    I did as best I could at the time to remove the wet grinds, but left removing the top burr carrier for a bit (basically because it was still moving and I didnt have time to attend to it immediately and assumed it would be okay to leave it for a bit).
    Unfortunately, it seized up so that I was no longer able to adjust it and I was only able to remove the top burr after affixing a piece of wood to use as a lever.
    So now Ive managed to clean all the old grinds out of the chamber and off the burrs, but the bottom half or so of the thread on the inside of the grinder into which the top burr carrier screws is looking very dirty and I cant tighten the burr all the way any more. It looks like it might be corrosion on the inner threads (the brass burr carrier itself is looking reasonably clean), rather than just old water and coffee gunk. Ive had a scrub with a toothbrush, and some of it did come off, but some spots look quite thick and arent shifting easily.
    Im hoping someone has some suggestions for cleaning the threading as Id like to get my grinder back in service. Any suggestions would be most gladly welcomed.
    Note, I havent been using any lubricant when attempting to re-screw the top burr carrier, if anyone thinks that lube might assist even without a full clean of the threads, Im willing to try but I dont have any food safe grease and Im not sure where to get some.
    Help, please...

  2. #2
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Re: Stupid grinder accident; cleaning assistance, please

    how long was the K3 wet for and how long ago did this happen?

    It would take a while for corrosion to take place, are you sure its not just coffee grinds and oils?

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    Re: Stupid grinder accident; cleaning assistance, please

    Quote Originally Posted by 2422353E24233B39500 link=1259037952/1#1 date=1259039457
    how long was the K3 wet for and how long ago did this happen?

    It would take a while for corrosion to take place, are you sure its not just coffee grinds and oils?
    No, Im not entirely sure that its not just grinds and oils, except for the difficulty Im having in getting it off. I used a tiny bit of Jiff on the toothbrush and this didnt shift much of the brown staining on the thread.
    I couldnt say exactly how long it was wet for, although I managed to get dry coffee coming out of it reasonably quickly. It was probably 2 or so weeks before I was able to remove the burr carrier, so there may have been water trapped in the threads in this time. It was several weeks ago that it happened, but I;ve had the top burr off for a bit, only just been able to find time to try a bit more thorough cleaning.
    btw, thanks for your response.

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    Re: Stupid grinder accident; cleaning assistance, please

    is the bottom thread brass? IMO its not corrosion if its brass. not is 3 weeks anyway unless its some crazy reaction to coffee / brass / water.

    personally i would work at it with the dry toothbrush / wooden skewer approach, try putting it somewhere warm (sunlight) to dry the muck if its gooey a bit then brush away as best you can.

    good luck


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    Re: Stupid grinder accident; cleaning assistance, please

    Quote Originally Posted by 323E373A3A335F0 link=1259037952/3#3 date=1259042228
    is the bottom thread brass? IMO its not corrosion if its brass. not is 3 weeks anyway unless its some crazy reaction to coffee / brass / water.

    personally i would work at it with the dry toothbrush / wooden skewer approach, try putting it somewhere warm (sunlight) to dry the muck if its gooey a bit then brush away as best you can. *

    good luck
    Thanks - no its not brass, I think it might be aluminium. Its silver, anyway - or it was. Ive been scraping with a toothpick, but most of its not gooey - its like a fine layer of discolouration (sort of dull grey-green), quite dry. Thats why Im thinking it might be corrosion or oxidisation.
    In any case, I think the main problem might be lack of lubrication. I scrubbed a bit more and then screwed it in, and with a bit of gentle back and forth twisting when it threatened to stick I got it to screw in further than it had gone previously. Im going to keep scrubbing and will get some lube and hopefully that will allow me to get it back into its proper place.
    Can anybody suggest what I can use for lubricant for the burr carrier?

  6. #6
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Re: Stupid grinder accident; cleaning assistance, please

    I dont know if these things are lubricated normally, might pay to wait for some of the sponsors to respond as they will no doubt have more knowledge.

    If you cant wait ;) then surely you wouldnt want to use anything other than a food grade mineral oil? and just a very tiny bit at that, you dont want to taint the taste of any beans that go through it in the future. Put the WD40 away!

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    Re: Stupid grinder accident; cleaning assistance, please

    The only form of lubricant that should be allowed to come within 10 metres of a coffee grinder, is powdered graphite.... The same sort of stuff that Locksmiths use. I think it can be purchased from Bunnings but may also be available from other hardware stores and definitely available from a retail Locksmith.

    It is quite possibly a corrosion issue as coffee can be slightly acidic when wet and if left for a long period such as yours, thats ample time for some Ion Exchange shenanigans to get moving. If it seems to be really slow going using your current method, perhaps you could try a fine bristle Bronze Brush. These can be obtained from most Gun Stores for little cost and I doubt it would cause any problems with the grinder parent metal. No need to use Gorilla force anyway ::).... Gently does it.

    All the best :)

    Mal.

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    A_M
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    Re: Stupid grinder accident; cleaning assistance, please

    Quote Originally Posted by 072A2E222F430 link=1259037952/6#6 date=1259053520
    The only form of lubricant that should be allowed to come within 10 metres of a coffee grinder, is powdered graphite.... The same sort of stuff that Locksmiths use. I think it can be purchased from Bunnings but may also be available from other hardware stores and definitely available from a retail Locksmith.

    It is quite possibly a corrosion issue as coffee can be slightly acidic when wet and if left for a long period such as yours, thats ample time for some Ion Exchange shenanigans to get moving. If it seems to be really slow going using your current method, perhaps you could try a fine bristle Bronze Brush. These can be obtained from most Gun Stores for little cost and I doubt it would cause any problems with the grinder parent metal. No need to use Gorilla force anyway ::).... Gently does it.

    All the best :)

    Mal.
    Tend to agree MAL.. *Gun shops... A bit harder to find these days :-)

    I still have some old pull throughs , that ended up being used for cleansing small bore pipes etc...


    I did a Rocky and another grinder some time ago.. * *In the end I had to strip and ended up using a strong solution of Cafetto to soak and clean the threads and teh burrs... *Both, had been left sitting for a while and the Rocky had had lots of syrupy GJ beans put through it..


    Some of that crap was baked on like cement..... *Was tempted to take it to a sand blaster... But not all have access to fine beads and or working on fine equipment. * *Have used a small one at work and it was great.. *But issues with cleaning medical gear etc meant that it was scrapped and some Instrument tec got it :-(


    The Cafetto worked well, but it still took time to use a brush and fine SS probe to get some of teh crap off. *Then Compressed air and a few hrs in a oven that had been on low for a while.. *In effect about 60C to start with and over an hr is cooled down and ensured the burrs and all the bits were 100% dry..

    Ya could leave out in the sun on the road :-) *Just need to put up a CoffeeSnob at Work Sign *;D *and pay for traffic control *;)


    [edit]Now that would be worth taking a pic of for the 10,000 comp...[/edit]

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Stupid grinder accident; cleaning assistance, please

    If it is brass, acid, and some other metal, then some corrosion is very likely, and since most corrosion results in a volume expansion this also fits your description, as does the green colour.

    I think the bronze brush is a good suggestion. Since coffee is acidic a slurry of baking soda may help remove the corrosion.

    The other option is some fine metal polish on the threads and scrubbed with a stiff brush--maybe a toothbrush to get to the bottom of the threads.

    Some food grade mineral oil and polish and then work the threads further and further together and apart is also a possibility. Just make sure all is cleaned and dried before reassembly.

    Final reassembly could be helped with one layer of teflon tape, or the graphite as suggested. If you dont want to buy graphite just scribble on the threads with a soft pencil. ;D

    Greg


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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Stupid grinder accident; cleaning assistance, please

    Small brass tooth brushes are available from BBQ retailers

    One other thing if you are not already doing it

    Place the grinder on its side on some foam
    This will give you better access & hand control when working on it

    KK

  11. #11
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    Re: Stupid grinder accident; cleaning assistance, please

    Quote Originally Posted by 4D786F6D5D6578676B666E0A0 link=1259037952/8#8 date=1259065669
    or the graphite as suggested. If you dont want to buy graphite just scribble on the threads with a soft pencil. ;D
    This would actually work quite well..... ;) ;D

    Mal.

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    Re: Stupid grinder accident; cleaning assistance, please

    Thank you all very much for the excellent suggestions. [smiley=thumbsup.gif]
    Ive used baking soda slurry for cleaning stainless steel before, but hadnt thought to use it here. And Ill also definitely lie the damn thing down - simple idea, dont know why that hadnt crossed my mind *::)
    Ill see if I can track down a brass brush (I wouldnt even know where to start looking for a gun shop, but should be able to find a BBQ store), and will give the powdered graphite solution a go - Ill try with a pencil first (thanks, Greg) and if that doesnt work, will try to get some real powder from the hardware store.
    I reckon that should be enough info to get me back up and running - Ill update this thread in a couple of days, once Ive had a chance to put the various suggestions into action, but Im fairly confident now I should be able to fix the problem.

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    A_M
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    Re: Stupid grinder accident; cleaning assistance, please

    Quote Originally Posted by 7D767C7264170 link=1259037952/11#11 date=1259100957
    Thank you all very much for the excellent suggestions. [smiley=thumbsup.gif]
    Ive used baking soda slurry for cleaning stainless steel before, but hadnt thought to use it here. And Ill also definitely lie the damn thing down - simple idea, dont know why that hadnt crossed my mind *::)
    Ill see if I can track down a brass brush (I wouldnt even know where to start looking for a gun shop, but should be able to find a BBQ store), and will give the powdered graphite solution a go - Ill try with a pencil first (thanks, Greg) and if that doesnt work, will try to get some real powder from the hardware store.
    I reckon that should be enough info to get me back up and running - Ill update this thread in a couple of days, once Ive had a chance to put the various suggestions into action, but Im fairly confident now I should be able to fix the problem.
    Love to see a B4 and After picture/s

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    Re: Stupid grinder accident; cleaning assistance, please

    Just thought Id follow this up as I have a few minutes spare.
    Grinder is fixed, and thanks to Mals graphite suggestion is actually easier to adjust than it was before the accident :)
    I ended up scrubbing with a toothbrush and a paste of water and bicarb soda. I did try using a brass brush, but I think the bristles were a bit too fine, as they just got caught up in a lump and didnt appear to actually clean much.
    Then, after drawing liberally with a pencil on the thread, the top burr carrier screwed on nicely. Is grinding well (just had a great FW) and as I said above, is easier to adjust now too.
    AM, I tried to take pics, but they werent very successful - nothing worth posting, sorry.



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