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Thread: MDF modifications

  1. #1
    dsc
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    MDF modifications

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi everyone

    For the last few weeks Ive been asking a lot of questions on this forums and I got great response. So as a thank you I thought I would write something instead of posting questions. This is my little contribution to this forum:)

    When I got my new MDF grinder a few things popped into my head:

    1. not stepless
    2. it has a doser
    3. the coffee dispenser shifts coffee to the left
    4. the hole from where the coffee exits is quite large
    5. the fork is too close to the doser
    6. the fork is uncomfortable

    I tried using it straight from the box, but because 5. and 6. my whole counter was covered in coffee and it was really annoying to work with the grinder. First thought: that fork has to go. A closer inspection showed that the fork is a part of the bottom cover and I will have to unscrew 4 TORX T10 screws to get it off. Unfortunatelly I didnt have a T10 torx screwdriver at home at that time so I used a different method. I build a small PVC extension for the coffee output hole and placed the grinder on a piece of wood to fit the PF under the fork (the extension ended at the same level as the fork lower ridge). The extension was constructed in such a way that it was narrower at the bottom, which made dispensing coffee easier and accurate.

    Today I bought a TORX T10 screwdriver and managed to unscrew the bottom cover with the fork. It looks like this:



    I used 1mm PVC (soft plastic sheets) to recreate the cover but without the fork. It was pretty easy and after around 2hours I had two pieces ready, front cover (it goes where the fork was) and the bottom cover, with some holes for ventilation and stuff like that. Heres how it looks:



    So now I dont have to worry about points 5. and 6. from the list above:)

    Yesterday I also did a stepless "teflon" mod and I have to say it works great and is easy to do. Just follow all the instructions on this page:

    http://coffeeaspirations.blogspot.com/2006/07/barista-guild-of-america-and-how-to.html

    And yes you will be surprised how much coffee stays inside:) Just remember to put enough teflon tape to make the screwing of the upper burr set really hard. That way you will make sure it wont move during the grind. Point 1. from the list is no longer a problem.

    So Im left with:

    2. it has a doser
    3. the coffee dispenser shifts coffee to the left
    4. the hole from where the coffee exits is quite large

    Point 2. is not so bad, as pulling the doser lever can help to break clumps. Point 3. is caused by the movement of the doser paddles, but it can be solved, look below. Point nr 4. is a bit annoying as a lot of coffee can get on your counter. I will try to make a small narrowing to make the hole smaller, which should also make the left coffee shift dissapear.

    So anyone has any cool MDF modifications to share?:) I hope this thread is of some help.

    Cheers,
    dsc.

  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: MDF modifications

    Great stuff Tom [smiley=thumbsup.gif],

    Definitely the work of a true coffee snob 8-) and Im sure other MDF owners will soon start firing questions your way ;)

    Cheers,
    Mal.

  3. #3
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: MDF modifications

    From what youve done, youre halfway there! Three out of six is a good improvement. Well done DSC.

    Im tempted to have a long look at my Iberitals stepless adjustment. One day. Maybe. Stepless can often mean endless, requiring several, several turns to make a difference.

    -Robusto

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    Re: MDF modifications

    Hey Tom,

    The Brasilia Competition grinder that I love so much at work just has a locking screw to keep the burrs in place. Perhaps that would be a better alternative than teflon tape? I cant imagine TT holding up to all that much adjustment ...

    Cheers,

    Luca

    PS. If the steps are irritating you, then I dare say youre on the right track!

  5. #5
    dsc
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    Re: MDF modifications

    Ola

    Thanks for the replies:)

    luca: yeah a screw would be great, but this is a brand new machine and I plan to sell it sometime, so I wouldnt want to make holes in the cover:)

    So today I realised that because the fork is gone I can finally unscrew that stupid doser. And so I did:) After taking that damn thing out I started thinking is it possible to make this machine doserless. Well it is possible, but I would have to do one of two things:

    - cut out a good portion of the plastic cover and attach a small tube to the hole from where the coffee falls into the doser. As I said I maybe selling it in a few months, so its a no

    - add a long tube which would connect the outlet of the grinder with the hole below the doser. It could be too long and coffee might get stuck easily, plus it would probably clump a lot, so again its a no

    I guess I have to live with the doser:) Ive read on HB in the Weiss distribution technique article that the author removed the doser and was left with a clump monster:) so I better leave that doser, it does a good job breaking clumps when you pull the handle quite fast.

    So i had the doser out and decided to get that output hole smaller. I took some styrofoam, some tape and after an hour or so I had this:



    A nice smaller hole, which makes dosing easier and eliminates that left shifting problem. So I guess points 3 and 4 from my list are gone:) and I can live with the doser.

    I might add a small copper tube inside that doser hole, but I would have to make a smooth transition from a rectangular shape of the original hole to the round shape of the tube and that can be tricky, so Im leaving as it is for now.

    Happy modding:)

    Cheers,
    dsc.

  6. #6
    dsc
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    Re: MDF modifications

    Ola

    I decided to refresh this topic, as I did another mod:)

    Again it was all about changing the cover, front cover this time. The reason for this was too much coffee getting left inside of the grinder after each grind. I guess around 5g were left each time and the inside outlet, directly from the burrs, got cloged with coffee, so when grinding coffee again, old coffee was being dosed instead of the fresh one:|
    I dont want to waste any coffee (I could use more coffee for each grind, let the first 5-7 seconds into trash and use the rest) so I decided to change the upper cover which is a one piece part into a two piece part. One part is screwed on like the old cover was, but the part which covered the inside outlet is now removable, so I can clean the outlet each time I grind:) At first I wanted to just leave the upper part, but when grinding, the coffee coming from the outlet moved really fast and I was left with coffee grounds almost all over the doser. So I decided to add a small screen which is removable. Here are the photos:

    - everything together:



    - the screen is removed:



    - the screen on its own:



    I also took a small plastic spoon and cut it down a bit to fit the inside outlet and its realy easy to clean now:)

    Happy modding!,
    Cheers,
    dsc.

  7. #7
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    Re: MDF modifications

    Something I do to stop that coffee left behind issue is to run the grinder a little after the last of the beans have gone through the burrs and give a few more flicks of the doser. This seems to clear them all out.

  8. #8
    dsc
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    Re: MDF modifications

    Ola

    Theres a simple way to check if you cleared all of the old coffee. If you throw some fresh coffee into the upper container, hit the start button and see that coffee is almost imidiatelly coming into the doser it means the inner outlet is still full of old coffee. If you start grinding and almost nothing comes out for the first few seconds it means the outlet was clean before the grind. This happens because before the coffee starts to drop into the doser the grinder needs to clog the inner outlet with coffee and after that if you grind more it will push out the coffee that is already in the outlet. Im not sure if it makes any sense:) but thats how it works.

    Lucinda after the grind and your cleaning procedure try to unscrew the upper cover and see how much coffee is left inside. It never worked for me to keep the grinder running and flick the lever a few times.

    Cheers,
    dsc.

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    Re: MDF modifications

    Will do that, thanks.

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    Re: MDF modifications

    Hello everyone

    For those with a stepless MDF:

    I made a pdf file which contains a drawing for the numbering plate which indications of 0.2 steps as lines like a ruler. It has to be printed out on DIN A4 format (297*210) (make sure your printer doesnt automatically resize it!), cut out and fits exactly on the numbering plate. I could also upload it in a different format (US letter..) if anyone needs it. It can be found at the bottom of the following page:

    http://www.eggdisk.com/files/277867_..._numbering.pdf

    I use it when switching between different coffee beans to be able to reproduce the grind setting exactly as I had it last time.

    greets

    marco



  11. #11
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: MDF modifications

    Very nice piece of work.

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    Re: MDF modifications

    I have also found that if I tilt the grinder forward a bit this also dislodges those last few grinds into the hopper. Saves on pulling the grinder apart too.

  13. #13
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    Re: MDF modifications

    Can you easily remove the hopper?
    If so you can "blow" the extra out.
    Or if the hopper is the right size, a "click-clack" lid does wonders.

  14. #14
    dsc
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    Re: MDF modifications

    Ola

    welone: at first I didnt think I would need it, but finally I decided to print it and use it:) so thanks!

    lucinda: so I guess that you havent removed the upper cover to check the inner outlet? You would be surprised how much coffee stays in there, even after all the tilting, whacking and stuff:)
    You only need to remove two rubber plugs from the screw canals inside the hopper, unscrew it, remove the hopper, unscrew the two big screws on top of the top cover and its done:) you can check out the left overs. I can make some pictures if you want, to see how it looks inside.

    Cheers,
    dsc.

    EDIT: here are some pics of the inside:

    - one rubber plug is already out, you can see the screw underneath



    - hopper taken off, you have to unscrew those two bolts to remove the plastic scale piece



    - a look from the front



    - a closer look at the inside outlet, which is usually cloged, but here its quite clean



    - and after I added the printed out scale



    Hope it helps.

  15. #15
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: MDF modifications

    Nice work there Tom 8-),

    Mal.

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    Re: MDF modifications

    Marco - thanks for the link, works a treat. Deffinately much easier to fine tune the grind now! :D

  17. #17
    dsc
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    Re: MDF modifications

    Hi everyone

    I guess this is my last modification. I might change the cone on top of the moving arms inside the doser amd maybe change the grind setting method (a screw might be more reliable), but it works as it is now.

    A few things I changed:

    - I got rid of the plastic piece that went onto the arms of the doser and replaced it with a styrodur cone covered with aluminium tape

    - I added sweepers to the doser arms (only two), made from twoside tape and a soft foam material, around 1mm thick. They work great:

    1. doser full of coffee:



    2. three pulls of the handle, half of the doser is already clean:



    3. a few more pulls and its completly clean:



    I also used aluminium tape here and there, to cover up the outlet reduction piece, a small depression inside the doser and stuff like that.

    So this is it, no more mods. At least for now:)

    Cheers,
    dsc.

  18. #18
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: MDF modifications

    Top notch mod and outcome there Tom,

    Definitely worth the effort of other MDF owners to have a think about it,

    Mal.

  19. #19
    dsc
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    Re: MDF modifications

    Hi Mal

    Thanks mate:) Its really clean now, I did another small mod, where I separeted the doser from the rest of the machine, with a small PCV plate under the front cover with the scale viewer. It also covers the two triangle holes I had around the doser, near the front cover. I had to do it cause I got a lot of coffee inside of the machine, on the motor and other parts. Now everything is covered, the outlet hole in the doser has aluminium foil around to prevent coffee grounds from sticking to it. The removable outlet screen is smaller, which allows the coffee to go right between the doser arms. I added small foam curtains on the screen so even less coffee goes behind the screen. And it is still removable:) so I can clean the outlet anytime I want.

    Now the last thing is to sand down any sharp edges and paint it with my airbrush:)

    Go on people, mod your own MDFs. I dare ya!!:)

    Cheers,
    dsc.

  20. #20
    dsc
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    Re: MDF modifications

    Hi everyone

    Below you will find some photos of my last mod. As I said in my earlier post I had to change the outlet cover and add a small plastic plate above it, to prevent coffee from falling inside the machine. Now it looks like this:

    1. from the outside with the doser cover on:



    2. doser cover removed, you can see the outlet cover:



    3. but what is this? oh a small button to remove the outlet cover:) it holds the cover in place during the grind



    4. here you can see foam curtains I added to keep the coffee falling right between the doser arms



    5. and the outlet itself, covered with some aluminium foil to minimize the ammount of coffee sticking to the sides



    Im currently thinking about building a new frame and cover for the grinder and to make it doserless:) I will try to build a small mockup paper model today and maybe post some photos.

    Mod you grinders people, modem!!

    Cheers,
    dsc.

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    Re: MDF modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by luca link=1167433239/0#3 date=1167478087
    Hey Tom,

    The Brasilia Competition grinder that I love so much at work just has a locking screw to keep the burrs in place. Perhaps that would be a better alternative than teflon tape? I cant imagine TT holding up to all that much adjustment ...
    I thought so too, but its been a good long while since the initial mod, and its very easy to turn, with no shifting at all while grinding.

    Its worked much better than I at first expected. I thought I would have to figure out a way to mod it more permanently, but its held up fine.

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    Re: MDF modifications

    Great thread - my very-second-hand MDF arrived today from evilbay. It had obviously *never* been cleaned, and looks to be about 3-4 years old. The only downside is the doser cover is missing.

    I spent the past 2 hours taking the whole thing apart (really, the *whole* thing) and cleaning every little bit - its now spotless, except for a few marks on the outer casing. Its the white version (so I guess they sold at least 1 of the white model), which looks pretty naff, so Im considering spray-painting the case.

    Unfortunately I didnt take any photos while disassembling it, but Im taking some of the re-assembly - which can be reversed for a "how to disassemble" guide.

    The burr plates are almost smooth, so Ill be ordering some new ones from Coffeeparts - hopefully theyve got a doser cover too (unless anyone here has one spare?)

  23. #23
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    Re: MDF modifications

    Well done!

    Are you sure its only three or four years old? That seems a short
    lifetime for the burrs, unless it was used commercially. Ours is at
    least 12 years old (thats how long weve had it), and still on the
    original burrs. Ours is also white, but the older version.

  24. #24
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    Re: MDF modifications

    Its the "newer" version (screws to remove the hopper), and its obviously been used commercially. 3 years was a rough guess, but it could be 5 or 6...

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    Re: MDF modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by shauno link=1167433239/15#21 date=1185188567
    The burr plates are almost smooth, so Ill be ordering some new ones from Coffeeparts - hopefully theyve got a doser cover too (unless anyone here has one spare?)
    New burr plates have been ordered from Coffeeparts (along with some teflon tape for the stepless mod), and Im getting a free replacement doser cover from Gaggia spares :)

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    Re: MDF modifications

    Will be interested to hear how you go with replacing the burrs, esp
    recalibrating afterwards. Ill have to do that at some stage ...

    Also what you think of the stepless mod. Ive resisted doing that so far --
    I fine tune the grind by moving between two steps and varying the time at
    each step. The MDF is slooooowwww so this isnt too hard to do. It works
    pretty well, but Im sure its not optimal.

  27. #27
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    Re: MDF modifications

    Just to add some more MDF pics to this thread... here are some shots of my MDF mid-refurb... this thing is built like a tank, no wonder its so heavy!

    Naked steel:


    Solid copper lower burr carrier:


    Burr carrier installed:


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    Re: MDF modifications



    CoffeeSnob

    Posts: 10

    Re: MDF modifications
    ź Reply #9 - on: 08. Jan 2007 at 21:50 ╗ Quote
    >
    >For those with a stepless MDF:
    >
    >I made a pdf file which contains a drawing for the numbering plate which indications of 0.2 steps as lines like a ruler. It has to be printed >out on DIN A4 format (297*210) (make sure your printer doesnt automatically resize it!), cut out and fits exactly on the numbering plate. >I could also upload it in a different format (US letter..) if anyone needs it. It can be found at the bottom of the following page:
    >
    >http://www.eggdisk.com/files/277867_10tcf/MDF_numbering.pdf
    >
    >marco

    Marco,
    The link no longer works but I would find this to be very useful as I mod my MDF. Could you email a PDF to me (scaled for American Letter sized paper? It would be much appreciated.

    BubbaBob

  29. #29
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: MDF modifications

    BubbaBob that post was from welone.

    Ive emailed him and requested a copy.

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    Re: MDF modifications

    Thanks Thundergod for filling in - Ive emailed you an A4 and a US letter version. unfortunately eggdisk doesnt provide anymore upload-service

    BTW my username is welone and the real one marco

    greets

  31. #31
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    Re: MDF modifications

    Thanks.

    Ive emailed Bubbabob a copy.

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    Re: MDF modifications

    This topic is great, the mods all look awesome! Thanks to everyone for sharing. Unfortunately I cant contribute (yet)...

    Quote Originally Posted by 51434A494843260 link=1167433239/9#9 date=1168253439
    I made a pdf file which contains a drawing for the numbering plate which indications of 0.2 steps as lines like a ruler. It has to be printed out on DIN A4 format (297*210) (make sure your printer doesnt automatically resize it!), cut out and fits exactly on the numbering plate. I could also upload it in a different format (US letter..) if anyone needs it. It can be found at the bottom of the following page:

    http://www.eggdisk.com/files/277867_10tcf/MDF_n▀umbering.pdf
    Does anyone have this PDF? The link is dead. *:(

  33. #33
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: MDF modifications

    Here is the A4 version.



  34. #34
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: MDF modifications

    Here is the US Letter version.


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    Re: MDF modifications

    Thanks a lot Thundergod! ;)



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