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Thread: K3 Push Problem!

  1. #1
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    K3 Push Problem!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I purchased a K3 Push grinder approximately 5 months ago and it has been going great but last week when cleaning we noticed the threads have metal shavings on them (stripping?)
    The burrs seem fine though. I have cleaned the grinder many times with no problems until now
    Any ideas?



    Grinder 1.jpgGrinder 2.jpggrinder 3.jpg

  2. #2
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    Ok, so you have had the grinder for 5 months and you have " cleaned it many times "

    How many times is that? and have you taken it apart each time?
    A suck out with a vacuum every now and then is all that is really needed and maybe once every 6 months take it apart.

    From the pictures it looks to me like you have cleaned the thread too well in the past? removing the grease / lubricant that would have been put there in the factory, which if so needs to be re - lubricated.

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    Probably would have cleaned it once a month 5-6 times I guess. Taken apart each time. Might try to re grease then.

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    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Unless you have the burr carrier threads seated fully and squarely before trying to tighten, I would imagine you could end up shaving the alloy grinder body threads. If the threads are too dry (no coffee oil residue) they could probably gall a bit also. I usually put a little food grade silicon grease on mine when reassembling and triple check that the threads are sitting correctly before trying to tighten. A light touch is required. A little food grade silicone grease goes a long way so use it sparingly.

    PS I also use a stiff toothbrush to clean out the threads of any grinds before wiping over and lubricating.

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    Cool, is there a preferred brand of grease?

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    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrew7777 View Post
    Cool, is there a preferred brand of grease?
    You just need to be sure its food grade grease I suppose. I picked up a tube from a speciality coffee store a while back. The box has "BioGrease Marlin-9 Food grade grease H1 (BGI-93HT)" on it. Originally it was to use on a grabby group head seal but I also use a little when reassembling the grinder.

    Food Grade Biodegradable Petroleum Grease Lubricant | Marlin Delfin Valas TaurQ - Products

    Understanding Food-Grade Lubricants

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Inox is a good brand of food grade grease Andrew, available from Jaycar Electrical, approx $8 a tube.

    A tube will last you forever.

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    Great, Jaycar looks the easy option.
    I just went through the manual and I cant see where its says that the thread needs to lubricated at all? (i'm not very mechanical btw)
    To be honest I haven't really been impressed with the K3. Sure it does a great grind but there are plenty of flaws.

    (these are the most annoying, not including the thread problem)
    The chute always seems to trap approx 2 grams
    The little flap that beaks up the coffee as it enters the chute broke in less that one month.
    Too hard for my wife to unscrew and open to clean (says in the manual to clean once per week but that seems excessive so once a months is what we did)
    The paint is very poorly finished with various obvious flaws. Was the first thing I noticed when I received it actually.
    Gets clogged more often than other grinders I have had.

    Just thought I'd mention these points as everyone in the forum seems to love this grinder to bits.... except me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrew7777 View Post
    Great, Jaycar looks the easy option.
    I just went through the manual and I cant see where its says that the thread needs to lubricated at all? (i'm not very mechanical btw)
    To be honest I haven't really been impressed with the K3. Sure it does a great grind but there are plenty of flaws.

    (these are the most annoying, not including the thread problem)
    The chute always seems to trap approx 2 grams
    The little flap that beaks up the coffee as it enters the chute broke in less that one month.
    Too hard for my wife to unscrew and open to clean (says in the manual to clean once per week but that seems excessive so once a months is what we did)
    The paint is very poorly finished with various obvious flaws. Was the first thing I noticed when I received it actually.
    Gets clogged more often than other grinders I have had.

    Just thought I'd mention these points as everyone in the forum seems to love this grinder to bits.... except me.
    Not denying your experience, but i think different grinders suit different people. For example my father wanted to have the same coffee that i make, he had no chance working the K3, however he has no problem working the breville SG.

    I have weighed the little bit that gets stuck in the chute several times, 0.3 - 0.4g.

    You could be having problems with more getting stuck because your flap is no longer functioning? How did it break, did you stick something up there pointy or sharp? Have you weighed the amount that gets stuck there?

    The black paint on mine is beautiful and shiny.

    When adjusting your grind lower do have the grinder running? I did not do this the first time i used it and it has been the only time it clogged. Turning the adjustment collar to the coarsest setting and running some beans through freed it up in no time.
    Then as i already mentioned a bit of a suck with the vacuum and all is good.

    I have done side by side with both grinders and i cant pick the difference in a milk drink, but for straight espresso / ristretto the K3 wins hands down.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Andrew, I would go real easy on the grease, Have never used grease at all on either my Rocky or Mazzer Mini, grease will tend to attract any stray coffee grounds and make a heck of a mess.

    My feeling is that given the machine is pretty new the (metal shavings) are in fact just a bit of swarf, left from when the thread was cut, your frequent unscrewing and replacing of the burr carrier has simply cleaned any left over swarf from the thread, it's not stripping, from your pics the thread looks fine to me.

    As a matter of interest I give my grinder a thorough clean roughly every six months.

    Re coffee grounds in chute, once again no big deal, the Mazzer does the same, I just give it quick brush with a small paint brush, gets rid of most of the debris.

  11. #11
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    My preference is dry teflon lube over grease- obtainable from your local bike bloke.
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    Took some more photos and noticed there is damage to the lower thread and the bits that sweep the coffee out Grinder 10.jpgGrinder 11.jpgGrinder 12.jpg
    Is there supposed to be a cap above the nut (see pic)Grinder top.jpg
    Anyway will get some lubricant and see what happens.
    Steve82 - Yep I have a good understanding of operation so maybe I just got a dud. Did weigh the input/output of coffee straight from a clean and yep was approx 2g retained. Found a video once that confirmed that, not a huge deal but annoying.

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    Hmm- that damage- especially to the sweepers looks to me like something metallic has been through that grinder. The imperfections in the lower thread- neither here nor there as the entire thread locates the top burr carrier.

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    Yes there are other marks that would indicate this as well. From photos on the net it looks like there should have been a cap on top of the nut? Could all the shavings be from that being ground?

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    I can't honestly recall. I'll check on one of ours if I remember.

    For one, a nut would make one helluva racket. You really couldn't miss it. Secondly, it would be too big to fit between the burrs.

    My diagnosis, more likely a screw/nail etc which has found its way into a batch of beans.

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Hmm- that damage- especially to the sweepers looks to me like something metallic has been through that grinder. The imperfections in the lower thread- neither here nor there as the entire thread locates the top burr carrier.
    My thoughts exactly, must have made a lot of noise , was the grinder new when you bought it?

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    Come to think of it my wife did mention something a few weeks ago, but when I listened to it later it sounded normal, so obviously had gone through with her grind.
    Yep the grinder was new. Would still like to check if there was some kind of cap on the nut if anyone can check please.
    Btw many thanks for the help thus far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrew7777 View Post
    Come to think of it my wife did mention something a few weeks ago, but when I listened to it later it sounded normal, so obviously had gone through with her grind.
    Yep the grinder was new. Would still like to check if there was some kind of cap on the nut if anyone can check please.
    Btw many thanks for the help thus far.
    Those new pics...bugger.

    I can confirm that there is no cap on that nut.

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    Thanks Steve, was a long shot anyway.
    Had a rock in my porlex last year now metal in my K3 this year... yay.... at least in the porlex I could feel it instantly and stop grinding thus no damage. Both reputable beans as well!
    May think about the OE Pharos as I only have one coffee per day, then I would also be able to take it when we go away......

  20. #20
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Maybe changed over time?


    compak k3 residue.jpg

    PS Food Grade H1 lubricant is certified for possible contact with food stuffs. The others won't be.
    The plastic clump breaker was probably ripped off by the foreign object that went through the grinder and caused the damage on the sweepers.
    Too easy to blame the grinder when in fact there was another cause.
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 9th April 2013 at 05:27 PM.

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    Yeah I think they did change as sweepers are a different size as well. Cant seem to find Marlin-9 online to will have to check a store I guess.
    Yep clumper breaker broke early on, before internal damage occurred. I only blame the grinder for the other little niggles I mentioned but it still does a great grind and is very robust. Just not perfect as you would have believe from the reviews around.
    Was rather hoping it was eating itself then it might be a warranty issue. There are microscopic metal shavings everywhere!
    I am rather annoyed now though as if the lubricant doesn't stop the damaged thread from further stripping I have a very expensive paperweight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrew7777 View Post
    Just not perfect as you would have believe from the reviews around.
    I don't remember any reviews saying that this grinder was perfect. The comments are generally along the lines of it being one of the best value for money upgrades when stepping up from the budget grinders. At $450 its hard to beat. Grind quality and stepless adjustment are its main attributes as well as the robust build.

    Quote Originally Posted by andrew7777 View Post
    Was rather hoping it was eating itself then it might be a warranty issue. There are microscopic metal shavings everywhere!
    I am rather annoyed now though as if the lubricant doesn't stop the damaged thread from further stripping I have a very expensive paperweight.
    I doubt that it will end up an expensive paperweight. There's more than enough depth of thread there to cope with a little wear. There are 2 seperate issues that you have encountered. The first is something foreign ending up in the grinder and doing a small amount of cosmetic damage. You are definetely not alone in getting caught by something foreign in the beans. The only way around this is to pour the beans into a container before dropping into the grinder and searching for foreign items. A lesser grinder may have faired alot worse.

    The second issue is something that probably should be mentioned in the Compak manual. The threads on the burr carrier and the grinder body are a tight fit and made of 2 different metals. One is brass and the other a softer alloy. Any excess force caused by lack of lubrication will wear/gall the softer alloy which is probably the cause of the shavings you are seeing. Some retailers of these grinders advise people not to pull them apart themselves unless they are confident they can do so without causing damage. I guess you are not the only one to have found a lack of lube and a gentle touch can give less than desirable results.

    Before reassembling, I lightly wipe lube over all of the threads removing any excess. In particular I make sure the first few threads of the body of the grinder have lube on them. When first seating the burr carrier I turn it slightly in the clockwise ("unscrewing") direction while applying light downward pressure to attempt to seat it squarely before trying to reassemble by turning in the anti-clockwise direction (opposite to normal screw threads). If it feels too tight or grabby I'll fully unscrew and go slightly in the other direction once more and then try again. A light touch is required.

    Check PM for link to supplier of Marlin-9 H1.
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 10th April 2013 at 11:34 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CafeLotta View Post
    Maybe changed over time?
    Looks like it as the sweepers are twice as big, but the parts diagram only depicts your version.

    It wasn't a refurbished grinder you bought was it, Andrew? Yours just doesn't looks as nicely finished as CafeLotta's. Is there a possibility you're just noticing the sweeper & stud damage now that you're looking closer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by simonko View Post
    Looks like it as the sweepers are twice as big, but the parts diagram only depicts your version.
    The photo isn't actually of mine but shows the same nut/sweeper version. The build date on my grinder is October 2009. I don't notice a real difference in the finish of Andrew's grinder compared to mine other than the cosmetic damage and the shavings.

    I think he mentioned earlier that it was bought new.

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    Ah yes, he did, later down.

    Finish I was meaning the nice stainless steel capped nut on yours compared to the brass nut and exposed stud on Andrews--just seemed a bit strange to go from one to the other as though they'd been some repair work before.

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    Yep was bought new from a sponser. I agree that the exposed stud didn't look right hence the question earlier. Never looked inside when I first bought it. Apologies if I've been a bit over dramatic

  27. #27
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Wouldn't worry about the exposed stud Andrew, it's only cosmetic and will have no affect on operation, if it really worries you try someone like Coventry fasteners, they should be able to supply a chrome/stainless domed nut to do the job.



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