Author Topic: Tonight's fun - rebuilt an old La Pavoni Europiccola espresso machine  (Read 243 times)

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Offline Qarl

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This is a desirable 1974 unit with the brass insert for better group head heat stability and retention.

This was an ebay purchase from a few months ago.

I decided to leave the original base paint since it was in pretty decent shape and no rust. Just some minor chipping.

I took me about 4 hour to strip her down and installed a new seal kit from Italy including a new water level site glass tube.

The original dual element cleaned up nicely with a descale (only took an hour) and I polished the piston and brass insert with a green brilo scrub pad and some citric acid.

Most of the clean-up was done with either citrus degreaser or Simichrome polish as it was really just dirty. The base was cleaned with a damp Mr. Clean white sponge and some citrus degreaser.

I used Novus plastic polish on the bakelite bits (boiler cap, steam knob, portafilter handle, and lever handle). You'd be surprised how dirty they are and how much dirt and coffee oil comes off of those things.

She fires up perfectly well! Now I just gotta get the espresso grind dialed in and practice the technique!
« Last Edit: November 23, 2014, 02:07:45 AM by Qarl »


Offline Jackitup

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Re: Tonight's fun - rebuilt an old La Pavoni Europiccola espresso machine
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2014, 01:12:16 AM »
Jealous, very sweet piece!!
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Offline Qarl

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Re: Tonight's fun - rebuilt an old La Pavoni Europiccola espresso machine
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2014, 11:54:24 AM »
First shot.  I've never used a lever before. 

The coffee was a few weeks old and I need to adjust the tighten the grind just a smidgen, but it tasted great!


Offline Gags

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So cool!

Thanks for posting!
"I'd trade it all for just a little bit more"

Online mitchjg

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Awesome work! 

How, if at all, are you calibrating the group head temperature?

 I gave found ( the hard way) that the number 1 critical item is getting that right.   It is why I love my La Spaziale - I set it and forget it. 

Mitch

Offline Qarl

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Haven't gotten that far into it.  Old school it flush it a few times to heat up the group.

They do make some stick-ons that change color based on the temp.

I haven't gotten that far.

This unit holds heat better as more modern versions of the Europiccola, as it is the first generation design with a brass insert sleeve that the piston slides in.   Later generations changed to a plastic sleeve insert.






Online mitchjg

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That is such a nice machine.  I got really close to selecting it when I bought my last machine.  I chickened out because of the temperature control and my hassles of the past.

I blew a friend away a couple of weeks ago when I pulled 2 shots for him.  The first was at 93 C and the second was at 94 C.  The first was "sour" and the second was perfect.  So, 1 degree C actually makes a big difference.  Without the control, I had to try to learn to "surf" the temperature.  You get to learn the timing from pulling a blank shot and watching the clock to determine when it is optimum for the next one.  Hope that makes sense.

Keep us posted.  :chef:

Online tinroofrusted

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Hey Qarl, that is a beautiful Pavoni!  You made it better than new.  I have very fond memories of mine. I gave it up a few years back for a Jura semi-automatico, which I do love for its ease of use, but I rather miss my old Pavoni. I bought it in Milan in 1979 with a 220 heating element, which of course didn't work when I returned to the US. I managed to find a 120 heating element in Boston and changed it out myself. I had my Pavoni for about 20 years before moving over to the Jura.  Mine was sputtering steamy hot water from the bottom and top of the glass tube, and I was getting tired of having to mess around with it.  Kind of wish I'd kept it now that I'm looking at your beauty! 

I don't know if you roast your own beans (probably you do) but the crema with fresh home roasted beans is way better. I imagine you know that already though! 

Best regards,

TinRoof

Offline Qarl

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Offline bigMoose

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If you want to shoot the temperature of a chrome device with an IR gun, just stick a piece of Scotch 33+ electrical tape on it temporarily for a target.  It turns out the 33+ is a near perfect IR target.


Offline Qarl

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If you want to shoot the temperature of a chrome device with an IR gun, just stick a piece of Scotch 33+ electrical tape on it temporarily for a target.  It turns out the 33+ is a near perfect IR target.

Will have to test that out!  :)

Offline Chicago Bob

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Karl. she looks better than new!  Please tell us you have a pic to post of it before you worked it over.   :)
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"


 

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