alsterling Senior Member Joined: 28 Dec 2005 Posts: 682 Location: Dana Point, CA Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: La Spaziale S1 (Had Expo) Grinder: Macap M4 & Gaggia MDF Vac Pot: Not yet... Drip: Capresso MT-500 & Melitta... Roaster: Hottop Digital
Posted Sun Oct 15, 2006, 5:40pm Subject: Re: Removed KitchenAid Proline Grinder Finger Guard with Hack Saw (pics inside)
James.........don't egg him on! This time it was a hacksaw.........next time........well, it could involve explosives! (smile)
I've got to hand it to him though. I just neatly unscrewed stuff on my Macap. The most brutal I got was to "yank" the plastic guard out of the bean hopper. You know, there's something unique and serious about those first few forward and backward motions on the hacksaw that say........"There's no turning back. I've made my decision on modifying this grinder, and I have no thoughts of ever, ever, ever returning it!!!) If you're planning the same, my best wishes go with you.
After a few weeks, the beans on the rim isn't an issue. Remember, I sanded the rim a bit to make it smooth. If I had a mettle file I might have filed it a bit smother, but it really makes no difference. On average only a bean or maybe two sticks there now (compared to dozens and dozens with the finger guard). I don't usually care but if i happen to notice a last clinging bean, I just give the ProLine a smack upside the head and down it goes to its augery death! :)
It really was easy to do. Setting up and taking the pictures took the most time. The entire process can be done in about 10 minutes. And it was well worth it.
Posted Thu Oct 26, 2006, 7:42pm Subject: Argh! Just got my KitchenAid Proline -- Dang!
Good grief. How many ways can they screw up a design?
My SMP has less retention. :-/
For one thing, who designed the ring with the two trapezoidal tabs on it? Why on earth would they make the leading edge of those things angled?! All it does is shove the grind against the rear of the burr chamber, where it adheres and leaves about a gram of grind -- to be sloughed off during the next grind. First step: I'll be milling the side of each of those tabs that rotates in advance -- flat. Then I'm going to drill a hole perpendicular to the new surface, tap it, and screw a piece of polyester felt -- or maybe thin nylon sheet -- to the tab to make up the difference both in circumfrence and toward the back, so the grind is better scraped out of there.
The auger area also collects grind. Geez. And when I took it a part, an entire bean was jammed into the front burr section, between the machined teeth and the axle (up against the very front of the casting). Argh!
Presently, I'm not all too pleased with this purchase.
I understand the newest version of this grinder has improvements. Since I have a freshly rebuilt one, I wonder if it's incorporating those improvements, or whether it's still an old-school design. Does anyone have any photos of the important improvements on this grinder's newest incarnation -- especially anything bearing on grind retention?
I'm going to spend so much time modding this danged thing, now . . .
OK, here's what I did. Just now. While editing this. Thanks, Alan Adler, for the great funnel. I don't need a big tank on top of this grinder, since I only do one origin at a time, in amounts for one or two cups at a time. This will be perfect.
Posted Fri Oct 27, 2006, 3:10am Subject: Re: Removed KitchenAid Proline Grinder Finger Guard with Hack Saw (pics inside)
The Proline seems like a good example of a design made to protect the manufacturer from being sued in court. They are probably afraid that people stick a finger inside to dislodge beans. A finger tip grinded fine for espresso may cost a lot in court... Remember the woman who tried to dry her cat in a microwave oven !
My Rocky is plagued with the same problem. However, the finger guard design is more intelligent and it is possible to remove it easily. If I do, it becomes my problem.
On the lighter side... I heard that Coca-Cola is planning to write this warning on the bottom of glass Coke bottles to protect customers: "Please open at the other end".
I removed the guard from below, which left me with no way to secure the hopper screw-on ring. As for the funnel, it's an Aeropress funnel (thus the allusion to Alan). I hacksawed its vertical tubular portion, then cut a couple angles to fit the odd contours. The picture I posted above showed foam around the funnel, holding it in place. That works -- but as of this morning I removed that, replaced the ring that normally holds the hopper (it just sits there), and frankly the funnel just sits on top in place perfectly. So the ring and the funnel are held in place only by gravity -- and it works great.
Looks OK too, actually.
You should see what I did below the burrs to catch grind in a smaller cup more suited to my use of this grinder. ;-)
Posted Fri Oct 27, 2006, 6:05am Subject: Re: Argh! Just got my KitchenAid Proline -- Dang!
The attached picture shows a couple of the problems. I just did another grind -- and another stuck bean! Argh.
It's not a feature that the burrs disassemble so easily. It's a concession to the dramatic need to take this thing apart every time you grind if you want to purge the retained grind! At least with an SMP, you're guaranteed that the retained grind comes out, for the most part, in advance of the new grind. With this thing, that's partly true but there'd be more of a gradual mixing of old grind with new -- making purging impossible. You simply have to take the darned thing apart. Aaargh!
Note the stuck bean. In that same picture, the rotation is from right to left, and notice the wiper tab that's designed to move the grind from around the burr area. But notice that it's angled on both sides -- trapezoidal. The darned thing ought to be flat -- or even slightly scooped -- on the left-hand side. Why? Well look to the right. The grind around the back of the chamber -- rising up the right-hand side -- is what's carried upwards by these tabs and pushed against the back of the chamber by the angle of these tabs. Aaaargh! What where they thinking?
Aside from the static problem I'm having using the unit with a small cup I've mounted creatively to the unit's receiving end, this retention is ridiculous. This grinder is NOT a good candidate if what you want is to cycle through various single origins.
Not happy. Not happy at all.
Anyone around Chicago want one? $120. And no, I won't put it back together for you. ;-)
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