salviotti Senior Member Joined: 16 Aug 2010 Posts: 5 Location: Santa Fe Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Wed Feb 26, 2014, 6:23am Subject: La Cimbali Jr. help
I've had a La Cimbali Jr. grinder for about 3 years that I got here on the forum. Recently, the shots I've been pulling have been awful so I brought my machine and grinder to a local repair shop and they said that the grinder needed new burrs and that the shaft was bent(???). They said that they couldn't repair the grinder. I was going to attempt to replace the burrs but have no idea about the shaft (and whether or not that diagnosis was accurate).
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 8,034 Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A. Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32 Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major Vac Pot: 40s era Silex Drip: Msl. Com. brewers Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Feb 26, 2014, 7:47am Subject: Re: La Cimbali Jr. help
It is hard to imagine that the shaft is bent but it is possible. The only way to check it is to put an indicator on it and rotate the shaft by hand and watch the indicator to see how much it changes as the shaft is rotated.
Burrs are easy to change. Just open the grinder so that you have access to the grind chamber. Most flat burrs are held in place with 3 screws, remove the screws, clean the chamber and in particular the mounting surfaces for the burrs. Any particle of coffee there is enough to throw the burrs out of alignment, by a lot.
In essence you remove the old burrs and install new ones after cleaning the grinder.
I have not used or been inside that grinder and have not looked it up, it may be a conical which requires a little different procedure as the motor shaft is what the rotating burr sits on.
There should be no "wobble" or movement in the motor shaft. If it moves side to side while turning but you can feel no movement in the bearings then the shaft is bent. It can not be made straight again. Well it can but the labor will cost many times the price of a new grinder.
EDIT, I looked it up, it is a 64mm flat burr grinder, an easy change of burrs if the shaft is OK.
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Posted Wed Feb 26, 2014, 9:52am Subject: Re: La Cimbali Jr. help
Before replacing the burrs, clean the grinder thoroughly.
Shots suddenly going "awful" in a La Cimbali Jr., Max, or Jr. Max is often a sign that a bad bean is caught on the deck, or in the grinder throat; or a glop of grounds gone rancid and stuck to the burrs. The contamination may even be in the doser.
It's possible the tech heard the sound of eccentricity caused by crud on the burrs and misinterpreted it as evidence of a bent shaft. Might as well find out before spending money.
You may WILL need a pick of some sort to clean the top part of the throat, just below the deck.
Normally, I'd suggest cleaning the burrs with Grindz or instant rice before taking the damn thing apart, but after three years of use, your grinder is due for a really thorough cleaning anyway. Take the burrs out, wash them, and while they're out and (thoroughly) drying, wipe down and vacuum everything else. Use your nose to search for evidence of contamination inside the grinder as you disassemble and clean. Don't forget to clean the doser as well.
Then, reassemble, re-season, and see where you are.
Posted Thu Feb 27, 2014, 4:49pm Subject: Re: La Cimbali Jr. help
I've had my Junior for 4 yrs and haven't had a bit of problem, I run grindz through it every other month and once a year I pull out the burrs and clean and wash them and vacuum it out as clean as I can. Since I only grind for a double shot at a time I use a small brush to clean out the throat everytime. Hopefully yours just needs new burrs and the shaft isn't bent
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