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salviotti
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Joined: 16 Aug 2010
Posts: 5
Location: Santa Fe
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Wed Feb 26, 2014, 7:23am
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).

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
Rob
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,781
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, 8:47am
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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Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

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boar_d_laze
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,275
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Wed Feb 26, 2014, 10:52am
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.    

Rich
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salviotti
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Joined: 16 Aug 2010
Posts: 5
Location: Santa Fe
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Wed Feb 26, 2014, 12:22pm
Subject: Re: La Cimbali Jr. help
 

Thanks for the helpful info ... hopefully I can get this up and running soon.  Right now I'm relegated to my wife's Nespresso.
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gbastiani1952
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gbastiani1952
Joined: 18 Dec 2008
Posts: 277
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: QM Andreja Premium
Grinder: Cimbali Junior
Drip: Crusinart
Posted Thu Feb 27, 2014, 5:49pm
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

 
Gery Bastiani
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