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Can this Francis Francis X1 be saved?
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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > Can this Francis...  
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karmasoft
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 12
Location: Salt Lake City
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Rocket Espresso Cellini...
Grinder: Rocket Mazzer Mini P
Drip: Bodum French Press, Chemex
Posted Sun Jul 15, 2012, 10:16am
Subject: Can this Francis Francis X1 be saved?
 

After I bought my Rocket I left my Francis Francis X1 in a rental unit we own.  For the past year it received some unwanted abuse.

Now we have new tenants who would like an Espresso Machine (we rent the unit furnished), and I would like to provide something.

Cosmetically the X1 is in 8.5/10 condition.  The machine doesn't even turn on however.  So I took it apart and was somewhat appalled by the condition of the interior.  Is my finger pointing at the boiler?  That's a pretty nasty crack...

Click Here (i21.photobucket.com)

...what should I do?  Is this repairable?  If so, is it worth it?
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,775
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 Sun Jul 15, 2012, 11:16am
Subject: Re: Can this Francis Francis X1 be saved?
 

it looks like that machine was in storage with water in the boiler and in an unheated space so that the water froze and broke the boiler.
can it be saved ... yeah but at a cost of more than it is worth.

I know the original price was fairly high but francis francis machines tend to be more stylish than high quality. yes they will get the job done but better machines are available for the same or less money.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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karmasoft
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 12
Location: Salt Lake City
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Rocket Espresso Cellini...
Grinder: Rocket Mazzer Mini P
Drip: Bodum French Press, Chemex
Posted Mon Jul 16, 2012, 3:13am
Subject: Re: Can this Francis Francis X1 be saved?
 

Thanks for the diagnosis... that's disappointing to say the least.  Any clue where to go other than click here for francis francis parts?  I'd like to at least explore the option of repairing it myself.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,775
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 Mon Jul 16, 2012, 6:29am
Subject: Re: Can this Francis Francis X1 be saved?
 

FF is pretty much a waste land when it comes to parts other than OEM as far as I know. I THINK FF is owned by ILLY now but I don't know for sure.
If you can take it apart, and only the crack is the problem, a welding shop can repair the crack and that MAY be the least expensive route. It will need to be cleaned inside and out, then the crack will need to be ground into a "V" shape for proper repair. This is not a hard process and I would expect that a weld shop would do it for a minimum charge.

If that Al is cast, the repair may be a little more difficult. An epoxy with metal filler may be another route but once you use an epoxy, the weld route is pretty much out the window due to the cleaning that would need to be done to remove ALL the epoxy from the boiler. A product such as DEVCON Click Here (www.devcon.com) is the best but the price may be more than having it welded esp since you will be using so little of the 1# that is the minimum size that it is sold in. Click Here (www.all-spec.com)

Another product that MAY work but is not as good as Devcon is JBWeld. You can buy it in autoparts stores etc. It is also an epoxy based product but it is not as good as Devcon. http://jbweld.net/index.php

With either method, welding or epoxy, prep of the repair is the key. A surgical clean prep is mandatory as well as a "V" grove filed or ground into the casting is mandatory, you can not just glop the epoxy on top and expect it to seal, the chances I would give such a repair (gloping on top) to work would be below 50%

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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coffee_no_sugar
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 352
Location: USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: pavoni pub, brasilia club
Grinder: mazzer sj, mdf, infinity
Drip: melitta clarity
Roaster: popcorn
Posted Mon Jul 16, 2012, 9:33pm
Subject: Re: Can this Francis Francis X1 be saved?
 

Hi,

  The FF X1  came in an aluminum boiler and a brass boiler and you have the older aluminum boiler model.

 According to electra-craft,  http://www.mcssl.com/store/electra-craft/francis-francis-spare-parts , the aluminum boiler FF X1 uses the same pod and group gaskets as the Espressione (grimac) grace.    The Espressione grace also has an aluminum boiler.  What are the odds that these two machines use the same boiler?    Anyways the folks at electra-craft probably know.

 The general opinion is that the older aluminum boiler model wasn't up to coffee-geek standards.  With the brass boiler model, FF used the same boiler as the LeLit, and an electronic temperature control.   Superior guts to the stock LeLit.

Wesley
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