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Rancilio S10 LE
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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > Rancilio S10 LE  
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west77
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west77
Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 49
Location: Calgary AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: WEGA 2 group Airy, Rancilio...
Grinder: Carimali M1, Nuova Simonelli...
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Drip: What's drip?
Roaster: Fratello ;)
Posted Wed Jun 12, 2013, 1:52am
Subject: Rancilio S10 LE
 

Sometimes things work out in a funny way.  A week back I was at a commercial kitchen warehouse looking at a conveyor dishwasher when I spotted a two group lever Rancilio sitting in the racking and asked if he had a price.  The answer was that it was the owner's wife's machine and not for sale.  This week I was at a commercial kitchen auction where they had a 2 group Rancilio lever machine that went dirt cheap (yes, I bought it.)

So, because the Wega 2 group sitting on my counter is not enough, I now have this new toy.  I had pulled the Wega apart and rebuilt it awhile ago.  I tried to do it quickly because it was the only machine that I had for espresso.  This one I can take a bit more time and will take a few pictures and try to do a bit of a write up as I go along.  By now you have probably guessed that my dragging another two group home means that I am single.  There is nobody but myself to answer to and that sometimes leads to somewhat... interesting decisions.

The first major difference between the machines that I see is the boiler.  This one is stainless and the whole machine looks quite clean when I look at it.  Well, there had been a mouse living in it for a short time as evidenced by the droppings that I found, but there were not lots and nothing looks chewed.  One of the levers does not pull down and it looks like it had some issues prior to being shut down and put in storage (I really hope they actually drained it.)  It will probably be a learning experience for me as I have never looked at a lever machine.

The second surprise for me was the fact that this machine seems to have a boiler that can be heated with either natural gas or propane (I will have to find out which.)  The coupling looks like one for compressed air rather than either gas.  It would be kind of cool to have a machine that needs no electricity.  Perhaps I will load it on a fridge cart for long hikes...

The funny looking, almost corrugated orange-red side panels make me think this may qualify as a vintage machine.  I will probably stop by the dealer in the next week to see if he has any idea how old the machine is.  I think it needs something a little more custom to do it justice- but I do not know what just yet.  perhaps I will find a way to make stainless and glass panels once it is all cleaned up?  Perhaps just a paint job if I get lazy.  The one in the dealers racking had some custom paint job and looked pretty good (though I think it was newer- I do not recall it looking corrugated.)

Anyhow, I will have to post pictures soon.  I have a few starter pictures on the phone and will have to send it so that I can get them up.  It should be fun to see this machine come apart.
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west77
Senior Member
west77
Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 49
Location: Calgary AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: WEGA 2 group Airy, Rancilio...
Grinder: Carimali M1, Nuova Simonelli...
Vac Pot: Cory gasketless
Drip: What's drip?
Roaster: Fratello ;)
Posted Thu Jun 13, 2013, 11:19pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio S10 LE
 

I have a few pics of the machine prior to being really disassembled.  I forgot to snap a picture to show the orange vintage panels that this machine is clad in (it includes the prices that espresso sold at when the machine was last used.)  There are a few showing a fairly shiny stainless boiler, one of the burner for heating with flame and one of the crud-clad spring for the lever.

west77: IMG_20130612_012145_921__1371190458_44568__1371190458_12448.jpg
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west77
Senior Member
west77
Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 49
Location: Calgary AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: WEGA 2 group Airy, Rancilio...
Grinder: Carimali M1, Nuova Simonelli...
Vac Pot: Cory gasketless
Drip: What's drip?
Roaster: Fratello ;)
Posted Thu Jun 13, 2013, 11:21pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio S10 LE
 

One picture per post?  Oh well, second one.

west77: IMG_20130612_014440_131__1371190614_21136__1371190614_15656.jpg
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west77
Senior Member
west77
Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 49
Location: Calgary AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: WEGA 2 group Airy, Rancilio...
Grinder: Carimali M1, Nuova Simonelli...
Vac Pot: Cory gasketless
Drip: What's drip?
Roaster: Fratello ;)
Posted Thu Jun 13, 2013, 11:22pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio S10 LE
 

The head with some issues.

west77: IMG_20130612_012213_837__1371190674_25920.jpg
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west77
Senior Member
west77
Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 49
Location: Calgary AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: WEGA 2 group Airy, Rancilio...
Grinder: Carimali M1, Nuova Simonelli...
Vac Pot: Cory gasketless
Drip: What's drip?
Roaster: Fratello ;)
Posted Fri Jun 14, 2013, 12:03am
Subject: Re: Rancilio S10 LE
 

Well, I had mentioned some mouse droppings.  As I was removing the boiler I found the source of the mouse droppings.  There was a dead mouse curled up in the corner.  It had gnawed through two wires and was almost grasping them so that I had to pry it off.  Not something that you want to find in your machine- but for $50, I do not know what I expected.  The machine was not drained before being put in storage, so I had to do that.  The water seems to have discolored the sight glass and I will try to fix it before replacing it.  

The boiler was full of scale.  The bright side is that the end (like the Wega) is bolted on giving very easy access to the inside.  Right now I have everything off with the exception of the group heads (I have to dig out my allen keys for them.)  After that I will take the frame (dead mouse and all) and pressure wash it to see where I stand.  There is almost no rust nor scratches, just a build-up of dirt and dust.  The frame itself almost looks new- so I suspect I may just clean it and possible give it another coat of paint (I would prefer a lighter grey frame.)  For fun, I have attached a picture of the prices of espresso based drinks.  The actual colour of the machine is a little more orange than it came out.

west77: rsz_img_20130614_243527_009.jpg
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west77
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west77
Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 49
Location: Calgary AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: WEGA 2 group Airy, Rancilio...
Grinder: Carimali M1, Nuova Simonelli...
Vac Pot: Cory gasketless
Drip: What's drip?
Roaster: Fratello ;)
Posted Fri Jun 14, 2013, 12:05am
Subject: Re: Rancilio S10 LE
 

I cannot resist.  The mouse.

west77: rsz_img_20130612_023705_137.jpg
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west77
Senior Member
west77
Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 49
Location: Calgary AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: WEGA 2 group Airy, Rancilio...
Grinder: Carimali M1, Nuova Simonelli...
Vac Pot: Cory gasketless
Drip: What's drip?
Roaster: Fratello ;)
Posted Fri Jun 14, 2013, 12:19am
Subject: Re: Rancilio S10 LE
 

After this it will probably be a bit until the next post.  The next step will be an acid bath for the copper lines and the boiler.  The levers will have to be disassembled and rebuilt a little.  The frame will be cleaned up and the wires that were gnawed will either be fixed or replaced.  I hesitate to replace them only because I think they were probably specialty due to their proximity to a flame to heat the boiler.  I suppose that one of the advantages of an old and simple machine is that I feel absolutely no apprehension rebuilding it prior to testing it.  I will try to post pictures of the electrical later- but it is beyond simple with no boards or electronics.  There is almost no real problem that can be major or overly expensive (the boiler still looks very solid.)

A picture of a boiler over 30% filled with scale.  And these places wonder why they may go bankrupt or not sell as much espresso as they otherwise might?  The Wega was very similar with massive build-up (at least the Wega is a HX machine so that it should not really have affected the taste of the product.)  This one draws the water from the middle of the scale build-up.  I would think it would affect the finished product.

west77: rsz_1img_20130614_243436_200.jpg
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west77
Senior Member
west77
Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 49
Location: Calgary AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: WEGA 2 group Airy, Rancilio...
Grinder: Carimali M1, Nuova Simonelli...
Vac Pot: Cory gasketless
Drip: What's drip?
Roaster: Fratello ;)
Posted Wed Jun 19, 2013, 1:07am
Subject: Re: Rancilio S10 LE
 

If a mod wants to tell me that this is a waste of space and that there is likely no interest in this old lever restore, please let me know.  For now I am just putting up pics and info in case somebody else is looking at this type of machine in the future (though lets face it- there are not a lot of people out there looking for a 3 decade old two group lever to restore and place on their counter...)

Anyhow, the one group head was so full of scale from sitting that the spring would not compress.  The build-up had actually caused the cast aluminum spring housing to crack at the bottom and the spring is mostly corroded away (probably 1/4 of the original steel left in one part.)  I had to literally chisel out the scale to get the spring to compress and free it for removal.  The next step will be finding a welder who can braze this crappy cast aluminum.  I assume that it is possible.  If not I will be on the hunt for a scrap machine with a good part.

On a side note (in case you were reading my ramblings about the stainless boiler...) it appears to be plated.  Soaking it in acid will probably cause a loss of the plating.  I will just be polishing up the outside and trying to plug the holes to soak the inside.  There are some brass fittings in the boiler that are completely plugged (the Wega had the same problem and I really wonder why a cafe charging for their drinks do not invest a few $$$ in a maintenance program.)  All of the stainless came clean with a quick hit of an SOS pad and I will not be doing anymore to polish it up aside from a quick rub with polish. The owner kept the exterior polished up while letting the internals go.

I will be leaving the bottom of the rods and cleaning them as a unit followed by new gaskets.  The bottom pin will not come out no matter what I try (though I may still try my air chisel.  I am just worried about wrecking it and there is no real reason to completely disassemble it that I can see.)  

All things considered this is going smoothly and I would not hesitate to say that anybody who can find an old, cheap machine give this one a whirl.  They are simple and in many ways everything is kept to a minimum.  The electrical all came out attached (I only removed two wires for the front power light.)  Everything else is still attached as there was really only the switch, the P-stat, some little box in the corner with the mouse and... well, I will probably post pictures of the assembly in case there is somebody who needs a wiring diagram- it is simple.

It is nice to be able to take my time on this machine.  I get the feeling that parts will be a few weeks away when I finally put together the list and place the order...  The one shop in town (national) that I like was helpful looking up the fact that I can still buy parts online and offering friendly chat as usual despite the fact they were busy and I was there with questions on a nearly obsolete, ancient machine.  They do not stock anything for this machine (huge shock) but I like the shop.  

I did hit the shop that had originally sold the machine (you can see part of their logo in the pic of the panel) It is the third time that I have stopped there for various reasons and each time I have found the staff... indifferent at best.  Their only advice was that it may be cheaper for me to just buy a new machine and abandon this one.  Perhaps if I were serving 300 customers a day I would agree.  In this case I really want the vintage, cool lever.  Well, they have been in business forever (they were probably the shop that sold this decades old machine) so I assume they are probably better if you are a regular customer, a commercial coffee shop or are there with $5000 for a new machine- I just may have bad luck with them...  On the other hand, their logo is applied to the machine along with a now defunct service provider and finally a sticker from National.  I can pretty much trace the service provider of this machine from new to when it was mothballed and they seem to have agreed with my assessment...
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west77
Senior Member
west77
Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 49
Location: Calgary AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: WEGA 2 group Airy, Rancilio...
Grinder: Carimali M1, Nuova Simonelli...
Vac Pot: Cory gasketless
Drip: What's drip?
Roaster: Fratello ;)
Posted Wed Jun 19, 2013, 1:31am
Subject: Re: Rancilio S10 LE
 

double post... perhaps a place to put a pic in a future edit???
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CoffeeRon
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Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 753
Location: Eatonville, Wa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Wed Jun 19, 2013, 4:48am
Subject: Re: Rancilio S10 LE
 

west77 Said:

If a mod wants to tell me that this is a waste of space and that there is likely no interest in this old lever restore, please let me know.

Posted June 19, 2013 link

Threads like this come along every so often and there are a number of us who follow them with interest. Looks like you've got your work cut out for you! Please keep us posted, and don't hesitate to ask if you run across questions, there's usually someone around with an answer :)
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