snick45 Senior Member Joined: 3 Aug 2013 Posts: 2 Location: Prescott Valley Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Sat Aug 3, 2013, 10:18am Subject: Espresso Restoration Project
First off, I love the site and have been using many forums here for reference in my coffee endeavors. Now that I have a project to work on, I figured I would create and account, share it with you all, and see if anyone wants to pitch in any advice on what I'm doing. So here goes my first post!
I recently saw a Craigslist ad for espresso and restaurant equipment in a city not too far away from me, about 150 miles. I'm working towards starting a coffee shop and roastery relatively soon, so I am slowly trying to accumulate equipment at a cheap price through various sellers. So I called the guy up, asked him a few preliminaries about the machines, and decided that I was going to go take a look. So I jumped in my 95 Corolla and booked it up the mountain. Two hours later, I got to the guy's house and he showed me the equipment. The seller told me that he had closed a shop a few years ago and was just looking to get rid of the stuff.
So here is a list of the big items I bought:
- 1 Laurentis single group Model Number SME 1N, manufactured in 1994 (essentially an Astoria) - 1 La San Marco Gorizia two group (not sure model number) manufactured in 1994 (told me outright that the machine was broken, had it diagnosed as needing a heating element) - 2 La San Marco espresso grinders (I believe SM90) - 1 Rossi Espresso Grinder model RR45SPM
I got those five items along with various pieces to each machine, a conveyor belt toaster oven for bagels, and an electric chaffing dish... All for 500 dollars. I think it was quite a bargain, what do you guys think?
So I'm going to start working on cleaning and taking the machines apart if need be. I'm just interested in seeing how they work and get a better idea of how to fix them. Please feel free to give me any advice along the way, especially when it comes to the deep cleaning (What chemicals to use if I need to de-scale, de-lime, and de-calcify the parts). Also, here is a link to photos of all that I got (Be sure to indlude the "@N06" at the end):
Craigslist is a good place to look if you can take your time and wait for the good deals.
Everything for $500, not too bad, a bit close to retail IMHO for the work you need to do to clean things up and get them going again but not bad overall.
They are in rough condition as most well used commercial gear is. To clean the stuff up, a good disasembly will be required. Most of the SS parts can be cleaned with a stiff brush and dish soap uh just don't do that with stuff that has electric parts on it!
For the broken items, did the seller tell you what was wrong or is it a blind purchase? Make all the connections for water and proper electric wiring, then get brave and turn it on to see what the issues may be. It could be minor or you may be looking at a total rebuild.
Congrats on getting your dream started, business is a tough road to start on, it takes backing and a lot of work on your part but it can happen for you!
As you face different issues on the gear, let us know, we love to spend your money!
Kidding (not really) LOL!
In real life, my name is Wayne P.
Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
Buying such second hand items is a great savings in your part. Hope everything is working well. But anyway there is what we call as lucky purchase if it is doing well. Bear in mind that the greatest percentage of buying used items is more maintenance job. It will compensate anyway to the price of what you had paid to the previous owner which is much lower compared to buying a brand new one. Maybe you can make money out of those items to buy a new one soon.
To de-scale, de-lime or de-calcify the parts, you can use soap and cleanser since it can fight against lime scale that can be dissolved with acid for a complete removal. Be sure if you use vinegar or citric acid, it must have an appropriate acidity levels. Too high may damage the machine inner parts. You can have a ratio of 20 parts of water to one part acid.
Did you know...? Dark roast coffees actually have less caffeine than lighter roasts due to the fact that the process of roasting burns off caffeine. www.coffeeloversmag.com/theMagazine
I can't be alone here... How many of us have dreamed of one day owning a conveyor belt toaster oven for bagels. If I had one of those I probably would never leave the house! ;-)
Anyone here ever see the Sam Shepherd play, "The True West"? Remember the toast scene? I was fortunate enough to see it live, in a small theater off Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood. The two stars? Dennis and Randy Quaid playing the brothers in the play.
So the La San Marco two group machine, the seller told me that the machine needs a heating element. I'm currently debating whether I want to dive into fixing that machine (likely there are other problems) or resell it to another who would like to work on it.
I've gotten the Laurentis hooked up in my apartment and I've almost got it to work. However, I think that there is a pump issue. The machine heats up, the steam wand works, and the hot water wand works as well, but shots won't pull. In fact, I haven't gotten any water to come out of the head yet. When I hit a button to pull a shot, the machine clicks and recognizes that it has been hit, but nothing else happens. Any thoughts on that?
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