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Restoring my new Old white Coffee Gaggia
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iko
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2013
Posts: 58
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Sep 4, 2013, 7:19am
Subject: Restoring my new Old white Coffee Gaggia
 

Just joined the forum, my first post here. Read all the posts regarding the old white Coffee Gaggia. I got one second hand, in dire need of restoration.

First, I took apart the boiler and found unwanted stuff inside. A picture is attached.

Cleaned it on the inside as well as I could, put it back together.

Then I attached a pressure gauge, turns out the OPV was set to bypass at about 13 bar. No wonder I couldn't get anything resembling to a good coffee out of it. Adjusted the OPV to about 9 bar.

The last modification I did was the dispersion mechanism. The hole in the puck was definitely unwanted, so I managed to find some stainless sheet metal and cut a disk, drilled some holes and inserted it in between the head and the shower screen. Now the water gets dispersed evenly.

Ordered a PID from China and I intend to install that for better temperature control. Probably will also install a dimmer on the pump, to regulate the pressure via the dimmer instead of the OPV.

Will put more pictures and update the thread in time.

Oh yes, and I did try to join the yahoo Gaggia group... got rejected. Have no idea why.

iko: DSC00149-001.JPG
(Click for larger image)
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iko
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2013
Posts: 58
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Sep 4, 2013, 12:58pm
Subject: Re: Restoring my new Old white Coffee Gaggia
 

Here's the boiler before cleaning.

iko: DSC00148-002.JPG
(Click for larger image)
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iko
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2013
Posts: 58
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Sep 4, 2013, 1:02pm
Subject: Re: Restoring my new Old white Coffee Gaggia
 

Aluminium part of the boiler after cleaning. Notice the pitting where it joins to the brass base.

iko: DSC00152-001.JPG
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iko
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2013
Posts: 58
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Sep 4, 2013, 1:03pm
Subject: Re: Restoring my new Old white Coffee Gaggia
 

And the brass part of the boiler, after cleaning.

iko: DSC00153-001.JPG
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,015
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Wed Sep 4, 2013, 9:48pm
Subject: Re: Restoring my new Old white Coffee Gaggia
 

Iko, welcome to CG.  Nice find and clean up on OWC.  There are still several Gaggia users here, not all on Yahoo.  You can add to the knowledge base here.

Why the dimmer since you have set the pressure?  Are you planning on pressure profiling?

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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fluke
Senior Member
fluke
Joined: 11 Jan 2011
Posts: 25
Location: Santa Cruz CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Elegance 2 group,...
Grinder: SJ, RR45, Zip
Vac Pot: aeropress
Drip: toddy
Roaster: KKTO inspired
Posted Thu Sep 5, 2013, 1:05am
Subject: Re: Restoring my new Old white Coffee Gaggia
 

"Oh yes, and I did try to join the yahoo Gaggia group... got rejected. Have no idea why."

they can be finicky over there, but should have sent an followup email indicating some common auto-rejects. I think mine was not actually saying I owned a gaggia in the comment submission. Personally I can't stand yahoo groups, but there is a lot of useful information over there.



Your owc boiler didn't look nearly as bad as my machine. I ended up selling the salvageable parts to a guy back east for spares after I realized the OWC was pretty well toasted (literally, the harness was pretty crispy) and I had several of the newer boiler styles sitting on the bench already. The larger boiler is interesting, and I debated building a franken-machine for a while...

on the bench Click Here (tibfibphoto.zenfolio.com)
OWC boiler http://tibfibphoto.zenfolio.com/img/s9/v88/p1810850024-3.jpg
lots (perhaps a heaping tablespoon) of loose scale floating around Click Here (tibfibphoto.zenfolio.com)
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iko
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2013
Posts: 58
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Sep 5, 2013, 6:47am
Subject: Re: Restoring my new Old white Coffee Gaggia
 

D4F Said:

Iko, welcome to CG.  Nice find and clean up on OWC.  There are still several Gaggia users here, not all on Yahoo.  You can add to the knowledge base here.

Why the dimmer since you have set the pressure?  Are you planning on pressure profiling?

Posted September 4, 2013 link

Thanks!

Well, considering that there's quite a big difference between 13 bar and 9 bar, while pulling a shot the OVP will let quite a bit of hot water out of the boiler. I figure it'd be better to use the dimmer to set the pressure, not lose any hot water, hence better temperature stability. Plus it'd give me the option of pressure profiling, which does sound interesting to experiment with. Will try to get a dimmer today, maybe a rheostat in the future.

Will continue posting here what I do, could be useful one day for other people, as the forum has helped me this last week with my mods.
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iko
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2013
Posts: 58
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Sep 5, 2013, 6:58am
Subject: Re: Restoring my new Old white Coffee Gaggia
 

fluke Said:

they can be finicky over there, but should have sent an followup email indicating some common auto-rejects. I think mine was not actually saying I owned a gaggia in the comment submission. Personally I can't stand yahoo groups, but there is a lot of useful information over there.

Your owc boiler didn't look nearly as bad as my machine. I ended up selling the salvageable parts to a guy back east for spares after I realized the OWC was pretty well toasted (literally, the harness was pretty crispy) and I had several of the newer boiler styles sitting on the bench already. The larger boiler is interesting, and I debated building a franken-machine for a while...

on the bench Click Here (tibfibphoto.zenfolio.com)
OWC boiler http://tibfibphoto.zenfolio.com/img/s9/v88/p1810850024-3.jpg
lots (perhaps a heaping tablespoon) of loose scale floating around Click Here (tibfibphoto.zenfolio.com)

Posted September 5, 2013 link

I was really trying to get more info about this old machine so I could understand better how I could improve it, and figured the yahoo group would have that. I'm not losing any sleep over it, since I'm pretty clear now what I need to do to make this old thing work pretty good, and found pretty much everything here on CG.

Oh, that much loose scale... wow! :)) Yeah, looks like these machines must be open and cleaned once in a while no matter what. Thankfully they're a breeze to work on.
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SJM
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 1,719
Location: CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: SAMA (2), Maximatic, Cremina...
Grinder: K-10PB, Rancilio MD-50
Vac Pot: no like
Drip: no like
Roaster: HotTop   Huky en route
Posted Fri Sep 6, 2013, 3:16pm
Subject: Re: Restoring my new Old white Coffee Gaggia
 

Just so you know, and as Fluke mentioned, all rejections of GUG applications for membership are accompanied by a message which explains the usual reasons.  The most common reason is not supplying a verifiable email address.  In any case, although it is true that Yahoo Groups are much maligned, and probably for good reason, we do try to keep as much information as possible about as many Gaggias as possible and to help troubleshoot issues that Gaggia owners have.

We have quite a number of members who have or have had the FOWC (F***** Old White Coffee)  -- gee, I assume we are talking about the Old White Coffee with the Steam Knob on the Front -- and would be glad to be given another chance to be useful or helpful.

It is a Gaggia which occupies a very special niche in Gaggia's repertoire.  It has some wonderful and some truly objectionable features (like a unique boiler which cannot be replaced unless you find a spare OWC).

'Nuf sed.

Susan
finicky Gaggia Group co-Owner
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iko
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Aug 2013
Posts: 58
Location: Toronto
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Sep 7, 2013, 12:25pm
Subject: Re: Restoring my new Old white Coffee Gaggia
 

Yes, thanks Susan, I'll send a request again. I think the reply said that I didn't mention which model Gaggia I had... but I thought I did.

Anyway, I continued with the mods. A friend of mine happened to have some thin stainless steel, and he gave me enough to make a new insert for the brew head. Came up with a pattern of holes such that the brew water comes out more evenly and indeed, the coffee puck comes out nice and uniform. This is definitely a must mod.

Tried two different methods of pressure profiling. One with a cheap dimmer from Home Hardware, in series with the pump. It does work. Even when the pump is barely audible, it will keep up the pressure. Easy to play with the pressure between 4 and 9 bar, easy to do a pre-infusion too.

The second method was to insert a tee and then a needle valve between the pump and boiler. the needle valve letting some of the pumped water back to the water tank, in effect decreasing the pressure. It certainly worked well, being able to adjust the pressure anywhere between a few bars to max, while the pump goes all the time at full speed. What I didn't like about it is that it's kinda difficult to fit all the hoses inside the machine. Between the pump and boiler now I have two tees. From the first tee a connection is made to the needle valve which continues to the water tank. From the second tee a connection to the pressure gauge is made. Right now all is connected via plastic tubing, but I got copper tubing for when the experimentation is done and will close up the machine.

All in all I like this old thing and the coffee is able to make. Not able to get the milk frothed too good... must think of a mod for that. The steam seems kinda wet...

P.S. Oh yeah, I forgot. These items got my attention. A 12V quiet pump and a PWM controller. The pump claims 10bar of pressure, but I don't believe that. Still... interesting, and not outrageously expensive.

Click Here (www.ebay.ca)

Click Here (www.ebay.ca)
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