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KenKlaser
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Joined: 1 Jul 2002
Posts: 4
Location: San Diego County, California, USA
Expertise: Intermediate

Espresso: Krups 964 pump
Grinder: Braun KM 30
Vac Pot: -------
Drip: Cuisinart Brew Central
Roaster: --------
Posted Thu Jul 4, 2002, 8:34am
Subject: Solis Maestro Grinder
 

There is a detailed review of the Solis Maestro on this site, where the author has some pictures showing how the blades have about 1 MM of "slop."
http://www.coffeegeek.com/detailed/solismaestro/detailedpt1
In reading the review, I interpret the author as probably stating that this is because the teeth are supported by plastic.

If someone had a "mini-lathe" and a "poor mans milling machine," (I do) and knew how to use them, would it be possible to machine new metal parts to replace the bushings and plastic parts that cause the slop in the burr support that the author writes of?
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jim_schulman
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jim_schulman
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,772
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Thu Jul 4, 2002, 10:39am
Subject: Re: Solis Maestro Grinder
 

KenKlaser Said:

There is a detailed review of the Solis Maestro on this site, where the author has some pictures showing how the blades have about 1 MM of "slop."
http://www.coffeegeek.com/detailed/solismaestro/detailedpt1
In reading the review, I interpret the author as probably stating that this is because the teeth are supported by plastic.

If someone had a "mini-lathe" and a "poor mans milling machine," (I do) and knew how to use them, would it be possible to machine new metal parts to replace the bushings and plastic parts that cause the slop in the burr support that the author writes of?

Posted July 4, 2002 link

It probably can be done, but if you did, you may get stress fractures in the surrounding plastic case.

The Solis burr carrier is not just plastic, but soft plastic. My guess is that it acts as a shock absorber, since the whole assembly is carried by the grinder's hard plastic shell.

At one step up, The Innova conical has a thick resin mount anchored to a base metal frame, this is stiffer, but still absorbs shocks. Next step up, commercial grinders have brass burr mounts anchored to steel. Even here, the softer brass may act as a shock absorber. In each case, the mount is a little softer than the carrying frame. I think this may be a construction must.

I'm not at all sure about this, but the odd way all grinders mount their burrs must mean something.

 
Jim Schulman
www.coffeecuppers.com
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KenKlaser
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jul 2002
Posts: 4
Location: San Diego County, California, USA
Expertise: Intermediate

Espresso: Krups 964 pump
Grinder: Braun KM 30
Vac Pot: -------
Drip: Cuisinart Brew Central
Roaster: --------
Posted Thu Jul 4, 2002, 11:33am
Subject: Re: Solis Maestro Grinder
 

another_jim Said:

It probably can be done, but if you did, you may get stress fractures in the surrounding plastic case.

The Solis burr carrier is not just plastic, but soft plastic. My guess is that it acts as a shock absorber, since the whole assembly is carried by the grinder's hard plastic shell.

I not sure what you mean by 'carrier', but I'm assuming it's the part that contains the burrs and holds them to the motor top. In the review referred to as "the bulky white housing" below the picture of the grinder with the outer case removed. My guess is that in addition to shock absorption, certain blends of plastic also act with anti-friction characteristics.

At one step up, The Innova conical has a thick resin mount anchored to a base metal frame, this is stiffer, but still absorbs shocks. Next step up, commercial grinders have brass burr mounts anchored to steel. Even here, the softer brass may act as a shock absorber.

In each case, the mount is a little softer than the carrying frame. I think this may be a construction must.

I'm not at all sure about this, but the odd way all grinders mount their burrs must mean something.

Posted July 4, 2002 link


Thanks for your information, Jim. The reason the Maestro stood out for me, was the reviewer's conclusion that it is an excellent choice as a multi-purpose machine.  I rarely drink expresso, and instead just use a drip machine, but every once in a while, I fire the expresso machine up, mostly to blend with a cup of regular drip coffee.  But perhaps this is because my grinder and machine combination is not of professional enough quality.  (Braun KM30, Krups household type 964 pump machine--at the time, the only 'burr' grinder and 'pump' machine I could find)  I've never been very happy with the taste of the brew achieved, at least in comparison to what I can buy at the local expresso bar.  It seems that a good first step in upgrading the equipment might be to buy a excellent quality multipurpose grinding machine.  I doubt that I want to make room for two grinders.
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jim_schulman
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jim_schulman
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,772
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Thu Jul 4, 2002, 12:37pm
Subject: Re: Solis Maestro Grinder
 

KenKlaser Said:

My guess is that in addition to shock absorption, certain blends of plastic also act with certain anti-friction characteristics.


The reason the Maestro stood out for me, was the reviewers conclusion that it is an excellent choice as a multi-purpose machine.  I rarely drink expresso, and instead just use a drip machine, but every once in a while, I fire the expresso up, mostly to blend with a cup of regular drip coffee.  But perhaps this is because my grinder/expresso machine combination is not of professional enough quality.  (braun KM30, Krups household type 964 pump machine)  I've never been very happy with the taste of the brew achieved, at least in comparison to what I can buy at the local expresso bar.  It seems that a good first step in upgrading the equipment might be to buy a really good but multipurpose grinding machine.

Posted July 4, 2002 link

I used the older Mulino for everything, and it worked great. The Maestro is quieter and has better gearing, so it's the complete standout for multipurpose grinding. At Intelligentsia, they use it as their cupping grinder despite having several Mazer and LM grinders standing around.

 
Jim Schulman
www.coffeecuppers.com
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CraigA
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CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,242
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Thu Jul 4, 2002, 12:45pm
Subject: Re: Solis Maestro Grinder
 

KenKlaser Said:

My guess is that in addition to shock absorption, certain blends of plastic also act with certain anti-friction characteristics.



Brass is often used as a bushing material, (I'm not trained in metallurgy) because it also has anti-friction characteristics.  In fact, I was at a metal store recently and there's a particular 'blend' of brass that was called 'bushing brass'.  This type of brass I've been told has 'oils' impregnated into it, but that's a layman's description, not a metallurgists one.







It might just mean that all grinders are market priced (priced deliberately so that as you pay more, you get certain features that are lacking in the less expensive ones) instead of being priced upon cost of production.  OTOH, plastic is very cheap for manufacturers who are going to make 15,000 or more machines, since the primary cost of plastic is the cost of the injection mold.

The reason the Maestro stood out for me, was the reviewers conclusion that it is an excellent choice as a multi-purpose machine.  I rarely drink expresso, and instead just use a drip machine, but every once in a while, I fire the expresso up, mostly to blend with a cup of regular drip coffee.  But perhaps this is because my grinder/expresso machine combination is not of professional enough quality.  (braun KM30, Krups household type 964 pump machine)  I've never been very happy with the taste of the brew achieved, at least in comparison to what I can buy at the local expresso bar.  It seems that a good first step in upgrading the equipment might be to buy a really good but multipurpose grinding machine.  I doubt that I want to make room for two grinders, ever.

The Innova looks really good from the review of it I scanned, but the grind holder appears to not be very good for capturing the grinds and then transferring them to a drip pot--which appears to be an issue with all the higher quality expresso type grinders.  Perhaps this assumption of mine is wrong.

Posted July 4, 2002 link

Hi KenKlaser,Jim  Slightly OT,but it applies. I was thinking these graphite impregnated bronze bushings (self lubricating) would have been great for the discontinued HWP! If Hearthware did their homework properly in R&D to begin with, & for a few cents more in the cost of a per unit roaster (peanuts to a big company like Hearthware), their reliability problems would have been zero. The money put out in replacement costs,returned units,new motors,replacing whole bases,etc... It's called planned obsolescence,they're not interested in designing a roaster to last forever. They'ed be out of business! Buy a new one,if you're lucky,every year or two,(but we shouldn't have to!) keeps them in business. My Proctor Silex Popcorn Pumper is 19 yrs old & works like a charm,nary a complaint out of it!! Here's a link to the bushings.click here Cheers!!

 
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KenKlaser
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jul 2002
Posts: 4
Location: San Diego County, California, USA
Expertise: Intermediate

Espresso: Krups 964 pump
Grinder: Braun KM 30
Vac Pot: -------
Drip: Cuisinart Brew Central
Roaster: --------
Posted Thu Jul 4, 2002, 3:27pm
Subject: Re: Solis Maestro Grinder
 

CraigA Said:

Hi KenKlaser,Jim  Slightly OT,but it applies. I was thinking these graphite impregnated bronze bushings (self lubricating) would have been great for the discontinued HWP! If Hearthware did their homework properly in R&D to begin with, & for a few cents more in the cost of a per unit roaster (peanuts to a big company like Hearthware), their reliability problems would have been zero. The money put out in replacement costs,returned units,new motors,replacing whole bases,etc... It's called planned obsolescence,they're not interested in designing a roaster to last forever. They'ed be out of business! Buy a new one,if you're lucky,every year or two,keeps them in business. Here's a link to the bushings.click here Cheers!!

Posted July 4, 2002 link

Haha Craig!  You caught my posting before it was edited! (I'm an editing freak) Actually, I like that posting better, anyway.

I like those graphite impregnated brasses--graphite is very non-toxic since it's basically carbon. I would think bronze might also be good bushing material for a grinder.  Both of them should be able to withstand very high loading and temperatures, and the lack of elasticity should provide accurate control of blade distance from each other.  

It appears there is one other consideration: that would be the heat carrying capacity of the bushing and casing.  Plastic is an insulator, so it would inhibit the flow of energy (heat) away from the blades and bean.  

Would that improve the grind?

Here's a link to some more information.
Ken
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CraigA
Moderator
CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,242
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Thu Jul 4, 2002, 5:16pm
Subject: Re: Solis Maestro Grinder
 

KenKlaser Said:

Haha Craig!  You caught my posting before it was edited! (I'm an editing freak) Actually, I like that posting better, anyway.


 


I like those graphite impregnated brasses--graphite is very non-toxic since it's basically carbon. I would think bronze might also be good bushing material for a grinder.  Both of them should be able to withstand very high loading and temperatures, and the lack of elasticity should provide accurate control of blade distance from each other.  

It appears there is one other consideration: that would be the heat carrying capacity of the bushing and casing.  Plastic is an insulator, so it would inhibit the flow of energy (heat) away from the blades and bean.  

Would that improve the grind?

Here's a link to some more information.
Ken

Posted July 4, 2002 link

I wondered what the gaps in your paragraphs were for!! Hehe      Great link Ken!
I think the more heat you can draw away from the burrs,the better. Take Rocky for example,by keeping these flat parallel burrs cool,as in low RPM's,I think Rocky's is 1,200 or 1,500 rpm, you preserve aromatic volatiles in the coffee granules instead of realeasing the aromatics into the air. But it sure smells great though! Like you're saying, a plastic,nylon,whatever type of plastic burr carrier inhibits the flow (wicking)of generated heat away from the cutting burrs. With the Inny conical,it's a brass & aluminum carrier & the RPM's are,I believe 800. They say the conical grinders edge out burr grinders for this very reason. With Rocky the burrs life expectancy is around 600-800 lbs. The conical is around 1,200 lbs... Cheers Ken! {;-)

 
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CraigA
Moderator
CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,242
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Thu Jul 4, 2002, 6:05pm
Subject: Re: Solis Maestro Grinder
 

Ken, Your first posting,when you were mentioning a mini lathe & a "poor man's milling machine",I'm thinking seriously about getting one, maybe the Ultimate Machine Shop Upgrade Package.  You can even CNC it!! I'm thinking about custom aluminum,stainless steel  tampers,maybe I'll give Reg a run for his money,how's $25 sound?,custom wood handles $40,not $60! I'm getting carried away...I just might do it!! I've got the Sherline Products Catalog,Miniature machine tools and accessories. Here's the link click here.
{:-D

 
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KenKlaser
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jul 2002
Posts: 4
Location: San Diego County, California, USA
Expertise: Intermediate

Espresso: Krups 964 pump
Grinder: Braun KM 30
Vac Pot: -------
Drip: Cuisinart Brew Central
Roaster: --------
Posted Fri Jul 5, 2002, 12:03pm
Subject: Re: Solis Maestro Grinder
 

CraigA Said:

Ken, Your first posting,when you were mentioning a mini lathe & a "poor man's milling machine",I'm thinking seriously about getting one, maybe the Ultimate Machine Shop Upgrade Package  You can even CNC it!! I'm thinking about custom aluminum,stainless steel  tampers,maybe I'll give Reg a run for his money,how's $25 sound?,custom wood handles $40,not $60! I'm getting carried away...I just might do it!! I've got the Sherline Products Catalog,Miniature machine tools and accessories. Here's the link click here {:-D

Posted July 4, 2002 link

Hey Craig; some of this is OT, but not all. First, who's Reg? And, thanks for the link to Sherline, I wasn't aware of that company, I added it to my favorites in the "tools" section.

The poor mans milling machine I wrote of is truly for a poor man, like me!  It's a full size drill press, with a four-way machinist's vise.   I've been thinking of buying a larger one, which I could use on projects such as automotive engine blocks ... but that's a bit OT, and is another passion of mine--excess horsepower.  

One thing I've found is that stainless steel is very difficult to work with, it requires very hard machining bits. Those bits are expensive and hard to find, since they're not generally considered to be consumer oriented. You'll really need cobalt drill bits, just to drill it. Aluminum is very easy to machine, as is brass, copper, and bronze. Even the lower grades of steel aren't too difficult, at least until you start getting into the exotic steel alloys such as tool steel.  

We might just have to end up building our own coffegrinder, since the manufactures keep taking all these "shortcuts" in materials that result in compromises in functionality and/or reliability!  That said, it still might be a good idea to start with a machine, such as the Maestro, then modify its few weak points.  That would be a LOT less development work, than starting from scratch.  And many people won't mind the plastic, because that's part of the noise reduction of the machine.

The low weight of the machine could be "fixed" with metal "shot" (copper coated steel BB's) or some other fairly heavy material could be placed inside the machine and epoxied in places where there's room, as near the base as possible.  Looking at the picture, it appears there's a fairly large area next to the motor that's dead space.  However, that space gives air volume some room to circulate next to the motor.   And some people won't like a heavy machine....

A foundry might be handy to have, as one could be used to "pour" a nice brass carrier. Here's how to build a small foundry.  I like the idea of a steel base for the carrier--Jim said the best machines are designed with brass and steel, and that makes sense to me. I've heard it's often easier to cast the piece that's close to the shape you want, then do the required finish machining: rather than trying to machine the entire piece, even though that can be done, as well.

A CNC machine would be very nice, you could churn out upgraded parts for these consumer machines, and then sell them to people like me!  

Ken
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CraigA
Moderator
CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,242
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Fri Jul 5, 2002, 12:42pm
Subject: Re: Solis Maestro Grinder
 

KenKlaser Said:

Hey Craig; some of this is OT, but not all. First, who's Reg? And, thanks for the link to Sherline, I wasn't aware of that company, I added it to my favorites in the "tools" section.

The poor mans milling machine I wrote of is truly for a poor man, like me!  It's a full size drill press, with a four-way machinist's vise.   I've been thinking of buying a larger one, which I could use on projects such as automotive engine blocks ... but that's a bit OT, and is another passion of mine--excess horsepower.  

One thing I've found is that stainless steel is very difficult to work with, it requires very hard machining bits. Those bits are expensive and hard to find, since they're not generally considered to be consumer oriented. You'll really need cobalt drill bits, just to drill it. Aluminum is very easy to machine, as is brass, copper, and bronze. Even the lower grades of steel aren't too difficult, at least until you start getting into the exotic steel alloys such as tool steel.  

We might just have to end up building our own coffegrinder, since the manufactures keep taking all these "shortcuts" in materials that result in compromises in functionality and/or reliability!  That said, it still might be a good idea to start with a machine, such as the Maestro, then modify its few weak points.  That would be a LOT less development work, than starting from scratch.  And many people won't mind the plastic, because that's part of the noise reduction of the machine.

The low weight of the machine could be "fixed" with metal "shot" (copper coated steel BB's) or some other fairly heavy material could be placed inside the machine and epoxied in places where there's room, as near the base as possible.  Looking at the picture, it appears there's a fairly large area next to the motor that's dead space.  However, that space gives air volume some room to circulate next to the motor.   And some people won't like a heavy machine....

A foundry might be handy to have, as one could be used to "pour" a nice brass carrier. Here's how to build a small foundry.  I like the idea of a steel base for the carrier--Jim said the best machines are designed with brass and steel, and that makes sense to me. I've heard it's often easier to cast the piece that's close to the shape you want, then do the required finish machining: rather than trying to machine the entire piece, even though that can be done, as well.

A CNC machine would be very nice, you could churn out upgraded parts for these consumer machines, and then sell them to people like me!  

Ken

Posted July 5, 2002 link

Ken,  Reg Barber makes the best custom coffee tampers in the world,they're works of art,beautiful,form follows function & all that. A serious barrista's tool of the trade! click here Ken!,another great link,thanks. Sherline has tungsten carbide turning bits, not a problem. The drill bits,I hear ya, HSS,Titanium coated,Cobalt,Cobalt Penetrated(they look yellowish purple bluegreen!),Zirconium(super-hard Nitride coating).

 
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