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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    18

    Custom Build Faema Eurostar Family Professional

    As some of you know from another topic I opened in this section, around July 19th the 12V transformer inside the Gicar box on my Fiorenzato Colombina died, providing the right conditions for a PID upgrade. However, since the extent of my knowledge on the topic was close to 0, and ordering components online takes time, I had to find a temporary replacement for my morning expresso...


    P.S. truth be told, it was quite frustrating to diagnose the issue on the Colombina, and even approaching the PID upgrade felt quite overwhelming since its almost impossible to find reliable information on this machine. So I turned to shopping online just to feel better


    I stumbled upon this beaten up Faema Eurostar Family Professional (year 2010 I believe), it came with 2 commercial portafilers, and an Espro flat tamper. At the requested price point, I had to get it.











    Upon inspection the wiring seemed ok, so I gave it a deep clean, plugged it in, and tested it with some old grounds just to understand its operational condition:








    Since it was working fine, didn't overheat, and all the components checked positive for continuity, I disassembled it entirely, and decided to savage the old steel case and give it a modern spin (by the way I love the way it turned out after a few iterations )





    After marking the panels where I wanted to cut, I tried to round the edges of the sheet metal as best I could.














    I had some 3M Carbon Fiber look vinyl wrap laying around, and I thought it was the best way to cover the casing without having to polish or paint the panels. Its also quite stronger than any paint layer I can apply at home, so I wrapped it:








    Meanwhile the base of the machine with all the functioning components was put together in this inexplicable form, using 3/4" iron pipes just to hold it up and figure out the next steps...








    In this setup I was able to test it better: I properly setup the brew pressure via the opv adjustment screw, and tried a few flush routines to get a somewhat consistent brew temperature. It turns out that waiting 45 seconds after the boiler light goes off, and flushing 1.5 Oz of water is the sweet spot for the blend I am using at the moment. So many good shots, I am still mind blown for its cost/effectiveness ratio


    Next I drilled 4 holes in the base to accommodate the wooden furniture feet I picked up from a previous scrap project I made.
    Then after assembling the top, I made a wooden knob to activate the steam valve.





















  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    18
    At this point I wanted to fit a pressure gauge (just because ) so after trying different configurations, endless brass fittings, and the process of understanding threads and standards (once again, I knew nothing related to hydraulics and/or electronics) I opted for removing the steam arm (I never use the steam function, ever), turning the brass valve 180 degrees, extending the control arm to the back of the machine, place the manometer right through the hole for the steam knob, and put a water spout under the machine to relieve pressure to the gauge, and dispense hot water if needed.











    And onto the current setup:

















    This gave me a chance to unwrap the case (the vinyl got scratched during the working process, as I took it apart and put it back together almost daily for a few weeks ) and cut the steel edges better, also removing some useless folds. The I proceeded to wrap it again, better this time, knowing the mistakes I made in the first attempt.





    More to come in the next post.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    18
    So here you can see the very diy water valve coming out of the back of the machine. I keep the valve just slightly open so that the manometer can act as a brew pressure gauge without getting a full blast stream of pressured water which would make it flicker like crazy (that's why a proper installation requires a small diameter tube that restricts the flow, but I wanted to keep the process as low cost as possible). If I want hot water, I just open the red lever at the bottom, and fully unscrew the water valve in the back.





    In the picture you can see the cleaned and re-cut edges of the side panels, that are now symmetrical and flatter. At that time I hade a piece of cardboard to take some measures for a back panel finish. I think I'll get a thick (5mm ?) sheet of leather, 8.25" by 6" and pull it on 4 mounting points that I will screw in the posterior folds of the side panels, but I have no rush for it at the moment.


    And here is the finished machine for now, fitted with one of the portafilter that came with it, where I removed the plastic m12 handle and fitted a burnt polished steel shift knob (for the import car enthusiasts, its a Skunk2 meant for a Honda S2000 manual shifter).








    I love this thing.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    405
    Impressive!
    Just a couple suggestions: the carbon fiber may need some clear coat/varnish to make it more professional looking. Also the stand can be square shaped (you can cut from steel/aluminum square tubing) even at the corners with the body, also add a plate on the bottom to make everything more uniform looking. The plate can also make everything more stable so you don't have to hold the legs when making coffee. Then cover everything with carbon fiber before clear coat.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    18
    Thank you for the suggestions, I'll keep those in mind.
    I thought about creating a base, but I feel it would make the whole look much heavier. I like this almost suspended square design, and the contrast between the wood and the pseudo carbon fiber.

    With regards to the clear coat, if I was dealing with actual carbon fiber, then yes I would definitely clear coat it. But being adhesive vinyl, the clear coat would just add an unnecessary messy layer imho

 

 

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