Conti Empress 2 Group - Restoration

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Conti Empress 2 Group - Restoration

Postby JankSolid » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:34 pm

I've been asked to bring this beautiful old lever machine back to life.

Image

It's in France at the moment but should be arriving here within the next few days.

It looks in nice condition externally for a 50+ year old.
We haven't seen inside it yet but hopefully that'll be as clean as the outside.

It's currently wired for 110V so I'll definitely be converting to 230V with a new element and wiring.

Also, one of the levers is broken. I'll either fix that myself or take it to a metal shop if needed.

Orphan Espresso have rebuilt a few of these and even have a few service parts in stock.
I expect to be consulting Doug and Barb on this one 8)

Here's a rear view complete with crest and Rexine upholstery...

Image
Last edited by JankSolid on Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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RE: COMING SOON: Conti Empress 2 Group - Restoration

Postby RobC » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:54 pm

Wow those lever handles are boss, that's gonna be a hell of a unique machine props!
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RE: COMING SOON: Conti Empress 2 Group - Restoration

Postby CakeBoy » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:02 am

Stunning. I love levers. Please keep the photos coming as it progresses :)
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RE: COMING SOON: Conti Empress 2 Group - Restoration

Postby lsjms » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:38 pm

Exciting, can't wait to see inside. It looks so shiny, like it will be plug and play.

The broken lever may point to a nastily stuck piston or perhaps it took a hit. The 110v is interesting, a tour of the USA? maybe run on a site generator? the hole at the front suggests it was gas originally.

With this and Lukas new toy I have some serious coffee envy going on this week :lol:
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RE: COMING SOON: Conti Empress 2 Group - Restoration

Postby bruceb » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:03 pm

Very nice! I hope you will take some pictures of the rebuilding process. I would like to see the construction of the lever/grouphead mechanics. I had a single-group Conti with the same kind of lever handle, similar to the one in the picture below, but it was too far gone for my mechanical capabilities at the time. :(
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Conti_01a.jpg
Old Conti lever machine
Conti_01a.jpg (16.02 KiB) Viewed 5700 times
Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
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RE: COMING SOON: Conti Empress 2 Group - Restoration

Postby CakeBoy » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:25 am

Oh Bruce, that was stunning. How long ago did you have it?
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Re: RE: COMING SOON: Conti Empress 2 Group - Restoration

Postby bruceb » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:24 am

CakeBoy wrote:Oh Bruce, that was stunning. How long ago did you have it?


Hi Cakey! I think it was in 2003. I got it very inexpensively and resold it for little money to a machinist friend who was moving to the States. I believe he spent nearly 2 years working on it, but I never heard whether he finally finished it. The lever assembly was frozen (corroded) solid and the heater was burned through. I didn't have the time or facilities to give it the care it needed.
Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
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RE: Re: RE: COMING SOON: Conti Empress 2 Group - Restoration

Postby DrTom » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:47 pm

Wow, there's some beautiful machines in this thread.

Super excited to see the progress :)
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Postby JankSolid » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:52 pm

Just got time to say that The Empress has arrived!

Had a good look round it today and it's dirty inside but in pretty good condition.

And it's all there. Including the mercury switched bellows pressurestat which is just amazing and looks like a part of a Jules Verne time machine.

Image

Image

Then lsjms came over and we took one of the groups apart...
Last edited by JankSolid on Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby bruceb » Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:39 pm

Looks very challenging! Have fun.

Before you plug it in, however, make sure it really isn't a Jules Verne time machine! :shock:
Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
Image
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Postby dwalsh1 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:26 pm

Cant see no picture Mr JankSolid ?
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Postby bruceb » Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:27 pm

dwalsh1 wrote:Cant see no picture Mr JankSolid ?


The pictures show up fine on my computers. Do you generally have trouble seeing pictures on this site? Did you wait long enough for them to appear? On my slow satellite connection they take a bit to appear. If you continue having problems send me a PM and we'll try to work it out.
Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
Image
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Postby dwalsh1 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:09 pm

This machine I believe sold on e bay a couple of weeks ago for £250 (the only bid). My son offered a buy it now price for £500 and they accepted. I told him it was to big a task to take on and to back off. Funny enough I also told him that JankSolid restored them and if he went ahead with the sale to contact him. I'm interested to see the finished job.
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Postby lsjms » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:28 pm

I too am not seeing the photos - by Jank, can see the one Bruce posted, last time I saw this thread I could see Janks too. Odd. I take this as further confirmation of the Jules Verne theory.

This is a cool machine, the groups are nice and simple but no CMA, newish looking gaskets and pristine spring. The large amount of revolting, smelly black gear grease packed around the piston and spring probably helped this and the cylinder is probably in good order. I say probably because normally you would stick your fingers in and feel how smooth the bore is but in this case the grease just put us off. Jank will update.

Mr Walsh, if your son paid the 500 and gave Jank perhaps a 1000 more he would have got a historic bargain that could be flipped for a price I do not know. A two group duel fuel lever of any origin goes for decent money and this is cool as anything.

The 1000 I mentioned above for parts and labour is meaningless, I would hate to quote on this job. If all those bolts on the boiler just come out under the spanner Jank could be in for a fun time, but if they snap this will go epic. The broken lever arm will not be easy either unless sacrifices are made. The owner has some decisions to make regarding cost/originality/ outright performance which will affect the difficulty of the job. I'm sure Jank will show us the lot.
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Postby bruceb » Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:02 pm

OK, Jank's pictures are linked to an external server and that server is presently down. I presume that will be fixed and the pictures will then return. There's nothing we can do about the problem here, I'm afraid. :(
Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
Image
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