Building a grinder

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Building a grinder

Postby kingseven » Sun May 29, 2005 1:48 pm

I've been reading a lot lately on various boards and blogs about people's gripes and moans with grinders.

They seem to have a lot of potential solutions which made me wonder - how hard would it be to build a grinder. They seem relatively simple things - you could just steal the bits you wanted from various different ones and make alterations in problem areas as you saw fit.

I have no idea how difficult this would be, and I'd be curious to have a little go.

Any ideas of some good places to start reading up on this sort of thing?
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Postby Latte-michel » Sun May 29, 2005 2:12 pm

the best thing is to put the parts of grinders wish you like together. Kees v.d. westen has made to a mazzer jolly a voetpedal to it so you have both hands free to dose the koffie when you are grinding it. for a picture you visit www.dutchbarista.blogspot.com
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Postby Raf » Sun May 29, 2005 4:54 pm

I believe the guy from Versalab had the right ideas about various grinder issues - his grinder is a steal at 950 € or thereabouts. www.versalab.com
This week I am eagerly anticipating the first god shots from my La Spaziale machine....

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Postby Gouezeri » Sun May 29, 2005 5:39 pm

Raf, it just looks like an old fashioned steam toy! (probably works well though).
KS,
Regarding design features, I presume you've already checked out all the comments here on vertical feeds, dosers (for measuring, not storing), hoppers etc?
The versalab grinder shows (for a hefty price) that in most cases you can strip a grinder down to a bare minimum and concentrate purely on functionality. The most complicated design feature (IMHO) is simply ensuring that a maximum amount of grounds reach the pf; so grinding per shot means that you really are using the most fresh coffee possible.

Oh, and you do know you'll need a mallet to undertake it all? ;-)
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Postby Jo2 » Sun May 29, 2005 8:16 pm

Oh, and you do know you'll need a mallet to undertake it all?


Sorry to deviate from the thread a little bit, but i have seen the word "mallet" in a number of posts lately and i can't seem to find the translation... :oops: Can anyone please explain?
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Postby Gouezeri » Sun May 29, 2005 9:07 pm

Jo2,
Sorry, my fault. I very much doubt you'll find any reference to mallets on any other coffee site... one of the little unique features of TMC (it's RobC implement of dilection).
If my dictionaries here are correct, in Dutch it's a "houten hamer" which sounds about right, because a mallet is a "wooden hammer." The English originally comes from French though, a "maillet"... Now if this was that other thread on over cooked steaks I might be tempted to point out that our cousins on the other side of the "sleeve" (;-)) have had a terrible effect on our native language and that we had better find our own more unique word for this, as a means of stating our identity and independence... et prout! ;-) That said, I just learnt that a "grinder" on the other side of the Atlantic is another word for both a submarine and a large sandwich... and you lot were saying that we had become a little US...
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Postby Jo2 » Mon May 30, 2005 6:35 pm

Thanx for the explanation...
I've been reading some threads again and they make more sense to me now... ;-)

a submarine and a large sandwich


better yet... they call a large sandwich a "sub"... (www.subway.com)
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Postby Raf » Tue May 31, 2005 10:36 am

gouezeri wrote:The versalab grinder shows (for a hefty price) that in most cases you can strip a grinder down to a bare minimum and concentrate purely on functionality. The most complicated design feature (IMHO) is simply ensuring that a maximum amount of grounds reach the pf; so grinding per shot means that you really are using the most fresh coffee possible.


I contacted Versalab to request an interview with the designer of the M3 espresso gear. Should be interesting, I hope they answer. I also hope they'll send me a grinder/tamper/espresso machine for reviewing purposes, but I don't think they will. :wink:
This week I am eagerly anticipating the first god shots from my La Spaziale machine....

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Postby kingseven » Tue May 31, 2005 2:29 pm

I'm curious about the M3 - but I have heard negative things (which I won't repeat - you can find them on various boards if you look hard enough) about both the kit and the attitude of the people.

Ooo - I feel like a rumour mongerer.
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Postby Gouezeri » Tue May 31, 2005 3:48 pm

kingseven wrote:Ooo - I feel like a rumour mongerer.

More like a tease! :P
However, I'm curious to see what kind of person actually buys one!
[edit]
ok found at least one 17 page thread in an obvious place... read a couple of comments then remembered why I much prefer the attitude, respect and knowledge on TMC... bout as rude as it ever gets here is Stéphane and I threatening each other with Marmite and La Chic*&^% sorry, can't even bring myself to say it, and no the sun hasn't just bloomin well come up! :-P
Still, not found any comments about anyone who has actually properly used or bought one of these machines... maybe that tells a story in itself....?
[edit2]
KingSeven... did you happen to read this report from Victrola (bout half way down the page after the versalab pic)? Definitely goes to show we're not the only ones moaning about grinders.
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Postby Raf » Tue May 31, 2005 5:01 pm

Well, I see no reason not to repeat claims you've heard, King. Or at least PM me, then I can see if I can do anything with it for the interview. I do agree with some of the philosophy behind the M3 grinder - less stray grounds = better espresso, as well as the idea behind the straight funnel for the grounds. Personally, I would add a hopper with a built-in precision scale (in the hopper, not any kind of doser).

I don't know about the M3 espresso machine, because they don't exactly talk much about it on the site. I was hoping to gain some insights from an interview.
This week I am eagerly anticipating the first god shots from my La Spaziale machine....

La Spaziale S1, Vibiemme Domobar (retd), Mazzer Mini Electronic, Behmor 1600 230V
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Postby scottwhite » Tue May 31, 2005 5:19 pm

why bother try to build the perfect grinder when it has already been made?

The Macap M9A, not that expensive either, I challenge you to fault it.
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Postby Raf » Tue May 31, 2005 5:26 pm

scottwhite wrote:I challenge you to fault it.


It has a doser! :shock:

The grounds chute isn't positioned exactly underneath the burrs! :?

The bean hopper doesn't have a built-in scale... :roll:

That's three major faults we're trying to avoid in the TMC Supa Grinda Vaporware TM
This week I am eagerly anticipating the first god shots from my La Spaziale machine....

La Spaziale S1, Vibiemme Domobar (retd), Mazzer Mini Electronic, Behmor 1600 230V
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Postby Gouezeri » Tue May 31, 2005 6:08 pm

Raf wrote:
It has a doser!
The grounds chute isn't positioned exactly underneath the burrs!
The bean hopper doesn't have a built-in scale...

doesn't come with a free mallet?

This does kind of raise the question as to whether we're aiming for the ultimate commercial or consumer grinder... A commercial grinder is probably going to need some kind of hopper... in which case the best thing would probably be to make it some kind of (air tight? vacuum?) "storage jar" as well... the idea being that you fix/clip/screw whichever hopper you need into place as and when you want to grind that particular bean/blend.

We probably need to come up with a different name for a doser as in fact we do want the grinder to be able to "dose" (actually measure the amount of grinds to use by either weight or volume) we just don't want some whirlygig-stale ground holder on the front, almost parallel to the burrs. We need something placed as vertical as possible (chute) underneath them and which retains the least amount of coffee possible.

That's three major faults we're trying to avoid in the TMC Supa Grinda Vaporware TM

Raf, I sent my 2000 Ecu deposit cheque by pigeon-post today, but sadly I forgot to sign the cheque, I'll send another by carrier pigeon as soon as the first pigeon makes it back ;-)
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Postby scottwhite » Tue May 31, 2005 10:17 pm

Raf wrote:
scottwhite wrote:I challenge you to fault it.


It has a doser! :shock:

The grounds chute isn't positioned exactly underneath the burrs! :?

The bean hopper doesn't have a built-in scale... :roll:

That's three major faults we're trying to avoid in the TMC Supa Grinda Vaporware TM


oh right well maybe you should build one then, can't wait to see it. :lol:
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Iberital MC2 with Doser
Macap EPS Tamper
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Macap M9A currently in kit format
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