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Topic: news on gaggia baby from thrift store (9 msgs / 258 lines)
1) From: Peter Zulkowski
Since friends are visiting I have not had much time for email so I am 
catching up.
It is good to see that list folks are having fun and success in there 
espresso machine efforts.
I am still espresso challenged.
I left my Krups Gusto and other thrift store machines in Arizona when we 
headed east to camp for the summer. Opting instead to take only the 
Gaggia Baby that I had just purchased from a thrift store for only ten 
dollars.
The PF gasket leaked, so I ordered a couple, and had them sent here to 
the camp site. I had trouble determining what size to get, they come in 
different thicknesses, so I bought one of each. The 10 MM one was 
definitely too thick, and the 9 MM one was a bit tight going in, but 
after a major struggle I won, and finally got it to seat.
The PF went on so I thought I was in business. Turned the pump on and 
had major leaks even without the PF on. Turned out the hose from the 
pump to the boiler was cracked. After much searching I found and ordered 
some Teflon Tubing from the internet, got it installed, and that part 
works fine :)
The boiler seems solid, no leaks there, but there is another problem 
with it. Will talk about that later.
Now I put in the blank basket to try to do a cleaning flush, and the 
PortaFilter will not even go on. The ridge around the blank basket and 
the 2 shot basket, are too thick.
Not to worry, I can still use the original basket right? Nope, the PF 
does not go on with any basket in it!
If I force it, I can get it to barely lock, so I let it warm up an run 
for a few hours, and really cranked it down tight. Hot water funs 
through the empty PF fine, no leaks.
Now for some espresso!
As a newbie does, I put too much espresso into the PF, and could not get 
it back on. Plus, it is very hot, and nearly impossible to attach since 
the fit is so close anyway.
Scrap that idea. Repacked and re tamped with less coffee and I got it 
attached. Not very well I learned, as espresso squirted everywhere!
The gasket is definitely too thick.
This is an older Baby, perhaps one of the first ones, and I have not 
been able to find it listed to order the correct parts. Now I am 
thinking that I will get out the Dremel (one always must have a Dremel, 
even camping) and making the gasket thinner. The other thing I thought 
of was just modifying the lugs on the PF. Gosh that sounds sacreligious huh?
The other problem (?).
Not sure it is a problem. When I first run the pump, with the switch set 
to run through the PF rather than make steam, lots of steam comes 
through the PF. Lots of steam!
In a few seconds it turns to very hot water, but always there is a large 
burst of steam. I suspect this would destroy all the tamping in the PF 
and leave the grounds all frothy.
Is there a procedure I should do to prevent this or is this normal or is 
some thermostat out of adjustment or something like that?
The steam wand makes great steam. Not as hot as one of my thrift shop 
espresso machines, which actually discolored the metal of the wand, but 
plenty of it.
Not knowing a lot about espresso machines, but sorely loving to tinker I 
need help and suggestions deciding what to do.
So far I have invested in this Baby about $35.00, including the purchase 
price. The pump works well, and it only seems to leak around the PF 
gasket. The steam seems uncontrollable, but surfing may help get the 
temp down so I can make a steam less shot. Does it seem to anyone that 
this machine is worth investing any more money in?
And from what I have said, does anyone have an opinion as to what it may 
cost to get it operational? Is the thermostat adjustable?
I have had the heavy cover off that holds the water tank, but have not 
had the boiler out. There are lots of wires going everywhere it seems.
Thank you for all your help and consideration,
PeterZ

2) From: miKe mcKoffee
From: "Peter Zulkowski" 
Sent: Wednesday, July 27, 2005 3:01 PM
<Snip>
From what you say it sounds like it's definitely worth bringing up to 
working order. Sounds like your main issues are properly fitting PF head 
gasket and brew temp. You already have ideas for fixing the gasket. BTW, did 
you call any place like Espresso Parts NW and ask them about gaskets? I'm 
fairly certain the answer is no, tstat not adjustable. (Actually two, one 
for brew temp and one for steam temp) Hence why people with this class 
machine "temp surf". OOOoooRRRrrr modify with a PID! That would run you 
'bout $150 though... and well worth it IMHO;-)
miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path traveled by many. 
To know I must first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal 
enlightenment found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who 
have gone before.

3) From: Peter Zulkowski
Hi Mike,
That is who I ordered the parts from :)
I ordered one of each gasket that they list, but even the thinnest one 
is too thick.
Now I have even broken the PF handle that was already cracked, trying to 
tighten it.
Does anyone have, or know where to get, a gasket that is 8mm thick? PF 
handle?
I do have a PID I am not using, maybe it is meant for this Baby if I get 
past the other bugs.
Thanks again for your input.
PeterZ
miKe mcKoffee wrote:
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4) From: Gary Bennett
Peter,
I'd try Coffeeparts athttp://www.coffeeparts.com/gag/gag1.htmlThey're in Australia, but post internationally.
Regards, Gary
On 8/2/05, Peter Zulkowski  wrote:
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5) From: Scott Koue
I would go to a good hardware store and get some sheet rubber and cut 
it myself.  ACE hardware stores vary but seem to be pretty good and 
Orchard supply also has some good stores.
SK
On Aug 1, 2005, at 7:30 PM, Peter Zulkowski wrote:
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6) From: Angelo
There is a company that refurbishes Gaggia products. They would certainly 
have what you want. I don't know if they would sell it to you. It's worth a 
try...
I'm sorry i don't know the url...You might ask on alt.coffee...
A.
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7) From: Peter Zulkowski
Hi Gary,
Thank you for the tip!
I just ordered 3 gaskets and a handle from them. Will let you know how 
long it takes from Australia.
In my favorite shop of horrors (because it has all this neat stuff) 
there is a Luca Trazzi Espresso Machine with pump.
Reviews compare it with the Gaggia Baby, but it does not have a 3 way 
valve so I will pass again. Seems like the Baby is worth rebuilding just 
because it has some good features. If these gaskets do not work I will 
try making my own. Maybe from Silicon Pot Holders, or may find some 
other rubber. I need the handle anyway, so I will now wait for the new 
gaskets. No tools here to even think of building my own handle, unless I 
could do it with just an electric drill and a Dremel. Seems like too 
much work!
PeterZ
Gary Bennett wrote:
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8) From: jim-seaman
Peter,
Check here for parts:http://www.espressotec.com/manual/gaggiababy.pdfBy the way, in reference to your earlier problem where steam and water is coming out of the group head during the heat up for steaming, check here for info:http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/145235In general, I like the machine better than my old Gaggia Espresso but not as well as the older Gaggia Coffee (now called Gaggia Classic).  The innards are the same between the Classic and the Baby but the Classic has: a much larger and more serviceable drip tray and fresh water tank AND I like its metal body a bit better.  Even for what I spent, I am much happier than I was with my much newer Starbuck's Barista machine.">http://www.gaggiaparts.com/Page4.htmlI haven't needed to order from them yet, but the diagrams alone are pretty interesting!  I recently bought an older Gaggia Baby that was very lightly used but spent a bit more than you did! ($200) So far, mine seems to be working perfectly.  I de-scaled using a 50% white vinegar to water ratio (as indicated in the manual), backflushed (not recommended by Gaggia but the local authorized Gaggia service center said that it was fine to do) and cleaned all the parts.  By the way, a manual (if you don't already have one) for it is here:http://www.espressotec.com/manual/gaggiababy.pdfBy the way, in reference to your earlier problem where steam and water is coming out of the group head during the heat up for steaming, check here for info:http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/145235In general, I like the machine better than my old Gaggia Espresso but not as well as the older Gaggia Coffee (now called Gaggia Classic).  The innards are the same between the Classic and the Baby but the Classic has: a much larger and more serviceable drip tray and fresh water tank AND I like its metal body a bit better.  Even for what I spent, I am much happier than I was with my much newer Starbuck's Barista machine.
Hope that this is helpful.
Good luck,
Jim
Peter,
 
Check here for parts:
http://www.gaggiaparts.com/Page4.html 
I haven't needed to order from them yet, but the diagrams alone are pretty interesting!  I recently bought an older Gaggia Baby that was very lightly used but spent a bit more than you did! ($200) So far, mine seems to be working perfectly.  I de-scaled using a 50% white vinegar to water ratio (as indicated in the manual), backflushed (not recommended by Gaggia but the local authorized Gaggia service center said that it was fine to do) and cleaned all the parts.  By the way, a manual (if you don't already have one) for it is here:
http://www.espressotec.com/manual/gaggiababy.pdf 
 
By the way, in reference to your earlier problem where steam and water is coming out of the group head during the heat up for steaming, check here for info:
http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/145235In general, I like the machine better than my old Gaggia Espresso but not as well as the older Gaggia Coffee (now called Gaggia Classic).  The innards are the same between the Classic and the Baby but the Classic has: a much larger and more serviceable drip tray and fresh water tank AND I like its metal body a bit better.  Even for what I spent, I am much happier than I was with my much newer Starbuck's Barista machine.
 
Hope that this is helpful.
 
Good luck,
 
Jim
 

9) From: Peter Zulkowski
Hi Jim,
Thank you for those links, I will check them out next time I can get 
online. Camping has its drawbacks, have to walk a hundred yds to get 
internet connection.
One was sold to me on ebay cheap, too cheap, and the seller refused to 
sell it for that price! He just faded away, no negotiation.
Then the thrift store came through. I will need the manual, but folks 
here have been helpful. Right now I think it is important to leave the 
cup button turned on during warm up. Not sure if I did that, but if 
there are two thermostats, one for hot water and the other for steam, 
than I probably had the wrong switch on. When I get a gasket I will try 
again.
Thanks again for your input.
PeterZ
jim-seaman wrote:
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