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Topic: Solis Grinder retitled from PID Silvia? (2 msgs / 209 lines)
1) From: jim gundlach
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It has been several years since I had the Solis grinder experience  
but the basic problem is still the same.  The lack of stability is in  
the external burr and is due to the light plastic mounting structure  
that is made even weaker because it contains the adjustment  
mechanism.  The lack of stability not only causes an uneven grind but  
when you adjust for an espresso grind the burrs are close enough to  
each other that the external burr will wobble into the inner burr  
during grinding so you have metal grinding on metal resulting in dull  
burrs.  And, only the external burr is user replaceable, so once the  
burrs are dulled you cannot replace parts and bring a Solis grinder  
back into new condition.  It is clearly a bad design and I don't know  
why Solis, who makes espresso machines, would make a grinder  
unsuitable for grinding espresso.  Actually, I do know.  Market  
research shows that people really don't want to spend more than a  
fourth as much for a grinder as they do an espresso machine.  It is  
designed to sell to an uninformed coffee consumer.  One of the most  
important lessons participants on this list can learn to distinguish  
themselves from the Folgers to Char$ crowd is that:
    THE ESPRESSO MACHINE IS AN ACCESSORY TO THE GRINDER, NOT THE  
OTHER WAY AROUND!
There, My all caps calendar is reset, I get to do it again in 2018.
      Pecan Jim
On Dec 1, 2006, at 8:36 AM, Kevin wrote:
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It has been several years since =
I had the Solis grinder experience but the basic problem is still the =
same.  The lack of stability is in the external burr and is due to the =
light plastic mounting structure that is made even weaker because it =
contains the adjustment mechanism.  The lack of stability not only =
causes an uneven grind but when you adjust for an espresso grind the =
burrs are close enough to each other that the external burr will wobble =
into the inner burr during grinding so you have metal grinding on metal =
resulting in dull burrs.  And, only the external burr is user =
replaceable, so once the burrs are dulled you cannot replace parts and =
bring a Solis grinder back into new condition.  It is clearly a bad =
design and I don't know why Solis, who makes espresso machines, would =
make a grinder unsuitable for grinding espresso.  Actually, I do =
know.  Market research shows that people really don't want to spend =
more than a fourth as much for a grinder as they do an espresso =
machine.  It is designed to sell to an uninformed coffee consumer.  =
One of the most important lessons participants on this list can =
learn to distinguish themselves from the Folgers to Char$ crowd is =
that:
   THE = ESPRESSO MACHINE IS AN ACCESSORY TO THE GRINDER, NOT THE OTHER WAY = AROUND!
There, = My all caps calendar is reset, I get to do it again in = 2018.
  =    Pecan Jim On Dec 1, 2006, at 8:36 AM, Kevin = wrote:

Forgive me for reviving a dead thread but I was = thinking about this this for a while: SMP espresso suitability issue. = Wouldn't the shear stress of the coffee beans exposed to the burr at any = one point vs. the elasticity of the steel burr have a greater effect on = grind consistency than any flexibility in the nylon housing? Also, the = nylon in my SMP looks like it is probably UHMW (Ultra High Molecular = Weight) Polyethylene (relatively inexpensive material commonly used in = mfg lines and equipment) which I would assume to be of greater rigidity = (even if it's cheap nylon this should be true) than the shear stress of = roasted coffee beans (which is the key factor here). Any flex here I = assume to have a negligible effect on particle size ( i.e. elasticity = threshold of housing is much greater than the shear stress of the = roasted coffee beans). The only way to truly determine this is with an = industrial particle size analyzer but that'll never happen. My = hypothesis is that the housing in the SMP would have no noticeable = effect on grind consistency vs. a grinder with a steal housing and both = would be suitable for good espresso.

Any ME's with input?

= On 11/9/06, Marc <marc.nh> = wrote: Kevin, The main problem is that the burrs in the SMP are = mounted to nylon and there is enough flex in the nylon to affect the = consistency of the grind. The Rocky, the Mazzer and other grinders mount = the burrs on machined brass which holds the burrs more accurately and = thus creates a more consistent grind. For everything but espresso the SMP should work = fine - it had for me. My understanding  (i'm just about to take the = step into espresso = myself) is that the quality of the grind is one of the most important = factor in making espresso.= -Marc On = 11/9/06, Kevin <hokies1999> wrote: = = Jeremy,   Why is the SMP not suitable for = espresso grinding?  I'm curious as I have an SMP and the grind setting = is adjustable from extremely coarse to fine.   = On 11/9/06, Jeremy DeFranco <jeremy.defranco = > wrote: Well, I want to thank everyone for their = great advice. I did some searching of the archives as well. I did come = to the realization that I needed a better grinder than the Maestro Plus = if I am to take the plunge into quality espresso. Step 1- Order a = grinder: I like the specs best on the Mazzer Mini, but it is just too = damn big to fit under my cabinets! I ended up going for a Rocky = Doserless! It sure felt nice hitting that order button. I've never had a = real grinder before! (Too bad I didn't know about the Rocky before I got = my SMP,  I would have saved some dough!) Step 2- Order quality = espresso machine. I'll have to admit, I was nearly sold on the PID'd = Silvia at one point, but then some people on the list started putting = ideas in my head by bringing up HX machines... : ) So I checked them = out. And I am glad that I did! I realized that If I were to go with a = Silvia now, I would merely upgrade in a short period of time, and end up = spending even more money than if I would have bought a HX in the first = place (kind of what happened with my grinder). Also, the Silvia just = simply is not as great a deal as it used to be with all its new-found = popularity. Rather, it seems the best bang for the buck right now are = the HX machines. I found that I really liked the Quick Mills. However = the Andreja was just a bit out of my price range, while the Alexia was = just a bit short on bells and whistles. So I ended up going for an = Anita! Man is she beautiful! I also ended up getting a PID installed on = it fresh out of the box. I know that it's not hard to get to proper temp = on this machine if it's been sitting for awhile, but why waste water = when you don't have to, and why settle for less temp control when you = can have all the control you want! I'm really looking forward to this = experience, and I am happy with my purchases, because I know I won't be = getting upgrade fever anytime soon (no comments from the peanut gallery- = I'm serious!) I'm really excited about this machine and the Rocky = Grinder. I'm looking forward to the challenge of making great espresso. = What makes it all worth it is that I will get to enjoy the best coffee = in the world on a whole new level, and I get to share my experiences = with this awesome list. Thanks list for all your suggestions, and thank = you Sweet Marias for the best coffee beans in the world. Cheers! =
-- = Kevin =
-- Kevin =http://homecoffeeroastblog.blogspot.com/"I got a fever and = the only prescription... is more cowbell!" http:/= /www.funnyhub.com/videos/pages/snl-more-cowbell.html = = --Apple-Mail-2--150228624--

2) From: raymanowen
Ahh, the only thing that separates people with "irreplaceable Solis inner
burrs" from those that have absolutely no problem unscrewing the Left Hand
threaded burr is a pair of locking pliers.
Even the Glorious Locking Plier with backwards operating unlocking lever
will do. I prefer the Vise Grip 10WR, made by Peterson Manufacturing Co in
DeWitt, NE.
The Irremoveable Burr comes out so fast, it's pointless to discuss. But...
Wager-
For one pound of green beans: If a Solis has been un-maintained for a year,
I can remove the center burr faster than you can remove the ring [outer]
burr. (Remember, the center one is "Irremovable.")
In operation, the play you think you can feel in the upper burr practically
disappears because of symmetrical loading while grinding. Because it is a
twin slope, two stage burr, the fine grinding stage is not affected by the
radial play you can force. The final output grinding pitch depends only on
the burrs' proximity in the Z (vertical) axis.
It's like aligning spiral bevel gears or hypoid gears- during assembly you
can only do a preliminary alignment. Under load, the ring and pinion shift
slightly and new ones lap themselves in accordingly.
The problem I had with Solis burrs was that the ring burr was cut with a
dull gear cutter or broach. Very rough cut, the burr itself was rough and
had burrs that would scratch out fine dust from the beans in both stage 1
and stage 2 of the burrs. Very noticeable with a 10X inspection loupe.
The Virtuoso burrs have that all fixed up. They look like case hardened
forgings.
Talk to Baratza, just don't stop with the first "customer servicing"
Automaton that answers the phone, unless he will sell you a set of Virtuoso
burrs, no questions asked. Or, if they want to connect you to Mr. Anderson,
that's good- he's a Prince. Doesn't want any unhappy Solis owners.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
"The indisputable truth is that no coffee is fresh if it isn't fresh
roasted." - - Martin Diedrich


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