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Topic: Inside Solis Grinders (long and complicated) (4 msgs / 147 lines)
1) From: jim gundlach
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Since I considered my Solis 166 dead and gone, I decided that I would 
open it up to see why replacement of the center burr was considered a 
task too difficult for the typical owner to perform.  First I will 
briefly describe the component.  The assembly removed from the grinder 
includes the burr holder, with the outer burr removed, the reduction 
gear case, and the motor.  The four wires connecting the motor and 
setting sensor were disconnected.  The first step is to remove the 10mm 
nut at the base of the shaft for the burr that is next to the motor.  
This nut and shaft are threaded opposite of the "normal" threads.  That 
is, turning clockwise removes the nut.  This is the first potential 
problem for an owner attempting to replace the inner burr.  The next 
step I took to remove the metal plate that holds the motor to the gear 
box, it is held in place with four philips head screws.  No problem 
here.  Lifting the motor out exposes a system of two plastic gears.  The 
first  is a step gear that  has sixty teeth  driven directly by the 
motor, which has a five tooth gear on the end of the shaft, which 
reduces the motors rotation by 12 to 1.  The connection is straight 
forward and causes no real problem.  The second gear fits the smaller 
twelve tooth step of the first gear to a larger forty-eight tooth gear 
that fits over the shaft of the inner burr.  This second stage further 
reduces the rotations by a ratio of 4 to 1.  The total result is that 
the motor rotates 48 times to rotate the burr once.  This second gear is 
the key reason the burr is not considered owner replaceable.  This gear 
includes a release mechanism that allows the motor to continue turning 
when the burrs get jammed either by too close adjustment or trying to 
grind a hard object.  On each side of this plastic gear is a plate that 
is connects to the burr shaft while the hole in the gear itself is round 
and spins freely on the burr shaft.  Both sides of the plastic gear has 
three cylinders that hold a spring and a steel ball that fits into a 
hole on the metal plate that is connected to the burr shaft.  When the 
burr jams, these steel balls get pushed back down into their cylinders 
and this allows the plastic wheel to rotate when the burr is jammed.  
When removed this assembly of a plastic gear, six springs, six steel 
balls, two metal plates, a shim, and a couple of washers explodes apart 
when the pressure holding the plates against the gear is released.  
Putting this assembly back together could be used for an engineering 
school entrance exam.  I haven't tried yet but I think I know how I can 
do itl.
     So the design does appear to justify a "not owner replaceable" 
warning.  However, as I looked at it, I think a kit could be made that 
would allow the owner to replace the inner burr.  All it would take is a 
plastic shaft that ws the same diameter and shape as the burr shaft 
where it goes through the problematic gear with the release mechanism.  
Fit this plastic shaft over the end of the burr shaft after the backward 
threaded nut is removed, tap it through the gear housing to remove the 
old burr.  Then from the other side fit the new burr on the end of the 
plastic shaft and tap the new burr back in driving the plastic shaft 
out.  Put the backward nut back on and everything would stay in place 
and it would be relatively easy to replace.
     Jim Gundlach
      Looking for a Rocky
      while exercising on a Zass
      in La Place, Alabama
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2) From: Ken Mary
The Bodum Antigua has a similar if not identical setup. It has been about a
year since I had mine apart (out of curiosity). The inner burr and shaft
should pull out of the case when the nut is removed. It is not necessary to
remove the gear cover. The shaft has a flat to engage the stone guard
clutch.
Jim, is your 166's inner burr dull or is the problem elsewhere?
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3) From: Jim Gundlach
On Monday, September 9, 2002, at 06:48 AM, Ken Mary wrote:
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I can only guess.  Compared to the new outer burr Both the old inner and 
outer burrs feel dull to me.   Replacing the outer burr did not change 
the degree of the problem at all.   If it was purely a dullness problem, 
I would have expected some improvement by replacing  half the cutting 
edges.  Since there was no improvement, I'm inclined to think there may 
be an alignment problem due to the weak plastic base that others have 
discussed.
Jim Gundlach
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4) From: Mark A. Chalkley
Your mention of the Bodum Antigua reminds me of a problem I had a
while back.  I bought one from a semi-local coffee shop (there are no
local ones) and, within a few weeks' use, the plastic tabs that
"sweep" or "push" the ground coffee into the removeable canister broke
off and ended up in the grounds.  After that, the grinder just clogged
up, of course, since the ground coffee couldn't get out from under the
burrs.
So I returned it to the store and got another one.  It lasted two
weeks.  I got a third.  It lasted a little over a month.  Every one of
them had the exact same problem.  Finally, the store I bought it from
gave me money back and a Capresso Burr grinder.
Meanwhile, since I really wasn't too happy with the Capresso, I bought
a Solis from Sweet Marias.  Then, when the Solis arrived, I was
dismayed to see that it was made exactly like the Bodum that kept
self-destructing.  I e-mailed Tom about it and he assured me he'd
never seen a Solis have the problem I'd had with the Bodum, but if I
did, he and Solis would certainly stand behind it.  Having no reason
whatsoever to not trust Tom completely, I kept the Solis, even though
I didn't really want to.  But the bottom line is that I've been using
the Solis for over a year with no problems whatsoever.  I don't
understand it, but I'm not complaining.  Maybe the Bodum and Solis use
the same design but are made of different materials?
Mark C.
On Monday, September 9, 2002, 7:48:10 AM, you wrote:
KM> The Bodum Antigua has a similar if not identical setup. It has been about a
KM> year since I had mine apart (out of curiosity). The inner burr and shaft
KM> should pull out of the case when the nut is removed. It is not necessary to
KM> remove the gear cover. The shaft has a flat to engage the stone guard
KM> clutch.
KM> Jim, is your 166's inner burr dull or is the problem elsewhere?
KM> --
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