The Espresso Machine Restoration site
A non-commercial site for those interested in espresso equipment repair and restoration.
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La Marzocco GS Manual Group
Progress!  05/11/05

A lot has happened in the past few weeks. Because the machine is so special and well sought after amongst those
in the know it really only deserved the best restoration that money could buy.  So I had to call upon a few new
companies in and around HK to do some work for me.  I'm sure I will have forgotten how many people did some small
part on the machine but here goes...

Welding and brazing company - a real character is Mr. Lee, he has a small welding shop in HK no bigger than 150
sq.ft. however he did work miracles and save the brew boiler from the clutches of the scrapyard.  He had to braze
the heating element fitting and the drain fitting the other end back in.  That job wasn't so bad.  The real trick was
getting the boiler back into some kind of shape.  Because of the ice formation that blew the element and other fitting
out, the other point of weakness is the group flange.  It had expanded a lot, so much so that the 8 holes had
become 8 ovals.

I have to say I thought the boiler was a gonner, so much so I put in a formal request to the factory in Italy to make a
new one.  They declined anyway :(

Some of the following pics are crap, no idea why, I think the settings got mangled up.

I had to leave the welding shop when Mr. Lee was "repairing" the middle section, the hernia as I called it.  I have no
idea what he did and frankly I think it's best if I don"t know what he did, but I believe it involved heat, a very large
vice and an angle grinder.
Metal Polishing Factory

There comes a time when it's best to find experts to do the really hard jobs.  Around 1 year ago we found a Mr.
Wong over in Kowloon in the grottiest industrial building imaginable.  Mr. Wong's workshop is again small, very very
dark and extremely dirty!  The floor is a few inches deep everywhere with a combination of dust, fragments of the
polishing mops and heaven knows what else.  There must be over 1000 used polishing mops all over the place.  
You can'n hear yourself think with the polishing motos spinning all the time and the noise from the stamping machine
at the button company next door.

Having said that Mr. Wong performs miracles.  Almost the worst surface you can imagine comes back to us a few
days later with a mirror finish.  It's not just us that appreciate his work, a lot of very famous brands use him to do the
final finishing on their tableware (spoons, jugs etc..).

I can't show you the work he did just yet because it will spoil the suspense.  But he polished all the steel with the
exception of the front fascia and main body which I did myself in the satin brushed style.
Electroplate Factory

Another lucky find was this company because they do truly amazing work.  You can give them the worst piece of
banged up metal imaginable and they will strip it, polish it to removes dents, and then re-chrome.  

So the procedure is that we will clean the parts.  For example the group head we have to take it all apart and clean it
in detergent.  Then we remove limescale for a few days in an acid bath.  Then after that we do a final cleaning with
puro caff to remove old coffee oils.  

We then take all parts to the plating company and they will polish and then do the final finish.  For this machine they
had a lot of small parts all to be re-chromed...

Group body, Bayonet ring, 3 x steam valve complete, steam wand and tip, hot water wand and tip, sight glass body
and bezel.  

The cost was expensive but will be worth it in the long-run.

Remember the group body ?  That old beat up crappy group body?
Paint/blasting shop

Removing the old paint was not an easy job. It required some serious help to get the old paint out from the tight
spots.  The painting was done by myself though using some very cool hammer paint (also rust prevention) done by

Again I can't show pics of the painting because I didn't take any of the frame itself.
Other tasks to be done

Usually I will ship out the parts to be done by other companies straight away and when they are doing their job I will
do mine.  That usually means all the donkey work, the hard graft such as stripping the frame, cleaning boilers and
pipes etc...

So a list of all other work done by myself is...

Strip old paint from frame and remove rust (hard bits were blasted).
Strip all components such as boilers, valves groups etc...
Descale boilers, pipes, heating elements.
Clean up all parts that I will reuse such as obscure screws.
Workout the wiring diagram and buy parts accordingly (PID, switches etc.)
The rebuild continues on page 3
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This website is created by Paul Pratt, Hong Kong 2004-5. If you would like to use any of the images or text I am sure
I will say yes, but please ask first!  

Email me here.

Look at the angle of the drain fitting.
A repaired brew boiler.
The repaired element fitting.
The whole boiler - cute isn't it?
One very bad group head.
The worst sight-glass ever!
The group before.
Steam taps before.
The box of goodies...
Some special things inside..
Sight glass bodies.
Sight glass bezels.
Steam and water valves.
Mmmmm vintage portafilters.
Now that is amazing.
Better than new.
Truly amazing.