BES900 Custom Wooden Handle and extras.
I have a very dear friend AM, that turns handles for coffee machines and has been very generous in offering to do handles for myself and Muscles on the Crema forum. This offer came even before we owned the BES900 🙂
Of course we both took him up on the offer, his work is gorgeous and it’s the one thing on our machines that make us truly individual.
What follows is his experience in trying to find out how to separate the handle from the portafilter and the resulting addition of his turned handle.
He also made a tamper out of the same wood that has been placed on a Pullman base.
The first set are Muscles, the first wooden handles in the world made for the BES900 by the way, made from Wenge wood (I think) and the second set are mine, made from Purple Heart wood.
Below is AMs story of how he makes them and all photos are his.
This is the first attempt at the handle and tamper (meaning the first attempt for the BES900 machines) and roughing oil applied.
Sorry about the lighting and quality.. A bit bright but you get the concept.
In reality a darker brown with some great dark almost pure black swirls.
When placed side by side and rolled, one can see and follow the grain as they are from the same blank.
Stay tuned for further developments as and when the actual hardware arrives. Then cry as you watch me totally butcher the original handle
The following photos are after polishing, they turned out absolutely gorgeous and an asset to any coffee machine.
All done in a traditional polish with a wax top coat…
That way it can easly clean off and the new owner can do their own coation; should they choose to do so.
The BES900 handle and Pullman base arrive…
End cap is held on with a fair chunk of Silastic = Like s**t to a blanket
Handel is made out of a Bakelite type material = brittle
Step 1: Remove end cap and take care = small chips in handle.
Step 2: Dig out all the Silastic that is deeper inside the handle
Step 3: Start to get desperate.
When handle pressed on it is packed with Silastic and the spline of the PF (I Beam) fits into the key in the moulded handle. Thus it is well fixed.
Heat may assist in getting it off but care as to damage to the end rubber at the join to the PF.
I want to hold the handle in a offset vice and use a press or a punch and knock the PF out. But the Bakelite type handle is way to brittle.
Easy way is to just cut / grind it off enough until one can extract the PF and it’s spigot…
Cut the handle off as flush to its end. This would leave 20mm of SS spigot protruding from the PF. Then this could be drilled and tapped at say 10mm thread.
Thus any standard handle with a 10mm thread could be fitted at and on demand.
Oh the choices one is faced with
Either way; the standard handle is looking at a very short life expectancy…
We had a slight delay when we thought that we might have an easier solution, AM has a Minore and in wanting to heat up the BES900 portafilter he put it into the Minore and it fitted perfectly. Thinking that maybe we might have a solution I set about finding someone local with a Minore, I was lucky enough to find just the right person who was generous enough with only half an hours notice to organise for me to go and pick up the Minore portafilter to try in the BES900.
Unfortunately it didn’t work, the Minore portafilter is bigger in the lugs, it’s lugs are approximately 8mm whereas the BES900 is approximately 5mm.
Sooooooooooo back to our story 😀
1: Remove with care, the end cap = you will chip the handle
2: Gut the inside of the handle – lots of silastic
3: Lots of sweat and tricks and chemicals to weaken the bond between the Silastic and the SS and the Bakelite type material.
4: Then use pulling power and not a punch… Err the rubber does not like some of the chemicals.. Soz Muscles.
5: Then we pull it down and have a closer look at the main bits and you can see the configuration. Now imagine that the handle is pumped full of a good bonding agent and then the handle is pressed in and then left to cure..
Yep… A big saw next time… Drill and tap to 10mm..
However for Muscles I had already started on the handle… So it is yet to be bonded but you can see the expected outcome below.
Note: Handle to get a tad more polish…
After watching the agony AM went to over this I don’t think it is fair in the slightest to ask him to do the separation of the portafilter from handle so for the next one, mine, Steve will be doing the detaching, which I will photograph and put up and AM will just do the handles/tampers etc. send them down and we’ll attach them.
AM instructions to find out if Steve could do it:
If the OH is OK with it… Just chop it on the other side of the rubber grommet by 5 mm.
This will leave the the rubber in one piece and allow you to grind / finish off the spigot and make sure it is flat and square.
If OH can then drill and tap to either 10mm or 12mm (metric ) for a depth of 15mm then you do not even need to send. BUT has to be square, if in at an angle then the handle will not fit flush and or be at an angle. OH will know exactly what I mean
I can then just make the handle with the right thread and send it to you…
Finally here are the finished products on Muscles BES900, photos taken by himself. They look fantastic and just make the machine that something special and individual.
HUGE DELAY I KNOW
Here are my handles.
They have been made from Purple Heart and I LOVE them, I asked AM to pick something he thought would suit me and they are so me 😀
I was not allowed to see them until they turned up on my doorstep, little did I know that photos had been added to another thread of one of the handles in progress, it didn’t even click that it might have been mine.
The following photos were taken by KK, the first one showing one of the handles on the lathe in rough stage and the other is the shavings.
My understand is that this is difficult wood to work with, if you cut it one way it’s brown and if you cut it another it’s purple.
I can not thank AM enough for what he went through to do my handles, I will treasure them and they will follow me through all of the machines I may go through.
Here are the final products…ta-da 🙂