Making an Espresso Pot In the Machine Shop

[This Old Tony] was cleaning up his metal shop after his yearly flirtation with woodworking when he found himself hankering for a nice coffee. He was, however, completely without a coffee making apparatus. We imagine there was a hasty round of consulting with his inanimate friends [Optimus Prime] and [Stefan Gotteswinter Brush] before he decided the only logical option was to make his own.

So, he brought out two chunks of aluminum from somewhere in his shop, modeled up his plan in SolidWorks, and got to work.  It was designed to be a moka style espresso pot sized around both the size of stock he had, and three purchased parts: the gasket, funnel, and filter. The base and top were cut on a combination of lathe and mill. He had some good tips on working with deep thin walled parts. He also used his CNC to cut out some parts, like the lid and handle. The spout was interesting, as it was made by building up a glob of metal using a welder and then shaped afterward.

As usual the video is of [This Old Tony]’s exceptional quality. After quite a lot of work he rinsed out most of the metal chips and WD40, packed it with coffee, and put it on the stove. Success! It wasn’t long before the black stuff was bubbling into the top chamber ready for consumption.

17 thoughts on “Making an Espresso Pot In the Machine Shop

    1. If in doubt work from the contaminant to the target with successive washes. Ie. For an oil based contamination when you want to use water then start with stuff like petroleum ether and work through acetone, alcohol and eventually a few water rinses.

      If like most people you can’t be arsed with that then decon90 and methanol with a water rinse fixes just about anything including silicones. (don’t leave decon90 in non ferrous metal contact for too long though).

      1. I’ve been researching in the field of selective laser melting and achievable densities. For measurements we used the following cleaning procedure: 5 min in an ultrasonic bath with a soap solution, afterwards 5 min in an ultrasonic bath with destilled water and finally 5min in an ultrasonic bath with ethanol. After the ethanol has evaporated, the parts were put under vacuum, but for just “clean” parts this won’t be necessary. I think this procedure can be applied to food safe items as well

  1. I didn’t see a pressure relief valve?
    Yeah, I know the aluminium is nice and thick, but I’ve personally had an espresso pot with a faulty valve go boom on the stove… you don’t want that. Trust me on this one.

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