After joyfully using my vintage Gaggia MDF grinder for about six months, the other morning it locked up. When I pressed the power button, all I got was a hum. Emptied all the beans out and took it up to the coarsest setting and tried again...same. Shook it...same. Cursed...same.
Was thinking about trying to take it apart to see if I could locate the problem, but I'm not sure how. I've seen a reference posted for plug-covered screws inside the hopper, but I don't see those on mine. Any ideas or assistance are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Hi GaggiaGuy' I also bought an MDF about six months ago and it is working flawlessly. I have removed the hopper to convert the MDF to a stepless grinder and to take it apart:
1. Remove the lid. When you look inside the hopper you will see two tube-like things and these have rubber plugs on the top of them.
2. Remove the plugs (you may need something fairly sharp to scoop these out as they are in there very tightly).
3. Once the plugs are removed you will see a Philips head screw in each one, remove this screw from each (2).
4. Once the screws are removed you can pull the hopper out.
5. You will then see that the two screws you removed thread into two nuts that are tapped. These are actually screws as well. If you remove these, you will be able to remove the ring with the grind settings on it and unsrew the top burr holder (machined brass part).
Please be careful when you reassemble the unit as if done incorrectly you run the risk of the burrs touching, this will result in much knashing of teeth on your part.
If you are close to EspressoTec, I would get them to do it for you. It sounds like something has got jamed in the burrs. Your unit is still under warranty so I would let whoever you bought it from do the job.
By the way, have you tried just unscrewing the hopper and setting it to the coursest grind available? This could just dislodge whatever might be stuck. If that doesn't do it, you may have something wrong in the gear box which you will not likely be able to fix anyway.
Sorry, I should have read the original post more slowly. As your unit is vintage, the warranty suggestion is useless. I have seen an MDF that was 8 or 9 years old and it had the plugs inside the hopper as well. If yours does not have them and you cannot unscrew the hopper and it is not obvious how it comes apart, I think you may be looking at taking it to a repair depot.
I have a really old Gaggia MDF as well, and yes there are no plugs...the hopper will just come out if you pull it straight up (its a very snug fit though so it won't be easy), then you should be able to peek into the burrs to see if there's anything stuck in there. make sure to unplug it first! =)
Sorry I have not jumped in earlier - I dare say (with my knowledge of electric motors--fairly advanced) that one or the other of the motor brushes may be worn down after 7 to 8 years.
Any good electrical appliance repair person can tackle this fairly easily - it is a simple repair.
There is no actual \"lock-up\" happening. The brushes supply AC to the windings of the motor - they are in constant contact with the rotors on the motor. They wear out eventually.
I have had several electric lawn mowers that have gone through this - and it is a quick fix.