Conti Prestina

Definitely not easy posting through here now, here are some details of ongoing work. Today the machine makes coffee, It only remains me to polish the stainless steel skins, reassemble the body, and it will be over. But you understand, I’m late here.

During reassembly of the water inlet tap I made some pictures. I really love this assembly. It is as firmly and intelligently designed as a tap at Unic. Except that in addition ergonomics for assembler has been very well thought out. No need to pick a hidden O-ring in a small hidden deep throat of a well … Here everything has been designed to be very accessible.

Here is the main button controlling the opening of the valve :

Water inlet tap details, Conti Prestina Water inlet tap details, Conti Prestina Water inlet tap details, Conti Prestina

The O-ring guiding the piston of the tappet is first placed in a groove cut into the body. Once placed the copper washer maintain it. Just over, the v-seal makes the sealing of the piston, and everything is maintained by the cover. So obvious!

Water inlet tap details, Conti Prestina Water inlet tap details, Conti Prestina

As often with the manufacturers, a gasket is used for many purposes. The valve O-ring above is the same as that necessary to seal the two bases of the water level tube. Fortunately I had ordered several.

Seal on level slight connection of a Prestina

The heating element comes from the catalog La Spaziale, “Professional” model. Big advantage for all since Conti doesn’t produce it any more. And big advantage for our American friends, as it also comes in 110v. Details of the seals I used and  hot water draw-off.

Hot water pipe in the boiler of a Prestina

Not easy to fit a false steam/vacuum breaker valve with the OPV, not too much space…

Steam valve on Prestina

Awesome this group, love it.

Conti Prestina lever group

Nice Sunday, I try to come back very soon to talk about the end of this restoration.


Conti Prestina

The time has come to start the restoration of a machine as I still never had redone, a Conti Prestina.

It is a 70’s lever machine, by the famous manufacturer Conti. The design of some point is quite simple, a welded steel frame, the quality is the same as for the Empress, the welds are not too nice. And also it probably could be more, as in design of the boiler cover, which brings together all the necessary connections to the operation of a machine in a small space.
I will do more comprehensive pictures of the assembly when I finish the beauty cover-up but it is really a very nice casting and machining.

Conti Prestina restoration, main frame

Level connection to Conti Prestina boiler cover

The group design is very similar to that of Cimbali Eleva. It is composed of several pieces, brass, cast iron and steel. It is also a beautiful production, and an interesting design. I’m not surprised, moreover, that it is still produced by Conti, as is also the latest Faema lever group via the Spanish manufacturer Quality Espresso. It is connected to the boiler, but the long and airy link could give him closer characteristics to a thermosiphon, can not wait to try it to know. Machining treated, bearing assembly, it is already superb, but the ultimate luxury is really the sleeve with its hard chrome plating. I’m not always very fond of Conti but there, there is no doubt, it’s very beautiful. The bottom of the group, the female bayonet who carries the filter holder is removable. Well… use it til you need to replace would take a few decades of use …

Conti Prestina, group link to boiler Conti Prestina group Groupe Conti PrestinaBas de groupe Conti Prestina

The boiler is made of copper in one piece solderless, I think they were extruded, or maybe pushed back, not sure, but in any case here too there is no compromise on quality, this is beautiful material.

Conti Prestina boiler

Once again this machine shows the poor interest of aluminum in coffee makers. The slightest leak, and more generally moisture, almost constant prevailing in that environment, always ends to weld the screws into the holes and makes very complicated disassembly, most often impossible without breakage. The flange is broken, I will have to find a replacement …

Conti Prestina Conti Prestina

To be followed…